The ‘future of work’ is top of mind for many sectors across the market, and both employees and employers are being asked to think about the capability requirements needed to stay relevant and sustainable in tomorrow’s marketplace. The assessment industry is now starting to harness artificial intelligence (AI) to help recruit talent.
ANZ has started working with two assessment partners to use AI and machine learning to find the best candidates in a fair and unbiased way for its roles. The technology is being used to build predictive models, based on ANZ’s existing employees and their performance data, to assess how aligned potential candidates’ capabilities are to specific roles.
Michelle Hancic, Head of Assessment at ANZ, says: “When we started looking at using AI in recruitment and assessment, it was really around wanting to improve the candidate and Hiring Manager experience by using fewer, more accurate assessments to increase the accuracy of our hiring decisions.”
She explains that the partners ANZ is working with are not only looking at whether candidates provide the right answers to questions, but they also capture millions of other data points, such as how long it takes candidates to respond and whether they are learning from the feedback they are getting through the assessment.
“AI allows us to use a wider range of data and integrate that to form a much richer picture of the candidates. “You might need a 25,000-question test to collect the same data that you can in a 20-minute assessment, it is so much richer,” she says.Unsurprisingly, many potential employees are nervous about the use of technology in recruitment.
Hancic sympathises, and genuinely believes that AI improves the process for both the organisation and the candidates themselves.
“No-one likes to be assessed, especially when there’s a job at stake, but the benefit of assessment is that both the hiring manager and the candidate actually learn more about each other through the process and therefore make a more informed decision around whether this role and organisation is right for that particular person,” she says.
“Sometimes people see technology as a blocker, stopping them from getting the job they want, but you have to see it as helping you to get the right job for you. Hancic acknowledges there is also a fear of the unknown and apprehension that a machine will be making the final hiring decision.
She explains that while that is not yet the case, research has shown that the models being applied to AI recruitment are far more accurate and bias-free than humans.“If I had a choice between someone reviewing my CV and making selection decisions based on that, or having a decision based on AI, I would go with AI every time because you can be more comfortable that the results are aligned with what makes people successful in the role,” she says.
Another advantage of the technology is it increases efficiency, enabling managers to do their job quicker, which in turn means candidates do not have to wait as long for the outcome of their application.
Hancic adds that the technology can also provide candidates with a much better experience, creating video introductions to assessments, giving candidates a greater insight into the position, and even providing real-time feedback on the process.Technology also has a role to play as employers move away from only assessing candidate’s technical skills, to looking at other things that are harder to identify.
Hancic explains recruiters are increasingly interested in attributes such as ethical decision-making, curiosity, complex problem solving and creativity, as well as emotional intelligence and organisational culture fit. She says: “The recruitment focus is very much shifting from people who can do the job today, to selecting people who have the mindset and capability to evolve with the organisation and be successful in the jobs of tomorrow.”
With this in mind, ANZ also uses psychometric testing to help it determine candidates’ workstyles and preferences, as well as to learn what motivates and inspires them, to help it find candidates that have the capability to grow and evolve with it.
Hancic acknowledges that some candidates are nervous about doing this type of personality profiling. “They think we will find something dark and sinister, but that is not the case. The assessment that we do in a recruitment context is very much about work style and behaviour, and they are what we call self-report measures, so we will only find out what you tell us about yourself.”
Hancic expects technology to continue to play an important role in the recruitment process.“I think assessments will get shorter and more targeted, and there will be a greater level of customisation – a trend we are already seeing playing out, particularly around short assessments collecting millions of data points,” she says.
“Assessments will also get better at engaging candidates through better interfaces, giving them more insight into a role and organisation.” She thinks they will also increasingly provide candidates feedback along the way, while the data gathered could be used to support candidates’ ongoing development once they are hired.
There is also talk of incorporating virtual reality into the hiring process to enable candidates to experience and engage in the work they would be doing if they are successful.
Image credit: getty