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The Ethical Dilemma of AI in HR with Britt Sanders of Oleeo and HR Leader Jeremy Ames

October 27, 2023 Brian Fink, Ryan Leary, and Shally Steckerl
Sourcing School by RecruitingDaily
The Ethical Dilemma of AI in HR with Britt Sanders of Oleeo and HR Leader Jeremy Ames
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Join us to uncover the influence of AI in the realm of HR, with insights from the HR Tech conference in Las Vegas. Our conversation with Britt Sanders from Oleeo and seasoned HR Tech veteran Jeremy Ames, promises to take you on a journey through the transformative impact of AI on HR. We pull back the curtain on real players in AI and expose the pretenders, all while discussing the potential of AI in recruitment and talent acquisition.

This episode brings to light the ethical and legal dilemmas posed by the use of AI in pre-screening candidates. We address the pivotal role of HR and IT collaboration in driving the industry forward, along with the need to fully comprehend the capabilities and limitations of AI to prevent wasted time. 

Special mini series recorded with Oleeo at HR Tech 2023 with hosts Ryan Leary, Brian Fink, and Shally Steckerl.


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Speaker 1:

Everybody, welcome back to the floor here at HR Tech in Las Vegas. It's Brian Fink. Ryan Leary, we are powered by Olio today in the talent acquisition content lounge. We are excited to be here. If you cannot hear that in my voice, then I am a liar, because I am here and I am on fire and we're having a good time. Ryan, what's going on, brother? I'm?

Speaker 2:

pretty sure at this point you took the five hour energy from this booth over here.

Speaker 1:

I did not take the five hour energy. Britt tried to get me to take the five hour energy.

Speaker 2:

He does not need the five hour energy.

Speaker 3:

Well, he has a super sized coffee in front of him, I know.

Speaker 1:

I have, probably I do have the 20 ounce.

Speaker 2:

Starbucks? Is that the?

Speaker 1:

medicine ball? No, it was not the medicine ball. Okay, as long as you're ripping on me, do you want to? You want to pull out my nickname too? Bubba Bubba, okay.

Speaker 2:

So all right. So this is Wait, we gotta unpack that. We are, we're gonna, we're gonna get into this now All right.

Speaker 1:

So wait, wait, we real quick. Before we get into it, let me introduce that we've got that. We've got Britt from Olio. He's joining us and not just being a sponsor but making things awesome here on the floor, and we have also joined by the hammock. We're joined by Jeremy Ames. Jeremy, welcome to the big show. Thank you All, right, ryan.

Speaker 3:

Go ahead. Whoa that was pretty cool.

Speaker 2:

I caught you at the right time, you did you got me. I was speechless, so all right, this is a couple years ago now. Yeah, uh-huh, I'm on the phone with him and I'm talking and he's just like. He's like, hey, hang on one second. Growing up back when I was like, hey, bubba, how you doing? I'm like, oh, bubba, look what the hell you doing. Where are you? He said Starbucks. So Starbucks gave him a nickname Bubba.

Speaker 3:

So all your drink cups from Starbucks say Bubba.

Speaker 1:

Oh, 100%. Like in my Starbucks app, I have it listed as Bubba because like nobody knows my real name, right, like, like Jeremy the hammer, nobody knows his real name right, this girl.

Speaker 2:

She's like hi Bubba, what can I get you today? And that Georgian accent, however, you say it.

Speaker 1:

It's a Southern accent.

Speaker 3:

Georgia does have its own accent, though from the south it does?

Speaker 2:

I want to know what Amher does.

Speaker 1:

You wouldn't okay, so you wouldn't know what Jeremy does. All right, so we are joined by Jeremy Ames, a talent acquisition consultant, an individual who is really motivated, the space and led in a very different and direct way. As we talk about different and direct, I think it may be a really good place for us to get started with is maybe you want to tell us what brought you to recruiting, talent acquisition and leadership.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, so ironically, while I am in talent acquisition, it's a piece of what I do, so I've always been. I used to call myself the HCM guy.

