How Does AI Change the Recruitment Process?

The term “AI” evokes extreme emotion these days. Some are excited about the prospect of automating work and offloading tasks, while others fear computers will take over their jobs. The key to using AI effectively is to weave it into your current processes. Don’t be afraid of what AI can offer – many are finding that it’s a valuable part of their toolbox.

Here are some important facts about AI:

  • 35% of hiring managers and talent experts say AI is the #1 factor in how employers hire.
  • AI allows for 20% of recruiting-related tasks to be automated.
  • Recruiters report that AI is most beneficial in nurturing, screening and sourcing candidates.
  • 55% of HR managers believe AI will become the norm when it comes to recruiting and screening.
  • AI is also valuable in onboarding and training.

As we study the pros and cons of using AI, it’s easy to see how even a blessing can be a curse if not used correctly. Ironically, many of the ups and downs of AI are tied together, signalling that the best approach to AI is one of moderation in every task.

The Ups

You can harness the power of AI positively if you understand exactly how it changes the recruitment process, how to apply it to your industry and how to adapt to change rather than fear it.

Automate Resume Screening

For every corporate position posted, an average of 250 resumes come in, and 75-88 percent of those candidates are unqualified. At some point, you must narrow down those 250 to the best 4-6 people to interview. On average, a recruiter spends 23 hours searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack for every new hire. This is a time-consuming, tedious task that hurts a company’s bottom line by tying up the best HR talent in needless paperwork.

AI can help to automate resume screening. At its basic level, AI uses an algorithm to search for keywords. More advanced programmes can screen candidate resumes and schedule candidate interviews, automate onboarding and training tasks and send out email replies.

Removes Human Bias From the Selection Process

All humans have unconscious bias by nature. Ideal candidates can vary from Recruiter A to Recruiter B. Emotions affect many hiring decisions. This means that not only do you miss out on good talent because of arbitrary decisions, you also leave your company vulnerable to complaints of bias and discrimination.

Because AI functions strictly on data, recruiters get a neutral perspective on each candidate. No human emotion plays into the decision, and you minimise the effect of unconscious bias.

Improve the Candidate Experience

As you sort through networking sites and resumes to recruit the best talent, you’ll discover that many applicants feel the application process is cold. AI can automate contact with potential hires to keep the connection open. This improves the candidate’s experience and gives even the biggest companies a welcoming, warm feeling. As company culture and environment become more important to workers, appearance is extremely important in recruiting the best.

As AI use becomes more prevalent, resume, cover letter and CV templates like those at Jobseeker are simplified and geared toward job descriptions. Candidates can track applications and jobs through a completely different side of AI, allowing you to hire globally and increase your reach to get the best talent.


The Downs

As with any new technology, AI has its disadvantages, and harnessing the power carefully ensures your company uses it successfully.

Dependant on the Data – Still Includes Human Error

Do you remember that one of the advantages of AI is the lack of human error? Well, on the other side of that, it’s humans that choose the data for AI to use when scanning resumes and recruiting talent. Eventually, AI can adopt human bias if software is carelessly created. While AI is designed to ignore discriminating factors like age, gender and race, it may over time pick up a bias toward something like graduates of a certain school.

AI vendors limit bias with constant audits and cheque for patterns of potential bias. Efforts to combat bias in AI are in the beginning stages and require more development before long-term bias can be completely eradicated.

Legislators are developing laws to limit bias in AI, but the process is tedious and the rules on how to enforce laws are unclear. For now, it’s important to include a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) specialist in the hiring process to avoid unnecessary bias. A strategic approach to AI can improve a company’s DEI, but ignoring the chance of bias can be extremely harmful to your company’s brand.

Lacks the Human Touch

This may be hard to wrap your brain around because it seems so contradictory. If too many tasks are automated, there is no human touch or emotion that employees increasingly value. Employee morale and company culture are important to the next generation of workers and companies who automate all tasks run the risk of presenting a cold or aloof image.

Is Balance Possible?

So, is it possible to utilise the lack of bias in AI even as you watch closely for the software to pick up on human bias? Is it possible to automate tasks without cutting out the human touch? Is it possible to find a balance in using AI but not depending on it too much?

AI has been around for hundreds of years, but only in the past five years has it been adopted extensively into the hiring and recruiting process. While the value is unknown, recruiters should cautiously embrace the ups of AI while being wary of the long-term effects of automating tasks. Recruiters and HR managers are known for their intuitiveness. Don’t be afraid to use your gut feeling to adjust your reliance on AI as it advances and develops.

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