Last updated: Balancing act: Human intelligence, not AI, is the crucial factor in talent acquisition

Balancing act: Human intelligence, not AI, is the crucial factor in talent acquisition


Listen to article

Download audio as MP3

Lately, artificial intelligence has grabbed much of the innovation spotlight. Companies of all sizes are exploring the ways in which machine learning and expert systems can give them a competitive edge. And yet, for all the advances in algorithms and technology, there are still aspects of business that even the best technology can’t completely take over.

We’re starting to see emerging evidence of a hybrid model where the best technologies are integrated with human intelligence. The key to success is striking the right balance between both human and artificial intelligence.

Human intelligence still dominates in talent acquisition

When trying to hire the right person, algorithms tend to be used to narrow the possible candidate pool to a reasonable and manageable number. However, after that filtering process, most companies spend a significant amount of time qualifying potential candidates on the phone and in-person. This is why many companies outsource this function to headhunters and retained search firms.

This is where the hybrid method can help. “We saw the wisdom of Yelp and Uber’s star rating system and decided to apply this approach to talent,” says Chuck Brady, Managing Director for Vitamin T. “We saw an opportunity for companies to rank the talent that they hired as a means of independently validating the skills that someone in marketing or creative says they have. This establishes credibility and builds confidence for the person responsible for the hire.”

This hybrid model of both human and artificial intelligence has resulted in Vitamin T’s ability to deliver just three highly qualified candidates for any talent search, each with a 110% money back guarantee. That is, if the hire doesn’t work out, they’ll not only refund the company’s cost, but will also include an additional 10%. This level of confidence builds buy-in with B2B clients.

Striking the right balance between technology and human intelligence

Others are adopting this hybrid model. Last year, SAP SuccessFactors empowered companies with its “Business Beyond Bias” platform that integrated an AI filter for checking your unconscious bias when writing job descriptions. Mike Ettling, former President of SAP SuccessFactors acknowledges in a Forbes article, “People make the difference. Technology helps change the game.”

And that is the important point that is often lost in the AI transformation buzz we see just about everywhere: After all the algorithms are deployed, it’s still the human that makes the difference—not the technology.

In the case of Vitamin T, it’s the veteran search experts who, having worked as marketing or creative talent themselves, can work on a client’s behalf to identify the ideal candidate, research their background, and eliminate a lot of the time associated with a typical search for a strategic hire.

Growing ourselves: Increasing our own human intelligence

Each of us needs to continue to refine our own intelligence as we grow in our careers. This seems like an obvious point, but how often do we find ourselves doing the same old things expecting different results?

The value we deliver to our companies, and to the companies we serve, is highly dependent on how well we create solutions that technology alone can’t produce. If you’re not reading books, attending conferences or occasionally joining the best of those free webinars you seem to get in your inbox every day, how can you expect to come up with innovation that supplements the continual advances in technology?

We frequently see stories about how AI is revolutionizing every industry. But we should be asking ourselves how we can leverage human intelligence and intellectual capital resources within our company to deliver even more for our clients. Service, it turns out, is not something AI can deliver, and service will continue to be in high demand no matter where tech takes us.

This post was originally published on Forbes, and is republished here with permission.

Share this article


Search by Topic beginning with