Speaker 1:

Not the hammer, not the H is for hammer. I like the hammer.

Speaker 4:

Amher is the Jeremy point 2.0, but I'm definitely gonna try to adopt that. But no, I've just been active doing this in this space for a very long time. I've sat on boards, I've been a part of the Shurm world. I've you know, I've been to all these events for literally 10 years and and I'm actually diving right back in to see what's the latest and greatest you know and try to drive forward the industry again.

Speaker 1:

so All right, talking about driving forward and latest and greatest, is there anything that immediately has caught your eye?

Speaker 4:

I mean it's, it's tough not to. I hate to be like the thousand thousand sky is doing this, but yeah, it's sorry.

Speaker 2:

AI, I thought it was the Olio's amazing, sorry, but but no, they are.

Speaker 4:

But yeah, I'm, I'm trying to dig into, like legitimately, what, what these companies are doing and if they're just blowing smoke about what they're doing in AI. You know, I I'm part of an association. In yesterday we really were trying to unpack what the impact of AI is on a HR, like really, and not just in fluffy term. So like as I'm walking around, I'm actually probing with these vendors, like what are you actually doing? That's, that's transformational, so it's, it's fun. It's fun to see how much progress they've made and which ones are the pretenders and which ones are real. So All right.

Speaker 1:

So pretenders and defenders, I think that that kind of leads to question that we had to another guest. Right is that how is AI going to be the supposed and I'm putting this in air quotes for those of you can't see it, because this is a show you listen to how is AI going to be the co-pilot for recruiting, like what are you hearing? That's real and not fluffy.

Speaker 4:

I think just the term co-pilot is legitimately real and it's not just only in talent acquisition, it's in pretty much every industry in HR as a whole. You know like a co-pilot to basically be alongside you in your employee experience, same deal in the candidate experience. That is real. And what people like who are kind of naive and use the term pretenders like you, can be a pretenders as far as like what you think that you're putting out there to the market. You can also be a pretender as far as somebody who's pretending like this is not like revolutionizing.

Speaker 1:

It's not happening, yeah.

Speaker 4:

Oh, we're fine. No, there's no there's no room in replacement Like if you feel good about that, then you can be the lemming who drops off the cliff. But you know you really do have to stay on top of it, and we talked about like driving forward the industry. You have to drive forward how AI is going to be incorporated and not just be like a casualty of it, basically. So Okay.

Speaker 1:

So as we're talking about, as we're talking about not being a casualty of it, it makes me actually drift over a conversation with Britt about Olio. How is Olio helping me do more while recruiters are getting more and more put on their plate and they're fewer and fewer of us?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, so you know, we're a town acquisition software provider. We are doing a little bit of the AI components. What's interesting, though, is that we were in New York last week talking about AI, and New York specifically regulates companies from using AI to make screening decisions, basically.

Speaker 1:

Law 144.

Speaker 3:

Exactly, yeah. And so how do we use AI? How do we, as a company, help these companies hires by using as a co-pilot? So we're using pre-screening AI technologies to help showcase candidates that could be a good fit based on their job skills, based on the requisition matching, but we're not coming out and saying you need to hire this person. It's being used more or less as a tool. So, at the end of the day, as long as the recruiter is actually making the hiring decision, the last decision, companies are getting you know. Okay with that.

Speaker 1:

Ryan, what you got. You got a look in your eye.

Speaker 2:

I'm just listening. I'm just listening and, as Jeremy was saying, looking for things that are transformational on the floor today.

Speaker 4:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

You and I don't know who wrote the article. Is it an HR examiner that wrote?

Speaker 3:

it.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, I was quoted in that right there.

Speaker 2:

Yeah yeah, yeah, and it's not what you actually said, right? So where is HR's place in the workplace?

Speaker 4:

Let's go through that. You did you like get quoted and stuff and you're like I wonder if anybody's gonna read that.

Speaker 2:

No, I read the article and then I saw you're posting the other day and I was like oh okay, so which is it? Yeah, what's the truth here?

