A growing number of companies — 80%, in fact — are turning to contingent workers for even the hardest-to-fill roles, and the trend won’t likely go away any time soon, with 65% of businesses planning to increase their use of contingent workers in the next few years. Much of this trend is a direct result of labor shortages and the rise of individuals leaving their 9-to-5 jobs for more flexible work (though these can be seen as two sides of the same coin), meaning it’s difficult for businesses to fill full-time roles.
The other aspect at play with this contingent workforce trend can be traced back to the pandemic. Out of necessity, companies integrated remote work capabilities into their operations, and it stuck. While some organizations brought employees back to the office as soon as possible, others saw an opportunity in the new way of working: removing geographic limitations from hiring. They could outsource more responsibilities and project-based work to those in the gig economy.
However, finding the right contingent worker can sometimes feel akin to finding a needle in a haystack for employers and recruiters alike. You can spend hours sifting through résumés, screening applicants and pulling together a short list of candidates. Should none pan out, you’re back on the hunt. Finding a way to streamline the process is critical. That’s where AI comes in.
Adding Greater Efficiency With AI in Hiring
Thanks to advancements in technology, AI in hiring has become much more precise. Within a matter of minutes, algorithms can analyze large datasets of talent profiles in tandem with all the requirements of the job and pull together a list of qualified candidates. Everything has been considered, and you can more confidently make a decision on which direction to go. Think of it as adding greater efficiency and accuracy to direct sourcing recruitment — to the point where hiring off job descriptions will shift to sourcing candidates with very specific skill sets to meet the demands of the actual work product.
Even more promising are the predictive analytics that come from the use of AI in staffing. The technology can use statistical models to anticipate change and facilitate more proactive sourcing of contingent workers. The probability of securing top talent increases exponentially, as recruiting can begin well before a strong need sets in. This also creates an immediate impact for staffing companies to expand their customer footprint without having to add to the traditional, full-time team.
Additionally, AI’s integration capabilities and advanced analytics make it an ideal partner for not only talent acquisition but also managed services programs and workforce planning. In fact, AI in workforce management can be a game changer, helping to more strategically allocate resources, optimize performance and make data-driven decisions. Beyond that, AI and machine learning have the potential to aid in everything from candidate engagement to performance evaluations. The technology can provide insights into quality of work, productivity, areas for improvement and more.
Navigating Potential AI Staffing Challenges
Though AI promises greater optimization, accuracy and efficiency, there’s still some concern. For one, anyone leveraging AI must understand the algorithms and data in use. Because the technology learns based on whatever information it’s given, there’s the potential of introducing human biases into results. Any discrimination issues that result from biases can be problematic for business.
Then, there’s the matter of regulations, particularly when it comes to contingent workers. AI in hiring can certainly help companies react, but HR teams and recruiters have to stay abreast of new employment and classification laws — even more so when sourcing talent from other states and countries. Regulations vary significantly around the globe.
Adding even greater complexity to the use of AI in staffing is data protection, which is becoming more stringent with each passing year. With many of the AI tools these days being open source, considerable care must be taken with the information used.
Regardless of the challenges, the speed and accuracy of AI’s results offer enormous opportunities for organizations to use the technology as a means of solving any number of issues. The ability to automate tasks is just the beginning. Just imagine what it can do to improve the quality of hires, contingent or otherwise.