How AI Is Scaling Human Knowledge for Long-Term Success

AI can help people find a job that's an ideal match for their experience and potential.
By: | November 12, 2018 • 3 min read

Job-hopping. The gig economy. Diversity struggles. These are just a few of the complex issues facing HR executives in today’s economy.

My research has been focused on finding innovative solutions to some of these issues by identifying a holistic approach to the search for meaningful work. This approach uses cutting-edge artificial intelligence, machine learning and search technologies to transform the talent-acquisition and retention process for good—now and in the future.

AI can help bridge the talent gap by providing candidates and employers with forward-looking insights that reveal not only what someone has done, but powerful data on what their full potential could be. With this data, companies can find, engage and motivate their best people to help them achieve personal and business success.

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One of the most important and exciting areas of AI is in the recruitment of talented candidates. A recent survey by Robert Half showed a 22-percent increase in job-hopping among workers as compared to four years ago. There’s a desire—perhaps now more than ever—to find meaningful work that fulfills and energizes us, and to find employers and colleagues who share our values and help us be our best selves.

These may sound like lofty goals, but they’re achievable. AI and machine-learning technology is progressing at incredible speeds, and our ability to process and analyze information more effectively is one of the keys to solving the talent gap in recruiting, especially when it comes to helping people find a job that’s an ideal match.

Using AI, we can predict a candidate’s potential for learning a new skill required for the job in question—seeing far beyond what she’s done in the past. That’s where the magic happens. The system will look at what the applicant has achieved throughout her career and how relevant her experience level is in a current role. This ranking system of matching has been developed through parsing and analyzing countless pieces of data to create a model for any business, regardless of industry.

By analyzing what candidates have achieved in the past, AI can develop deep neural networks to make inferences on their ability to learn new skills. For example, by coaching AI to learn which people can effectively attain a new skill, the system can parse through groups of candidates to classify which applicant will learn a required skill of the job in the least amount of time, potentially reducing the time and resources needed to prepare someone for that role. The system identifies those outlier cases where a creative and unique person is able to acquire a new and better ability.

For example, if someone who studied the field of biotechnology—but also has superior communications and public speaking skills—the AI software can then infer that this candidate would be an advantageous fit for a medical sales positions due to the integrated background at hand. If a candidate has a diverse background, one that combines a variety of skills, AI can then develop speculations as to how likely it is in the future for that applicant to succeed in one of the areas they’re skilled in.

This highly effective process is particularly critical for companies hiring talent at scale. Because it helps HR professionals systematically and proactively identify the best candidates without bias, greatly increasing the number of candidates that might be considered by using sophisticated, personalized algorithms to fit a business’ specific needs. That means a much more diverse pool of talented potential employees will be organized and vetted for openings now and in the future, saving time, money and resources.

Some of our current clients, such as AdRoll and DigitalOcean, are using our proprietary AI process (which complies with all EEOC regulations) to create more-diverse organizations with significant results. Studies have shown that effective diversity initiatives tend to improve business outcomes — including everything from more creativity to better relationships with customers.

AI is an essential tool for retaining and promoting a diverse workforce. While these technologies focus on identifying a strong match between a role and candidates based on public and company-specific data, AI also helps create more efficient and fair opportunities for promotions. We are constantly working on collecting more data to make our AI smarter and to present results in the best, most understandable and actionable format. We’re also working on further integrating AI into the HR performance-evaluation process so we can help make recommendations on the potential for long-term success in a particular role or company.

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This is an incredibly exciting time for AI and talent acquisition. Nearly any challenge facing HR and recruiting professionals today can be solved by having access to better data and improved insights. Used responsibly, AI technology has the ability to greatly reduce human bias in the recruitment and retention process, and most importantly, to create a happier, more diverse workforce—the backbone of a productive and progressive society.

Ashutosh Garg is the chief executive officer of Eightfold.ai.