robotThe global workforce is changing as the number of freelancers in the gig economy skyrockets. Simultaneously, artificial intelligence (A.I.) is growing rapidly in both its capabilities and the scope of its use across the world. As employers increasingly rely on skilled, on-demand talent instead of traditional employees, A.I. can help them successfully integrate that talent into their respective workflows.

For instance, A.I. can aggregate data using various parameters to create short lists of qualified candidates based on “fitment” scores, then reach out to the candidates on those lists. It can also simplify initial interviews with A.I.-driven human-machine interfaces and automatically schedule second-level interviews with the most qualified applicants.

The evolution of A.I. and the growth of freelancers in the workforce are progressing almost in tandem. This intersection is fortuitous, given that A.I. now plays a significant role in recruiting quality candidates in the gig economy.

Finding Higher-Quality Freelance Candidates

Recruiting talent has always been challenging, but it can be even more difficult when recruiting freelancers. A wide variety of A.I. applications can simplify the process for HR professionals and refine the pool of candidates most suited to any given project.

Traditionally, companies have had to invest substantial resources in attracting and screening talent. The right A.I. application can quickly mine candidate data, giving organizations insight into each prospect’s skills and career goals. That way, recruiters don’t need to rely on job portals, social media, databases, and similar resources to gauge a candidate’s value to a project.

Additionally, A.I. can help recruiters short-list candidates by precisely ranking them according to work experience, geographic location, social and digital presence, and other criteria.

After successfully recruiting talent, companies can benefit from using A.I. to organize their teams. Rather than trying to galvanize a group of strangers around the company’s mission, employers can utilize software that quickly and effectively builds teams in batches to focus on specific projects.

While the growing body of freelancers can make it difficult to find the right candidates, advances in A.I. can mitigate the challenge significantly. The key is successfully integrating recruitment efforts with A.I. applications.

Where HR Professionals Come In

Despite its impressive advancement, A.I. cannot replace human interaction in recruitment or management processes. HR departments can use intelligent software to better navigate pools of gig talent and manage groups of freelancers, but doing so requires important interventions from human professionals:

1. Be Specific in Your Requirements

A.I. can help you locate available freelancers, but the software can only help you find what you tell it to seek. You must be specific in your requirements; otherwise, you’ll find a number of false positives.

For example, a search for a “web developer” would yield too many results. To find the right fit, you’d need to refine the search by including descriptions. Instead of a simple “web developer,” you might search for a “web developer with intermediate knowledge of Ruby on Rails and 2-3 years of experience.” From there, you can let the algorithm do the legwork in finding the right candidates.

2. Streamline the Process Wherever Possible

A.I. can make recruiting more efficient, but you can make it even smoother by automating repetitive procedures.

In large enterprises that recruit in high volumes, A.I. can synchronize the calendars of interviewers and manage last-minute rescheduling as needed. When recruiting for entry-level roles requiring relatively generic skill sets, A.I. can conduct first-level interviews on its own, freeing up human professionals to pursue more important tasks. Some vision- and sound-enabled A.I. engines can conduct remarkably human-like interviews.

Every recruiter’s goal is to find the ideal candidate in the least amount of time, and that goal becomes more complicated when the talent pool is as vast and varied as the gig economy’s. Fortunately, A.I. is and will continue to be a valuable resource in matching job opportunities with the best-fit freelancers. It’s up to HR professionals to take advantage of it.

K.R. Sanjiv is the chief technology officer for Wipro, a global information technology, consulting, and outsourcing company. He tweets regularly about advancements in tech at @KRSanjivCTO.

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