Why AI and Personalization Can Go Hand in Hand
Jun 24, 2019
In his 2017 book Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are, Seth Stephens explores how Big Data is transforming the social sciences. “The next Foucault will be a data scientist,” he writes. “The next Freud will be a data scientist.”
Why? Firstly, because people don’t lie to machines. It would appear that the embarrassment or awkwardness that we feel when telling a human certain things — like why we are unemployed, or how passionately we want to prove ourselves for a role — isn’t as present when we’re telling a machine. Perhaps we don’t think that an artificial intelligence will judge us. (One software engineer told us that explicitly!) And perhaps the anonymity is freeing. Whatever the reason, people are surprisingly willing to respond to automated questions with very honest answers.
An air of truth-telling obviously personalizes an interaction. But more than that, AI and personalization can go hand in hand because a digital intelligence can scan and map the data points and information that are important to us far quicker than a human can. In the world of job seeking, the most imperative thing is that the process is as customized as possible. And customization means designed for and reactive to an individual candidate’s story.
When you’re looking to find a job, your unique and specific characteristics are paramount. They paint of picture of who you are, what drives you, where you thrive. This information is precisely the information that recruiters and hirers use to match you with a position. When they go through your LinkedIn, read your resumé, and so on, they are essentially scanning for this information. They then take this information and then compare it to various roles to see if you’d be a fit for any of them.
But here’s the thing: most recruiters do their very best, but they are also working hard. They are trying to explore as many candidates as possible, playing the numbers game to try and provide the client with the best options. This exploration takes time. The information-gathering is laborious and repetitive, and it can be tricky to do it at any great depth when you need to get through hundreds of names and you’re against the clock. Being human, recruiters get tired, they get impatient in conversation, they have patchy memories. They might not always have the details of a given industry or domain to hand during an interview.
But an artificial intelligence? Wendy is an extremely sophisticated information-gathering tool who can pull every sort of information from a variety of sources in the blink of an eye. In one case study, over the space of three months, Wendy completed 2,800 conversations; approximately 31 every day, seven days a week. These conversations were long, in-depth exchanges, that took place at the convenience of the candidate, and weren’t rushed. They enriched the candidate profile, and was Wendy in full possession of all the relevant facts at all times. Wendy was able to find 906 engaged and suitable candidates.
Personalization is about gathering as much unique information as possible, so that the recruitment process is maximally tailored to an individual candidate’s unique situation. When a recruitment reachout is based upon a deep and highly personalized network of data points, it is a laser-targeted process, not just a numbers game.
An AI-driven recruitment process might sound depersonalized. But what matters is matching the complex picture of who a person is, to the complex demands of a given job. The sophisticated technology of a bot like Wendy can perform this at a speed and efficiency that vastly outpaces human cognition.
Personalization = custom-designed for you, in a setting where you can present and communicate as your full, honest self. That is the job-seeking world that Wade & Wendy are trying to bring into being. A world where people can tell their story, and where Wendy will listen, respond and facilitate, for as long as it takes.