The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Recruitment Practices

By: Carrie Shanahan

Few would argue with the generally held view that artificial intelligence (AI) will replace many HR tasks over the coming years. The great news for the recruiter is that valuable time will be freed up as this new technology becomes integrated. AI will undoubtedly make recruiting easier and faster as well as improving the recruitment process. Allowing AI to assist in the recruiting process can free up time to enable greater focus on hiring the perfect fit for the role rather than the more mundane tasks necessary to find that shortlist of strong candidates.

AI will undoubtedly assist employers beyond simply assessing the candidate’s resume. Complex algorithms will be able to scan candidates’ online profiles and assess overall suitability more accurately. For example, a candidate might be very active in areas of keen interest to potential employers and this can be identified by AI programmes. Candidates will also be able to take advantage of AI by creating a profile for their expertise, goals, career aspirations and values.

Job applicants will also need to acquire additional skills and training to master their engagement with intelligent recruitment platforms. AI video interview platforms use biometric and psychometric analysis to evaluate not simply the quality of answers but also aspects of voice such as quality, speed and energy as well as body language and facial cues. Applicant tracking systems already work on the basis of keywords and other data to analyze the very large number of resumes they receive online. As employers use increasingly complex technology, it is likely that the same tools will be adapted for job seekers to enable more effective applications through predictive analytics.

Recruiters and employers are able to target many more qualified candidates than ever before. Current technology allows searches to be fine-tuned by job title, industry, location, current employer, education and more. This can all be done without ever communicating with the candidate and reach candidates who may be completely unaware of the opportunity that perfectly matches their profile.

Given that AI will level the playing field for vast numbers of potential applicants, simply relying upon online profiles and well written resumes will not be sufficient to get ahead of the competition. Networking within both the general industry and with desired employers will likely be of even greater importance than before the advent of AI. For candidates to stand out, an introduction from a respected employee or adviser will always help to land that first interview and take the candidate directly to the top 1% of applicants. Referrals will likely remain the principal source of talent until data proves otherwise, but AI will be capable of collecting sufficient data from hundreds of thousands of candidates to identify the ideal fit (including most likely to accept an offer) and reach out in a personalized way to start an interview process. AI is already replacing portions of the interviewing process and it not hard to imagine many initial interviews being conducted either in whole or in part by an AI programme rather than a human! Already, courses are being offered to train applicants in conducting interviews with robots as this interview format clearly has a new set of challenges because applicants no longer benefit from social and visual cues. It becomes more critical to have a robust preparation to convey essential information in order to set themselves apart.

Ultimately, neither employers nor applicants should be unduly concerned by the use of AI in the recruitment process, as the objective of the selection process remains the ideal matching of employer and employee for their mutual benefit and satisfaction. AI will simply improve this matching.