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Why artificial intelligence is the next wave of HR recruitment
Why AI is the next wave of HR recruitment?
The life of a recruiter is not an easy one tending to sway from feast to famine quicker than you can say ‘CV’. Throw in increasing pressure to find and acquire the best candidates, the labour intensive process of candidate screening and constant macro economic disruption from events like the financial crisis, Brexit and a pandemic, you start to get a picture of the challenges involved.
But help is at hand in the form of artificial intelligence (AI). Specifically, tools that use machine learning to automate screening applicants, scheduling interviews, or other bulk tasks. Put simply, there is too much for HR and recruitment teams to do.
The data backs this up too
According to a recent study from The Sage Group, 24% of businesses have started using AI for acquiring talent, with 56% of managers planning to adopt automated technology over the next year. GlobalData forecasts that the market for AI platforms in general will reach $52 billion by 2024, up from $29 billion in 2019.
Recruiter.com Group, said its AI software now indexes over 150 million profiles. The company also announced a 38% sequential increase in its second-quarter 2021 revenue to $4.4 million, which the company attributed primarily to a rise in its AI-based Recruiters on Demand business and the introduction of software subscriptions.
When you consider that HR departments need to be aligned to the habits and expectations of those they are recruiting – the young and digital natives – it’s a trend that is only going to increase in prominence.
How it works
It’s simple, really. AI recruiting tools help hiring teams by solving problems that exist in the recruiting process. In most cases, this means automating tasks so that recruiters can focus on tasks that aren’t repetitive or mundane. For example, when recruitment teams can use a tool to screen CVs, recruiters can spend time creating better hiring strategies but it can have an impact on everything from talent identification to candidate response or general market analysis.
There is a misconception that AI in recruitment automatically means candidates being interviewed by humourless robots with the potential to zapp them if they get a question wrong. In reality, AI tools gather and organise information, then take the appropriate action based on that data or help the HR or recruitment teams to.
We do this through our partnership with C-Me as a way of meeting a specific talent acquisition pain point and working to deliver the best solution to this challenge. The result being that we’re bringing innovations to market, such as our AI-boosted video CV proposition, packaging it to ensure it is enterprise ready and in a way that can add value to the recruitment process from both sides.
Simplifying the recruitment process and delivering benefits
Because it has such a vast array of applications, AI in the recruitment process can return substantial benefits.
- The most notable being a reduction in cost as the huge amount of time taken to sift through information is reduced. The time it creates can also be better invested elsewhere in anything from allowing the human in the process to better build personal relationships with candidates to investing in more advanced and comprehensive recruitment strategies. Heck, you can even pay your HR teams more money.
- It can also help screen hires to ensure the best person for the role is selected while actively looking to avoid the ‘ ’bad hires’’ that can be extremely costly both in terms of low productivity and team demotivation.
- It has benefits for the candidates too offering improvements to the experience in the form of improved personalisation, quicker response times, detailed and informed feedback and tips for future interviews if unsuccessful.
- Thanks to AI technology, candidates are more likely to be engaged more effectively throughout the process and even participate more actively by scheduling their assessments and interviews.
AI playing a part
The video CV movement is more sophisticated than just HR teams and candidates meeting via a smartphone. We’re also seeing a real trend to AI in the recruitment process in everything from helping to identify candidates to processing the volume of applications. This article was recently published in the New York Post which covers a young Spanish marketing professional who developed an interactive “resume bot” that allowed him to preemptively answer questions he would expect during a live in-person interview. This is just one example and what’s good for the goose is also good for the gander.
A good example is the “Big Four” accounting firm PwC, which is the largest private sector recruiter of graduates in the UK. Every year, it receives roughly 50,000 applications for 1,200 graduate roles, meaning there are over 40 people competing for every place. This is exactly why it used video interviews and AI as part of its process, helping to whittle down candidates, while also removing human error and unconscious bias from the equation, according to Rob McCargow, director of artificial intelligence at PwC.
And this is just one example. There are many others.
On the ground examples
Back in 2019, Unilever claimed it is saving hundreds of thousands of pounds a year by replacing human recruiters with an AI system, amid warnings of a populist backlash against the spread of machine learning. The multinational told the Guardian it had saved 100,000 hours of human recruitment time in the last year by deploying software to analyse video interviews. This is just one example of thousands.
Seattle-based Textio uses AI to help firms write job adverts that appeal to a broad range of people, by making the language both more inclusive, and easy to understand. It is used by everyone from the World Bank to Dropbox, Spotify and Tesco. Korn Ferry, based in LA uses AI recruitment software trawls the internet for potential job candidates, proactively chasing the individuals it wants.
People remain required
However, it is not without issue of criticism. While human judgment is flawed, it can catch nuances along with some not-so-concrete attributes in candidates. For example, a tool may determine that a candidate checks every box when it comes to skills and assessments. It can’t identify that the same candidate has an authoritarian management style that doesn’t fit into the company culture.
AI in recruitment is also criticised for algorithm bias that in some cases can discourage candidates from applying. Amazon thought as much when it announced back in 2018 that it was ditching it’s A recruiting tool because it didn’t like women. Although this points to a coding issue rather than a fundamental AI challenge. Perhaps the bigger issue for a technology and sector still in a collective infancy is regulation and consistency. Something Nakeema Stefflbauer, the founder of FrauenLoop, an NGO computer programming school for women in Germany argues in this piece in Sifted asking, why doesn’t the EU police biased AI in recruiting?
Building relationships through better decisions
Recruitment has become more of a relationship-building affair than a candidate filling task. The effectiveness of recruitment is what is expected of a recruitment team. An AI-driven workforce management system by itself is a tool enabling a seamless recruitment process.