What is Artificial Intelligence? HR Professionals Need to Know

Mike Hargrove
July 12 ․ 5 min read

AI in Recruitment

Technology is changing at a rapid-fire rate. If employers want to find and keep the right talent, it’s important to be on the cusp of trends — especially when those trends impact on how you do your job, much less how long it takes to do it.

The impact of digital disruption is changing every industry and CHROs can be the architect. Designing and delivering a personalized, seamless experience requires a strategy that begins with the candidate experience. But how can you deliver a personalized experience at scale? In no small part through artificial intelligence (a.k.a. AI or machine learning). Sounds scary, right? Well, this is the era of AI and it’s way less ominous than it sounds. Understanding what AI is and how it improves talent acquisition can save you time, help you find the right candidates and give them the streamlined, consistent and consumer-like candidate experience they desire.

Let’s start by demystifying the term.  

What is Artificial Intelligence?

At its core, artificial intelligence refers to super-intelligent algorithms, not a conspiracy theory that robots are taking over the world and snatching our jobs. Essentially, AI means you can train computers to perform tasks — and learn from them —based on examples. Before, they had to rely on human programming. By recognizing data, accordingly adjusting inputs and performing human-like tasks to accomplish specific goals, computers free up humans so they can focus on essential, more “complex” tasks.

It’s not a new theory, really. AI has been part of SaaS software for some time. The term artificial intelligence dates back to 1956, when it explored things like problem solving and symbolic methods. By the 1960s, the Department of Defense was using AI to train computers to mimic basic human reasoning. Then, in the 1970s, the Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency (DARPA) used it for street mapping purposes. Fast forward to 2003, when DARPA used it to create intelligent personal assistants — well before Siri and Alexa were part of our lexicon.

Today, AI is the reason we can unlock an iPhone with the flash of a face and why everyone’s abuzz about autonomous driving. It’s also why we’re poised for major breakthroughs in the healthcare industry and national security. Beyond that, artificial intelligence is the reason big tech companies are able to target ads and anticipate what you’re going to buy.

What Does AI Have to Do With Talent Acquisition?

Because a successful candidate journey mimics the consumer experience, AI can — and should — be at the core of your hiring strategy. But don’t worry: AI is not going to leave recruiters out of work. Think of it as a talent acquisition enabler.

According to the 2017 Harvey Nash Human Resources Survey, 15 percent of polled HR leaders from 40 countries said artificial intelligence was already impacting their workplace strategy. Since then, the number has only risen — 40 percent anticipate AI to shape workplace philosophy within two-to-five years.

As leaders in the recruitment marketing industry, we know omnichannel solutions and artificial intelligence are key to sourcing, attracting and vetting top talent in the first place.

Technological, machine-based breakthroughs ensure data is more precise than ever. It can be culled from every point of contact with a candidate in order to provide a more relevant, consistent and personalized experience. Without the ability to research and understand candidates, the placement fails, recruiters have to rehire and new employees have to be re-trained, costing companies time and money.

In short, AI lets you provide the same consumer-quality experience candidates receive when they’re shopping online. They know what to expect and you do, too — from the first point of contact.

Learn more about how Symphony Talent’s solutions harness artificial intelligence to personalize and simplify talent acquisition. And sign up for our blog to stay on the cutting edge of industry trends.Request a Demo