The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming the way things are done. We’re talking self-driven cars today. Intelligent home assistants can play your favourite music or control your TV. Machines are being used to detect and decode medical conditions. Industries across the world are feeling the impact of rising technology. Along with the advantages, comes a fair share of scare—the risk of losing jobs to machines.
The other day, I chanced upon a study by the Oxford University. It estimated that half of all jobs in the US could be automated within the next 20 years. There’s no ignoring the fact that AI is here to stay. Everywhere we turn, we see old systems being upgraded. Investment in digital tools have shot through the roof and companies are in a rush to be a part of the future. This begs the question: Where is our role in all of this? As we divert our focus to the HR industry, we are forced to wonder: Will AI make the HR function obsolete? The answer may surprise you.
AI is currently used to automate routine tasks. This includes the process of data collection, automating schedules, payroll, retrieving information, arranging tax documents and other admin tasks. More evolved systems can go a step further and help with sending out job applications.
For instance, a large MNC with over a hundred job openings will find it difficult to manage the surge of applications received. Somewhere in the process of sifting through numerous CVs, a few good ones could get overlooked. Recruiters might have trouble matching profiles with different jobs. And should all go well, it’ll take many hours and weeks to schedule a meeting, arrange for the interviewers, and negotiate terms of contract before a candidate can be finalised for a single opening. This is where AI comes in.
AI cuts short laborious processes and accelerates the hiring cycle. Various application systems use keywords to sort candidates by their education, geographic location, years of experience and the like. It helps schedule candidates with suitable interviewers. In fact, video-interviewing tools such as Monjin can help improve hiring accuracy by as much as 86%. However, that being said, I believe that not everything can be left to automation.
Sure, I can bank on the AI system to ask questions during interviews, but I can’t depend on it to analyse candidates’ personality, their zeal for the job, or their soft skills. And it most definitely can’t negotiate with a candidate. It cannot solely on-board an employee or create a great candidate experience. The reason is simple. Systems lack a quality that we, as people, are blessed with—the power of intuition. All said and done, HR is a human-centric function. While AI can help with other aspects such as automating mundane work and saving time, it cannot replace the human quotient involved.
Our point of focus here shouldn’t be to work against the future, but rather make use of its benefits. In fact, while people focus on the number of jobs lost to machines, many fail to see the other side of the picture—the new jobs that are created. New roles such as that of an AI trainer, machine learning engineer and AI interaction manager where unheard of in the past. According to a study by NYT, fewer than 10,000 people worldwide are qualified for the many upcoming roles.
To conclude, I think we’ve been looking at it the wrong way. Because the question is never about ‘if AI can replace recruiters?’ Rather, I ask myself, ‘How can AI be used by humans to improve their job?’
By- Abhijeet Kashyape. The author is CEO & co-founder, Monjin Interviews. Views are personal