Picture of die cut lettering spelling AI on a hard drive.

Insights & Resources

Can Artificial Intelligence Find Your Next Hire?

Picture of die cut lettering spelling AI on a hard drive.

AI is all the buzz right now, but how is it being used to attract and retain employees? A recent Atlanta Business Chronicle article examined the topic.

In the article “Companies ramp up use of AI tools for hiring, employee engagement,” one study reported “more than 75% of human-resources leaders at companies with 20 or more employees said they will use AI tools over the next 12 months” to help with tracking applicants, finding candidates online, and assessing employee satisfaction. Fifty-one percent of smaller businesses say they will use AI, according to the report.

AI Usage No Surprise

President and CEO David Poline of Poline Search Partners is not surprised by these numbers.

“We’ve been heading in this direction for the last three to five years. I’ve heard repeated complaints from candidates who submit resumes via a portal, LinkedIn or some other computer-based mechanism,” says Poline. “They feel like the resume’s gone in a black hole, or the company’s hiring algorithm or software screens them out without any real consideration of their true qualifications.”

In fact, resume writing has shifted to be more keyword-focused, so that a resume gets flagged as “qualified” by the applicable algorithm. It’s much like website search engine optimization, or SEO. But writing a resume in this fashion is tricky because if an applicant writes for the computer, the resume may not read well when it eventually lands on a human’s desk.

Poline sees AI as accelerating the process: he believes there are aspects of a job search that can be automated and managed by a computer. However, he says, “A computer cannot understand a company’s culture and how or if an applicant would fit and excel within that culture. We are just not there yet.”

The Poline Search Partners team has investigated whether they can implement an AI strategy to improve their work processes, specifically if AI can help them better review LinkedIn databases for specific job candidates, assemble unique searches, or manage candidate emails. So far, the results haven’t wowed the team, but the verdict is still out.

Anxiety Over AI  

The ABC article also focused on a general anxiety among workers about losing their jobs to AI. According to the article, “Anxiety over AI has been growing lately, with workers in certain industries expressing concerns that their jobs will be replaced.”

Poline agrees the replacement of human workers in specific areas is coming. With that, he thinks the importance of soft skills and human interaction will become even more important. He says, “We’ll need to be creative in considering the value people add versus that of a learning computer.”

AI Impact on CRE?

Will this impact the commercial real estate industry? Poline thinks any super-technical task could be accomplished with AI support. For example, an organization today may employ five to ten real estate analysts help underwrite and analyze potential transactions. With the proper AI tools, it’s possible to imagine only needing two or three employees to accomplish the same task in the future.

“Look, this is not a new fear. People have fretted about humans becoming obsolete since the invention of the computer. It’s hard to imagine that development proformas were created by hand until Excel or Argus made the task much more streamlined and less time-intensive,” says Poline.

Even with the speed of change and technology, Poline feels there will still be plenty of jobs for people in commercial real estate and other industries although companies may supplement with AI tools, providing the potential for them to do more with less.