Speaker 4:

Well, that's the point is that if HR can take the you know, take the bull by the horn and own it, then they have a chance to be a part of the transformation. I got a little preview yesterday on part of an advisor collective, a collection of advisory firms, and Stacey Harris gave us this little tidbit that, like, hr isn't using AI in their buying decisions, like that's. It was kind of contradictory to what you might think. So if they're not using it in buying decisions, but everyone else knows that it's here and it's here to stay, then there's the mismatch right, so they're. So it's not a question of should HR own it. They should probably own a good chunk of it. Are they willing to? You know, is the recruiting function willing to own how AI is going to be used in their candidate life cycle? Like that's the real question. It's not a question of whether they should. It's whether will they, and that's always been the question in this room, like you know are they making? just making the buying decision, or are they driving forward?

Speaker 3:

their company? Does HR have the authority to make those decisions, or does it usually come from technology?

Speaker 4:

I mean, with all these ethical and legal dilemmas, the ones you guys were just alluding to, like with the EEOC is coming down on age discrimination, no-transcript. Actually that's not the best example, but the more the security, like where the data goes in the AI world they can be involved. But there still needs to be that oversight, you know, and that's where HR hasn't always worked great either with, like, the finance function at an organization, with the IT like that's always been the where there's a little bit of a headbutting going on. So it's all about how smooth, how much they can smooth that over, you know. But because you still need, like, the IT and decision-making in the end to validate whether you can move forward on something, but HR still needs to be part of that decision.

Speaker 1:

Should we have IT be part of the conversation at the beginning so we're not wasting people's time? So that we're really kind of knowing can we implement this before we even start a conversation and fall in love? And I'm not saying we ask for dad's permission to marry somebody on the first date. But you need to see where I'm going with this.

Speaker 4:

Yeah, and they are in most cases, especially in the enterprise space. They are coming out with, like what the guidelines are, what you're allowed to do, what you can't specifically do, like if there's specific generative AI tools that they just won't let you use because they know that it's been proven to be a problem. So they can weigh in and not be involved in every single process, every selection process. For example, you're looking for a new ATS. Like you don't have to have them if they've already kind of given that oversight, but it's all about how transformational the whole organization is, because you can have an HR group that wants to be a talent acquisition function, that wants to get the latest and greatest, but you could have leadership that is not on board with that, or you could be in a vertical like the financial services vertical, where there's just a really low risk tolerance.

Speaker 1:

So Well, it's a hard environment to compete in, but it's also a role. It's also an environment that's highly regulated. It's highly competitive and the onus to go there first and to be the defining metric, that's huge.

Speaker 4:

That's a big win. It's a win if you can pull it off, but it's a risk if you fail. You're on the bleeding edge, not the cutting edge.

Speaker 1:

You're on the cutting floor. That's it. Yeah, truthfully now.

Speaker 2:

So, Jeremy, I know you've done a lot of consulting on the buying side as well, right? So, as companies are looking, they're walking around the floor today. They're talking to these companies. What are the questions they need to ask? I don't think there's a good understanding of what they need to ask to prove.

Speaker 4:

I mean right now the onus is on how well everything will connect, because there's so many and it's been the case for a little while, but it feels like it's even more now than ever because there is so much innovation and there is so much that you can gain from it but if it doesn't all fit together, the pieces don't fit, you know. That's why there's sometimes a tendency to kind of revert back to something that's wider, a system, one system that's wider, as opposed to you know, piece-mealing it, because there's a ton of value to piece-mealing. But if you don't understand how it connects and you don't have one data model that you can get everything into and then visualize it from there, that's the problem. So if you're comfortable as a buyer asking the question of like well, I have such and such you know core HR system, or I have such and such ATS, like how will this fit in? And really getting like doing the fact-checking of what they're saying and not just trusting you know, like that's how you should be walking around the floor.

Speaker 1:

You talk about those all-in-one systems. Do you think that's a detriment to an organization or do you think it is? It adds something to their recruiting if they go all-in-one with a solution, if they go all-in on something.

