If you believe the hype, we will all be out of a job soon thanks to artificial intelligence and tools such as ChatGPT. But HR is, after all, about human connection and in its current format, AI isn’t ready to replicate that yet, says Charlotte Gregson.

What we should be focusing on is how AI, like any innovation, can enable us to do our jobs better and more efficiently.

One of the greatest advantages of automation is that it can streamline and speed up the hiring process. Tools for filtering applications and data scrapers that identify suitable candidates for a role can help to remove unconscious bias, speed up what is otherwise a lengthy task, and free up resources to be used better elsewhere.

What about the freelance market?

The freelance market is a great example of where AI can help people to quickly find the skills and resources they need from freelancers who are available to support them.

By automating the initial part of the matching process, it now just takes an average of six days from receiving a client brief to a freelancer starting work with that client.

The human touch

Whilst these automated functions improve efficiency, they are only ever used to enhance human interaction with candidates. The skill of HR managers comes through having informed conversations, seeking feedback from a candidate’s former employer, or, in our case, their colleagues or line managers at a previous project.

The independent management consultants on our platform will typically have a detailed chat with a member of our specialised community team to ensure that we have an in-depth understanding of their experience and what they can bring to a project. If a candidate is particularly well matched to a client project, we insist they talk to the client or hiring manager to explore fit and in some cases, help to refine the scope of the project. So, whilst the algorithms that we use help us efficiently identify relevant people for a project, what makes us effective is that there is still very much a human overlay in place.

AI for crafting applications

In some cases, candidates will use AI to enhance their job applications, including LinkedIn profiles and cover letters. And while technology is enabling this, it’s not a new concept. Many job applicants have had their parents, friends and previous colleagues help with an application. Using AI to secure a job will only get them so far. HR and recruitment teams apply their own experience and expertise during the interview process to determine which candidates are the best fit for the job. With a robust interview process in place, someone’s level of competence becomes apparent very quickly, so use of AI tools will really only get you so far.

There may come a time when AI has a bigger role to play in the hiring process, but for now, its reach as far as candidates are concerned is limited. It is, however, a very powerful tool for HR departments, helping them narrow down candidate pools by hard factors, automating time-consuming and often mundane tasks, and freeing up teams to work on strategic initiatives that will benefit organisations.

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Charlotte Gregson is the UK Country Head at Malt.

 

 

 

 

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Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.