Etienne Gatt

IT & iGaming Recruitment Manager, KONNEKT

Etienne Gatt has been working with KONNEKT Search and Selection, Malta’s largest recruitment agency, for the past four years. KONNEKT is a privately-owned recruitment agency and Etienne manages the IT and iGaming recruitment arm of the organisation. Etienne has worked and consulted a number of companies in the IT industry, ranging from start-ups to established businesses. KONNEKT assists different profiles, from graduates to high level executives whilst helping companies and candidates find the match that maximises respective growth ambitions.

Artificial Intelligence in Recruitment

Monday 19th December 2016

Recruiters are ever on the lookout for innovative techniques to attract and assess quality talent. An example of this is gamification, the use of game mechanics to attract a larger audience – but this is just one small part of the revolution that is currently brewing in the world of candidate attraction. Artificial intelligence (AI) is another potent new ingredient.

Many stakeholders within the job market industry wonder what the opportunities are for the digitalisation of certain processes within the recruitment cycle. They question whether a digital process or robot could completely take over the recruitment function. Some sources believe this is a matter of when rather than if, as there already are a number of AI applications in place that show tangible benefits.

AI refers to an application or piece of software that mimics human behaviours such as learning, problem solving, planning and even perception. To be able to achieve this, the application requires massive datasets where patterns could be identified. These patterns inform AI’s behaviour.

The application of AI currently applies to high volume tasks such as resume-screening and initial shortlisting. Nonetheless, we can expect these applications to continue to evolve to cover other more sensitive parts of the recruitment process.

An AI tool that has gained significant attention at international level is Mya. It tackles a pertinent problem that most job seekers identify as a struggle – obtaining feedback from their interviewer. Powered by natural language processing technology, Mya can answer any question a candidate has related to the employer, including topics about company policies, culture, benefits and even the hiring process. In cases where Mya is unable to reply to a question, that question is forwarded to a recruiter for a response. The beauty of the process lies in the fact that Mya then absorbs this new information and the recruiter is not asked the same question again. This process also has significant advantages for recruiters, since it frees them up to tackle more exacting tasks, such as spending more time with candidates in more advanced stages of the recruitment process.

Reliance on AI is set to increase as Mya and other similar tools develop the capability of transforming information that is generated from interviewee-robot communication into quantifiable intelligence that shapes how closely candidates fit the target profile set out by hiring managers.

While candidates might feel that talking to a robot is not as welcoming, they also stand to gain. One clear advantage is that candidates who might be excluded from the shortlist because of human bias stand a much bigger chance of making it through to advanced stages if such shortlisting is carried out by an AI tool. The bad news is that ultimately, AI learns from human-fed information and, sadly, human bias can be learnt too.

On the other hand, recruiting companies benefit from the way these AI tools can carry out far more comprehensive searches as they can even be used to crawl different sites to search for candidate-related information, with faster turnarounds. In highly competitive markets such as IT and Finance, this provides a competitive edge over companies seeking similar talent.

We need not regard the role of AI in recruitment as a man vs machine situation. Rather, we need to focus on how AI can enhance the possibility of a better fit for candidates, increased employer branding through faster response times and more efficiency, enabling recruiting managers to dedicate more time to strategic tasks.

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Head of Economics Advisory, PKF Malta

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