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AI and Recruitment: A (job) match made in heaven?

Published: Sunday 28th March 2021

ai in recruitment robot hand picking up candidate block

Covid-19 related workplace cuts and closures have resulted in many individuals competing for a dramatically smaller number of jobs than ever. So, how are recruiters managing to make their lives easier and their jobs more manageable? The partnership between AI and recruitment has played a huge part in this. And while most recruitment AI isn’t quite as intelligent as Zoek’s, businesses are starting to take advantage of these new technologies to improve their recruitment processes.

Here’s a look at the impact of AI on recruitment…

The uses of AI in recruitment

Recruiters and agencies have been using AI for years, it’s origins are modest and relatively simple. For example, using an AI-powered Applicant Tracking System to scan through hundreds of resumes and look for keywords and phrases is now fairly common. AI technology presents a great way for recruiters to thin the herd quickly and efficiently.

However, the use of AI to quickly scan through resumes often leads to criticism from job seekers. They argue that the technology reduces a person’s resume to a simple ‘yes or no’ purely based on a keyword search, while that decision should be based on the quality of their experience and/or personal traits.

male candidate sitting amongst robots

As time has gone by, it has increasingly become more important for job seekers to include keywords within their resumes to ensure they are searchable within these algorithms. This is because the alternative for recruiters is to read and evaluate every single resume separately. That simply isn’t going to happen.

With 52% of recruitment leaders saying that identifying the right candidates from a pool of applicants is the most challenging part of their job, it seems clear that the experts feel this isn’t a task that can be done with people power alone.

There are many, many other examples of the uses of AI in recruitment. Just to give you an idea: applications of AI can help with the sourcing, pre-selection and onboarding part of your hiring process. Other tools can answer candidate questions and set up interviews. The list goes on!

The impact of AI on recruitment: Pros

There are a number of benefits to using AI in recruitment. These include…

It saves time: Recruiters are very busy people. So, the more tedious, time-consuming tasks that can be automated, the better! The use of an AI-driven chatbot, for example, can remove heaps of these mundane tasks.

Think answering (simple) candidate questions, scheduling interviews and screening applicants. Things that certainly are important and need to be done, but can easily be automated.

It’s removed bias: When it comes to finding the perfect candidate for the job, the last thing we want is for our judgment to be clouded by bias. Fortunately, there are some interesting applications of AI in recruitment that can help reduce bias. There are tools out there to help recruiters write a bias-free job advert for example.

Plus, AI-powered pre-selection software uses predictive analytics to calculate a candidate’s likelihood to succeed in a role. This allows recruiters and hiring managers to make data-driven hiring decisions rather than decisions based on their gut feeling.

two males shaking hands

It finds candidates: AI-powered software can analyze people’s online presence, such as their social media profiles and public data. This technology can make predictions based on the data they find. For example, about how likely people are to accept a job and what roles they might be interested in.

It can also analyze the profiles of candidates who have already started a job within the company. By combining all the available information, the software can identify candidates with similar personalities and skills, deciphering which candidates might be interested in certain roles and directly target relevant job adverts at them.

It improves the candidates experience: Let’s go back to that AI-infused chatbot I mentioned…. it never takes a day off, which means it’s always ready to answer candidate questions. Even at midnight, or on a sunny Sunday afternoon. It can guide the candidate through the recruitment process more effectively; instantly answering questions no matter when they’re being asked.

And this is just one example of how adding AI instruments to your recruitment process can improve the candidate experience.

The impact of AI on recruitment: Cons

Sure, when used correctly, the use of AI-powered technology in recruitment can have tremendous benefits. However, there are potential pitfalls to consider…

Technology can use AI to detect certain subtleties in candidate behaviour during a video interview for instance. But who’s to say that an applicant’s body language isn’t simply due to him or her being nervous rather than them cheating? Human qualities such as empathy and contextual understanding are still impossible to replace with software.

Another tricky situation… an AI driven recruitment tool might identify a candidate as having all the necessary experience based on a keyword search. But will it miss the fact that the same candidate has changed jobs four times in one year? It depends on the AI you’re using, but the answer is probably, yes.

Also, there’s the often heard fear that AI is replacing humans, displacing many from their jobs. While there certainly will be an impact, it’s not as bad as many people seem to think. In fact, it’s predicted that 12 million new jobs are going to be created between now and 2025 thanks to AI and robotics.

In most cases, AI and automation will only take over repetitive, easy-to-automate tasks. And this will enable us humans to focus on more interesting stuff without being overworked!

candidates sitting down using technology

What does the future hold?

There is no doubt that artificial intelligence is changing the recruitment industry. There are already some tremendous, AI-driven applications out there and the number of them is going to increase, probably by quite a lot.

Whether you like it or not, if you don’t at least look into the possibilities of AI for your organization, you’ll be missing out. Not because it will replace the people in your company, but because it will free up their time to do more important things. Such as listening to and empathizing with candidates when they need to.

So, try out some new tools, software, and programs to see what works for your organization. That way you can create an automated recruitment process that will eventually improve your quality of hire, your candidate experience and – perhaps most importantly – the everyday working lives of your recruiters.

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