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Mastering the Art of Talent Identification: AI vs Humans
AI vs Humans – Discovering the wonders of artificial intelligence (AI) is like discovering a hidden treasure that has the power to transform every aspect of our lives, including the world of business. As I illustrate in my latest book, AI has made its mark on every field, but one area where its impact stands out is talent identification. More and more organizations, especially large corporations, are turning to AI to enhance their recruitment and personnel selection systems. But how good is AI really at identifying job potential compared to human intuition?
We have witnessed a rapid growth in the field of industrial and organizational psychology when it comes to researching and developing various technological tools for assessing candidate talents and predicting their future job suitability. And what we have discovered so far sheds light on the fact that AI surpasses human evaluators in assessing job seekers’ potential.
AI is better at detecting genuine potential signals without being influenced by subjective biases. Assessing potential is all about probability —taking a chance on someone’s likelihood to excel in the future. Assuming there are patterns linking what candidates do during interviews, assessments, and application letters to what they are likely to perform once hired, we can infer that AI is better suited to identify these patterns than humans. Moreover, AI can do so consistently. Unlike humans, AI does not experience the ups and downs of emotions or distractions that can cloud judgment. Scientifically speaking, AI can accurately translate our words into reliable estimations of our personality traits, values, intelligence, and even identify language patterns indicating narcissism. Humans, focused on content, struggle to track these patterns like AI does. Video interview algorithms can analyze nonverbal communication, body language, and physical speech patterns to identify potential signals that human interviewers often miss, free from the influence of content and physical appearance. The same applies to erasing digital footprints, an area where AI outperforms humans, as humans are still unconsciously swayed by appearances.
While humans are good at learning, they struggle when it comes to unlearning. On the other hand, AI is proficient in both learning and unlearning. Unlike humans, AI can be taught to ignore all background variables like demographic and socioeconomic factors that humans cannot easily overlook. No matter how well-intentioned, open-minded, or empathetic humans may be, they will always be influenced by visual cues such as gender, race, wealth, attractiveness, age, and more. Empathy drives us to feel more warmth and positivity towards those who resemble ourselves, creating an obstacle in achieving diversity and inclusion. This is something inclusive, fair, and diverse organizations strive to overcome to enhance equality and meritocracy in their recruitment. Training AI to disregard historically disadvantageous factors for underrepresented individuals and groups provides a cleaner and purer approach to measuring human potential, eliminating noise and irrelevant demographic variables.
AI’s advantages lie in its speed, affordability, and scalability, even though it may not match human accuracy. Recruiting personnel and hiring managers can only process a limited number of applications and candidates in a day, while AI can scale economically to handle thousands or even millions of job seekers. The true benefits of AI, both in terms of cost and accuracy, become apparent when dealing with large numbers of candidates. Here, AI proves advantageous in terms of equity and diversity.
AI can improve fairness and diversity by expanding the pool of potential applicants. Instead of relying on the same old players and utilizing outdated methods, entrepreneurs can leverage AI to tap into passive candidates – those who have not formally applied but show signs of potential suitability for the job. This approach is particularly beneficial for organizations looking to enhance diversity, interact with a larger pool of people, and place less emphasis on hard skills and college credentials, focusing instead on soft skills and future potential. Although AI has been known to mimic human biases, with numerous examples of misbehaving algorithms due to being trained on flawed human preferences, we have the ability to reverse engineer AI algorithms and refine or edit them to improve accuracy and fairness. Conversely, the human brain remains a black box algorithm, making it impossible to really know why someone, including ourselves, decides to hire or not hire someone. Transparency is more achievable with the help of AI compared to human decision-making.
The public discourse surrounding AI often pits it against human skills, but this dichotomy is a fallacy. AI is, after all, a creation of human intelligence, so even though AI surpasses human intelligence, it should still be recognized as a testament to human achievements. Given the versatility and adaptability of human intelligence, humans can always find new ways to add value, even as AI learns to replicate certain capabilities. Recruitment is a perfect example of this. As AI learns to crack reliable code patterns between candidate profiles and their future performance, selecting and filtering the right candidates from vast datasets, it frees humans to focus on the aspects that are uniquely human and cannot be mastered by AI. For example, selling the job to candidates, forming an emotional connection, and helping recruiters understand what they need, which often differs from what they want. This harmonious relationship between technology and human expertise demonstrates how technology can humanize recruitment.
It is important to recognize that the aforementioned potential benefits should not be taken lightly, and careful attention must be given to ensuring that AI is designed ethically to address not only legal challenges but also moral considerations. By reverse engineering AI algorithms to understand the parameters leading to biases and how to recalibrate or edit these algorithms for improved accuracy and fairness, we can mitigate the impact of biased algorithms. In contrast, the human brain remains an enigmatic black box algorithm, leaving us uncertain about why someone, including ourselves, chooses to hire or not hire a particular individual. Thus, transparency is more achievable with the aid of AI compared to human decision-making.
AI is not a replacement for human skills but rather a complement to them. As we continue to embrace AI’s potential, it is crucial that we approach its development and implementation with an ethical lens, ensuring that it enhances fairness, diversity, and inclusivity. The collaboration between human intelligence and AI presents an opportunity to unveil the best of both worlds and redefine recruitment. So let us embrace the potential of AI and unleash the transformative power it holds.