May 28, 2019

Why Artificial Intelligence is a Good Ambassador for Your Employment Brand

Artificial intelligence (AI) uses algorithms to quickly parse, analyze and spot patterns in massive data sets. Because it can adapt to the input it receives, AI can also mimic human interaction more closely, allowing it to provide more useful feedback to candidates and staff members.

AI is an increasingly accepted part of everyday life and potential hires are becoming comfortable interacting with artificial intelligence. But the benefits of AI don’t end with candidate conversation. Artificial intelligence can help employers find new efficiencies, allowing them to focus on building and communicating their employment brand in order to recruit top candidates.

See Branding More Clearly With Data Analysis

How well does your employment brand resonate with candidates? Does it draw the talent you need, or does it appeal to people who ultimately aren’t comfortable within your organization?

Brands exist to communicate with people and shape their behavior, which means that people remain essential to good branding, say Euan J. Fraser and Lauren DiRusso at branding agency Hornall Anderson.

Artificial intelligence can help branding efforts by collecting data from candidates then parsing that data to reveal patterns and trends in the ways they engage with your brand. Because the software can gather data and analyze it at scale, it can spot patterns and make predictions that human analysis might miss.

For instance, recruiters and hiring managers have long been aware that delays in candidate communication can lead to top candidates abandoning the process. Artificial intelligence, however, can issue prompt responses on behalf of the recruiter or employer, says Stacey Browning, president of Paycor. “For candidates, being kept in the loop with a thoughtful and sincerely worded email is what makes the difference,” Browning says.

That correspondence is a powerful builder of employment brand and indicator of company culture. And by tracking when correspondence is sent, how often it’s opened and how candidates behave after reading the message, companies can build a stronger understanding of how their employment branding efforts are working.

employment brand

Promote Your Employment Brand Throughout Recruitment With Chatbots

By including chatbots from the start of the recruiting process, companies create opportunities to start building their brands from the moment a candidate encounters a job posting, says Namee Jani, senior digital marketing strategist at Azilen Technologies.

For instance, chatbots can share information about the company and job during an initial screening conversation, says Jani. By the time the candidate speaks to a recruiter or hiring manager, he or she already has background information about both the employer and the job opening.

These initial conversations can proceed without the anxiety of creating a good first impression, too. “The bot is an intelligent tool without any type of preconceived notions,” Jani says. “Hence, it can potentially be better than a human being can for initial screening as well as for skill based evaluations.”

Reduce Turnover by Improving Engagement From Day One

Artificial intelligence is expected not only to change how companies hire, but also how employees work.

“In about 60 percent of occupations, at least one-third of the constituent activities could be automated, implying substantial workplace transformations and changes for all workers,” James Manyika and fellow McKinsey researchers write.

While Manyika and his colleagues predict that only 5 percent of jobs will disappear due to automation, they note that many employers will need to change the way they conceive of positions and train staff to handle them. Fortunately, automation and AI offer ways to improve this training even as they change the way work is done.

The Clarity and Skill Development Staff Need

Artificial intelligence can improve onboarding in a number of ways. For instance, chatbots can gather information employees would normally list on hiring paperwork, thereby making that process more streamlined and less tedious. By tailoring a chatbot’s voice and personality to the company’s culture, employees also learn more about how the organization works as they provide essential information.

AI can also improve onboarding by adapting to each new hire’s existing skill level and learning speed. As a new hire moves through various topics, the system would track their progress and understanding, setting aside mastered topics or offering additional training on difficult topics. Employers can often fine-tune these tools to ensure that onboarding matches the company’s culture as well as the employee’s necessary skills.

Understanding How Your Staff Like to Work

Predictive analytics can also help companies track how well their staff are doing and understand the unique productivity patterns that characterize their teams’ work.

For example, a dataset of more than 30,000 completed actions on productivity platform Hive found that productivity could be tracked throughout the day and keyed to particular employees and groups of employees, says John Furneaux, the company’s CEO and cofounder.

Also, Hive’s analysis discovered that many employees actually completed more tasks while chatting via the platform’s messaging system, indicating that communication was essential to the job — a feature that even sharp-eyed managers might have missed.

employment brand

Eliminate Bias and Boost Communication

AI offers ways to improve branding during the hiring process, and it also offers ways to improve the work of human resources staff members when it comes to engaging with current employees.

For instance, by automating repetitive, high-volume or low-value tasks, the software frees staff members to take on the jobs only a human can do, says Melanie Hache-Barrois, HCM strategy director at Oracle.

AI for a Fairer, Simpler Scheduling System

Hache-Barrois cites an example in which one company’s AI-enabled chatbots allowed employees to have HR requests managed almost immediately. Instead of waiting to hear about vacation time, for instance, employees could see available slots and schedule their own time out of the office by interacting with the chatbot.

Tasking chatbots with scheduling vacation time, or with similar tasks, also allows an HR department to eliminate perceptions of bias or partiality. For example, when staff members use a chatbot to request vacation time, they’re reassured that the available dates the chatbot offers accurately reflect the available opportunities, and that they have the same chance as everyone else on staff to schedule the dates they want most.

Balancing AI and Human Interaction

“AI, when coupled with machine learning, is an incredibly strong tool in the journey to source and select the most qualified candidates, but it’s just that, a tool,” says Matt Heckler, general manager of Global Client Platform Solutions at Korn Ferry. Most recruiters and hiring managers agree. A Korn Ferry study found that 90 percent of human resources professionals say the technology cannot replace human interaction entirely.

Nonetheless, AI can make it easier to find efficiencies and improve employment brand throughout the hiring and onboarding process. In the Korn Ferry survey, 72 percent of respondents said AI should be used to meet these goals, freeing up human staff members to make the one-on-one connections essential to a strong company culture.

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