The application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Human Resource Management (HRM) was one of the most remarkable trends among recruitment professionals last year. AI has become commonplace in every other part of the business and companies that skip or even skimp on AI-powered software risk losing out on both productivity and profits. But its implementation in recruitment represents yet uncharted territories. Increasingly its welcome into the HR space is being driven by the demand to optimise the recruiting workflow to enable HR specialists – across all their roles from talent attraction to employer brand — to devote more time to value-add tasks.
AI in the context of recruitment can be defined as the use of computer systems to automate or streamline several stages of the hiring process — especially repetitive, high-volume tasks. Examples include:
- Resume scanning and extraction of relevant information
- Candidate ranking systems (think automated screening of your existing candidate pool for strong candidates) Assistants that enable personal and up-to-date connection possibilities with candidates via emails, text messages or chatbots
- Job matchmaking
With an ever-expanding repertoire of uses for AI in recruitment, there is the temptation to dismiss it as a passing trend. Sure, applications of the technology in HR have only been around for several years, but AI is anything but a temporary phenomenon.
According to a 2018 Gartner study of 850 respondents in the U.S. and Canada, 23% of organisations were using some artificial intelligence in the human resources and recruiting domain.
Still not convinced? Here are five reasons why AI is here to stay:
1. AI Recruitment Software Creates a Positive Candidate Experience
Chatbots are being deployed by companies at an accelerated rate. Now that their ability to enhance the consumer-business relationship across commercial sectors has been proven, they have now found a home in the recruitment domain.
. It is thought that the use of chatbots can enable approximately 75% of the recruiting process to be automated by answering candidates’ administrative queries. Through interaction with chatbots, candidates may be fed directly into the recruitment funnel. Chatbots immediately engage with candidates, kickstarting the candidate process, functioning as an automated means to the ultimate end of bringing attractive candidates from the virtual world to the physical through assessment and scheduling of in-person interviews. As it stands, their primary role is to conduct a rigorous screen of candidates, asking ‘knockout questions’ to determine individual suitability and should they check data-driven measures of good fit, some chatbots can schedule promising candidates in for an in-person interview. This systematises the process of pre-screening, freeing up time for other HR process. Collecting candidate information, pre-screening applicants and scheduling interviews can be time-consuming and a risky business, with discriminatory practices and fear of biased algorithms. Chabot’s deliver some much-needed efficiency to the process of recruitment as application volumes surpass the size of the workforce on hand to deal with them.
Other chatbots can point candidates to areas of the career site that will answers queries, focusing instead on building and nurturing the candidate experience. They direct candidates to the relevant content, engaging them when and where appropriate.
The use of AI recruitment software is not limited to chatbots, though. It can be used to personalise companies’ employee value proposition (EVP)—the only truly discerning element of an employer. Boilerplate EVPs won’t appeal, but with some AI magic, companies can analyse millions of data points that colour in candidates’ personas and use them to construct individual EVPs that motivate engagement – and hopefully, application.
2. AI in Recruitment Widens the Talent Pool
With AI, recruitment professionals can tap into a wider talent pool to source candidates, including social media platforms, agency databases and career boards. With 70% of the global workforce comprised of passive candidates, undervaluing the untapped potential of this talent pool can threaten your recruitment efficiencies. Indeed, 98% of talent teams state that passive candidates are an important source of talent.
AI recruitment software, like Ideal, has an unprecedented ability to process CVs stored on a company’s existing database to pinpoint former applicants who are qualified for current job offerings. These previous applicants have shown their interest, which can shorten the recruiting cycle – a time saving win!
3. AI Recruitment Software Can Helping Eliminate Bias
The implementation of AI in the talent acquisition process eliminates human error in decision making – namely false logic, a phenomenon attributed to cognitive bias. With 44% of applicants having experienced discrimination, this is a large and complicated issues with which recruiters are wrestling. Since AI recruitment software is powered by data-driven analytics and digital, cognitive tools to source and assess candidates, it is less prone to conscious and unconscious bias. One simple tool is the Unbiasify Chrome Extension which allows recruiters to hide names and photos from sites such as LinkedIn to battle bias.
The role that AI recruitment software plays in bias-free hiring can be extended to processes even earlier in the recruitment process like job descriptions. Many current job descriptions exhaustively list competencies, which are often worded in a way that appeals to certain groups of candidates while turning others off. As a result, companies may overlook talent.
AI can apply different skills scenarios and allow employers to tweak their job descriptions to appeal to a wider audience. With employer feedback, these algorithms can learn to search for new candidates that best fit the job description. Textio is an example of one tool on the market — its Augmented Writing Platform, for example, assesses a company’s existing job description and offers suggestions as to how to improve inclusivity.
4. AI Saves the Talent Acquisition Team Time
AI can help assess candidates, reduce the burden on your talent attraction team and speed up time-to-hire. AI recruitment software is capable of searching for suitable candidates, contacting them, conducting preliminary interviews, assessing resumes, and presenting the best talent for interview. For example, a 15-minute video interview can generate 25,000 data points complied from a combination facial movement to linguistic choice which, when aggregated can be used to compare candidates against one another.
As the technology can detect and process a volume of data that far surpasses human capabilities. Hirevue, the company behind this video interview technology, has already supported 100,000 interviews in the UK. According to a recent Deloitte Bersin report, approximately $4,000 is spent per candidate from interviewing through to scheduling and assessments. With stats like that, the financial incentive for AI assisted talent assessment is compelling.
5. AI Recruitment Software Addresses the Skills Gap
According to a 2019 report from the UK government’s Department for Digital Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), factors like the speed of innovation, as well as the sheer volume of new technologies are widening the skills gap, impacting every business and every job role. But AI recruiting software has stepped up to the challenge, enabling employees to find out what roles might fit their skills.
IBM's My Career Advisor, ’Myca’ identifies any internal roles that are aligned with current employees’ skills as well as flagging additional skills needed to qualify for the job. It offers new jobs, training, videos to watch and periodicals to read based on employees’ career interests. Citizens Bank NA, a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group has leveraged this and following a successful pilot scheme, is hoped to launch to about 18,000 employees at the end of this year.
The market for AI-powered HR technology grew by an overwhelming 10% last year alone. AI is changing the way businesses operate and hold the potential to revolutionise the way talent is selected and retained. Given its ability to shape the candidate experience, expand the talent pool to employers, eliminate bias in the hiring process, save valuable time and be leveraged to address the issue of the burgeoning skills gap – its potential is already being realised. For HR leaders to confidently embrace AI, they need to re-imagine their HR processes and find ways to mitigate inefficiencies and unlock avenues that will add to the value of the business. We’ve outlined a handful of AI-based solutions that illustrate just how real the hype is – they are a central pillar in driving the HR function toward operational efficiency.
Ultimately, only time will realise the capabilities of Ai, but HR leaders who embrace AI-based solutions can expect operational efficiencies and a candidate experience that enable companies to hit their recruitment goals – from time-saving to increased access to a highly skilled talent pool. It’s time to embrace AI and enter into a partnership with technology that is here to stay.