“The Person Will Always Have the Last Say”

With its “AI High Level Expert Group” working towards an Artificial Intelligence strategy for the Union, the European Commission is sharpening its focus on this important technology. The possible applications for AI are very diverse, a fact of which Lucia Falkenberg, Chief People Officer (CPO) and Head of the eco Competence Group New Work at eco, is well aware: Artificial intelligence (AI) can become an important supportive tool in the recruiting process. In interview, she talks about future opportunities and current hurdles.

Ms Falkenberg, will we see AI replacing the human recruiter in a few years' time?

Absolutely not – but it will make the job of a recruiter more exciting. As a valuable tool, it can take on time-consuming routine tasks. For example, AI can evaluate CVs and use Big Data analysis to make prognoses concerning a candidate's suitability.
Or the computer can identify suitable recruiting channels in order to approach candidates more selectively. The particular charm of this is that it learns with every usage and constantly improves. What’s more, AI can help recruiters to avoid the “halo effect” – and will ultimately lead to more diversity in the company.

How do chatbots come into play?

Chatbots also ease things up in the recruiting process. They respond to recurring questions – patiently and at any time of the day – and thus free up time for the personnel officer.
In addition, it has been shown that some applicants are reacting openly and positively to chatbots. For example, they venture to put questions to the AI that they are reluctant to ask of a human recruiter, such as queries on dress code or salary. AI is thus improving the individual candidate experience.
At the same time, the future workplace can be made tangible by means of augmented reality, and the applicant gains a more precise picture of the new employer early on.
Ultimately, it’s the applicant who will decide on the success or otherwise of chatbots. The basic rule here must also be transparency – the applicant must always be able to recognize that she or he is speaking with a 'machine'.

Will AI nonetheless become an important supportive tool?

Without a doubt! The machine can collect and evaluate data considerably faster, more precisely, and more effectively. In this way, it creates a basis for decision-making which the recruiter can use for his or her assessment.
Ultimately, it saves people a lot of time – time that can be used for communication from person to person.

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