AI in Recruiting & HR...What It Means for People Leaders

AI…it’s here to stay, and we as HR and talent acquisition leaders need to be just as comfortable with it in our professional lives as we are with it in our personal lives. But with all the noise surrounding AI, how can we best use it to drive decision-making?

Pillar recently partnered with PeopleTech Partners on a webinar to answer this very question. During the session, Cara Brennan Allamano, Chief People Officer at Lattice & Co-Founder of PeopleTech Partners, sat down with Josh Bersin, Founder & CEO of The Josh Bersin Company; Aliisa Rosenthal, Head of Sales at OpenAI; and Mark Simpson, our CEO & Founder to discuss what AI means for people leaders. 

Check out the full 1-hour webinar below or read on for 5 of the major questions Cara asked throughout the webinar.

1.) First & foremost, what is AI?

Aliisa: AI is the simulation of human intelligence by machines that are programmed to think and act like humans. It mimics our ability to learn, understand, problem-solve, and even adapt to our environment. 

2.) How do you see people leaders using generative AI?

Josh: AI is providing a massive improvement in everything, and I think there's unbelievable potential for AI in HR. I’ll break it up into 3 parts:

1.) “Is this person the right person for the job?” - you’re going to have access to much more intelligent systems that can help you do all of the things like recruiting, selecting, and assessing candidates that have to do with answering this question.

2.) HR support - employee experience programs, benefit administration sites, training programs, etc. These examples all require a significant amount of content, and all of it can be done with AI.

3.) Generative - sending emails to candidates, responding to career site inquiries, sending communication about a new benefits program, etc. All of these items that have to be handcrafted by HR people will get easier as well. 

3.) What are the major risks associated with AI?

Josh: There are two significant issues to consider:

1.) Bias - AI isn’t as intelligent as humans. If you train AI tools on a data set that’s biased, you’ll introduce bias into the system.

2.) AI isn’t always correct - sometimes AI reads a bunch of information, and it’s a little bit off. If you’re going to give people access to information that’s not very clear, they might make decisions that aren’t correct based on the knowledge AI provided to them.

4.) How will AI change the job of a people leader?

Mark: First off, your jobs aren’t going to go away as AI can’t manage a very human process. In the near term, AI can handle very simple things like formulating job descriptions and interview questions, scheduling interviews, etc. Over the long term, AI will become a business partner to you, and being able to interact with AI is a skill that everyone will need to develop.

5.) What kind of insights are we getting now that we in no way could have gotten without AI?

Mark: AI certainly pulls back a curtain within interviews, which have always been a black box. Recording interviews provides the ability to run fair and equitable processes. For example, within Pillar, we’ve gleaned that women get asked 20% more questions than men and are given 25% less time to answer. It’s all about gaining these types of insights so that we can do something about it and change the workplace for the better.

Josh ended the webinar by mentioning that everything feels intimidating at first, but we shouldn’t feel intimidated by AI. Over time, we’ll begin to trust these types of tools and understand what they’re not good at. 

Thanks to PeopleTech partners for having us on the webinar! If you’re interested in learning more on this topic, Mark recently published a blog on ChatGPT for hiring: the good, the bad, and the ugly. You can find it here

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