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How can AI help in Remote Recruiting during COVID-19

4 minutes, 42 seconds read

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- 

Candidate screening

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. 

Skill-set matching 

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. 

Conclusion

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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[Interview] Mr. Alex Jimenez | Digital Customer Experience in Covid-19 Times

7 minutes read

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought upon an unprecedented change in our daily lives and routines. Consumer behavior is changing constantly. Lockdowns and social distancing have led to huge losses for businesses across industries. The world is heading towards an economic slowdown. Under these circumstances, organizations are facing many challenges to keep their businesses going. Insurers too are facing similar issues. Some insurance lines such as motor, travel, home have suffered a business loss due to low demand.

To understand the impact of this crisis, especially in the USA, we interviewed Mr. Alex Jiminez, Strategy Officer at Extractable from California, and learned more about creating better digital customer experiences in these testing times. 

Extractable is a strategic consulting, design, and data analytics agency focused on the future of financial services. His other recent experience includes leading technology strategic planning for the office of the CIO, at Zions Bancorporation, and managing Digital Banking and Payments Strategy and Innovation at Rockland Trust. Alex has been named to several industry influencer lists in the areas of FinTech, RegTech, Blockchain, InsurTech, Innovation, and Digital Marketing. He has been featured in the Irish Tech News and the Independent Community Bankers of America’s (ICBA) Independent Banker.

Connect with Mr. Alex Jimenez – LinkedIn

The excerpt from the interview:

The impact of COVID-19 pandemic in the financial services industry

What is the impact of COVID-19 pandemic in the financial services industry, and how is the industry responding to the ongoing crisis in the US?

In the wake of the current crisis, organizations are more focused on keeping the operation going, trying to set-up work stations for remote working, dealing with customers and working with them over digital platforms. But very few are focusing on the future which is preparing for the after-effects of this pandemic on the economy. 

In-person communication is still an important mode of interaction with customers in the US banking sector. But now the issue is how to provide good services to clients? Some of our customers are going to experience digital models for the first time. 

Organizations that have well-defined Digital Strategies and Customer-First approach will be able to provide good support to their customers. Organizations that are late into this space are more likely to face problems in the future.

[Related: The Impact of Covid-19 on the Global Economy and Insurance]

Changing customer preferences

How can companies reach out to their customers in this New Normal world?

We have already started to move towards a digital-centric world which is just going to accelerate. We will see businesses who have earlier ignored their digital capabilities will now build more on them. 

The first video call was invented in the 60s and was not so appreciated as everybody thought it was expensive and complicated. Today we have FaceTime, Zoom but adoption has not happened on a larger scale. But this will soon accelerate. Customers will be comfortable dialing into a video chat with their Insurance agent. 

I don’t believe there’ll be a New Normal. For example, in the US after 9/11 people thought that life will never get back to normal but except for rigorous security screening at the airports, there hasn’t been much change in the behavior. 

In Israel, amidst all the constant disturbance, people in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are living normal lives. There’ll certainly be some specific changes post the pandemic such as more adoption of digital technologies, more focus on customer needs but I believe there won’t be an entirely new world with a drastic change in consumer behavior.  

The need for personalization

What are some Attention hacking lessons for Insurers operating in ‘the New Normal’?

We are moving towards the personalization of products in general. Generally in Life Insurance, we insure people based on their date of birth or medical history. But what if we insure people based on their behavior? If we did that, would people change their more risky behavior to get a better rate? A non-smoker can be given a better rate as opposed to a smoker. If we get down to individuality, saying that this is your individual (your own) rate; it makes a difference. 

There is a lot of data available and AI is needed to mine that data and derive analytics. Just by building a relationship with customers, we are not doing a great job with personalization. It’s important to apply a human touch to the communication which makes customers feel like you know them. Thus, retaining their attention.

Digital customer experience in Insurance

For the insurance industry, what steps can help in delivering the right digital customer experience in terms of UX and visual design?

A lot of organizations practice Design Thinking but Financial Services don’t. They are of the opinion that they know what is needed as they themselves are customers and they have data from the surveys. But that’s a wrong approach. Design Thinking is about empathy. It is important to get into the shoes of your clients to design better solutions.

To enhance digital customer experience, Insurers need a thorough understanding of users — who are the ultimate clients, their needs, what they expect from this experience, etc. After comprehending how they engage with technology and financial services, start venturing into the solution and test the solutions with actual users.

Innovations in the financial services industry

What technology-based innovations are being explored within the financial services industry? And, do you see AI playing a role in the short term? 

AI has already affected Financial Services in a positive way and will make it better. In insurance, IoT has been very impactful and will continue to be. Some applications have already been applied in reality like sensors in cars to detect speed and ensure that you are under the speed limit. This helps in getting reduced premiums. 

However, some basic processes are still done in the old school way of shuffling papers. Straight though-out processes have not yet happened. Now RPA is being applied to this but it is more like a band-aid. What is more important is how we can build processes through true automation with AI.

[Related: 5 Insurance Front Office Operations AI Can Improve]

Adoption of AI in Insurance

Speaking about more adoption of technologies, do you think there’ll be more investment in AI now?

Absolutely! We have already seen that investment in technologies like AI, cloud computing, quantum computing has been ramping up. Businesses will invest much more in AI than before. It might be for better decision making, underwriting, understanding the behavior of clients, etc. Also, from a marketing standpoint, financial services have never focused much before but will now invest in AI for this area too.

[Related: How is AI extending customer support during COVID-19 pandemic]

In your recent article in Extractable – “Deploying third-party financial service technology to mitigate crisis” you talk about what tech vendors are doing wrong. Please expand on how to encourage resources to be innovative change agents?

There were two points that I made in the article-

First is about what companies are doing incorrectly when it comes to innovation. Risk management is consulted only after developing the product. The product release is stalled until the legal compliances are adhered to. Instead, companies should involve the risk management at the beginning of the process (while defining the problem and solution). Involving risk management at every step of the innovation process will make it much easier to push out innovation.

The second was about vendor management. Many small vendors such as tech vendors, InsurTechs want to sell solutions to financial service companies but are often surprised by the tedious vendor management process. There’s a lot of documentation. Once the first process of selling is done, vendors should package the documentation in a way that when the next prospect asks for it, the due diligence package is ready to offer. 

Read article – Deploying third-party financial service technology to mitigate crisis 

Wrapping up

Alex shared interesting insights on how Design Thinking and Visual Design can create better digital customer experience. The design vertical at Mantra Labs too believes in the same and has designed UX for various applications for its customers. Here’s an article to understand the role of Customer Experience (CX) and User Experience (UX): Creating Amazing Digital Customer Experiences

[Also read: [Interview] Mr. Andrew Warburton | The New Normal in Insurance]

AI is going to be essential for Insurers to gain that competitive edge in the post-pandemic world. Check out Hitee — an Insurance specific chatbot for driving customer engagement. For your specific requirements, please feel free to write to us at hello@mantralabsglobal.com. 

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