The workplace of the future could be one that turns to AI to plan its workforce too. The vast amount of real-time consumer data and management information, coupled with an accurate picture of freelancer availability provided by freelance marketplaces, could provide AI the tools it needs.
With information on the skills required and the number of man-hours needed, it is conceivable a machine could resource a business's projects with access to an acquisition channel, like a freelance marketplace.
Shortlisting could be replicated by an algorithm that matched the requirements of a project with the skills listed on a candidate's profile, or associated with a candidate's previous role.
Competence testing could be replicated by assessments like questionnaires and VR role-playing 'games' or simulators. Here's an example of VR technology already being used to gamify/assess a user in a job simulator:
Do humans have a role in the future of resourcing?
There is an interesting ongoing debate as to whether a machine could resource a project as effectively as a human.
A human is said to make the better decisions because:
- They have experience of what's worked previously
- They can evaluate things like cultural fit
- They know when to be creative and break the rules
Let's look at the mechanics of how an AI-powered machine could (regardless of whether they should or not) make resourcing decisions as effectively:
Experience is only gained from evaluating both positive and negative outcomes from an experiment. Humans learn what is a 'good hire' from recalling a selection of memorable outcomes, both positive and negative, from dozens of personal resourcing 'experiments' over the course of a career.
A machine could evaluate the outcomes of thousands of hires, combined with manager and candidate feedback, and sentiments/results from annual reviews in real-time, without the factors of bias or memory affecting the decision.
A human's ability to judge cultural fit is a subjective product of experience and the representativeness heuristic. "This candidate will be a good cultural fit because they seemed bold and outgoing, which is the same as the client's line manager" is a typical example of a human's tendency to use representativeness to make a decision where there is an uncertain result.
Machines are already capable of assessing an individual's compatibility with another person or a group. Dating websites, Facebook, Google and hundreds of advertising platforms are already extremely effective at using an individual's traits and behavioural patterns to connect them with other like-minded people. It is feasible for this technology to be applied to the workforce, where social and behavioural preferences and patterns can make machines as accurate with their cultural fit estimations as their human counterparts.