In this podcast, we were joined by Aron Schilder, Founder of Recruit Robin to discuss the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in a remote world.
We explore some of the ways that AI will augment everything we already know and love about remote work, including helping recruiters hones their capabilities, allow HR managers to spend more time engaging with the right candidates and sorting through unqualified ones and making recruitment more efficient.
We also discuss:
- How AI can improve talent assessments
- How companies can ensure their staff understand the technical capabilities of new technologies and upskill them
- Where companies can leverage AI solutions to eliminate hiring bias
- What areas of recruitment AI will take over next
How to upskill recruiters during a crisis
Recruiters have gone from administrators, sourcers, and consultants to digital and analytical experts, embracing new technologies. Check out our webinar on how to upskill talent acquisition as we enter a new era of remote recruiting!
Other resources you may find useful:
- Implementing AI in your recruiting strategy
- 5 excellent cases for using AI in recruitment
- 5 ways to upskill your workforce
Full podcast transcript
Sim Samra: (00:01)
Welcome to the Talent Acquisition Innovators Radio. The podcast for talent acquisition, aficionados, HR lovers, and recruitment professionals out there looking to get inspired and challenge traditional approaches to hiring. Here, we'll discuss the ins and outs of the recruitment process, engaging fresh talent, managing tough internal hiring dilemmas, and of course, the future of talent acquisition.
I'm your host, Sim Samra from Recruitee. I'll be quizzing the experts, asking the burning questions. And, of course, bringing you great guests each episode. By the end of every episode, we'll offer a few hypotheticals. And, of course, tips to take back to your team and workplace.
Sim Samra: (00:44)
Today, I'm joined by Aron Schilder, the founder of RecruitRobin to talk about the future of AI in a remote world. Aron, before we kick off with the questions, why don't you tell our listeners a little bit about yourself?
Aron Schilder: (00:58)
Thanks for your introduction already, Sim. So yes, I'm the founder of RecruitRobin, and we automate the finding of candidates for your job. We do that by searching all platforms at the same time. Currently, we do it with a company of 10 people. Half of them are located in Poland, where our development is established, and a great team of people here in the Netherlands. My name is Aron, I'm 32 years old, living in Utrecht. And I'm ready to start with this podcast.
Sim Samra: (01:26)
Good stuff. Let's kick-off. How can artificial intelligence be effectively leveraged for remote hiring purposes?
Aron Schilder: (01:36)
In general, I think AI is a bit overvalued if we look at today's technology and what we can use in practice. But in the last five years, especially in recruitment and HR tech, there has been a lot of automation that can simplify and help you out with different phases in the process. Video interviewing is something that people have started experiencing. But I also see that many recruiters and other people working in the office like ourselves are using different tooling to work smarter. We use Calendly to schedule interviews easily. We use Zoom and Meet for all our video calls. Now I think that something that doesn't have much to do with automation is the social adoption of technology. It's what has leveraged us most to start working remotely. We're all doing it from home and embrace it to make it work for ourselves, for our families, and for the companies we work for.
Sim Samra: (02:46)
Now, I want to briefly touch upon the candidate experience because it's changed throughout 2020. So I want to get your thoughts on how artificial intelligence can be used to help bridge the gap between the HR team and candidates to create a more personal interaction in these remote working times.
Aron Schilder: (03:06)
I think the biggest part is AI or automation. So start with creating time to have personal interactions. In recruitment teams, we need to do a lot of stuff. You have hiring managers that ask us when is this candidate coming? I need this person right now. And a lot of the pressure is creating a lot of stress and making us try to do a lot in very little time.
Aron Schilder: (03:46)
The first thing you could do to create yourself the time to have more personal interaction is not per se by using technology to have this interaction. It wouldn't be personal anymore either but use it to simplify and automate the steps in your recruitment or hiring process that you don't have to do yourself. And there is a lot of great tooling out there that can save time and have more time for the interviewing and the onboarding phase.
