Where to Apply AI in the Recruitment Process (And Where Not To)

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Since the introduction of the internet, there hasn’t been any other invention that has revolutionized our lives as much as AI has. We have Siri and Alexa now; cool assistants that are just a button or a voice command away, but who knows what’s going to come next?

AI is the bright new big thing in recruitment right now. Every major company is trying to get their hands on the latest recruitment software that will keep their company on top. One of the biggest advantages AI poses for recruiters is the fact that a computer can do menial and mechanical jobs way faster and more effectively than any human can.

Technology is at a point right now where it’s theoretically possible for a company to completely automate the entire hiring process, discarding the need of human intervention. This seems to be the case of a company named Leverage. They came up with a way to automatize the entire recruitment process by cleverly combining tools and specialized software; a solution that meets their particular needs.

Where to Use AI

But don’t hang your coats just yet! A completely automated recruitment process is not just for anyone and it requires a hefty investment that not every company is willing or able to make. Right now, only the biggest of the biggest are doing this and only for entry or low-level jobs.

It would be an unnecessary waste of resources for a small company or a start-up to invest in automation in their recruitment process since the number of candidates the HR team would have to manage is unlikely to be very large.

As of right now, the most common place where HR managers and recruiters are using AI is in the screening process. How does this help? Imagine that a big company places an ad saying that they are looking for a team of salespeople for a special event. The probable turnout of people submitting their applications is usually expected to be hundreds if not thousands (depending of course of the size and popularity of the company). Now imagine that you’re part of the recruiting team in charge of going through that enormous amount of résumés. It would take a very long time for a team of people to go through all those applications.

This is where AI comes in handy! Recruiters can simply type in the kind of skills and experiences they’re looking for in candidates and the program can easily screen through hundreds of résumés in a matter of seconds and submit the required number of candidates that match the desired description so that they may move up to the next step of the process.

Unbiased Judgement

Not only that, another big advantage of AI is that it lacks the flaws that humans have. We’re talking about bias. Whether consciously or otherwise, people tend to make assumptions and judge candidates for whatever reason. An AI does not care about a person’s gender, race, ethnicity, age, nationality, physical appearance, or any other factor as long as the candidate’s profile matches the description they’re looking for.

AI for Sourcing Candidates

Other than screening candidates, AI is also a terrific asset when it comes to sourcing them. Not only is a computer the perfect fit to monitor online job ads and publications regarding openings and vacancies, they’re also perfect for engaging candidates in your existing pool. Whenever a company hires someone for a certain job, there’s always a group of candidates that didn’t quite make the cut. We’ve talked about the importance of keeping these candidates on the hook for future opportunities. An automated software equipped with a Candidates Relations Manager (CRM) system can do wonders for your candidate pool.

Where Not to Use AI

The use of AI during the recruitment process still has some rough edges that need smoothing. For example, while a computer can do an excellent job matching résumés with job descriptions based on skills and abilities necessary to do the job, it can also be a terrible judge of character. Meaning, that parts of the hiring process still depend on humans.

Robots can’t make assumptions and deductions like a human can. They can’t accurately tell when a person is acting strangely during an interview or if they’re lying. AI software only deals with hard data, they read a résumé and see how it matches with the description submitted which, on its own, can be a flaw. No two résumés are exactly alike or follow the same pattern and, in many cases, applicants can send messy résumés or fill them with facts that are not necessarily true. Computers can’t discern this like people can. Furthermore, in the case of creative professionals, like marketing specialists, designers, or photographers, it would be hard for a robot to evaluate the artistry and creativity behind their “out-of-the-box” résumés and portfolios.

In order for a computer to be able to read every type of résumé, it would be necessary to have applicants fill out a specially designed template with all the information and variables that the computer is going to look for. However, this would often be a drag for most candidates as it would mean that each company will have their own template to fill, unless everyone in the world adheres to a single format for résumés, but that’s very unlikely.

Final thoughts

Artificial intelligence can be a handy tool for a company large enough that it receives a big inflow of applications. Although AI has the potential to someday replace humans in the hiring process, we are still far from that. At best, an AI is a great asset that can help improve effectiveness and time management. Bottom line is, you need to think about the individual needs and requirements of your company before even considering whether using AI in recruitment is necessary or beneficial.

Edu Rojas/NEUVOO
Content Marketing Editor