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How AI Is Going To Change Recruitment

  • by: Jennifer Robinson
  • On: 8, Aug 2019
3 min read

AI has the potential to dramatically alter the recruitment market, making existing processes more efficient, or removing time-consuming elements of recruitment altogether.

Will AI Remove Bias From Recruitment, Or Make It Worse?

AI is currently most suited to repetitive or high-volume tasks, like sifting through hundreds of CVs finding suitable applicants for the next stage of the recruitment process.

The use of AI in the recruitment industry is only going to grow as systems become more refined, and companies have access to more data for those systems to learn from. AI is predicted to replace around 16% of HR jobs over the next decade, but will it be up to scratch to handle the human element of HR?

Benefits Of Using AI In Recruitment

It is doubtless that AI will change recruitment, making it more efficient and cost-effective. Here are just some of the benefits:

  • AI Will Save Recruiters Time

Manually screening CVs is perhaps the longest part of the recruitment process. Roughly three quarters of CVs sent in for a given role are either underqualified or lack relevant experience.

This is where AI could have the biggest impact for recruitment, filtering out unqualified candidates at a fraction of the time it would take a human to read through their CV, digest the information, and decide that they’re not right for the role.

Natural language processing allows for AI to scan CVs for certain keywords that match the job description, and filter out the rest.

It can also set up interviews at a touch of a button with auto-emailing.

  • AI Will Give Recruiters More Time To Focus On Quality

Since the vast majority of a recruiter’s time is spent sorting through CVs, having that done by an AI frees them up to spend more time actually engaging with candidates, and finding out if they’re the right person for the job.

The AI system could also allow recruiters to tailor their searches to specific criteria, targeting more qualified candidates than ever before. It can scan for job titles, salaries, or education.

  • AI Could Remove Biases From The Recruitment Process

One of the biggest claims about AI in recruitment is that it could potentially remove biases, looking only at the objective data it has about the candidate.

In theory, AI could learn to appraise candidates without any of the biases (both conscious and unconscious) that human recruiters bring to the process.

Potential Problems With AI In Recruitment

Recruitment is a business that relies on people skills. Recruitment consultants have to be understanding and good at listening. AI won’t be able to replicate these skills for a long time, but there are other problems with using AI in recruitment:

  • AI Can Learn Biases Without The Self-Awareness To Correct Itself

AI learns by detecting patterns from existing data. If the patterns in that data are based on or contain biases for or against certain candidates, the AI will learn them, and continue to apply them in the future.

As the AI develops more sophisticated algorithms, these biases may become buried in the code, making it very difficult for them to be removed.

Algorithms are only as good as their programming, and there is no such thing as a perfect program.

  • AI Could Filter Out Qualified Candidates By Accident

If a candidate has phrased a skill in a different way than what the AI has been programmed to look for, it might decide they aren’t qualified for the role.

If a candidate’s CV isn’t algorithm-optimised, it could slip through the cracks.

This would potentially require recruiters to coach candidates through editing their CV to ensure it contains all the necessary terms to get picked up by the AI system.

  • AI Is Expensive

An AI system can cost a lot of money.

A recruitment company looking to set up an AI system would also need to hire specialists in the technology, experts with large salaries in a field that will only continue to grow over the coming years. Competition for best engineers will be fierce, so companies will need to look at their budgets carefully before installing a costly system.

AI will never completely replace the human element in recruitment. It is a business that revolves around people, and no machine will ever be able to replace the people who work in it. 

Read more about how technology is changing recruitment, or learn how data can make your hiring process more efficient.

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