3 Ways AI Will Make Hiring Human Again

What will this AI-enabled new era of talent acquisition look like? Joanna Riley, CEO and co-founder of talent acquisition provider Censia, explores three ways that AI will make hiring more human than ever. It’s a summertime exclusive!

The future of talent acquisition has never been brighter. People are what makes every organization tick, and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions are poised to make hiring the most people-centric it’s ever been. And truth be told, today the talent acquisition function in organizations is reactive. Talent professionals are not at fault.

“Post and pray, go for volume sourcing strategies are nearly ubiquitous, and have years of momentum behind them,” Joanna Riley, CEO and co-founder of talent acquisition provider Censia said in a new report. “At current rates of turnover and growth, it’s hard for recruiting teams to find the time to take a step back and reevaluate their processes. The disruption across recruiting processes that adoption of AI brings will make better aligning talent acquisition with companies’ strategic needs far more achievable.”

Building an Inclusive Workforce Starts with Exceptional Women


For private equity and venture capital firms and their talent solutions partners, properly allocating talent is as important as allocating capital. Talent is the oil that runs the machine – and more often than not it is through the lens of human capital where transformational change takes place.

No one knows this better than these 11 Leading Women in Private Equity & Venture Capital Recruiting: Joanna Riley, CEO and co-founder of Censia; Valerie Frederickson, founder & CEO of Frederickson Partners; Lisa Peacock-Edwards, managing partner at Wilton & Bain; Jackie Xu, talent partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; Teri McFadden, vice president of recruiting at Norwest Venture Partners; Miia Laukkarinen, head of talent at Bessemer Venture Partners; Mercedes Chatfield-Taylor, VC & PE lead at Caldwell; Paula Judge, VP talent at Accel; Holly McCarthy, founder & managing partner at Opus Advisors; Leah Scanlan, operating partner at Khosla Ventures; and Kristin Richards, director of human capital at TPG Global.

For these Top 11 Women Talent Leaders, diverse and inclusive leadership starts at the top and permeates every layer of the workplace.

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AI helps recruiters make smarter hiring decisions faster so that their calendars can be reclaimed and devoted to what recruiters do best, building relationships with the right candidates and selling their companies as great places to work.

“Oftentimes AI solutions include automation, so AI also lets recruiting teams do more with less,” Ms. Riley said. “The key difference between AI and automation lies in the more part—AI’s more is imbued with far greater intelligence than recruiters have on their own today. Automation only lets recruiters do more of the same. The AI-enabled more is not the same, it’s better.”


Joanna Riley is an entrepreneur, advocate, and mentor for diversity in technology, and the CEO and co-founder of Censia. She has a highly experienced background in building and scaling companies, which she attributes to her deep passion for people and building technologies that allow people to be their best selves. Ms. Riley brings her wide knowledge of the industry to better transform the way enterprise companies hire talent. Censia was built to transform the way enterprise companies hire talent, its platform is a true system of intelligence for the enterprise, predictively matching the most in-demand people to opportunities at scale, powered by AI.


“Implementing AI is like giving all those additional junior recruiters access to a tireless, limitless, always on predictive solution with decades of experience,” she said. “AI won’t only help companies improve their judgment when it comes to hiring, though. When getting quality candidates through the door becomes much less of a burden, talent acquisition teams will get to focus on being strategic partners in their organizations who directly contribute to driving company growth.”

‍What will this AI-enabled new era of talent acquisition look like? Experts in the intelligence field know that AI will make hiring more human than ever. Ms. Riley explores three ways that AI will do so:

Values and Culture Hiring

Every company has a culture, but not every company can articulate the values and beliefs that unite and motivate their employees. Moreover, as Netflix shrewdly notes in its (in)famous culture deck, documenting culture is one thing, but living it is another: “Many companies have value statements, but often these written values are vague and ignored,” said Ms. Riley. “The real values of a firm are shown by who gets rewarded or let go.”

Related: Here’s How Artificial Intelligence Will Change the Way You Recruit

“We’d add who joins the company to that statement,” she said. “Each and every new hire alters a company’s culture, and culture has an immense impact on employee retention. As talent acquisition professionals’ jobs change because of AI, they’ll get to pay more attention to company culture and values. Strategic talent acquisition means talent professionals playing a key role in defining or refining company culture and driving alignment between culture and hiring practices.”

“There’s a lot of apprehensions as we move into the future bristling whenever AI or automation is mentioned,” Ms. Riley said. “Will repetitive tasks be automated by technology? Yes, wherever possible. But the value humans give is irreplaceable and we see the shift as empowering for people like recruiters who can devote their efforts towards shaping company culture to critical high-value work that supports business success.”

Candidates as Consumers

“The concept of candidates as consumers, treating potential employees as well as customers and potential customers are treated, is extremely prevalent in the industry consciousness right now, and rightfully so,” said Ms. Riley. “Hiring in the information age is painful for recruiters and job seekers alike. A company’s brand as an employer, of which candidate experience is a big driver, is extremely valuable.”


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AI will allow strategic talent acquisition professionals to address candidate experience and employer branding more mindfully, even from scratch, as Graeme Johnson did at Virgin Media. “Recruiters might start building relationships with passive candidates before they’re even ready to move, create programs that elevate current employees into becoming a company’s best employer brand advocates, or even just get around to letting candidates know they aren’t moving forward in the process instead of leaving them to wonder,” Ms. Riley said.

“If a customer has a bad experience, they have the power to share that on social media and it has a rippling effect for a business—this includes loss of customers, negative brand association, and lasting brand perception,” she said. “Technology has given candidates similar outlets. We know that other candidates research those outlets before applying or working at a company. Just like corporations had to perfect their customer experience, due to instant feedback loops, we have to improve candidate experience. We have to imagine how the candidate would shape the hiring experience, and align that understand in order to attract the best talent to our companies.”

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) on the Job

“The vast majority of recruiters do what they do because they are obsessed with people, just like us,” said Ms. Riley. “With the rise of recruiting AI, recruiters will finally get to put those people skills to use. It may be counterintuitive, but when the top of the recruiting funnel is handled by technology, EQ-driven activities like interviewing will become recruiters’ main focus, and as a result, a more important requirement than ever before.”

“That shift shouldn’t sound daunting, though,” she said. “We know talent professionals have plenty of EQ to begin with, and the best ones will welcome the challenge of deploying those skills.”

“Talent acquisition is transforming into the most important department in a corporation today,” Ms. Riley says. “As many organizations say, people are their most valuable asset, and because talent acquisition is the conduit to great talent coming and staying in an organization their removing mundane and manual work so they can leverage their EQ is imperative for survival.”

“The future of talent acquisition has never been brighter,” Ms. Riley said. “People are what makes every organization tick, and AI solutions like Censia’s are poised to make hiring the most people-centric it’s ever been.”

Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media. Original post here.

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