We’re all feeling a little nervous about how AI could potentially transform our jobs in talent acquisition, HR and Recruitment Marketing. It’s understandable, because one of the biggest technological changes (if not THE biggest) in our lifetimes is happening around us, ready or not.
AI is dramatically changing the world of recruitment, influencing everything from sourcing candidates to automating routine tasks, to enhancing the candidate experience and creating engaging recruiting content. We’re on the cusp of an AI revolution that is fundamentally reshaping how we attract and recruit talent, and how talent finds and chooses their next job and employer. So, the big question is: How will your job change as you integrate AI into your day-to-day activities, and more importantly, how can AI be used to boost your own value as a professional? In other words, are you AI-ready?
This question, and the whole topic of AI in recruiting, is something that I’m becoming very interested in and passionate about. So, at our upcoming RallyFwd Virtual Conference on December 6, 2023, I’ll be presenting: “AI-Ready: Advancing Your Career in the New Era of Talent Acquisition”. (Rally Note: you can attend RallyFwd for free by registering here)
I believe that the impact of AI on recruiting, Recruitment Marketing and employer branding will be profound. But this isn’t a change that necessarily needs to be forced upon us; we have an opportunity to embrace this change and help prepare (and lead!) our organizations for what’s ahead.
Read on to learn what AI means for your career, including the skills you’ll need to develop, how you can lead this paradigm shift to embrace AI in your organization and some of the key ethical considerations for using AI in recruitment.
Ensuring that Your Skills are AI-Ready
Remember life before you used Google to search the internet, or more recently, before you could ask Alexa or Siri a question? Who would want to go back to how things were done before? I sure don’t, and I imagine you don’t either! We all spent way too much time looking for information. Now the answers are at our fingertips. We still need to verify that the information is correct, but it’s meant that we spend far less time searching, and much more time doing the thing we wanted to do once we found that information.
Today, with generative AI tools, you can get AI assistance in creating practically anything, from writing a candidate outreach email, to producing social recruiting graphics, to turning employee surveys into blog posts for your careers page. We will still need to ensure that our creations are original and that they will be effective in achieving our recruiting strategy, but it will mean that our focus can shift to doing the important work that comes next in attracting and recruiting talent.
I believe that AI presents an opportunity to take our skills and our value to the next level. Integrating AI into day-to-day activities doesn’t mean losing the human touch; rather, it will enable us to spend more time on making informed decisions and the ability to act strategically rather than getting bogged down in manual, repetitive tasks (that we all can’t stand anyway, right?).
Understanding how our skills will change with the advent of AI is critical, because the demand for AI skills is on the rise. And not just for engineering jobs. LinkedIn found that job postings requiring AI skills have more than doubled since 2021. Employers are looking for people who know how to use AI to work smarter and get better results, and this applies to all of us in talent acquisition, HR, Recruitment Marketing and employer branding too.
To stay ahead in this dynamic environment, here are key skills to focus on, whatever your role in attracting, recruiting and retaining talent:
- Prompt Engineering: This is a skill that will need to be on everyone’s resume! Prompt engineering is how you instruct the AI to do tasks for you. The adage “garbage in, garbage out” holds true in the world of AI. You need to know what questions to ask and, importantly, how to ask questions of the AI tool. This is a skill that you’ll learn best by trial and error (that’s part of the fun!).
- Editing for Your Audience: Not having to write something from scratch is a tremendous time saver. So many of us hate staring at a blank Google doc. With generative AI, you can create endlessly. But the output still needs your personal touch. It will shift your skill set towards being a good editor, which requires a deep understanding of your audience and a command of the nuances of your subject matter.
- Persuasive and Empathetic Communication: One of the important skills that a great recruiter and a great recruitment marketer have in common is communication. But not just plain old communication — specifically, persuasive and empathetic communication! Afterall, you’re convincing someone to want to make a pretty big life decision, which is to work for your company and accept your job offer. While AI can help you personalize and tailor your communication, it may never be as convincing as you can be when tapping into someone’s needs and motivations or ensuring that your communication is genuinely empathetic.
- Data Insights and Analysis: AI tools can be used to crunch numbers much faster and more precisely than any of us can do manually. But you have the experience, context and understanding to interpret the data and draw out meaningful insights for your recruiting strategy.
- Strategic Thinking and Planning: I don’t envision a day anytime soon where your AI tool will replace you at the next team strategy meeting. Sorry, you’ll still need to show up and turn on your camera to engage! While you can use AI to suggest solutions to specific problems and to write plans and outlines, even when an AI makes recommendations your judgment and intuition will still be required to get it “right”.
- Curiosity, Collaboration and Caring: These soft skills have never been more important. It’s difficult to predict all of the ways in which AI will change recruiting and how we do our jobs. So, it will be important that we build our teams with people who have the ability and desire to learn, grow, work together and adapt quickly. And most importantly, nothing can replace our innate sense of caring for each other and the impact these changes will have on people’s lives.
