Artificial intelligence is playing a more significant role in business than ever before. A recent survey by professional services firm PwC found that 72 percent of executives believe that AI will offer sizeable business advantages in the near future.[1] Businesses are already exploring these advantages. Last October, Uber completed the world's first cargo shipment using a truck controlled by AI. [2]

One area in which AI will benefit businesses across all sectors is in human resources and recruitment. Three benefits are evident in particular:

1. Reducing Human Bias

Human bias can influence many aspects of recruitment: Humans tend to stereotype and make uninformed choices based on gender, ethnicity and so on. Crucially, AI can be programmed to ignore a candidate's background. For example, in 2015 Google began using an internal recruitment tool called qDroid, which provides interviewers more reliable interview questions based on the position that the candidate is interviewing for, and that disregards candidate background. Google's former head of HR said that this automation provided a "reliable basis for sifting the superb candidates from the merely great.".[3] Beyond Google, a range of companies offer human bias-reducing AI software. GapJumpers uses AI to host digital 'blind auditions', which allows recruiters to see past keywords on a resume to better assess talent.[4] Textio also relies on AI for recruitment. The platform assesses job listings to ensure that language used appeals to a range of individuals.[5]

2. Increasing Efficiency and Insight in Candidate Assessment

One of the key challenges for HR departments is selecting promising candidates from a large number of applicants. AI allows a number of the stages of the recruitment workflow to be automated. This means that more data can be gathered and assessed for each candidate and more candidates can be assessed overall. Innovative companies that provide AI recruitment solutions include Glider, who use sophisticated algorithms to assess candidates' skill sets.[6] Recruitment agency ITS also makes use of AI to assess candidate suitability for job listings on behalf of their clients.[7] Alternatively, Ideal's recruitment platform also increases recruitment efficiency using AI - they claim a threefold increase in hires per recruiter. [8]

3. Improving Relationships With Existing Employees

HR departments are inundated with questions from employees. A significant number of these questions can be answered using AI. By programming automated email or instant messaging replies to common questions, the workload for HR departments can be reduced. This frees up HR personnel to answer more complex questions and engage more efficiently with a company's employees. Additionally, AI could soon play a role in other more mundane HR tasks. AI company x.ai recently launched "Amy," a virtual personal assistant that automates the process of scheduling meetings.[9] Equally as useful, Hirevue are currently using AI to automate the process of employee coaching. [10] This means that the quality of coaching can be improved while simultaneously reducing the amount of work for HR teams. Butterfly provide a similar platform: a mobile leadership coaching app that uses AI to coach managers. [11]

HR and recruiting, like many areas of business, look set to be transformed by the power of AI. Research firm IDC predicts that the value of the market for AI will increase from $8 billion in 2016 to $47 billion by 2020.[12] If the three areas listed above are anything to go by, it looks as if this increase will lead to positive change in HR and recruiting.

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Avi Savar is CEO and Managing Partner of Dreamit, a top venture accelerator and early stage investment fund. He is the author of Content to Commerce and consults globally on trends in digital media, disruptive technologies and corporate innovation. He has been featured on Fox News, Forbes, Mashable, Business Insider, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, the New York Times and is a contributing editor for Inc.

Learn more at: www.avisavar.com

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