CEO Chris Hyams on what artificial intelligence can do to improve the future of work.
By Indeed Editorial Team
At the Indeed FutureWorks 2023 conference, Indeed CEO Chris Hyams started the day with a simple articulation of Indeed’s mission: 'We help people get jobs.' Then things got more complicated.
'A whole bunch of people who thought their jobs were safe from automation are getting the existential sweats as ChatGPT excels at these feats of supposedly human intelligence,' he said from the stage, referring to the precipitous rise of generative AI.
So, what impact will this have on the future of work? How will Indeed make hiring more human in the age of AI? Here’s how Hyams described his view of the future of work and how it will be shaped by artificial intelligence.
On how to circumvent hiring bias through AI:
I was on a panel a few weeks back, and someone asked this question: 'Are you excited or concerned about AI?' My answer was 'yes'. I am enthusiastically excited, but I am enthusiastically concerned. And I think it’s important to hold both of those at the same time.
Let’s start with some concerns. My first is bias.
AI is built from data. Data comes from humans. Humans, unfortunately, are far from perfect. And we know, especially in our field, that significant bias and barriers exist in recruitment. In the US, an estimated 42 million Americans live with disabilities, 70 million lack a four-year third-level degree and 77 million have a criminal record. With a civilian labour force that is just 168 million, the truth is that the majority of people face barriers to employment.
While AI has the potential to contribute to bias and inequality, at the same time, we see a promising path forward. Indeed has made a significant commitment to Responsible AI practices, which can ultimately help reduce inequalities in recruitment.
On how AI will affect jobs:
My main concern, probably not surprisingly, is the near-certain impact of AI on jobs. In the long run, it does seem clear that technology has had a positive impact on humanity. Today, we work fewer hours in safer conditions, and by nearly all measures enjoy a higher quality of life than ever before. But each individual cycle of disruption means the loss of livelihood for individual human lives. And these cycles of disruption are getting faster and faster.
The full impact of the steam engine gradually accelerated over many generations. But the travel, retail and music industries were turned completely upside down by the internet in less than a decade. With AI, it’s conceivable that college students might now find themselves learning skills that are obsolete by the time they graduate.
So, yes, I have considerable concerns about AI. But I am here to say that, despite those concerns, there is plenty to be excited about. Recent advancements in AI have been breathtaking. In just the past few years, we have seen farmers use AI to combat pests and disease, an AI-powered brain implant that helped a paralysed man walk using his thoughts, and just last month, AI helped India’s historic Chandrayaan-3 mission land safely on the south pole of the Moon.
And of course, AI helps people get jobs. At Indeed, AI has helped power extraordinary improvements in matching jobseekers to jobs.
On how Indeed is embracing AI:
When you look at Indeed today, you see AI absolutely everywhere. When a jobseeker views a job, our AI uses hundreds of millions of salary data points to estimate the pay for that job and helps the jobseeker see how that pay matches their expectations. When you post a job, our AI leverages data about every job and jobseeker on Indeed to help you see how many applications you are likely to get, and our AI recommends the right budget to meet your hiring needs.
AI has powered Indeed Job Search from the very beginning, but it’s now driving matching in new and even more exciting ways.
Today, when a jobseeker visits Indeed, they don’t even need to search. Our recommendation AI delivers each jobseeker a personalised feed of the best matches. Jobseekers love these jobs. In fact, they are 55% more likely to apply to an AI recommendation than a job they see in search results.
Now, we’re not just recommending matches to jobseekers. When you post a job on Indeed, our AI recommends candidates that match your requirements – before they even see your job. You can choose the candidates that are the best fit and invite them to apply with a single click. We are combining the power of AI with the incredible power of human judgement. The power of you. It’s smart, it’s fast and it’s incredibly effective.
So, jobseekers really, really love these jobs. Jobseekers are 17 times more likely to apply to an AI-plus-human match than to search alone. And this is really what we mean when we say we want to make hiring more human.
On Indeed’s latest AI-powered recruitment tools:
Available now: Indeed’s AI Job Description Generator
For many years, we’ve heard from you over and over again that one of the most difficult and time-consuming tasks in hiring is writing job descriptions. I have never met a talent professional who says they love writing job descriptions, or even one who feels confident in the job descriptions they write. We have spent the past two years building and fine-tuning an AI-powered job description generator that is incredibly simple and incredibly effective.
You start with a job title and a location. We automatically recommend relevant requirements, licences and skills that you can select with just a few clicks. You specify pay, and our AI will compare that pay with local listings and jobseeker preferences and recommend competitive pay ranges. And then generative AI creates a job description from all of that information. You can use that, or edit it, or even regenerate it to see more options. But the key is that our AI is recommending job descriptions that are most likely to attract jobseekers.
This can take writing a typical job description from two hours down to just about five minutes. Jobs that use our AI Job Description Generator on average get 16% more applications. This is available today, and it’s completely free.
Coming soon: new applicant tracking system integration, plus even more enhanced AI-powered features
I’m excited to share some things coming very soon. Those matched candidates have not been available for jobs that are on your applicant tracking system – until now.
With this new development that we’re unveiling, you’ll be able to claim any job from your own ATS and see the same exact AI-powered matches instantly. We also have brand new AI-powered features that are going to do even more coming very soon. As you review each match recommendation, you can see AI-generated candidate highlights that will summarise key skill and experience matches – and potential gaps.
Once you find the right candidate, you can use our AI-powered Smart Message feature, which will use generative AI to automatically compose a personalised message to the jobseeker explaining why your job is just right for them. Then you can use AI to customise the message further. You can make it shorter or longer, more formal or more casual.
On Indeed’s commitment to keep humanity in hiring:
AI is an extraordinarily powerful technology, and there are certainly reasons to be concerned. But hopefully at this point, you also agree that there are many reasons to be excited. There is no question that AI will have a tremendous impact on the world of work. At Indeed, Responsible AI means that we are focused on keeping humans at the centre of everything.
We’re not trying to build a recruitment robot to replace humans. What we’re really trying to do is build a Tony Stark Iron Man suit that makes recruiters able to fly and shoot lasers, and to partner with AI to generate better job descriptions and send personalised messages that are 17 times – or 100 times – more effective.
This is what we believe the power of humanity and AI together can bring. Helping people get jobs is about seeing humanity in one another. This is our commitment to you – to partner with you to keep humanity at the heart of hiring. We all know the world can work better. Together, we can help build a better future of work.