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5 Ways Staffing Firms Can Harness AI and Automation Now and in the Near-Future

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With the global talent shortage reaching its highest level in over a decade, employers are struggling more than ever to fill open positions. According to Bullhorn’s Global Recruitment Insights and Data (GRID) research, 73 percent of recruiting professionals identified tight talent pools as their top hiring challenge of 2019.

Fortunately, technological innovations are constantly changing the way staffing professionals do their jobs. With the help of major tech advancements like artificial intelligence (AI), soon recruiters will be able to ensure they’ve found the perfect candidate for any role. And this just one of the many possible uses for AI in the staffing industry.

While some firms have already adopted early forms of AI to aid in running their businesses, most staffing firms have yet to make this leap in performance. Here are five ways you can implement AI now and in the near-future.

Find available and passive candidates

Is it easy for you to source interested passive candidates? With the U.S. unemployment rate at 3.6 percent, the unfortunate answer is probably not because the best candidates for a job are not always the ones looking. Passive candidates make up 70 percent of the global workforce, so it’s important to have a good strategy to source them.

AI will help streamline the process. While AI-powered applicant tracking systems already exist and assist in sorting through a large applicant pool of candidates, the power of AI to screen passive candidates effectively will only improve. AI will be able to screen for passive candidates that are most likely to respond based on how long they’ve been in a role, if they’ve been promoted recently or at all, and how well the firm is performing, all while removing any potential for bias.

Anticipate market skill demand shifts

Technological innovations are not only changing the nature of our work but also have the ability to anticipate which skills will be in demand in the future. AI is impacting almost every job sector, displacing millions of workers along the way whose roles involve repetitive tasks that could be replaced by technology.

But AI will also create millions of new jobs and will be able to use algorithms to analyze market behaviors and environmental situations to better predict what skills will be needed in the future and in what locations. With enough anticipation of a set of skills in demand, staffing firms may soon be able to combat a particular job need before it becomes a shortage. On top of predicting market uncertainty, AI will even be able to predict how likely an employee is to quit their job. All of these next-generation capabilities will allow AI to determine what jobs are needed and who is open to filling them.

Craft better job listings

AI is already replacing many portions of the job process, so why not let it write a killer job posting, too‽ Staffing professionals are already able to leverage AI to screen and schedule interviews, predict matching and redeployment, and for VMS order intake and time processing, but soon AI will assist in crafting a great job posting too.

Language analysis tools can help craft the ideal messaging to drive responses for a position while eliminating any potential for gender-coded words, unnecessary or confusing jargon, and racial bias. AI algorithms will also have the capacity to independently make tweaks to see how the adverts perform differently. With AI-assisted job listings, firms can begin eliminating recruiting bias from the earliest stage of the hiring process.

Improve interviews with face and speech recognition

Has your firm considered video interviews yet? While remote interviews have become commonplace in recent years for firms to efficiently screen candidates without having them come into the office, soon preliminary video interviews with rely on AI to analyze the candidate’s micro-expressions, tone, energy, body language, word choice, stress levels, and even their progression of ideas to determine whether they’re a viable fit for the role.

Advanced competency tests may also be used to assess candidates on their emotional and cognitive strengths and weaknesses through neuroscience-based brain games. These advanced tests will provide recruiters with a better sense of a candidate’s soft skills and how they react to certain work situations. AI will also detect for honesty in answers and if the candidate was looking off-screen for help from a friend. With AI handling the interview process, unconscious bias in recruiting should no longer be a factor.

Assess customer risk

How is your firm assessing customer risk? Imagine never losing an unhappy client to a communication error because your applicant tracking system flags it for you. This is already a feature of the best applicant tracking systems and these abilities will only further develop as AI progresses. While firms have always used massive amounts of data to make risk-averse decisions, the cognitive ability of AI will allow for the machine to learn along the way, detecting patterns to help users make decisions that may have once fallen into the gray areas of human reasoning.

Through predictive intelligence, AI can positively impact your staffing firm’s ability to assess risk management. AI-assisted technology can flag potentially at-risk clients for your recruiters and salespeople before they become a problem. Together, recruiting pros and computers will be able to identify and assess customer risks that were previously invisible.

From writing job listings to sourcing passive candidates to conducting preliminary interviews, AI will continue to change the way recruiters work. Staffing professionals who embrace the next-generation of solutions built on AI will free up many hours in their day allowing them to shift their focus to building real authentic relationships, something AI alone can never do.


Interested in learning more about reskilling and the other challenges, opportunities, and ideas that will shape the staffing industry in the year ahead? On the Global Recruitment Insights and Data (GRID) site, you’ll find key findings and spotlights on top trends shaping the industry, plus free downloadable resources, like social shareables and powerpoint slides.