As you can see, there are so many valuable skills that will be needed as AI is adopted in recruiting. Next, let’s look at how you can lead the charge in your organization.
Leading Your Organization’s Adoption of AI in Recruitment
The transition to AI-driven recruitment isn’t just about adopting new technologies or about ensuring that you and your team have the skills needed; it’s about leading a cultural shift in how we work and how our organizations operate going forward. This is an opportunity for you to lead! Pretty please don’t wait for changes to be put upon you, and certainly don’t expect your company’s executives to have all the answers. No one has all the answers in these early days of AI, but you can (and should!) insert your voice in driving this change within your organization.
Often, resistance to AI stems from a lack of understanding, so this is your chance to educate yourself and then your team and your leadership about AI’s capabilities in recruitment. It will require a combination of strategic communication, education and a demonstration of tangible benefits.
Here are a few ways that you can get started in leading your team to become AI-Ready:
- Become AI proficient. We all know the old saying that knowledge is power. This is where your skill at being a curious learner will come into play. If you want to drive change, you need to know what you’re talking about, enough that you can confidently have a knowledgeable conversation with both your IT team and your leadership. You certainly don’t need engineering-level AI expertise, but you should learn as much as you can about the different types of AI, how they work, what are their limitations and what is their potential in business and in HR, recruiting and marketing in particular. I also recommend getting hands-on and experimenting with free tools like ChatGPT and our own Rally AI tool that’s available with our Rally Inside Recruitment Marketing & Analytics platform.
- Plan for AI in your recruitment tech stack. I would place a bet that some of the talent acquisition systems, Recruitment Marketing platforms and recruiting channels you use today already utilize AI in some fashion. Take an assessment of how AI is already being used. Meet with your existing vendors and partners to learn about their product roadmaps, and – this is very important – take meetings and see demos of competing products and new tools available to discover how other vendors are innovating. I promise, there’s a lot of innovation happening right now in talent acquisition and Recruitment Marketing!
- Identify where AI will make an impact. Through your research, develop a list of prioritized use cases for AI that will improve your own job and the function of your team. We all know that one of the most convincing ways to gain support for any new strategy or new technology is by presenting data that showcases its effectiveness. An easy place to start with the implementation of AI is to demonstrate how AI can help you become more productive and save you time so that you can focus on higher-value work that will lead to more successful hiring outcomes. Areas for opportunity include streamlining the recruitment process to provide a better candidate experience, reducing the cost-of and time-to-hire and improved overall operational efficiency for your team.
Remember that in persuading others about the importance of AI in recruitment to also emphasize the importance of building AI as a core career competency. By adopting AI, you and your team will not only stay relevant, but you’ll also have the skills required to compete in the increasingly dynamic hiring landscape.
Ethical Considerations for using AI in Recruiting
While AI provides tremendous potential in Recruitment Marketing and talent acquisition, as professionals it is our responsibility to use AI in ways that align with our values and standards, ensuring that we (as humans) remain in control of how our organizations attract, engage and recruit talent with AI-assistant systems. Therefore, as we integrate AI into our HR and recruiting practices, we all have an important role to play in proactively and thoughtfully addressing these ethical considerations, including bias, privacy and compliance. (This ties back to your unique skill in caring about people!) You’ll need to evaluate your use of AI to ensure fairness and inclusivity in AI systems, maintain transparency with candidates, uphold data privacy and security, and always require human oversight in AI-driven processes.
I believe that one of the biggest risks of using AI in recruiting is in use cases where the AI is making decisions on our behalf, especially when it comes to selecting which applications to move forward and which candidates to hire. In President Biden’s recent executive order on the development of AI, the protection of workers is a central theme, including creating standards for non-discrimination in AI-assisted hiring practices and recruiting systems. At the same time, Biden’s executive order recognizes the need for people with AI skills to help lead us into the next stage of AI development and integration. The executive order uses the term “AI talent” — and guess what, this means you!
As you ask yourself, are you AI-Ready?, I hope that you will embrace this new era with an open mind and a willingness to adapt. It will require striking a careful balance between the potential of AI technology while preserving human experience and insight, and while caring about the impact AI will have on people, including employees and candidates.
As we all take our careers forward in the world of AI-enhanced recruitment, I believe the doors are opening for growth, innovation and leadership. My hope is that we will embrace these changes and advancements, while also proactively shaping what they mean for our profession and our careers.
Ultimately, you must become the AI talent that your organization needs to succeed. I’m really passionate about ensuring that we all have AI skills, so at our RallyFwd Virtual Conference on Dec. 6, 2023, I’ll be giving the closing keynote entitled, “AI-Ready: Advancing Your Career in the New Era of Talent Acquisition”. If you want to learn more about the transformative journey ahead, don’t miss my presentation at our RallyFwd Virtual Conference on Dec. 6. I hope to see you there!