Welcome to the universe of acronyms: AI, AL and VR. But which ones should you be paying attention to, and what’s the likely impact on the talent game?
This year’s Collision Conference in New Orleans brought together 7,500 attendees from more than 50 countries, and countless early stage startups to chat about tech, trends, where to invest, and what’s next in the digital realm.
The standout topics unsurprisingly were two areas we’ve already been following – artificial intelligence (AI), and virtual reality (VR), and how these two fast-advancing areas are set to transform the way we shop, network, collaborate, and more.
But how are they going to impact talent acquisition? We’ve been monitoring the key takeaways, and what they mean for recruiting.
We’re only starting to realize the potential of artificial intelligence
It was near impossible to avoid talk of AI here, and every stage has been dominated by chatter about the intersection of machines, automation and X, Y or Z industry. What becomes clear quickly though is that we’re only at the beginning of our understanding the sheer scale and scope of artificial intelligence’s impact.
— Shaker Cherukuri (@ProcessISInc) April 27, 2016
…but the future isn’t as scary as first thought.
Futurist and AI leader Jerry Kaplan set a reassuring tone during his Collision talk, emphasizing that artificial intelligence is not about an impending machine takeover of planet Earth; rather, it’s about thinking creatively about how we can use technology to automate tedious parts of what we do, so we can concentrate on where we, as humans, can add the most value.
— Brian Snyder (@bsniz) April 27, 2016
For recruiting and talent, this is what 1-Page’s Jo Riley spoke about in her talk. As recruiters well know, there are plenty of manual tasks and processes in the day ripe for automation. From sourcing and aggregating candidate information, and removing hiring bottlenecks through automation, the key takeaway here is to start thinking about the parts of your flow that could be automated, and the solutions that could get you there. In the end, AI means you’ll have more time to focus on the best part of recruitment – engaging and closing the perfect person – so there’s only good news ahead.
Automated interaction still has some learning to do
Following Facebook’s recent F8 Developer conference, and their emphasis on chatbots – automated conversations through Facebook’s Messenger interface (and others) – there’s a lot of buzz as to how brands could use automation for customer outreach.
But according to GoButler’s David Hadzaad, these conversation robots aren’t about to replace every interaction we have online with a brand, shop or compnay.
“I don’t think a back and forth conversation is the future of how people will transact on messenger. I think it’s about having a better version of the apps you have.”
He talked about how most chatbots, unless restricted to a very specific subject area, will still struggle and stumble in obvious areas,
and ultimately, that’s not going to be a better experience than what we already have through mobile sites, apps and human-to-human conversations.
“I don’t think we’ll be doing everything within the Messenger platform. Operating systems are going to get better.”
For talent, this means there’s still a bit more time before you should rush out to replace your entire careers page with a Siri equivalent. But there is room to think about how you could use a chatbot for niche applications, and as a piece of employer branding. Is there a specific, high-value role that could benefit with some additional buzz, and could field specific questions? A chatbot could be the answer.
The rise of (virtual) experiential marketing
We’ve already written about virtual reality, and Deloitte’s Bill Briggs talked at Collision about the opportunities VR and augmented reality (think Google Glass – imposing the virtual over our real world) is offering enterprises. One key takeaway we loved was his discussion of experiential marketing – how immersive interfaces are about to completely change the way we experience brands, products, jobs and companies, and the change in the psychological connection we form. Companies are already experimenting here in the talent space, and as they say, what’s hot in marketing won’t take long to make its way into recruitment and employer branding.
…but quality content still trumps quantity.
Do it once, and do it well. That was the message from a session on VR storytelling, bringing together key thinkers from Samsung, Forbes and even Cirque du Soleil.
— angela kyle (@realtimeangela) April 28, 2016
— angela kyle (@realtimeangela) April 28, 2016
The rise of better human decisions
This was a common thread regardless of the session or subject area – we’re on the precipice of a technology wave that through artificial intelligence, is going to empower us to make better decisions than ever before. For recruiting and talent, this impact will be felt most strongly when it comes to bias. From objective judgement of candidate interviews, to identifying and educating hiring managers on the choices they’re making. These solutions already exist today, but the clear signal from Collision is that what we have now is only just the beginning…
— Jacqueline V Twillie (@JVTWILLIE) April 27, 2016