How is Artificial Intelligence (AI) impacting the recruitment sector?

In the data-rich world of recruitment, the use of AI is already causing a stir. Could it eventually replace human recruiters? Or does its use have limits? 

From our smartphones and voice-activated home devices, to video games and music streaming services, AI affects how we experience the world. And its impact on the recruitment sector is no less great.

Digital assistants and ‘chatbots’ are now the norm. And, if you’re a job seeker, there is every chance that a smart platform will ‘read’ your CV.

AI – the capacity of machines to learn, respond and generally act like humans – is not a future concept. It has arrived, and we’ve still only seen the very tip of the iceberg in terms of what AI can do.

The question is: to what extent can we expect AI to reshape recruitment? Can we even expect robots to eventually manage the whole recruitment process?

AI in recruitment: a sector getting smart quick

Recruitment is of course all about people; matching the right person to the right team in the right company. But it is also highly dependent on processing a vast amount of data. Recruitment consultants and HR departments often sift through a large volume of CV’s every day, archiving most of the information for future reference.

It follows that the recruitment sector has already been quick to seize the benefits of AI. Not only does it have the capacity to search candidate archives much faster than recruiters can, it can also reduce the risk of any unconscious bias from the recruiter when it comes to making selections.

Here are just a few examples of sophisticated AI powered platforms that are already re-modelling how the sector works:

Intelligent Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). Platforms like Restless Bandit resurface qualified candidates that may have become buried in ATS data. All recruitment managers know that, over time, an ATS becomes a repository for all kinds of clutter, including CVs from decades ago. Restless Bandit removes duplicate entries from the ATS, and can even source an individual’s latest work history data from the web. It matches the person against potential openings, emails the most qualified candidates, and follows up with those top candidates by retargeting them across Facebook and Google ads.

‘Smart; recruiting CRMs. These aim to build better, more human relationships with candidates through the use of CRM platforms. For example, Beamery uses AI components to help prioritise candidates based on qualifications. What’s more, the platform suggests the best times to reach out to candidates for optimal responsiveness, and triggers automated reminders to get high-quality candidates back on a recruiter’s radar.

Screening. Significantly reducing on boarding time is a massive benefit for both recruiters and the contractor. Compliance software, such as People’s award winning Compliance platform, involves complex algorithms which makes life simpler for the recruiter. It gives complete visibility and tracking at every stage of the process, using software such as facial recognition and digital identity checks.

First interviews. Tech like that developed by Paññã gives recruiters the ability to set up real-time, scheduled or candidate one-way video interviews. All videos are recorded, for interviewers to review at any time.

Objective selection. A platform like HiredScore performs automated matching, sourcing, and candidate screening with a special algorithm designed to prevent recruiter bias. HiredScore can also track candidates post-hire to monitor performance, retention, etc. for a better feedback loop.

AI generated job ads. Augmented writing systems aim to help recruiters to craft better job advertisements. For example, Textio analyses millions of job ads and recruitment outcomes to find out what words and phrases are more likely to succeed in connecting the company with the right candidates.

So, with AI already at an advanced stage in terms of its application in recruitment, can we expect human recruiters to be side-lined in time?

Industry 5.0 – the fifth industrial revolution

We are currently in the midst of the so-called ‘industry 4.0’ or the fourth industrial revolution. This is shorthand for describing the vast impact of smart and connected technology on the way we work. It covers the type of platforms listed above.

Now industry 5.0 is on the horizon and this fifth industrial revolution is expected to return to an emphasis on the value of human intelligence, and place a focus on the ‘human touch’ that recruiters can offer candidates but AI can’t.

Industry 5.0 will harness our (human) ability to recognise and relate to certain behaviours and emotions, and better combine this with the accuracy of sophisticated AI. This powerful combination of human and ‘robot’ could speed up the hiring process significantly, completely redefining the pace at which the recruitment industry works and changing the candidate experience.

AI is, and will remain, a powerful tool for human recruiters to make better use of their time and that of candidates. But AI will not be able to drive and manage the whole recruitment process; industry 5.0 anticipates humans and robots working together. Ultimately, employers will always want to source people with qualities – in addition to skill sets – that simply cannot be identified through data analysis of algorithms.

As anyone in talent acquisition knows, there is still huge scope for efficiency gains in recruitment processes. Consider the time that companies currently invest in sourcing talent, and the time it can take to job seek. AI should see the sector working smarter and better, taking care of the laborious, and admin-heavy, processes. Helping to identify shortlists of highly suitable candidates. But it will surely always be left to humans to make the call when it comes to finding that person with the ‘X factor’.


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