Sim Samra: (04:18)
I think you make a really interesting point about using AI to automate tasks and streamline the process so that recruiters have more time to reach out to candidates. Because one of the discussions I've previously had with recruiters is that when messages, for instance, are automated, it loses its personalization. And I think if there's anything that candidates are looking for right now, it knowing where companies stand during this whole pandemic situation and being informed and knowing exactly what the hiring process looks like and where they fall in that journey. Do you have any suggestions of how recruiters can overcome this fear of losing personalization through technology?
Aron Schilder: (05:22)
I think it starts with the managers leading the teams. The hiring managers also give their recruitment teams the time and the freedom to be focused on the effectiveness and quality of hiring instead of the speed and quantity of hiring. Because this is a struggle where most recruiters are always in between, they have many jobs to fill, and at the same time, they need to watch that they hired the right people.
Aron Schilder: (06:22)
But it starts with these managers that understand the fact that hiring good people takes time. It will also give you the feeling that you can take the time to do it effectively. And if you look at our recruitment process, that will mean that they allow you to spend more time on interviewing. They will allow you to spend more budget on doing the right assessments. They allow you to say; you know what, have that conversation in a personal way, on a moment that you might have a little bit extra time, and it's okay if that means that you have to do it a week later. So, I think it all begins with the company, the stakeholders who understand that quality of hire can take time. Simultaneously, as a recruiter, using the automation of tools to standardize and automate steps in the process where your personal or manual interaction is not needed, so you can create more time.
Sim Samra: (07:13)
Let's move on to talent personality assessments because there's been a growing use of AI when it comes to this space. I want to get your thoughts on how AI can improve talent assessments.
Aron Schilder: (07:28)
Yeah. I do have a great experience to share here exactly. And I love to share what we have experienced myself. I know there are many tools out there, but we have been using ourselves as a startup is Equalture, and they use gamified assessments. And the nice thing about gamification is that it's a lot nicer for the candidate to do. It's a lot more accessible, not only from a technical standpoint because you can do it from your mobile phone, but it doesn't have this feeling around you that you need to perform right now. It's a lot easier and a lot more fun as a candidate to participate in it.
Aron Schilder: (08:16)
But the second thing about gamification is that it removes the bias and the option to play with the results. Now, you play the games, the results will show, giving you an honest answer to the candidate fit. And it does the same thing for the hiring manager or the recruiter inviting you for that assessment.
Aron Schilder: (08:39)
We did that with Equalture as a startup. I would do it differently as a corporate, but I'll get to that later. As a startup, we don't have a lot of people that we can look back at and say, "Hey, this went right, this went wrong." So this is the type of candidate we need right now. So we used Equalture, which focused on startups and scale-ups and understood the dynamics of our company. They have a lot of knowledge of candidates that might be a good fit. And we had great hires from people that we assessed through Equalture.
Aron Schilder: (09:17)
If I were a larger corporation, I would start using AI in the people already hired and understand what we currently have and why it works. So use the technology and the data you have to understand better where you stand right now.
Sim Samra: (09:43)
For the benefits of artificial intelligence to be felt, companies need to ensure their staff understands new technologies' technical capabilities and upskill them if necessary. In your opinion, what's the best way to do this?
Aron Schilder: (10:06)
Yeah. Good question. And not very easy to answer. And it actually has nothing to do with the technology itself. I think it starts by having management create the option to experiment with tooling. Creating the budget and creating the time to start using tooling without having high expectations from it. So normally, what happens is we find this tool, and we're completely excited about it, and after a demo, we're completely happy with the results that we saw there. Still, of course, we have no idea yet and only expectations on what it can do for us as a company. And we need to create a spending budget on it. So it does have to match those high expectations. Applying a tool in your organization requires two things.
