At our recent Cultivate event, four investors talked about their views of where talent technology is now and where it’s headed.
Here’s what we heard from the investment panel (Adam Boutin, Matt Carbonara, Kirthiga Reddy, and Ashu Garg). If you’re interested in hearing about similar trends, sign up for our next Cultivate event, Cultivate Europe.
Talent is leapfrogging other departments. Human resources has long been under-appreciated as a cost center. But it’s increasingly being thought of as a revenue-producer and the most important part of a business. In turn and as a result, HR is actually adopting AI technology faster than other departments in some businesses.
Way more attention is being paid to contingent work. In many companies, the contingent workforce is as large as the “regular” workforce. Instead of procurement handling contingent work and HR handling the full-time work, the tools, technologies, and process to manage all workers will combine. Going forward, contingent workers will be sourced using the same AI as other employees. Past applicants for contingent work will be resurfaced using the same AI, and companies will hire and re-hire contingent workers (as opposed to losing track of them, as is often the case now), as talent professionals will have a better view of how each contingent worker builds their skills over time.
Many companies are pursuing one AI platform for all talent. Rather than having myriad technologies for hiring and managing people, an increasing number of companies want one platform. This allows companies to use one profile of an individual whether they’re a candidate in a pipeline, a contingent worker, a new employee, a former employee, or a current employee seeking a mentor, short-term project, or promotion.
An ATS isn’t enough. This was also a theme of the recent HR Technology Conference in Las Vegas. An applicant tracking system is a system of record, of compliance. A Talent Intelligence Platform augments an ATS, helping companies make decisions about talent at every point in the employee lifecycle. It is becoming a necessity for companies.
Job seekers, also known as consumers, want a personal experience. A pretty career site isn’t sufficient. Job seekers want a personalized career site, one that can match them to opportunities without them having to hunt. Similarly, job prospects are more likely to respond to tailored outreach through a candidate relationship management system. The technology is now here for companies to target people who have the most potential to fill a job and who’d be interested in the role. It’s a similar concept to the sales technology now available that can hone in on sales prospects by persona.
AI can promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. After years of talk of the fear of AI, the world is seeing that AI can be a positive for diversity and inclusion. AI paired with a career site can increase diversity, as Postmates has talked about. AI can provide valuable analytics showing companies where there are diversity challenges in their hiring processes. It can help companies anonymize job applicants, reducing unconscious bias. For current employees, AI can level the playing field, moving companies to a place where people are managed and promoted based on their skills and potential, not who knows who, or who works where.
We’re in the early innings of a long game. The heyday of the computer age lasted maybe 25 years. The zenith of the Internet age spanned about 25 years. If the height of artificial-intelligence for talent is about 25 years long, we’ve only just begun.