Artificial intelligence (AI) has become one of the most important cornerstones of today’s tech ecosystem. Even though it is still being built and ideated, the little development that has gone into crafting AI alone has shown that it is one of the most important and transformative technological advancements of our time.
Just as well, AI has also shown the potential to be an important part of Web3 – the next phase of the internet, where devices are expected to be smarter and the focus of many will be on improved data control. Along with concepts like machine learning, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain technology, AI is tipped to be one of the few things to help change the world.
Like many transformative technologies, AI has already shown the potential to disrupt several industries such as marketing, sports, retail and commerce, healthcare, and many more. Everywhere you look, people are incorporating AI into their systems and finding ways to optimize their operations using this technological marvel. And as time goes on, the race for development is only going to get more competitive.
That said, it is worth examining what AI has for one growing space – recruitment and talent sourcing. Even with the coronavirus pandemic that affected many companies’ bottom lines, they continue to grow and hire for several key roles. How does AI help to optimize the recruitment process to deliver the best results?
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To understand the role of artificial intelligence in recruitment, it is worth first understanding the challenge that recruiters and human relations professionals face.
As a recruiter, your most significant challenge is finding the right candidates for a specific role. The challenge is time-consuming and resource-intensive, and it forms the basis of why recruiters get hired in the first place. Above everything else, a recruiter is responsible for finding the right talent match that will add value and help the company to proceed toward its set objectives.
According to a study, a single recruiter spends about 15 hours a week on average finding the right hire for each position at a company. This is especially worse when the recruiter has to work for a big corporation and fill multiple positions. They could very well be dealing with thousands of applicants for no more than 20 job positions, and they are responsible for sifting through every application to find the right fit.
To add to this, another source shows that 52% of recruiters and talent acquisition experts admit that the most challenging part of recruitment is screening candidates and sifting through applications.
As a recruiter, you’re expected to cut time and costs – while also finding the right talent for the company at the same time. The entire process can be arduous, but artificial intelligence could actually help to make it less so.
The entire point of AI is to use available data to improve efficiency and optimize lengthy processes. For recruitment, its job is to understand what the recruiter – or, rather, the company – wants – and to use that data to examine the available candidates and pick the right one. An overwhelming number of recruitment professionals have welcomed the use of AI in their processes, so what exactly does it do, and how does it help them?
Currently, it seems as though there is no limit to the role that AI can play in helping to improve the lives of everyone. From optimizing automation in our homes to training machines to be more effective in warehouses, AI focuses on mimicking the human brain and amplifying its operation through proper pattern recognition and data analysis.
As far as recruitment goes, AI plays a significant role, helping recruiters to work through multitudes of applications. Technologies like the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) help to sift through thousands of applications in minutes, allowing recruiters to easily find people who are better suited for their jobs and bringing them in contact with these people more quickly.
AI also focuses on helping recruiters to merge speed and efficiency. It improves the speed at which they work, while still maintaining the central tenet of finding the right roles for each job.
All in all, AI has been able to integrate itself into the entire recruitment process – from the initial employee screening to the final employee onboarding process. The entire workflow can be automated, allowing recruiters to immediately set up interviews with the most qualified candidates of the bunch.
Thanks to advancements in AI and natural language processing, robots can now be trained to conduct interviews with prospective candidates as part of the hiring process. Bots use natural language processing and interview analytics to assess the candidate’s fit for the job, testing both their personality traits and soft skills – as well as their acumen for the role itself.
Recruiters can benefit significantly from this since they will be able to ensure proper consistency in the sifting process. They’re essentially creating the same interview experience, ensuring that applicants are now free to respond as they wish. And by creating that level of consistency, it becomes much easier for recruiters to find who fits the specific role perfectly. Candidates have a level playing field, and fairness can be ensured.
It is worth noting that this isn’t entirely perfect yet. For one, candidates might not necessarily feel good knowing that they are being interviewed by bots and not human beings. And, considering the level of development that robots have, it might be difficult to make the interview process feel more human. However, advancements in AI and natural language processing should help with this going forward.
Background checks are an important part of the entire recruitment process. Companies want to ensure that their employees share their values, and background checks are essential in assessing the possible risks associated with hiring a specific person. Reports suggest that well over 90% of companies conduct background checks when hiring for open roles.
However, background checks can also be very tedious. And as the number of candidates increases, the workload involved in conducting a background check only grows.
Fortunately, AI has shown promise when it comes to solving this as well. Thanks to its speed, AI helps to improve the efficiency and simplicity of background checks. Recruiters no longer have to go through manual processes when conducting background checks, and AI itself can also eliminate any possible biases that humans might have.
So, thanks to AI, companies are assured of effective, unbiased background check procedures that protect them – and even the candidates as well. At the same time, this is one area that AI is expected to get even better at with more development.
When you apply for a job, you would most likely be asked to provide references. And, companies themselves will be required to check these references to ensure that they are legitimate.
The reference checking process is quite similar to that of background checking. Companies want to ensure that these references are reputable people and that they are indeed who they say they are. Like background check, reference checks can also be time-consuming. They are carried out during the hiring process as recruiters will need to collect a lot of references from candidates’ profiles.
