Artificial Intelligence Adoption in Workforce Sourcing and Management

Sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) systems are making it easier for hiring managers to plan for and source, vet, and hire contingent labor. It makes it more efficient to design work in new ways. In fact, “Instead of focusing on hiring employees and filling in skill gaps with full-time labor, managers are increasingly turning to external talent markets and staffing platforms as a source of shorter-term, skills-based engagements to achieve outcomes,” concluded a research report by Brookings. “Managers can disaggregate existing jobs into component tasks and then use AI to access external contributors with specific skills to accomplish those tasks.” 

Even as AI is creating new opportunities, what are the implications for adoption in workforce sourcing and management now and how is it being used currently? 

Most staffing organizations use AI; machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) are the most widely used, typically embedded into a Vendor Management System (VMS). We can assume that it’s becoming even more widely available and nearly universally adopted. 

According to Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), the top areas where AI is seeing immediate practical application are: 

  • Sourcing automation – This includes tools to streamline processes such as assisting with job postings, discovering and connecting with candidates, reviewing resumes, and generating searchable databases. AI takes all the manual labor out of parsing resumes for specific skills or titles. With machine learning, each iteration gets more precise.  
  • Relationship management and chatbots – Communicating with candidates individually or within the confines of group messages such as in a Talent Community is becoming more automated. AI assists with scheduling interviews and housing information required for compliance such as any testing or certificates, then automatically sends reminders when re-certification due dates are approaching. Additionally, chatbots are on the rise…and it’s getting more difficult to discern an AI-driven bot from a human chat. Bots now can engage meaningfully with, respond intelligently to, and comprehend basic human communications. 
  • Candidate assessment and job matching – AI can now assess diverse individual technical and a wide range of other skills, enhancing the overall quality of the candidates found. And as the machine learning of AI increases, the current methods of matching jobs and candidates with simple keyword searches are continuing to experience improvements. To do this effectively, companies need to understand their current skills inventory and have an extensive data set. Then AI-powered advanced candidate matching helps find the best qualified candidate, relying on cross-functional skills, not just job titles. Ideally, candidates have optimized their resumes by highlighting skills, so they’re aligned with the best roles. 
  • Predictive analytics – AI-generated predictions can enhance proactive workforce planning through generative AI and deep learning. Forecasting labor needs and using Talent Communities for redeployment into similar roles or new projects with similar skills, or even to expand a candidate’s skill set is made easier with AI’s data modeling. This can not only help predict how many resources are needed but can predict the likelihood of a successful redeployment at a granular level allowing management time to find other resources if necessary. Analyzing the data shows stakeholders what the forecast and budget should be based on numerous internal and external factors.  

nextSource Insights 

By leveraging AI thoughtfully, many manual and tedious tasks are streamlined, so human resources can concentrate on the more personal aspects of engaging with the candidate the way only a human can do… for now.  

Advances in artificial intelligence have affected our industry in a number of ways. Here are a few predictions: 

  • Watch for numerous and ever-changing laws surrounding AI and how it affects the workforce in general and contingent labor specifically. Already Federal and state lawmakers including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are eyeing employers’ use of AI tools as they relate to employment decisions including screens such as aptitude or personality tests. 
  • With the productivity that is gained, we may see quantum changes needed to reskill workers whose jobs are affected by redundancies. 
  • AI implementation will bring up ethical issues as well. Be aware that AI could have an impact on diversity as these systems can “inherit” the biases of the human choices it learns, so safeguards must be put in place as it evolves. 
  • Do not take a “wait and watch” approach to implementing AI. This is a game-changer in the truest sense. The time is now for companies, universities and colleges, staffing agencies, and candidates to learn how AI impacts the workforce and use it to your advantage.