Executive talent

Global Magazine from AESC

Artificial Intelligence and the Executive Talent Acquisition Landscape

Instances of AI, Machine Learning and Deep Learning are being used around the world today to make data-based decisions that are helping companies make important choices that essentially drive profit altering business results. This is the perfect time to think about how Artificial Intelligence will impact your firm as well as what you can do to ensure you maintain your firm’s high standards and values in this revolutionary digital age.

Today, you can bet a good amount of Fortune companies are using AI in some capacity. The most common use-cases for AI implementation are to detect security breaches, resolve user technology issues, automate administrative tasks and gauge internal compliance. In general, AI is allowing brands to serve their customers better in more customized ways.

Robots on Boards? A Hong Kong VC firm recently appointed an AI Algorithm to its Board of Directors. They credit the AI with pulling the firm back from the brink of bankruptcy. Japanese venture capital firm, Deep Knowledge, noticed their firm was funding way too many "overhyped projects". The AI solved this problem by helping the firm make more logical, fact-based decisions.

This was not the first company to use AI as a decision-making tool for risk analysis. Many financial institutions started doing so much earlier, without making the decision as public.

Have a sub-par genetic makeup? Researchers around the world are using AI to improve the accuracy of gene editing with CRISPR. CRISPR is a nano-sized gene-editing technology that’s transforming industries from healthcare to agriculture. It’s designed to cut and alter DNA at a specific point in a specific gene. Microsoft has even built an artificial intelligence tool that predicts the accuracy of CRISPR so that researchers can avoid making incorrect edits in DNA.

These are just two examples of how organizations are utilizing AI to change the world.

What Does This Mean for Your Recruitment Firm?

There is a large possibility that certain roles could become less frequent or obsolete in the future. On the bright side, this also opens the door to more executive and technical hiring opportunities within a whole new digital practice area. We have noticed several executive search firms have started specialty AI practice areas. Heidrick & Struggles started an AI recruitment practice in June 2018. This may be a good time to evaluate if your firm could benefit from hiring a specialist in this field.

Artificial Intelligence is also unlikely to ever replace:

  1. The ability to build relationships with candidates.
  2. See candidate potential beyond credentials
  3. Judge “culture add” or “culture fit”
  4. Gauge candidates’ interpersonal skills
  5. Convince candidates to accept offers

The Current AI Technology Landscape

If you are diligent about capturing your data, you should be able to anticipate hiring needs based on data you already have. For example, a CFO in the Finance sector usually stays at their jobs for on average 3 years…what could you do with that information? You could use it for Business Development. Start a marketing campaign to the potential candidate with new CFO opportunities once they hit 2.5 years at their company. Alternatively, contact their hiring manager and market your services to them for a new search. Today, this is a manual process but that may change in the future.

Today, our clients typically use our software to setup various automated workflows that help them reduce their time to shortlist and ultimately reduce their time to hire. Our product Encore also utilizes AI-powered Resume/CV parsing technology that connects to our self-learning ‘data normalization’ system and adapts to various new structures. Ultimately, this artificial intelligence helps our clients save time by more accurately parsing data and avoiding duplication.

Other AI tools commonly used by our clients are AI Scheduling Assistants, AI Assessment tools and In-Meeting AI Assistants like Eva which allows you to focus on your meeting while she transcribes your meeting to notes and even highlights key moments.

Utilizing AI to Reduce Time to Hire

Building a real database with integrity should be a top priority for you firm if you want to leverage the current and future AI tools. Your rich data will become a game changer when AI is fully integrated into executive search. What if you could automatically get insights into hiring needs and trends faster? How amazing would it be if you could take all your rich, valuable data and anticipate hiring needs and trends in each sector.

Where We See AI Changing the Executive Search Process

1. Ability to pipeline candidates based on hiring trends/succession data. If you are diligent about capturing your data, you should be able to anticipate hiring needs based on data you already have. For example, a CFO in the Finance sector usually stays at their jobs for on average 3 years…what could you do with that information? You could use it for Business Development. Start a marketing campaign to the potential candidate with new CFO opportunities once they hit 2.5 years at their company. Alternatively, contact their hiring manager and market your services to them for a new search. Today, this is a manual process but that may change in the future.

2. Ability to predict/suggest most qualified fit. Today, database queries should show the most relevant candidates, but we see this process getting even easier and more accurate. For example, when it comes to Biotech, what if you could aggregate and access candidates associated with research papers in health sciences libraries. Wouldn’t it be nice if the AI technology could push the most relevant scientists to the top of your long list based on what they have published, their relative rank on the paper, and how many times they are referenced throughout time?

3. Ability to predict/suggest compensation data. How much is this position worth based on all the valuable data you currently have in addition to salary trends within the market? If you are persistent about tracking compensation data and deal package information, it will make it much easier to discourage hiring managers from setting low salaries for their candidates. This could drastically improve the time it takes going back and forth when it comes to salary negotiations.

The world of AI is rapidly evolving, and the common theme we see within the executive search process is the fact that your data will be vital when it comes to a successful AI implementation. If your firm wants to be able to leverage these technological advances and tools to help make intelligent, fact-based business decisions, it’s imperative you make your firm’s proprietary data a priority today.

About Cluen

Cluen has decades of recruitment database development and implementation experience spanning six continents. Our technology helps organizations nurture important relationships, track historical data, and win new business. Cluen's browser-based solution, Encore, is used by executive recruiters, legal recruiters, in-house talent acquisition teams, government entities, universities, and venture capital/private equity firms all over the world. Our experts are here to share their expertise in relationship-driven recruiting and data management, regardless of which software you use. Contact us today for more information or visit www.cluen.com.

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