Job hunting and recruitment are data-driven activities that require a significant amount of ‘sifting’ to whittle down options into a manageable amount. This ‘sifting’ is time-consuming, subjective, and prone to human error. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being used increasingly in recruitment to streamline the processes making it easier, more targeted, and ultimately a more cost-efficient function.
A recent UK government report stated that AI technology has the potential to boost the economy by as much as 10% of GDP in 2030. To this end, it is crucial for companies to understand its implications, and how it can be used to improve and streamline their recruitment processes.
While some companies are claiming to be saving hundreds and thousands of pounds every year by replacing human interaction with AI systems, there is still some suggestion that people are resistant to the technology. That resistance appears to be weakening as AI technology becomes increasingly incorporated into everyday recruitment activities.
In this article, we have highlighted the key uses and benefits of incorporating AI into recruitment.
The time-saving elements of Artificial Intelligence
Immediately, low-level tasks can be automated. Filtering functions can help sift through qualifications and skill requirements. An AI system can analyse in seconds massive amounts of data that may previously have taken human interaction several hours.
The use of AI chatbots has been adapted for recruitment purposes by programming the system using natural language processing and interview analytics. If implemented right at the beginning of the process, a chatbot can ensure certain ‘traits’ and skills are met in an unbiased way to start the filtering process. However, always remember that the quality of the results is dependent on two things. Firstly, the quality of the questions that are asked, and, secondly, the honesty of the candidate's responses. The first can be developed to mitigate the second.
Reducing unconscious bias and subjectivity
Creating a diverse and inclusive workplace is a key focus for many companies across the UK. Eliminating positive and negative discrimination as part of your HR policies and procedures can be significantly enhanced by artificial intelligence, as it can remove the effect of unconscious bias during the recruitment process.
AI-driven recruitment can help reduce unconscious bias in a couple of ways.
- The data collected from candidates is analysed using algorithms that can make predictions about who will be the best candidates – this is a massive amount of data when working through a large volume of applications. AI assesses this data objectively, removing all elements of human biases, assumptions, and general ‘humanness’ that can obscure pure results.
- AI recruiting technology can be programmed to ignore information relating to gender, race, age, even postcodes, schools and other socioeconomic information relevant to the sector you are working in.
The application of AI in human resources is your first line of defence against discrimination during the recruitment process. The technology can recognise previous behavioural patterns and highlight where changes need to be made on a continuing basis.
Better quality hiring results
AI can help automatically break the recruitment process down into several stages, using special algorithms to evaluate and eliminate candidates based on the skills and experience of candidates. It can also take on the background checking and reference checking processes – historically two areas that are the most time-heavy part of the recruitment process.
Not only does this save valuable time and money resources spent chasing and interviewing those candidates that seemed suitable, but ultimately proved not to be so. It also helps to sift out those candidates that might have previously demonstrated themselves to be ideal for the role, only to be uncovered as not so suitable after all.
Just as importantly, it allows a company to place a potentially ideal candidate who is not quite right for one position, re-routing them to another role. This is particularly useful in sectors such as retail or hospitality with multiple locations in similar geographical areas.
Don’t lose the human touch
Never forget that Artificial Intelligence is only as good as the data it is fed, and the instructions it is given. To truly understand how important AI is to the human resources function in your business, you need to have a clear vision of what you want to achieve and work towards achieving that. Once AI knows, it will provide a powerhouse of functionality and data that can help drive your business forward in a way that is lean, efficient, and forward-focused.
Artificial Intelligence in recruiting is a numbers game. The person you take on to do the job is a human being. There may be some candidates who are perfect for your role but are resistant to having their data-driven through the AI machine. Or maybe they simply do not tick the right boxes, but still have traits and skills that are wholly transferable. Equally, there may be recruiters who are resistant to AI, believing it de-humanises the process.
Resistance can be eroded through open communication and ensuring that the process is presented in a way that is friendly, approachable, and easy to understand.