Aron Schilder: (11:05)
First, find a tool that fits your company, and learn to adopt it. And the second thing is the adoption itself, and this requires time. It requires people that are willing to change their daily way of working. So you need to create time and budget to take the tools, try them out, give your organization the chance to adopt them, and then evaluate if it works or not. And if it doesn't, that's fine as well, take the learning and move on to the next tool, but don't invest money in a tool, expect your process to change and to improve the next day, and blame the ones buying the tool if it doesn't work.
Sim Samra: (11:46)
That's good advice. I think you're right. You need to check your budget and make sure the training is in place to ensure people are all on board. And I think you made a good point of not expecting results straight away. These things take time.
Aron Schilder: (12:03)
Yeah. It's something new for most people, and with everything new, we start with it because we have expectations that it will improve. Give yourself the chance to gain the knowledge.
Sim Samra: (12:18)
I want to get your thoughts on how easy it is to train and upskill people to use new technologies now since we're mostly remote.
Aron Schilder: (12:27)
Well, that's the thing, the good thing about technology, right? That it can get everywhere, and to everybody without being in the same place. So I think that's the biggest advantage of technology and why this period of time is an opportunity to have people start using technology because the motivation to use things and make things easier is higher than before. I think when it comes to video conferencing tools, it has still taken some convincing to make companies invest in these tools and accept the fact that if we're going to do it from a distance, we will not all be together. Will people be as committed as they were when in the office? Well, due to Covid-19, we're forced to move in this way.
Sim Samra: (13:30)
I want to move on to another important topic around diversity and inclusion in the workplace, as this is one of the highest priorities for many HR teams today. How can companies leverage AI solutions to eliminate hiring bias?
Aron Schilder: (13:46)
AI's potential is huge, but if we look at the proven technology available nowadays, which can be adopted, we need to look at the first steps in the recruitment process. When I think about using AI to hire bias-free, do it in the process's first steps. So do the resume checks and pre-assessments before you invite them for an interview. Leverage AI and do it at the beginning of the recruitment process and give yourself more time to be involved later on in the process in a personal way.
Sim Samra: (14:45)
With 2020 shifting workplace dynamics, what areas of recruitment do you foresee artificial intelligence taking over next?
Aron Schilder: (14:54)
Yeah, so I think there are a couple of interesting changes here. I think it will improve on every single phase of the process, and it will improve faster now that we have learned to work remotely. Our hiring areas' geographical barriers will, I believe, for many companies, become less relevant. It will become a lot easier to hire more people everywhere in the world for different tasks and not only for software development.
Aron Schilder: (15:44)
So I think the first thing that gives it a push is the learning and adopting of remote work. More companies will leave the geographical boundaries for hiring and will continue to hire more worldwide. And as we do, we're even more forced to use technology and improve AI in all the processes. The big improvements will be made in scheduling tasks, scheduling appointments, scheduling interviews, and the steps in the onboarding phase.
Sim Samra: (16:30)
Okay. Before we round off our podcast, I just wanted to ask you if you have any lasting words about AI's future in a remote world for our listeners?
Aron Schilder: (16:41)
Yes, I do. Covid-19 has allowed us to adopt automation faster as it will be used more, and the technology will improve faster. Simply because there is more demand, more market for it, and companies can afford to invest more into development. I truly do believe that the improvement of technology will allow everybody with hiring needs to manage themselves better in the future. The biggest benefit is that recruiting good people will become easier and more accessible to everybody in the future.
Sim Samra: (17:43)
Aron, I want to thank you so much for joining me on this podcast today.
Aron Schilder: (17:47)
Thank you for your invitation Sim, was nice being here.
Sim Samra: (17:50)
Thanks again for joining us on the Talent Acquisition Innovators Radio. We hope you enjoyed the episode, and of course, if you did, feel free to share it on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or wherever you're most active. And if you'd like to be updated on when our next podcast is going to be released, you can sign up at blog.recruitee.com/podcast. See you in the next one.