Job Board Journalist: Artificial Intelligence & Recruiting

Peter Weddle

Over 120 technologists, HR and TA execs and job board leaders convened for the first-ever TAtech Leadership Summit on AI & Machine Learning in Talent Acquisition last week in Scottsdale. The event was sponsored by

The conference had three goals:
• To cut through the hype and discuss what’s real and what’s not in artificial intelligence and machine learning technology;
• To showcase some of the leading products on the market today that use the technology for talent acquisition; and
• To explore some of the issues that could arise from the application of the technology in talent acquisition and the workplace at large.

So, just what is artificial intelligence? Some in our industry have proposed academic definitions that are so esoteric they make no practical sense whatsoever. Others opine that AI is actually a myth perpetrated by Hollywood and science fiction writers. For my part, I think AI is – like almost everything else – the sum of its parts.

Today, most would agree that AI will be built as some combination of:
• Machine learning
• Natural language processing
• Deep learning and neural networks.
Therefore, I would argue that any product or service that actually leverages one or more of those technologies is, by definition, artificial intelligence.

Think of it as the phases of maturation. Saying that today’s technology (that includes one of those parts) is not AI is the same as saying that a child – who doesn’t yet have the knowledge or experience to make sophisticated inferences – isn’t human. They aren’t an adult, to be sure, but – despite the occasional illogic a child can display at times – no one would argue that they don’t qualify as members of our species.

Similarly, we haven’t yet reached mature AI, but its adolescent versions are alive and well and growing up rapidly. To get a sense of what they are, the Summit brought together representatives from companies with a range of products, including:
• Chatbots that answer job seeker questions and help them apply for jobs and schedule interviews more easily;
• Search aids that help job seekers tap the lessons learned from previous searches of a job database so they don’t overlook openings for which they might be qualified; and
• Prediction engines that analyze the previous movements in a person’s career as well as their credentials to identify those (passive) prospects who are most likely to consider a change.

What are the challenges employers face in tapping the power of these and other AI products? A panel of HR and TA execs at the Summit said that the two biggest impediments were getting the products to integrate and interact effectively with the rest of the products in their current technology stack and being able to harness their internal data to teach an AI product what it needs to know to provide the optimum results for their organization.

Okay, you’re probably thinking, that’s all very nice, but why should job boards care? As I see it, there are at least two reasons. First, the application of AI – whether it’s a chatbot or some other product – can improve the job seeker experience on your job board. It can even make them feel as if your site isn’t just some doorway they have to pass through to get to an employer, but rather is a stop worth making in its own right. And second, adding one or more AI-based products to the suite of solutions you offer to employers might well make your suite more attractive than the competition. For better or worse, the customer sees AI as the state of the art, so integrating it can change the perception of your brand.

Food for thought,

TAprose and Job Board Journalist by Peter Weddle are brought to you by TAtech: The Association for Talent Acquisition Solutions.

Mark Your Calendars! TAtech’s 2018 events include:

• February 12-13, 2018 Scottsdale, Arizona USA: The TAtech Leadership Summit on AI/Machine Learning in Talent Acquisition – the only conference totally focused on the capabilities and impact of AI/ML/NLP in recruitment.  See you next year.

• March 13-14, 2018 Dublin, Ireland: TAtechEurope 2018 – the premier event for recruitment advertising and technology thought & business leaders in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

• April 18-19, 2018 Las Vegas, Nevada USA: The TAtech Spring Congress & Meetup – a unique conference designed to maximize opportunities for B2B networking, trending topic discussions and the exploration of partnerships and business opportunities.

• June 5-6, 2018 Minneapolis, Minnesota USA: The TAtech Leadership Summit on Programmatic Ad Buying – the only conference totally focused on the technology and applications of programmatic ad buying by both publishers and advertisers.

• September 26-27, 2018 Bourbon Street New Orleans, Louisiana USA: The TAtech Fall Congress & World Job Board Forum – the only conference that brings together the global thought and business leaders of the TA technology industry.


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