Artificial intelligence (AI) is reshaping the world of work. Antony Ugoni, SEEK’s Director – AI & Analytics, is a leading authority on how AI is enhancing the recruitment process and he shared the latest developments at the Australian Talent Conference in Sydney in June. Here is a snapshot of the insights he shared.

Strong recommendations

Candidates don’t spend a large portion of their week actively searching for roles. By analysing their search activity and profile, AI allows for job recommendations to be sent directly to them via email and notifications through the SEEK app.

“We have about 26 algorithms that run this and the results have been extraordinary,” says Ugoni. “We've seen almost four million quality applications go into the Australian marketplace that would never have occurred otherwise. Candidates are only active a very small portion of the time. So, bringing the roles to light to them via email is driving really strong application rates.”

Superior search capabilities

Ugoni says AI is also enhancing the sophistication of job searching by picking up on nuances that may otherwise be missed.

“One example is that we have been finding a really strong affiliation between part-time hairdressing roles in a specific location and retail roles in that location,” he explains. “I spoke to our strategy people and they explained that these candidates are return-to-work mums who are qualified to be part-time hairdressers and their first choice is to find a role close to home. In the absence of these roles that they're qualified to do, they look for something else close by. Our models pick up all these nuances and we have about 20,000 of these models running on about 5% of Australian traffic at the moment.”

Approachability signals

AI is also helping employers reach relevant candidates faster via an ‘approachability signal’.  

“In our Premium Talent Search, leveraging our search technology, you can search for candidates for a role,” says Ugoni. “This allows users to proactively search and group candidate profiles so they can keep tabs on customised talent pools.”  

“Our approachability signal is an algorithm that gives you a sense of which candidates are more likely to want to move from their current role. So, instead of ringing the best candidate who has zero chance of leaving their current employer, you may get the second-best candidate who has a higher probability of wanting to leave their employer.

“We've seen great success through Premium Talent Search and the approachability signal with key clients where they've been able to tailor the communications and have a really concerted campaign around talent acquisition.”

Case study: How to find the right candidate for regional roles

Artificial intelligence looks set to play a great role in recruitment by helping candidates to stand out and employers to reach the most relevant talent. However, Ugoni stresses that it will never replace human judgement.

“I haven’t seen AI judge how a candidate is going to fit into a workplace culture or, more importantly, how they are going to add to a culture,” says Ugoni. “Human resource professionals will be able to spend more time on this. AI will take away the inefficient tasks of getting the ads out there, reading the resumes and shortlisting, and you will do the stuff that adds the greatest value in the recruitment space.”