When it comes to filling open positions, nobody is filling more spots than Amazon. So, why did the mega-employer and ultra-efficient user of artificial intelligence (AI) cancel an AI-driven recruiting program? The truth is, it all came down to the classic conflict of Quantity versus Quality.
With an impressive ability to create efficiency and weed out unqualified prospects with great success, AI is an amazing tool for candidate sourcing. Sites like Indeed, ZipRecruiter and CareerBuilder have developed advances in technology that generate tremendous numbers of potentially qualified candidates into the funnel.
However, “the funnel” is only the beginning of the overall recruitment process and there are major gaps to fill to ensure you actually hire the right candidate. While AI provides “smart” ways to source efficiently, great recruiters provide “smart” recruitment techniques that cannot be replaced by AI.
Coming to the stark realization that an AI-driven recruiting program led to unintended bias in hiring recommendations, Amazon was forced to confront the classic question: Do I want more quantity or do I want better quality? Efficiency on one end can often lead to inefficiency on the other end.
No doubt, AI has its place in the recruitment process, but it must be tempered with the innate human ability to understand people. Below is a Top-5 list of the ways I take my decades of professional experience – and my distinctly human faculties – and compliment AI in the screening and selection process.
1) Why a change?
Not understanding a candidate’s motivators for making a change is by far the biggest mistake most recruiters make. It can take 10-15 minutes to truly understand motivators and many recruiters finish the entire screening process in less than 15 minutes. Try asking a candidate what their top two to three motivators are and take time to probe and explore them before moving on to the next question.
2) Strengths & Limitations
Learning a candidate’s strengths and limitations BEFORE talking about their fit for the open role is critical. Dive in and have questions prepared to understand their competencies. I often share some of my own limitations so they are comfortable talking about their own.
3) Behavioral Interviewing
Ask behavioral questions to assess a candidate’s comfort level performing desired tasks. Use the STAR (situation, task, action, result) method for constructing these questions, listening intently and probing for more information. If you place someone in a role they are behaviorally comfortable in, they are far less likely to burn out and able to perform at their peak for longer periods of time.
4) Greatest Achievement
Ask the candidate what their greatest achievement has been in the last 24 months. Use who, what, where, when, why and how to probe further to validate details of the achievement. This process can take upwards of 15 minutes to accomplish – but it plays a key part in validating their experience.
Make sure the candidate wants to move forward with the role. A formal closing technique can flush out job shoppers and strengthen a candidate’s interest in accepting a role. The candidate shouldn’t feel like they are being ‘closed’ and you should always work in the candidate’s best interest in mind.
These tips are easy to understand, but not so easy to execute. With more than 20 years of talent acquisition experience, let SmarTech Talent Solutions guide you through the hiring process. We deliver efficiently and provide the highest levels of placed talent retention in the industry.
Michael Alaimo, SHRM, SCP
Mike brings more than 18 years of distinguished recruiting experience successfully aligning IT talent with the best possible positions. Mike has been called an amazing recruiter and has confidence and enthusiasm that is unmatched. He’s been called other things but that’s a story for another day…
SmarTech Talent Solutions exists to connect hiring managers with the right talent. For more than 20 years, they have been matching the right candidates with the right opportunities. We specialize in understanding the technical and cultural nuances that make all the difference in a quality hire.