Artificial intelligence, or AI, has made a name for itself in just about every industry today. We’ve all seen various forms of AI alter the way we do work – the executive recruiting field is no exception. According to LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends report, 76% say AI’s impact on recruiting will be at least somewhat significant. When it comes to searching for executive job candidates, some believe AI technology and other digital search platforms can deliver the same results as an executive search firm without the fees! While we know our opinion is bias, this is simply not true. Allow us to explain.
Over the last few years, many of us in the human resources industry have adopted a variety of AI technology and programs into the recruiting process. From pre-employment assessments to conversational chatbots, video interviewing tools, and online networking platforms like LinkedIn – the integration of technology has allowed for a more efficient search process that benefits you in the end.
They say knowledge is power –– and with data being collected at faster rates, the insights it provides have completely transformed how humans interact with one another. Once analyzed, the data allows people to draw conclusions that allow them to communicate more effectively with their ideal audience.
In executive search, this translates into improved sourcing of highly-skilled and experienced candidates by data-driven targeting actions. Data can be used to determine the average time a business executive stays in a particular position, too. Leveraging this information will allow you to network with a passive talent pool where you can begin to build relationships that could lead to opportunities down the road. Over time, the combination of large amounts of data and machine learning will allow for AI systems to become even more useful when targeting ideal candidates.
One of the most rapid shifts in hiring and recruitment as a whole has been in the way interviews are conducted. At a time where in-person human interaction has been put on hold, technology has allowed businesses to continue to assess and even onboard new employees. Today, interviews can be conducted live online, or even be conveniently pre-recorded, allowing for more flexibility for both the candidate and interviewer.
In a candidate-driven market, competition is high –– and while this does increase your chances of finding high-level talent, it also can make it challenging to assess each candidate you believe to be a good fit for your open leadership position. Online assessments have helped fix this issue by automating personality, cognitive ability, and situational judgment exams.
Communication is fundamental to developing a relationship with your top candidates. As you begin to interact with them, responding promptly will help establish trust. Chatbots, automated SMS systems, and video conferencing all provide consistent communication with your potential candidates.
According to LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends report which surveyed recruiters, AI has proven to be extremely helpful in terms of saving time. But when it comes to delivering the best candidate matches, AI isn’t as helpful. (See the chart below)
What these results should tell you is that with AI, your recruiter no longer has to spend time on tedious, manual tasks like filing or sorting through applications and resumes. Instead, they’re able to focus on what’s really important – perfecting their recruiting strategy and building relationships with professionals who could potentially be your next executive. While AI has undoubtedly improved our process, there are a few critical aspects of executive search that AI will never be able to provide.
The benefits AI provides in recruiting are huge, but AI will never be able to deliver the same expertise or empathy as a human recruiter. So, when faced with the decision of using AI alone to hire an executive rather than a human recruiter, we suggest you consider the following.
Human interaction and relationship building is a critical aspect of the executive search process. Some of the most successful executive job placements are the result of carefully nurtured relationships with high-quality professionals – professionals who aren’t necessarily actively involved in a job search. That’s right. It’s important to realize that most often the best candidate for your job isn’t actively looking or applying to postings. This is where a recruiting team’s ability to build relationships with passive candidates is critical. Swaying passive candidates towards considering another role requires time, patience, and the ability to connect and speak to what matters the most to them. Can AI do that?
When it comes to assessing a candidate's technical skills, AI works for those “check the box” type items. Where AI fails is in its inability to assess a candidate's interpersonal skills and fit to your specific culture. In order to gain the level of insight needed to determine whether a candidate is truly a good fit for a position, company, and culture – human interaction is needed.
When hiring an executive, it’s important that the executive staffing firm clearly understands your needs in order to present the best candidates for the role. Consider also, that many times the type of candidate you think you need (and therefore, the type of candidate you describe on paper) isn't necessarily the candidate you end up hiring. The best executive staffing firms will invest time and effort into understanding your company's culture, mission, vision, goals, and strategy. This will allow them to guide you towards the best fit candidate while also being able to adjust the profile during the search to identify the perfect fit. Your executive search firm is also a strategic partner throughout the interview and selection process, providing valuable insights and feedback in hiring your next executive. The fact of the matter is, successful job recruitment and hiring decisions require the type of human interaction and touch AI can’t provide.
There’s no one-size fits all approach in professional job placement, since your potential candidates and company are unique with specific needs. For this reason, it’s important that the search process is agile and customized to meet those specific needs. This approach hinges on both experience and the ability to connect at a deeper, more emotional level – something we at Kinsley Sarn pride ourselves on but AI can’t do. We’re sure to see the rise of more powerful AI-driven tools in the executive recruiting field for years to come.
And while these tools will help to further streamline the executive search process, the idea that AI will replace executive search firms altogether is unlikely. But the integration of AI in executive search processes means your recruiter can focus on what is most important, establishing meaningful, long-lasting relationships with top talent — your next executive.Our clients will tell you, there is real value in working with a team of experienced, knowledgeable (not the algorithm type), and connected individuals to recruit your next executive. Learn more about us and how our team can help you today.