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Is AI the new HR?

social media

18 September 2020

How organisations acquire new talent is changing rapidly. In thirty short years, we have gone from posting 50-word ads in local newspapers to fully-fledged hackathon-style group assessments and online virtual assessments. At the forefront of this movement is Talegent, the New Zealand organisation pushing the boundaries of talent assessment and recruitment through their range of proprietary prediction analytics tools and gamified cognitive assessments.

Talegent provides businesses with analytically informed and bias-free solutions for identifying the best talent by leveraging an engaging candidate experience. Their predictive analytics tools improve on traditional assessments by utilising AI and streamlining the recruitment process from attraction and interviewing through to onboarding and development. “Talegent solutions are specifically designed to support hiring talent of the future,” says marketing coordinator and copywriter Sacha Baillie.

Sacha is an English and Psychology graduate and Business School Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) alumna. She joined the Talegent team to help write a book on disruptions to the recruitment space and then moved into a marketing role. “Talegent has given me the chance to try out a wide range of things including writing a book, launching social media campaigns, product development, and scriptwriting. We very much have an entrepreneurial mindset to what we do, allowing for flexibility and quick implementation of change.”

Talegent is about to launch their new Cognitive Gamify Assessments which take the best predictive measures of performance for a specific job and puts them in the form of a fun interactive game. This will help recruiters screen on highly predictive cognitive measures, promote diversity and inclusion (through the colour-blind mode), and communicate their brand value proposition throughout the assessment while providing candidates with engaging, gamified experiences.

Some businesses are concerned with the potential bias that AI may have as a result of the existing data it works off. Indeed, Talegent Product Manager Richard Thwaite recognises that “If AI is not carefully crafted, it can be a threat to fair, unbiased recruitment. However, well-designed developed and tested AI models are well-suited for use in recruitment. They automate very manual and time-consuming processes such as reviewing CVs or phone screening thousands of candidates. There are many checks and balances to ensure that scores produced are fair across all demographics, and a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination is upheld. The testing is designed based on the requirements of the job and what will predict performance, and validated against performance outcomes to ensure applicability and fit.”

Talegent’s education programme emphasizes to clients that assessments based on AI should always be used in conjunction with other measures, as a tool to lift and optimise their existing processes. Sacha believes that “Recruitment and HR require the human touch. AI is something that should be used to help people make decisions, not replace them as the decision-maker.”

Sacha has found that most businesses are open to AI and do not see it as a threat to employment. “Once the transparency and education around AI have been created, businesses are very enthusiastic around implementing it within their recruitment and employee development processes.” The financial services, tech and telecommunications industries, in particular, have been quick to take it up.

“While New Zealand may not always have the funding to be at the forefront of implementing AI on a large scale, we are often used as a pilot location for rolling out new tech innovations, including AI. People here are generally open to the change that innovation brings,” says Sacha.

Sacha’s interest in innovation and entrepreneurship was kick-started in her first semester of university when she was looking for ways to spend her mid-semester break and decided to participate in one of the free extra-curricular programmes delivered by CIE. “I think a key pull for me was the positive change in communities that you can make through innovation.” She then joined the team at Feel Good Period, a start-up that makes menstrual products available to anyone who needs them and raises awareness of issues in that area. Feel Good Period went on to become a finalist in the Velocity $100k Challenge, qualifying them for the LaunchPad programme. “We got a lot of development opportunities through that programme. As a first-year student, this was invaluable for me,” she says.

Sacha continued to participate in programmes on offer through CIE and made the most of the University’s new innovation hub. “When Unleash Space opened it was a great way to connect with the innovation community and to develop ideas from ideation through to prototyping in the maker space. The most valuable programmes, including inspirational speakers and feedback from industry experts, offered a chance to make mistakes and learn from them, which is so important.” To complement her Arts degree, Sacha also took INNOVENT 203G The Entrepreneurial Mindset “which was very much aligned with the development opportunities from CIE.”

Sacha recommends that students make the most of the opportunities available at University to help them prepare for the working world. “University is the perfect time to experiment with what you want to do. Try out as much as possible. You never know what will pique your interest; apply for internships and roles in areas that interest you even if you aren’t sure you want to go down that path. Prepare for the ‘working world’, but always be ready for change. As we’ve learnt with COVID-19, nothing is ever fixed, and things can change in an instant – which is also a good way to think in innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Sacha Baillie
Sacha Baillie

social media

18 September 2020

How organisations acquire new talent is changing rapidly. In thirty short years, we have gone from posting 50-word ads in local newspapers to fully-fledged hackathon-style group assessments and online virtual assessments. At the forefront of this movement is Talegent, the New Zealand organisation pushing the boundaries of talent assessment and recruitment through their range of proprietary prediction analytics tools and gamified cognitive assessments.

