First published on Arena website – https://arena.org.uk/newsletter/3334#item-10
Recruitment in the hospitality industry is going through a challenging time. With increases in Living Wage, low unemployment, and the uncertain immigration process post Brexit, attracting talent is becoming increasingly competitive within the sector.
To adapt to these challenges, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been widely reported as a potential tool to assist with the recruitment process. AI can be used in a multitude of diverse ways, from the initial interaction with a candidate via a chat-bot, through to using Machine Learning to scan CVs and identify key skills and attributes which match a role.
However, in an industry where personality and cultural fit are so important, can AI improve traditional recruitment methods?
AI can be defined as the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.
In recruitment, AI can be used from the very start of the candidate engagement process. Using chat-bots within social media platforms or company websites is a fantastic way to engage with potential candidates and start the filtering process to ascertain suitability based on skills, experience, location, and salary expectations. Over the past year several large technology firms have made chat-bot tools available for free, which means that even if you have limited technical knowledge you can create a chat-bot to interact with candidates and follow a basic decision tree to ascertain their suitability.
In the same the way chat-bots can filter candidates via conversation, CV sifting tools have become highly efficient at scanning CVs to identify relevant experience, skills, and even tone of voice; all thanks to AI. CV sifting tools powered by AI are particularly useful if you advertise on job boards, as job boards often generate hundreds of applications for a role but due to the “click-to-apply” feature many boards operate, applicants can often be irrelevant an unsuitable for the position.
Hospitality is an industry that is widely influenced by the personality traits of those who work within a company, and the growing popularity of video interviews, both live and recorded, have opened opportunity for AI to be deployed to analyse personality traits.
Google, IBM and Amazon have all released facial and voice evaluation tools which enable video analysis to identify dominant personality traits. This is achieved by using Natural Language Processing and Sentiment Analysis techniques to evaluate the facial expressions of candidates during a video interview and identifying their facial construct when they say specific words. This type of analysis is particularly effective at identifying whether someone is extroverted or introverted but can also be used to identify traits such as openness, contentiousness, neuroticism, and agreeableness.
Personality match can be one crucial factor in determining an individual’s suitability for a specific role but other factors including experience, performance, reliability and availability need to be considered to deliver a more holistic view of candidate suitability. A digitally powered recruitment process can continuously capture key data points from candidate’s interactions with the platform, which in turn can be used to train machine algorithms to predict workers scoring on key attributes like performance and reliability. This process is called Machine Learning (ML), which is a sub-branch of AI. The key idea behind ML is that it is possible to create algorithms that learn from and make predictions on data.
In a highly competitive recruitment market, hospitality companies must innovate recruitment practices to compete with other sectors. Using AI as part of a wider recruitment strategy will help streamline processes and unlock local talent who otherwise may be disengaged by traditional recruitment techniques.
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