“AI won’t replace you. But a person using AI just might.” We can’t attribute this quote to any one person we met down in Dallas recently at the Staffing Industry Analysts’ Collaboration in the Gig Economy conference. But we can say the sentiment was one that dominated many discussions in Big D and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. We can also state with certainty that the word of the week—or, to be more accurate, the word of every five minutes—was not a word at all, actually. It was simply those two letters.
Across keynotes, panels and one-on-on discussions, Artificial Intelligence was working itself into every topic and tangent. Naturally, it had some help from the people onstage and the audience (and at breakfast tables and bars and everywhere else). Which is sort of the point. Or should be. But we’ll get to that in a minute.
These AI discussions had an energy of newness about them, but as we all know, AI is not exactly new. The term artificial intelligence has been around since 1955, and the concept of machine learning and other aspects have been at work in the background of our society—and sometimes in the spotlight—for decades. Some of you remember Deep Blue besting chess world champion Gary Kasparov back in 1997. If you’ve used Siri or Alexa, interacted with a chatbot or shopped online or even dabbled in social media, you’ve interacted with AI. Probably within the last five minutes.
What is new is the explosion in mass access to, and usage of, generative AI popularized by the rise of ChatGPT, Bard and the like. People are using the tech to write everything from novels to code, to design corporate logos and compose songs, but its potential in the world of staffing and talent may prove to be one of its power powerful applications. No less important are the legal, ethical and as-of-now-unknown implications of AI that we will all need to address with vigilance as we move into this new frontier.
So it’s time once more for some Five on Friday fun—which, as always, is inspired by our “Engage, Evolve, Excel” philosophy. It is fundamental to the ways in which we engage with clients, job candidates and Eclaro colleagues alike, and it provides a fab (five) framework to share some of the high-level takeaways from the SIA gathering:
Engage: Both client and candidate experience can no doubt improve with faster, consistent communication across multiple channels—that’s a promise that AI can deliver upon for better engagement.
In line with this promise is how AI presents an opportunity to better engage, on many fronts and in an informed and insightful manner, with data at an ever-expanding rate. Improving analysis and insights of any number of metrics, it can also enhance engagement among clients and job candidates, deepen the understanding of their respective needs, and improve the communication and services delivered to both.
Evolve: “AI won’t replace you. But a person using AI just might.”
Yes, it bears repeating, because at its heart the message applies regardless of industry or role: Just as AI itself evolves, so must our understanding and use of AI. It will become essential to more aspects of work and daily life than anyone at the conference, or anywhere, for that matter, comprehends right now. But it’s significance cannot be understated, even by Sundar Pichai…
Excel: “I view it as the most profound technology that humanity will ever develop and work on,” Pichai, chief executive of Google’s owner Alphabet, said in an interview with the BBC that coursed as an undercurrent in Dallas. “You know, if you think about fire or electricity or the internet, it's like that. But I think even more profound.”
Using technology to benefit clients and candidates at every level is elemental to our business is here at Eclaro. It always has been. We are driven by the importance of using any technology to improve and keep the focus on the way we engage with people. AI will not replace human-to-human engagement, it will only enhance it.
Explore: “How can I use AI to …?” The questions related to applying AI to everything from resume creation and job search to whatever your career or business needs may be are endless, as we saw in Dallas. AI, like any game-changing technology, can help improve skills, productivity, speed, efficiency, the value candidates bring to a company in whatever role they may be seeking, and the value we bring to a client in whatever capacity they require.
But, at their core, these questions all have one thing in common: how can we connect the right people with the right skills, the right attitude and the right culture fit with the right roles with the right clients? By focusing on that one word, of course: PEOPLE.
Etcetera: One of the big jokes throughout the AI talks at the Collaboration in the Gig Economy conference was the importance of saying “Please” in any AI request, just in case the machines win out in the end. To that end, for entertainment and cautionary-tale value, we offer five of our favorite AI-related films for your viewing (and, just maybe, some business planning) enjoyment:
2001: A Space Odyssey