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Nov 15, 2019

Artificial Intelligence and HR: 5 Company Success Stories

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Checkr Editorial

Artificial intelligence (AI) is opening new worlds for HR managers. Going far beyond handling tasks like sorting out resumes or tabulating candidate data, today’s AI programs are interacting with candidates on a level that’s human—or maybe even more than human. 

More and more candidates are experiencing their first contact with an employer as a dialog with a computer rather than as a conversation with a person. As they conduct their chatbot interviews, the new programs analyze language, facial expressions, body language, and social media to predict the chances of success in the job.  

Here are some companies that have taken the first steps into the new world of AI for HR:

1. IBM: A New Level of Employee Engagement 

Big Blue has been a leader in AI for years. Now, the corporation has saved over $100M a year thanks to AI in their HR department. 

Their AI systems engage employees in a number of ways. For example, one of the company’s tools monitors company chatter on social media, surveys, and other data sources. 

Based on this data, if someone has been on a team for a long time and is ready for a promotion, the manager is alerted to these facts. On the other hand, if an employee is on a path toward quitting or being let go, the system picks this up as well. Managers are informed and can intervene early to help an under-performing employee get back on track.

IBM also uses an AI-based tool named Watson Career Coach (WCC). Using a combination of natural language processing and historical information, WCC chats with employees. It can help them find new roles that match their skills so they're able to move around inside the company. The system can also help them work towards larger career goals. 

2. Royal Dutch Shell: Finding Hidden Talent

The oil and gas giant, Shell, was recently seeking ways to fill positions for specific projects. The challenge they faced was finding staffers within the company who had the skills and availability to do the work.

Shell turned to Catalant, a Boston-based software company that uses AI to source talent. Together they initiated a pilot project to evaluate digital business models for Shell’s car maintenance sector. The Shell Opportunity Hub, as it was named, used machine learning to match employees to the company’s needs.

Each round of matches enabled AI to refine and improve the process as it learned more and more about talent within the organization. This pilot was so successful that Shell has made plans to expand it to 8,000 employees within its B2B marketing arm.

3. Hilton: Faster, Better Screening

The Hilton hotel chain is an early adopter of AI for recruitment. Beginning in 2014, the company began using it to source, screen, and interview candidates for call center and other customer support roles.

The results have been striking. Since the program was initiated, the company has increased speed to hire by 85%. The time between initial interview to tendering an offer dropped from 42 days to five. 

Sarah Smart, VP of Global Recruiting at Hilton, reports: “We have also experienced other business benefits; such as increasing the diversity of our talent pool and enabling our recruiters to identify a high performing candidate faster.” 

4. L’oreal: Rethinking Hiring

As one of the world’s largest beauty companies,  L’Oreal’s career site is inundated with applications, logging five million visitors a year. The company brought in Seedlink Technology, to reduce the time spent reviewing this flood of applications while delivering a quality candidate experience.

Seedlink uses a type of AI called computational linguistics to analyze language and gain insights into people's thinking and intelligence. It’s based on the belief that an applicant’s potential is more important than education or prior work experience. 

The L’Oreal team came up with questions that reflected the type of competency they wanted to see. For example: “Tell us about a time when you failed or made a mistake. What happened? What did you learn from the experience?”

The results: the offer ratio for interviewed candidates rose to 82%. Even more to the point, those who were hired had a better career path once they were employed.

5. Unilever: Moving At The Speed of Millennials 

Global consumer company Unilever was looking for a dynamic new way to engage with millennials. The answer was AI for interviews.

The company brought in AI recruiting software company HireVue, which used video analysis of facial expressions, body language and keywords to determine which candidates were most likely to be successful at the company.

Most candidates liked the interviews—a sign the system was as millennial friendly as they’d hoped. Eighty percent gave positive feedback about the interviews. 

Unilever has since rolled out the program in 53 countries. The results are more than 50,000 hours saved on screening, a 75% reduction in recruitment time, and $1.2M per year in savings.

What the Future Holds

It’s early days for AI. As powerful as the results are now, this is just the start. AI may soon be a way to level the playing field in recruiting, create personalized tracks for each employee, and open up many other possibilities.

To learn more about how we’re using AI at Checkr to improve the background check process, contact us at [email protected]



It’s early days for AI. As powerful as the results are now, this is just the start. AI may soon be a way to level the playing field in recruiting, create personalized tracks for each employee, and open up many other possibilities.

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