How many times has it happened that even after having core expertise and acumen of a subject we just miss on a befitting job. Often we stumble at situations when we have put up our resume in a job portal for a certain role, but in turn get job offers which even distantly does not connect with us. For instance, a journalist getting a job offer of a driver or a software coder getting a offer for sales and marketing. Ashutosh Garg, CEO and Co-Founder at Eightfold.ai believes that this can addressed with technologies like AI.
Eightfold’s Talent Intelligence Platform is an effective way for companies to identify promising candidates, reach diversity hiring goals, retain top performers, and engage talent. The Mountain View, California based company’s patented artificial intelligence-based platform empowers enterprises to turn talent management into a competitive advantage. It is built by top engineers out of Facebook, Google and other leading technology companies.
Garg in his book ‘What’s Next for You: The Eightfold Path to Transforming the Way We Hire and Manage Talent’, accurately relays the message when he says, “Leonardo da Vinci is regarded as a genius, but if he were competing in today’s job market, he may never be hired.”
Express Computer caught up with Garg to know more about AI driven Human Resource industry, the formula to bridge the talent gap and much more. Edited excerpts.
Artificial Intelligence technology paved its way into almost all industry verticals. What is its importance, role and usage in Human Resource industry?
Artificial-intelligence technology is critical in moving the human-resources field forward and making hiring more of a science than an art.
Let’s back up a minute. Let’s talk about how hiring has been done for a long time. Hiring managers at companies often hire people who they know, which is something that has been done since the beginning of time. They hire from colleges and universities they like, or where an employee went. Often, they use interview questions like “what are your greatest strengths?” and “where would you like to be in five years?” that don’t correlate to quality hiring. This kind of hiring doesn’t predict success on the job.
Artificial intelligence can change this, it can:
Help companies find people it wouldn’t have otherwise: Employers can hone in on the skills required for a certain job and AI can find people with those skills. The best AI can find people who haven’t done the exact job that’s open, but who have every skill and ability needed to do it.
Increase diversity: AI can remove identifying information that shows someone’s ethnicity, age, or gender from a pool of candidates, preventing bias that can reduce diversity.
Be used to keep people: Often people leave jobs to grow and learn new skills — in fact, many workers will say that it is easier to grow by moving companies than by staying in their current company. But those same people could have grown and learned new skills at their own companies! The problem is that often a company – especially a large one with far-flung employees – doesn’t have a handle on all the skills its workforce has, and doesn’t have a good process for internal mobility. AI can provide a platform for internal mobility based on skills and potential.
Give people second chances: A lot of people apply for a job, only to be told that “we’ll keep your resume on file.” Rarely do companies ever follow up again. AI can change this. Companies can use AI to do sophisticated searches of people who have applied but have not been hired. AI can even automatically update information about past applicants so that companies can see what someone has learned since they’ve applied years earlier.
Provide for a smoother business transformation: In times of change, mergers, acquisitions, layoffs, and expansions, AI can give a business extra visibility into the skills employees brings and how they can be deployed in new positions.
There is a talent gap in our society between the potential skills that employees have and their ability to express them. What is Eightfold’s plan to address this talent gap?
We want to reduce the reliance on the job description, and the resume. Job descriptions are usually poorly worded. They often contain a lot of things that employees don’t really need — such as a certain number of years on the job, or a degree from a university that may not be needed, or a set of specific experiences that aren’t important to the job. And job descriptions can be extremely biased, usually without intending to be. Resumes are hard to interpret, are rarely read, and don’t provide nearly enough information about the individual.
We are helping companies hire people based on their skills and potential to do the job. By doing this, we are overcoming the limits of the job description and the resume in order to help each person discover the career where they will be most fulfilled and successful. Only AI technology that understands and matches at scale, and is personalised, transparent, and unbiased, can achieve this outcome. We have already helped tens of thousands of people in this way, at hundreds of companies, and we are just getting started.
How does Eightfold’s Talent Intelligence Platform makes a positive difference for organisations/recruiters as well as candidates?
For organisations and recruiters, their companies are as good as the people they hire. The quality of your workforce directly affects the quality of your business results. We’re helping companies make better hires. We’re helping them keep people they would have lost, people who would have found opportunities elsewhere they didn’t know about at their own companies. This makes companies more profitable, and enable them to hire more people.
For candidates, we’re helping people who might have been weeded out by old, ineffective technologies that use features like keyword matching. We are also helping candidates gain confidence.
Who are your clients in India? What kind of feedback you are receiving from the India market?
We have customers in India and all over the world. Among our customers in India is Tata Communications Limited, which has experienced success with us in recruiting performance, diversity, and internal mobility. Based on this experience and other feedback shared with us, I believe that our momentum in India is very positive.
Mention your investment plans and GTM for India. Are you planning to associate with government projects to upskill local talent?
We are investing in India and will continue to invest in India. It is our privilege to be able to make such investments. We look forward to working with all of the constituencies of the nation to help every person find what they deserve.
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