Recruiters have always been prized for their ability to work with people. Now, they’re starting to work with robots, too.
As artificial intelligence has found its place in the industry, helping source, screen, schedule and interview candidates, recruiters have taken on newer, more important roles in their companies than ever before. Rather than focusing solely on the upfront tasks of finding and onboarding talent, AI has freed them up to concentrate on later-stage issues like ensuring candidate success.
The benefit? AI promises to deliver higher quality candidates by analyzing data patterns that might have otherwise gone unnoticed to human recruiters. In some cases, the technology is even being used to reverse-engineer the ‘perfect fit.’ So, after relying on AI to find and suggest better talent than ever, it’s up to recruiters to make sure those candidates live up to their potential. Here’s how they can do it:
Improve Onboarding and Training
Most organizations have a major weakness when it comes to onboarding and training. Generally, companies throw employees into the deep end, hoping they will perform immediately. At large companies which hire a huge number of temporary workers, the problem is even worse, as it is extremely challenging to follow up and make sure that everyone is comfortable and performing well.
However, in failing to provide a thorough onboarding process, companies are actually hindering employee performance. A study by Texas Instruments found that an improved onboarding program helped employees reach full productivity a full two months faster than those in a traditional program.
“WHILE SOME PEOPLE ARE AFRAID AI WILL MAKE THINGS LESS PERSONAL, RIGHT NOW WE ARE ACTUALLY SEEING THE OPPOSITE: HIGH TECH DOES NOT KILL HIGH TOUCH.”
As such, recruiters should take an active role in providing the guidance new employees need to get up to speed as quickly as possible. This means starting from day one of the hiring process to familiarize candidates with the company culture, policies and expectations. Then, once candidates are hired, recruiters can observe candidate success using the information that AI and machine learning provides to keep hiring better and better people — creating a virtuous cycle in the process.
But tracking employees’ future performance is just one way technology can help recruiters improve the onboarding and training process. IBM provides another great example. Using its own AI technology, the company developed a chatbot named CHIP (Cognitive Human Interface Personality) which is equipped to answer 200 of the most frequently asked employee questions. “The idea is to give the new hires the app so they can get their typical questions answered immediately,” reads a company blog post about the technology. “This is in development and the future looks great as a first of a kind tool to acclimate new people quickly and easily.”
Ultimately, while some people are afraid AI will make things less personal, right now we are actually seeing the opposite: high tech does not kill high touch.
Cultivate Relationships Between Candidates and Hiring Managers
Recruiters can also ensure candidate success by helping foster their relationships with hiring managers. Often, these relationships are strained because many managers don’t have strong enough leadership and coaching skills to support those below them. In one survey, more than half of respondents reported that they weren’t prepared for their first role as a manager.
While such leadership and coaching skills in managers are critical to polish and extract the best from candidates, they sometimes tend to be the weakest link in candidates’ journey to success. If not cultivated properly, employees might feel like cogs in the machine, and suffer from a lack of engagement and productivity as a result. Recruiters, therefore, can and should step in to make sure that employees’ needs are being met.
To do so, they must get their companies’ support to invest in making hiring managers better leaders. Training sessions can help hiring managers develop the skills they need to groom their employees to success. Additionally, companies can invest in technology to discover the qualities that lead to both the best candidates and the best managers. With AI providing these insights, recruiters can then understand what certain people are doing right, and take proactive steps to help lower performing candidates and managers catch up.
Collect and Act on Feedback Proactively
A final action recruiters can take is to implement a feedback system for candidates and employees to share honest opinions about where they think the organization has room to improve. Not only is this is important for both of the recommendations above, but it also plays a significant role in improving the overall employee experience.
In Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends Report, the authors suggest moving beyond infrequent engagement surveys to regular pulse surveys, open feedback systems and employee conversations to gain a better understanding of the current employee experience and how it can be improved.
But the changes don’t need to be extreme. Simply by getting their companies to implement small feedback surveys, recruiters can help make sure employees feel heard. Net promoter scores are easy to implement, and even easier to complete. The key is to be quick, using a single question such as “Have we as a company provided you with all the tools you need to succeed?” Beyond giving employees the psychological safety they need to openly share their opinions, this will help you quickly spot areas for improvement in terms of employee experience.
With AI evolving the recruiting process, recruiters now have more responsibility than ever to ensure their candidates’ success. By working to improve onboarding and training, building relationships between candidates and hiring managers, and collecting feedback and acting proactively, recruiters will be able to drive their candidates to perform at a new level. And in doing so, they’ll help their companies do the same.