For most knowledge workers, a good part of the day is dominated by shallow work, rather than deep work. For a marketer, this might be pulling the same analytics reports to send to their boss each week—a necessary and ultimately informative, but monotonous job. The perfect job for an artificially intelligent assistant. But more on that later. The deep work (perfect for a human) would be acting on an opportunity in the analytics. Maybe that’s launching a new section of the blog, based on performance trends of similar posts.
In HR and recruiting, we see a lot of the work is dominated by scheduling, answering the same questions, and other ‘shallow’ tasks, leaving less room for the deep work that moves things forward. The core of the job is about people—finding, growing and managing, and that's what drives people to the job. So while you didn’t become a recruiter for your love of scheduling, you sure do spend a lot of time on it.
This is our theory:
Over the next ten years, every knowledge worker will have an intelligent assistant that will offload some portion of their work, allowing all of us to focus on the core of our jobs. Here are three ways it will matter for HR and recruiting professionals.
We’ll know our businesses better, and be able to run them smarter:
AI will allow us to understand more about who specializes at what, and where there are gaps or potential threats. Sometimes, a hiring or training need is really obvious. If your designer left, you know you need a new designer. Sometimes, though, it’s not obvious, like when there’s only one engineer who can truly understand and deal with an integral part of your system, but that fact is going quietly unnoticed. There also might be someone who just needs a bit more training—who’s almost there, and could be a reliable back-up. Or, maybe there is simply no one else—a hidden risk to your company. That’s the kind of thing an intelligent assistant would understand, and alert your team about before it becomes an issue.
We’ll make smarter hiring decisions:
People are irreplaceable in the hiring process. A bot, no matter how smart, is not going to build the relationship that sells an incredible hire on joining your team. Artificial intelligence can, however, pull and point to data that would be hugely labor intensive or impossible for a person. For instance, maybe you’d find out that the last three people you hired that turned out to be high performers had similarities in the sentiment of their cover letters, and can flag incoming applications with similar promise. Or, you might discover that interviewing someone within six days of their application has lead to a 90% higher close rate, and shift resources accordingly.
There will be a shift towards employee and candidate experience:
Top companies are already prioritizing employee and candidate experience. But it’s a resource heavy endeavor—and takes a lot of factors coming together to execute in a meaningful way. When workers have intelligent assistants to help them organizationally and with administrative work, focusing on the core of your business—your people, your product, your customers will be more attainable, even for those who are tight on resources.
What will all this look like?
Two big things are happening that will influence the way you'll interact with your intelligent assistant. The first is that many teams are moving a large part of their interactions with each other off email and onto Slack and other messaging platforms. The second is that work and life are more blended together than ever, so the 'smartest' assistants will be accessible through Slack, email and SMS—for when you're checking in from the couch at home, on the train to work, or wherever. You'll send a message to your assistant to schedule a meeting, look up more information on a candidate, and so on.
What tasks would you want an intelligent assistant to take care of for you? Let us know in the comments, or tweet at us @tallainc.