The outbreak of Coronavirus has set off a chain reaction across industries taking the world economy into probably what can be called the worst recession so far. Various sectors like travel, hospitality, BFSI, supply chain, and logistics are getting hit due to social distancing and lockdowns. The effect of 2008 depression can be felt again and possibly more this time. This will have an adverse effect on employment as organizations will now re-evaluate their current business position. The initial wave of unemployment has already hit due to a lack of demand and limited cash flow in the economy.
Due to the lockdown in India, the number of unemployed people increased from 32 million to 38 million in March, said a report released by Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE). The unemployment rate crossed 23%. Many small and medium businesses have already started layoffs and furloughs. Organizations have become more cognizant of the money spent on human resources and deploying methods to simplify hiring through remote recruiting. Even though there’s less demand for workforce, this situation will prove to be an opportunity for jobs in some sectors.
Jobs in demand during this pandemic
The current crisis is difficult for businesses as they have to reassess crucial positions and develop new roles and responsibilities for its workforce. Organizations will look for multiple skills and capabilities within their workforce. In the post-pandemic world, once the crisis is under control, there will be an upsurge in the employment opportunities for people. The COVID-19 crisis will end one day but it has taught the world an important lesson about being prepared for any possible future pandemics.
Professions like virologists and epidemiologists which were neglected earlier will now be more in demand. Much is said about supply chains being disrupted but the essential products and services still need to reach the end consumer. Organizations still have money and inventory which needs to be delivered. Those working in the supply chain system will still be in high demand. The education sector has gone under a transformation due to social distancing. The rise of online education has led to a rise in teaching jobs.
Now that organizations have seen that ‘Work from Home’ actually works, there’ll be an increase in freelance job opportunities leading to a growth in the ‘gig economy’, which, in-turn will focus on efficient remote recruiting.
[Also read: Enterprises investing in Workplace Mobility Can Survive Pandemics]
Applications of AI in Recruitment
In the current situation, there is a need for people with multiple skill-sets for critical positions. Temporarily, the job scene might not look good but it will soon pick up the pace and when it does, recruiters will have a lot of work cut out for them to hire the right people. In both scenarios, AI will play an important role. Here are some applications of AI in remote recruitment-
One of the most tedious and challenging tasks in remote recruiting is to screen candidate profiles for the relevant positions. AI-powered tools can investigate millions of profiles saving time and helping them to focus on other important tasks like building relations.
Every position needs a certain set of skills, talent, personality, and qualifications. AI can use data and match the job description with the applicant’s work experience, skill-sets, personality etc. This helps in improving the selection criteria of the potential candidates.
Recommendation for positions
Some AI-powered tools screen the pool of candidates and grade them in the ranks which are best suitable for the mentioned positions. This gives a much clearer picture to the recruiters enabling them in better decision making.
Identifying potential skills within the organization
In many organizations, there are internal job postings which employees can apply for. Now, during the on-going crisis, companies need employees who can take up additional responsibilities. AI here can screen the profiles within the organization and identify the potential candidates for the required positions.
[Details: AI in Recruitment & Discovering Talent]
Post-pandemic world: Role of AI in Remote Recruiting
Post this pandemic, once the economic graph picks up, the market will see a rise in employment opportunities as well. This will increase the pool of candidates applying for jobs. There will be huge pressure on recruiters to screen thousands of profiles and source the right candidates for required positions. AI here can help in automating time-consuming workflows. With automation, organizations can cut down on costs and save a lot of time for their recruiters.
AI-powered tools bring speed and accuracy in recruitment which helps improve the quality of hiring. Even after the pandemic, the world doesn’t seem likely to go back to normal. Many organizations will continue to have their employees work from home. In the recent news, TCS announced that around 75% of its workforce is likely to work from home by 2025. The entire recruitment process will will have to adapt to remote working.
AI has been around for quite some years and is strengthening its position in across industries. Organizations have understood the importance of AI in increasing operational efficiency. The success of AI-powered tools has shown that it would be a necessity for a recruiter soon. Yet, they hesitate to invest in AI for recruitment. Sure there might be budgetary concerns right now due to the slowdown but sooner or later organizations will have to integrate AI into their recruitment process. An organization’s strength lies in the quality of its workforce. Sure AI cannot replace the intelligence brought in by recruiters but in the coming years, quality hiring will depend on how well the recruiters automate their workflows which would be possible with the help of AI.
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