How AI is Changing Recruitment

From spam filters on our work emails to voice-activated smart speakers like Amazon Echo, AI is rapidly changing our daily lives. It will either make our jobs completely redundant or help us do our work more efficiently—depending on who you talk to.

The reality is that artificial intelligence hasn’t changed the jobs to be done so far, but it has been transforming the nature of work. AI is not able to think emotionally or abstractly like we are, but it can identify a solution to a problem faster than humans.

There is a great opportunity to help recruiters, not replace them, by supplementing human creativity and intelligence with AI tools that reduce menial processes.

According to a study by McKinsey, about 69% of businesses believe that AI brings value to their HR function. Here are a few ways artificial intelligence is improving recruitment practices:

Improving Recruitment for Candidates, Recruiters, and Hiring Managers

Candidates are looking to form an authentic connection with a hiring manager or a recruiter. This is something they are not able to get from interacting with machines, so recruitment remains a people-first function.

So that they can have more time to focus on speaking with candidates and keeping them engaged throughout the assessment process, recruiters are using AI tools to remove time-consuming and tedious processes.

AI platforms such as XOR, Mya, and Interviewer enable pre-screening of candidates, as well as their qualifications, and automate interview scheduling. Recruiters can free up their time to focus on finding the best talent for the role by leaving these tedious administrative tasks to AI.

Companies are also employing AI-powered HR chatbots to help them recruit and onboard new hires. For instance, an AI chatbot can answer candidates’ questions and keep them updated throughout the hiring process.

Many candidates feel more comfortable posing general questions to a chatbot, such as questions about job location and salary, than they do to a recruiter.

Moreover, new hires often feel too embarrassed to ask their new coworkers for certain information during the onboarding process. Chatbots can help them get all the information they need, right away, without making them feel like they are bothering someone.

The delivery firm Yodel significantly decreased applicant drop-off rates at the early stage of the application process by implementing chatbots.

Reducing Unconscious Bias

We make sense of the world around us based on our underlying beliefs, feelings, and experiences. There’s bias in something as simple as choosing the words we use. Like all aspects of life, recruiting is rife with bias as well.

For instance, research has shown that the wording in job descriptions can be biased towards specific genders. Words like “lead” and “competitive” are biased towards males, whereas descriptive words like “understanding” and “support” are biased towards female candidates.

Recruiters are unintentionally limiting the pool of applicants for an open role when they are using such loaded words. This makes the recruiting process biased and negatively impacts the hiring outcomes.

AI-powered platforms such as Textio and TotalJobs’ Gender Bias Decoder can help hiring managers identify the use of bias in job description wording. According to ZipRecruiter, job listings with gender-neutral language get 42% more applications.

Of course, unconscious bias in recruitment isn’t limited only to our choice of words. For instance, a hiring manager or recruiter may decide to interview an applicant based on where they are from or the university they attended.

The answers a candidate gives may make them seem like a perfect cultural fit when they are, in fact, not. Factors like a candidate’s skills or previous work experience can easily get overshadowed by such familiarities.

Recruiters can significantly reduce bias by employing AI to manually scan resumes and select the shortlist for interviews.

However, it’s important to note that machine learning algorithms are not perfect in this regard. After all, they can be subject to potentially biased programming choices made by humans. For AI to help recruiters eliminate bias, AI-powered HR tools must be designed carefully.

Identifying the Best Candidate for a Role

A recruiter can use AI to identify key candidates during the screening process. After all, recruiting is all about finding the best person for the job.

To identify ideal candidates, AI can map the characteristics and traits of previous high-performing workers. This way, hiring managers can ensure new hires are prepared to contribute to the company straight away.

A great example of such a tool is PredictiveHire. It speeds up the initial screening of candidates and makes the process more objective by pulling data about a business’ high-performing workers and scanning the findings against candidate applications.

To help recruiters select applicants for the interview stage, the platform can accurately identify the traits inherent to a business’s high performers.

Takeaway

Without a doubt, we will see more exciting applications of artificial intelligence in recruitment in the next few years. To make the hiring process more engaging and seamless, recruiters will need to focus on finding the right balance in marrying human intelligence to AI application.

Jennifer Wilson is a writer at Qeedle.com She knows business processes and operations management inside out. As she understands all the challenges of running a small business firsthand, it’s her mission to tackle the topics that are most relevant to entrepreneurs and offer viable solutions.

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