Speaker 4:

So you're saying like an HCM product that also has a recruiting module. Is that a specifically yeah?

Speaker 1:

that's a fair example, I mean for years For a sourcing module. Yeah, or an onboarding module or a keen experience module.

Speaker 3:

That's a great question I'm gonna jump in on this I think it comes down to the size of the organization. Okay, so smaller organizations seem to fit well with the all-in-one Kind of one throat the choke, if you will, to be able to go in and just do their payroll, do their core HR, do their recruiting. It's nice, but as you start to get in the enterprise space, I always tell people that you know why would you hire a roofer to also do your plumbing and your electrical work, even though they say they can do it? Why would you do that Recruiting's very differently? I mean, it's a sales role.

Speaker 1:

Oh, thank you. So oh, thank you, I can put somebody in the column that agrees with me on that.

Speaker 3:

Recruiters are salespeople, I mean at the end of the day, they're selling these jobs within the company, so they need the latest and greatest sourcing tools and CRMs and campaign management. They need to have a system working for them and plugged into LinkedIn and some of these job boards and not just be a core HR system.

Speaker 1:

Okay, all right.

Speaker 3:

Right what you got.

Speaker 1:

You're thinking through this man. You keep thoughts about Ryan, I mean.

Speaker 2:

I'm thinking I mean I'm thinking like Oracle Recruit and all those like work. They were good. Kinects had one Watson Recruit like.

Speaker 1:

Brassering.

Speaker 2:

Well, yeah, they had the Watson Recruit. This is four or five years ago. Like none of this stuff seems to be, it never seems to get legs with the recruiting population.

Speaker 3:

Recruiting for those organizations like Oracle and Workday is a small component of their business yeah, their revenue and so they may not innovate. They may not innovate those tools fast enough for the recruiting population as much as they would like to see, whereas somebody like Olio or a Greenhouse or that's more of a standalone, that's their bread and butter. That's all they do. And so I think, going back to the sales role, I mean, yes, they can innovate on the core, hr and the payroll and making sure that's up to date, but if you're hyper focused on just recruiting and talent acquisition, you're always going to get more bang for your buck going with a standalone and making sure, to Jeremy's point, that it's integrated well, versus trying to do a big bang approach in my opinion.

Speaker 2:

So I think, jeremy, one question for you, and then I know you guys are busy so we'll have to let you run. But if you're building a tech stack today I'm not going to say ground up yet you have your platforms. Where should companies be looking at as those pieces In recruiting? I guess specifically let's talk of maybe not at all in one.

Speaker 3:

ATM, google, google.

Speaker 2:

But a recruiting platform, sourcing, recruiting CRM. What's the stack? What do you recommend?

Speaker 4:

See, the problem for me to answer where they should go, based on where they are today, is that you're skipping the initial part, which is truly analyzing their business and what is the importance of recruiting in their world? What are the biggest sources that they're trying to tap into? Because if it is, for example, like college recruiting, then maybe Olio is a good place. So you can't start with like, all right, we're going to just hammer away your tech stack and see what we can come up with. You have to do a whole like SWOT analysis of what is their company trying to achieve. Where are they doing well? Are they losing people for a particular reason? The talent management space? So you start with a whole on analysis and then you can derive like, okay, what is the right combination of tech stack? How much importance is there in the source? Do you actually need multiple systems to work on your sourcing? Is a CRM, a candidate relation management, the most important thing? Because you're having people drop off, so you kind of have to analyze the company before you can come up. That's the biggest problem. We were talking about integration. The second biggest problem with buyers is they start with the solution instead of the problem. You know Sounds like a teacher I like that I like that.

Speaker 1:

Start with the problem, not the solution, not the solution. Bring people together to solve problems. All right. Well, speaking of problems, I realize that we have a lot of problems to solve today, but Jeremy the hammer aims. We want to thank you so much for joining us on the podcast. Want to give a shout out to Olio for making this all possible. Thank you for being here with us and we'll see you on the next episode. If you're new独heit's gotta be special.

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