Usually, employees try to get between 2 and 3 references from applicants. However, with the process being pretty manual, recruiters need some help with it. Things become even more difficult when you consider the fact that a lot of these references themselves might not be readily available to talk to recruiters – or they might not even be willing to respond to communications or pick up calls.
Thanks to artificial intelligence, reference checks can be automated as well. Recruiters can get as many details as they need in one place, and they can contact references much more quickly. As a result, references are allowed to respond to calls and other communication channels at their convenience. So, they become more willing to cooperate with recruiters.
This isn’t a guarantee that the references will indeed cooperate, but the entire point of AI here is to reduce the workload on the recruiters.
These days, a lot of companies have been looking to improve the quality of their hiring processes by hiring internally. The belief is that this could help to save a great deal of time and money. At the same time, hiring internally means that a company would not need to spend so much time and resources on things like employee onboarding and training. Since the “hire” is already familiar with the company and how it operates.
Internal mobility can be beneficial to companies. And recruiters are becoming more aware of this fact. Fortunately, AI could also help with this.
According to a report, AI-driven internal mobility can help companies to spot existing employees that might be ideal for open roles. Since companies already collect data about their existing employees, they know how to determine whether an employee could be right for a specific role.
The report explained that AI systems can use natural language processing to get details about employees and their roles. From there, the software will match the available employees’ skills with open roles, creating bespoke recommendations. It is expected that this should be explored in greater detail as AI continues to develop.
Currently, there is a significant trend in recruitment that appears to be shifting more focus on identifying gaps in skills and building the right teams that can help to get tasks done. Thanks to artificial intelligence, recruiters now can incorporate data analytics and testing to understand the strengths of individual workers – as well as their weaknesses. The goal is to look for ways through which these people can work together to achieve a common goal.
So, when a specific team in an organization needs to add more members, AI can help to understand what these teams lack and look for candidates that can fill those roles. So far, AI has been able to improve the efficiency of finding the right fit for teams than any other recruitment technology available.
Recruiters also understand that there are instances when a company just can’t find a specific skill set in a person when that skill is needed the most. But, because, they could find people with other skill sets that might eventually be needed, they could effectively reroute candidates like these to other places where they might be needed down the line.
The labor market has become incredibly competitive. Companies that hope to create seamless hiring processes will need to maintain reliable and competent talent pools. With AI, companies can keep healthy databases of potential candidates to eventually reroute them to places where more suitable opportunities abound.
This is usually the final stage of the hiring process. You’ve finally gotten the candidate that you believe is best for the position, and you now need to integrate them into the company.
Fortunately, AI is also helping to reinvent the employee onboarding schedule by saving a lot of time and resources on behalf of the organization. Thanks to AI, companies can provide onboarding round the clock – using tools like chatbots and others that can respond to messages and questions from candidates.
At the end of the day, the objective is to ensure that candidates get as much information as they need about the company and can easily integrate themselves.
While AI has been touted to be able to play a significant role in optimizing companies’ recruitment processes, it should be noted that it’s not all roses. The application of the technology also comes with some demerits, including:
- Unreliable accuracy: While promising, AI is still not 100% accurate in the recruitment process. The applicant tracking system (ATS) can be confused by things like formatting options, meaning that it’s not so accurate. This means that there is still some work that needs to be done to ensure that AI’s integration is more seamless.
- Keyword-dependence: To sift through a multitude of applicants, AI needs to search based on specific keywords. This could present a possible loophole for applicants who understand how AI works. They could include several keywords in their applications, effectively tricking the system and bolstering their chances of selection.
- No human judgment: One of the many benefits of AI is that it’s not human. Thus, many of the inaccuracies of human decision-making can be avoided. However, this also means that AI systems lack the all-important human judgment. There are candidates who might not have typical work experience but who would still be ideal for roles due to their personalities, work ethic, and character. AI doesn’t take all of these into consideration, meaning that it might no necessarily be an accurate judge of qualifications.
Regardless of what many might think, AI is revolutionizing the recruitment space. And right now, several AI tools are getting impressive levels of adoption. This could also vary based on several factors such as the size of the business, their recruiting needs and frequency, operating policy, and many more. However, some of the best recruiting software for businesses include Zoho Recruit, Fresh TEam, Zip Recruiter, and many more.
There is a lot of talk about the possibility of robots and technology eventually replacing humans. And with AI currently being able to help companies with the recruitment process, it’s alluring to want to think that the technology could eventually render recruiters obsolete.
However, it is important to keep in mind that the recruitment process needs to be as organic as possible. The entire point of using AI is to optimize the recruitment process while also taking out biases that might be found in human recruiters. But, the human element of having people as recruiters could also help to make the process much better.
With processes like interviews and onboarding, it is important for humans to take charge and interact with candidates – whether successful or not. This is part of what makes the entire experience worthwhile. And if candidates are left to interact with bots throughout the entire recruitment process, there’s a human element that, for now, isn’t necessarily present yet.
Artificial intelligence is the future. And when it comes to recruiting, there is a great deal of emphasis on optimizing processes to ensure that companies get the right hires that fit their culture. With AI, there is an opportunity for recruiters to get much-needed help as they look to optimize the hiring process for their clients.
And considering that AI isn’t even fully explored, there are additional possibilities that we should still see down the line.