Talegent provides businesses with analytically informed and bias-free solutions for identifying the best talent by leveraging an engaging candidate experience. Their predictive analytics tools improve on traditional assessments by utilising AI and streamlining the recruitment process from attraction and interviewing through to onboarding and development. “Talegent solutions are specifically designed to support hiring talent of the future,” says marketing coordinator and copywriter Sacha Baillie.

Sacha is an English and Psychology graduate and Business School Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) alumna. She joined the Talegent team to help write a book on disruptions to the recruitment space and then moved into a marketing role. “Talegent has given me the chance to try out a wide range of things including writing a book, launching social media campaigns, product development, and scriptwriting. We very much have an entrepreneurial mindset to what we do, allowing for flexibility and quick implementation of change.”

Talegent is about to launch their new Cognitive Gamify Assessments which take the best predictive measures of performance for a specific job and puts them in the form of a fun interactive game. This will help recruiters screen on highly predictive cognitive measures, promote diversity and inclusion (through the colour-blind mode), and communicate their brand value proposition throughout the assessment while providing candidates with engaging, gamified experiences.

Some businesses are concerned with the potential bias that AI may have as a result of the existing data it works off. Indeed, Talegent Product Manager Richard Thwaite recognises that “If AI is not carefully crafted, it can be a threat to fair, unbiased recruitment. However, well-designed developed and tested AI models are well-suited for use in recruitment. They automate very manual and time-consuming processes such as reviewing CVs or phone screening thousands of candidates. There are many checks and balances to ensure that scores produced are fair across all demographics, and a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination is upheld. The testing is designed based on the requirements of the job and what will predict performance, and validated against performance outcomes to ensure applicability and fit.”

Talegent’s education programme emphasizes to clients that assessments based on AI should always be used in conjunction with other measures, as a tool to lift and optimise their existing processes. Sacha believes that “Recruitment and HR require the human touch. AI is something that should be used to help people make decisions, not replace them as the decision-maker.”

Sacha has found that most businesses are open to AI and do not see it as a threat to employment. “Once the transparency and education around AI have been created, businesses are very enthusiastic around implementing it within their recruitment and employee development processes.” The financial services, tech and telecommunications industries, in particular, have been quick to take it up.

“While New Zealand may not always have the funding to be at the forefront of implementing AI on a large scale, we are often used as a pilot location for rolling out new tech innovations, including AI. People here are generally open to the change that innovation brings,” says Sacha.

Sacha’s interest in innovation and entrepreneurship was kick-started in her first semester of university when she was looking for ways to spend her mid-semester break and decided to participate in one of the free extra-curricular programmes delivered by CIE. “I think a key pull for me was the positive change in communities that you can make through innovation.” She then joined the team at Feel Good Period, a start-up that makes menstrual products available to anyone who needs them and raises awareness of issues in that area. Feel Good Period went on to become a finalist in the Velocity $100k Challenge, qualifying them for the LaunchPad programme. “We got a lot of development opportunities through that programme. As a first-year student, this was invaluable for me,” she says.

Sacha continued to participate in programmes on offer through CIE and made the most of the University’s new innovation hub. “When Unleash Space opened it was a great way to connect with the innovation community and to develop ideas from ideation through to prototyping in the maker space. The most valuable programmes, including inspirational speakers and feedback from industry experts, offered a chance to make mistakes and learn from them, which is so important.” To complement her Arts degree, Sacha also took INNOVENT 203G The Entrepreneurial Mindset “which was very much aligned with the development opportunities from CIE.”

Sacha recommends that students make the most of the opportunities available at University to help them prepare for the working world. “University is the perfect time to experiment with what you want to do. Try out as much as possible. You never know what will pique your interest; apply for internships and roles in areas that interest you even if you aren’t sure you want to go down that path. Prepare for the ‘working world’, but always be ready for change. As we’ve learnt with COVID-19, nothing is ever fixed, and things can change in an instant – which is also a good way to think in innovation and entrepreneurship.”


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