It will have been hard to have missed all the talk about AI in the media over the last two months – most notably regarding ChatGPT,Bing and Google’s Bard. However, these chatbots are only the latest in a range of AI tools that have recently emerged. So today, we look at the impact of AI on job searching and recruitment and answer the question – will AI make recruiting redundant?
Artificial intelligence (AI) has become more advanced and sophisticated over the last two years or so and is now evolving at an exponential pace. In fact, it has already started to transform the way we look for jobs and, from a recruiter or talent acquisition perspective, how to identify the right candidates.
More tools for job seekers
If we look at the job seeker experience today, this has rapidly shifted from the candidate having to trawl through numerous job postings and sift through countless irrelevant or inappropriate jobs to now using AI-powered search engines. This requires the job seeker to enter a preferred job title and location and the AI engine will do the sifting. In fact, LinkedIn’s job search engine already uses AI algorithms to match candidates with job adverts that fit their experience as presented on their LinkedIn profiles (see our previous post here about optimising your LinkedIn Profile). The accuracy (and intelligence) of these algorithms is improving over time.
If you’re making more of a direct application with a CV - AI-powered tools such as Jobscan or RezScore can analyse your resume and compare it to a job description on a website to ensure it includes the relevant keywords and skills for the position – and important way of getting round the AI keyword filters that’ll we’ll come on to in a moment.
Talk to the chatbot for more details
Need to know a bit more about the job? Traditionally, it was quite hard to get through to a busy recruiter or HR admin at your chosen firm to discuss the job in more detail. Now, many companies use chatbots powered by AI, such as Mya or Olivia, to automate the initial screening process and answer candidates' questions about the job or company.
AI applicant screening
AI has filtered through to take over resume screening (which has been around for some time already – but the tools are becoming more sophisticated). Many firms use AI-powered software to scan and filter to identify suitable candidates for a particular job. This screening process is much faster and (can be) more accurate than manual screening, as AI algorithms can analyse multiple resumes based on specific criteria, such as experience, technical skills, education, and job titles in a matter of seconds. This means that candidates who do not meet the required qualifications or experience will be automatically filtered out, saving recruiters time and effort. However, it is something of a brutal yes-or-no process and (as yet) lacks the subtle intuition of the human eye – which I’ll cover at the end of this blog.
For the candidates, it therefore makes sense to review (or have AI review) your CV to make sure you’re including all the keywords needed to avoid being screened out of the process at the first hurdle.
Going a step further, some companies now use AI-powered assessments to measure a candidate's skills, abilities, and personality traits. These assessments can be more accurate and reliable (in the non-biased sense) than traditional methods, such as interviews or reference checks, and can provide a more objective evaluation of a candidate's suitability for a particular job. However, there have been some cases where AI was found to be discriminatory – discussed at the end of the blog.
More tools for recruiters
As well as inhouse talent acquisition, all the tools we’ve mentioned above are of course also open to recruiters. AI is certainly transforming the recruitment process by providing valuable insights and data analytics. Now, AI algorithms can analyse job postings, resumes, and candidate data to identify trends and patterns in the recruitment process - helping recruitment firms to identify the most effective recruitment channels, assess the quality of candidates, and even predict future hiring needs from clients, or in terms of the market overall.
Moreover, AI can help to streamline and automate administrative tasks, such as scheduling interviews, sending reminders, and providing feedback to candidates - saving time and effort while effectively enhancing the candidate experience with prompt and personalised communication throughout the process.
The flip side
While this all sounds fantastic, there is of course a flip side. Some job seekers may feel disadvantaged by an automated process, as they may not be able to insert relevant keywords or experience to pass the initial screening process. And as we’ve mentioned above, it is a very black-and-white process. Firms need to balance the perceived efficiency savings with tendency for software to provide a vanilla list of candidates. As we’ve mentioned on many occasions, diversity in teams helps to drive success and creativity. Hiring by keyword is not the way to achieve this.
There are also concerns about the ethical implications of using AI assessments in recruitment, as they may inadvertently discriminate against certain groups of people, such as those with disabilities or from minority groups. This may be corrected over time, but it’s clear that more work needs to be done in this area.
Will this end recruitment?
While AI has many advantages over humans in many aspects of recruitment and hiring, the focus is on efficiency and productivity and our ability to harness this potential. It’s not a substitute for human intelligence and decision-making – which is reflected in needing the human touch to assess for cultural fit, build a human relationship between candidates and clients and making final hiring decisions. AI can also discriminate against the older generation of job seeker who is less [prepares for an AI-driven recruitment process. And it would be unwise for a company looking for a new, highly experienced and regarded C-suite executive to ask them to complete their application through faceless online AI tools.
Importantly, what AI allows recruiters top do is focus more on the crucial elements of the process without getting bogged down in the more mundane administrative aspects that can suck time away from this.
Rather than replacing recruitment, AI has, and will ensure job seekers improve their applications, empower recruiters to become better at their jobs, streamline the process for hiring managers and improve the overall experience for candidates throughout the process.