Why You Need Artificial Intelligence to Hire Top Talent in 2017


Why You Need Artificial Intelligence to Hire Top Talent in 2017


Why You Need Artificial Intelligence  to Hire Top Talent in 2017

Posted on Jan. 5, 2017, 8:21 a.m.

Imagine a world where talent acquisition professionals don’t have to spend hours sifting through resumes or LinkedIn profiles. A world where they can instead focus on marketing the position to a smaller pool of qualified candidates, properly assessing their fit during the interview process and ultimately cutting the time to hire by a significant amount. This is the world of artificial intelligence.

As a recent Wired article points out, “the world’s biggest tech companies are aggressively remaking themselves around artificial intelligence,” which is why companies like Microsoft, Twitter, Amazon, and Facebook are investing heavily in it.

But before we dive in too deep, let’s outline the basics of this digital phenomenon.

What is Artificial Intelligence?

Although AI has become more prevalent in the last several years, it isn’t a new concept. In the 1950s, John McCarthy — a visionary in the field of computer science — coined the term and focused on its development over the next several decades. In simplistic terms, artificial intelligence is “the capability of a machine to imitate intelligent human behavior.” While incredibly complex, it can be narrowed down into two main categories: general intelligence (algorithms solving a broad range of problems) and narrow intelligence (algorithms solving a specific task).

Google’s Director of Research, Peter Norvig says that AI is about, “focusing on augmenting human intelligence and developing the art of people-machines teamwork.” And, due to more labeled data and better hardware, the popularity of AI has grown tremendously in the last few years.

I remember five years ago when I was working in finance and covering the Internet sector. Then, mobile was the future. But we've moved to new frontiers — and as Fred Wilson so simply puts it in a blog post about 2017 trends, "AI will be the new mobile."

So how does this intelligence apply to HR?

Over 90 million professionals are open to or looking for other jobs, yet at the same time, job openings are near 15-year highs. Why? There is a huge disconnect when it comes to matching candidates to the right careers — and poor hiring decisions can be detrimental to a business in the long-term. In fact, the Harvard Business Review points out that as much as 80 percent of employee turnover is due to bad hiring decisions.

How AI Can Improve Your Hiring Process

We've heard some concern that AI will replace talent acquisition teams, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. AI allows for an incredible opportunity to improve — not substitute — hiring teams' efficiency, allowing internal recruiters to focus on the more fulfilling aspects of their role. Here’s feedback we’ve heard from our clients:

1. Reduces Administrative Work

AI allows hiring teams to place a greater focus on the best candidates by surfacing individuals with the right mix of skills for each role and thus reducing search time. And, importantly, AI makes the process feel more personalized for both the candidate and the company. If candidates feel a sense of personalization, their experience is improved. And if talent acquisition professionals are more efficient, their experience is improved. It’s a win-win.

This is the experience we are building at UpScored, a career discovery tool for people that uses advanced technology to provide curated and personalized job recommendations. Our company was built on data science, and we use AI technology to bring three key values to our end users:

  • Personalization: UpScored’s proprietary algorithms formulate a score that reflects the fit of a person’s specific skill set and background against the requirements and preferences of a particular job opening.
  • Efficiency: Resumes are scored against job descriptions in seconds, which saves job seekers and hiring teams time and headache. We apply artificial intelligence, natural language processing, and machine learning to the most convoluted part of the recruiting funnel to create a seamless experience for both sides of the market.
  • Adaptive Intelligence: The technology learns from user preferences in real-time via feedback. Subsequent batches of recommendations for both the job seeker and hiring team reflects their preferences, as our technology learns from these actions.

2. Analyzes Data in Record Time

There is mass amount of data out there — data that is incredibly valuable to recruiters — and it’s ever growing. The time it would take one person to review, analyze, and implement that data in the hiring process is incomparable to the mere seconds AI technology can.

At UpScored, we contextualize keywords by using related competencies as evidence of how well that person knows the skill, their prior history working on that skill, and how recent that experience is. While this information would typically require a human to read an entire resume, our technology can determine those factors in less than a second.

3. Overcomes the Volume Game

Another key problem with job boards and talent marketplaces is the sheer number of applicants coming in through outdated filters. The basic filters used today rely on title-matching. This lacks precision and personalization, which creates the chance of missing out on talented candidates.

One company doing it right is Google. While most in the industry know they are best-in-class, it’s worth pointing out why. Laszlo Bock, Google’s former SVP of People Operations, is famous for the way he ran their HR function. In my opinion, it boils down to the simple fact that they place a significant amount of time, thought, and investment-dollars in their HR technology to improve processes.

By using technology to cut inefficiencies and administrative work, they’ve been able to put more emphasis on the interview process and assessment later in the funnel. This is what our team is seeking to do for companies serious about hiring top talent efficiently and effectively.

People don’t have the time to spend hours searching — whether that’s for the candidate or the job itself — on either side of the market. UpScored cuts through the clutter in the talent market to make finding candidates more efficient and precise. We trained our algorithms on over a million resumes and developed machine learning functionality that adapts to user preferences in real-time. Similar to platforms like Netflix, Amazon, and Spotify, people can now experience personalization in the hiring and job-seeking process alike and stand out from the crowd.


~ Elise Runde Voss, CEO/Co-Founder of UpScored