Alexa, find me some employees
We all love the conveniences the phones, computers, tablets, and voice-activated gadgets in our homes or offices provide. But what if they could do more?
Recruiting and hiring workers is an ongoing challenge across manufacturing sectors that existed well before COVID. In 2020, 62% of companies state that filling positions is their top priority; but how many small and even medium sized business owners have an extra 20+ hours in their week to dedicate strictly toward recruitment? Not many. Recruiters note that it can take anywhere from one to four months to process a new hire. Not time many manufacturers can afford to waste.
Enter Alexa. Or well, Olivia.
Companies around the globe are implementing some type of virtual assistant to help with their HR needs. For example, Unilever, one of the largest consumer goods companies in the world, created what they call Olivia. She is an artificial intelligence (AI) concierge that reviews resumes, auto schedules interview(s), sends reminders, and conducts onboarding for new employees. These AI assistants are reducing the cost per hire, providing quicker conversion rates, allowing for a higher quality of new hires, and improving the overall candidate experience. The implementation of AI is also addressing the broader issues of diversity, inclusion, and the opportunity gaps in hiring.
Online job sites are jumping in on the action as well. Indeed is currently conducting a “hiring event” platform with the goal of filling 20,000 positions throughout the country by the end of October. This free virtual event is open to candidates and companies who have 20 or more positions to fill. According to HR Dive, it utilizes “proprietary video interviewing technology” to “remove technical hurdles and speed up the interviewing timeline.”
Hey Siri, does my candidate have soft skills?
These recruiting tools may sound amazing to companies who just don’t have the bandwith to accomplish what they need to in terms of hiring large numbers of employees. BUT…at what cost, literally and figuratively.
The dollar amount connected to buying or using such a service can range from the low end of $5k to the higher side of $100K. Also, these services are fairly new when compared to the tried & true “wanted ads” with face-to-face meetings, which means the success and provability are still up for debate.
A larger issue this automation cannot address is creating a good old human connection. Anyone who does hiring has experienced that candidate who looks amazing on paper, but when interviewed in person does not come across quite as impressive. On the flip side, occasionally, you read a resume that does not appear to be a good fit, but you take a chance and the candidate ends up being your star employee. A computer can’t make that connection.
Throw in the challenge of hiring remote workers…remotely. Your company may be struggling with filling positions that can work from home to reduce the number of people in the building. Where do you start? Business.com recently published an article with some best practices on hiring remote and remotely.
Rising of the machines or man?
So, what’s the verdict? There is certainly something to be said for both avenues. For large companies looking to hire on a constant basis, the investment may be justified.
In the case of small businesses (who often view their employees as family), it can be too large of a cost and cause a loss of that personal touch which makes them special.
SEWN partners with organizations throughout Pennsylvania to help our clients with overcoming difficult workplace situations – including finding the right talent. If your company is struggling with such issues, contact your Regional Director to see if we can help.
Sources: https://www.siliconrepublic.com/careers/conversational-ai-aaron-matos-recruitment https://www.aptituderesearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Apt_Paradox_Report-0620_Final4.pdf https://www.techiexpert.com/what-is-lacking-in-artificial-intelligence/ https://www.hrdive.com/news/indeed-launches-free-virtual-hiring-tour-with-goal-of-getting-20k-hired/585413/