AI in Recruitment – Boon or Bane?

Artificial Intelligence in Recruitment HR

Artificial Intelligence brings immense possibilities to the table. And Recruiting industry hasn’t been able to keep itself distant from AI. Recruiters are making use of AI-powered tools to boost their recruiting endeavors. AI for recruitment is an emerging category within HR Tech and has already made a mark for itself in the industry.

Steps in Recruiting Where AI Is Applied

AI has the potential to positively impact a number of recruiting tasks. It can automate candidate sourcing and discovery, help with candidate matching and even with hiring remote workers efficiently. One of the crucial areas where AI helps recruiters is diversity hiring. In addition, AI is enabling recruiters to provide a better candidate experience.

Benefits of Artificial Intelligence in Recruitment

1. Automating High-Volume Tasks

Even though digitization has taken over, manually going through the resumes received for any particular job posting is still a very time-consuming task for recruiters. A single hire may take 23 hours on the part of a recruiter to screen resumes and shortlist relevant profiles. With AI in the picture, recruiters can do away with the time-consuming task of going through stacks of resumes by automating the entire process.

So now, identifying candidates with relevant skills, shortlisting those with the required amount of experience, or running background tasks will all be automated. Thanks to Search Intelligence, sourcing, screening, and interviewing candidates cease to be time-consuming tasks. AI-powered recruiting software can send out a job post to thousands of job-seekers/potential candidates. It can post a job advertisement on multiple job boards and social media sites at once. It can sift through hundreds and thousands of resumes in a matter of minutes and come up with the best-fit candidates for the role. This will save several productive hours for the recruiters and make the recruitment process more effective.

2. Chatbots for Communication

In addition to helping the HR teams with a variety of administrative tasks such as collecting employee data and conducting initial screening, chatbots are great tools for candidate engagement.

Recruiters can employ chatbots to respond to the queries of candidates and to schedule interviews with the shortlisted prospects. This reduces the potential waiting time candidates would have otherwise experienced if a human was responsible for the communication. Advanced, intelligent chatbots nowadays go beyond the traditional chat feature and use Natural Language Processing (NLP) to communicate with and analyze the candidates better. Chatbots help provide a better candidate experience and even enhance the employee experience at later stages.

3. Improved Quality of Hire

Only 36% of HR functions have started to introduce AI and just 14% have invested in AI over the past 2 years. Employee retention, management abilities, cultural fit, and productivity are some of the many pointers recruiters have in mind while looking out for candidates.

Early adopters of AI-powered recruiting software reported that their cost per screen decreased by 75% and turnover reduced by 35%. These were good signs that indicated the positive effects of implementing AI in the recruitment process way back in 2017.

AI has the potential to process large volumes of data effectively and come at insights that help make intelligent hiring decisions. New-age recruiters use Artificial Intelligence to evaluate the word choices, speech patterns, and facial expressions of candidates to assess their fit for the role. Experts across the globe are also trying to make the recruitment process free from any kind of bias by using AI algorithms.

While AI-powered tools have numerous positive impacts on the recruitment process, the implementation doesn’t come easy. Let’s have a look at some challenges that accompany it.

Also Read: Why is Employee Engagement Important?

Challenges with Implementing AI in Recruitment Cycle

1. Lack of Human Touch

Over 77% of candidates who have searched for a job in the past five years told that they prefer human interaction throughout the course of the job hunt. With chatbots taking over the conversations, those people might feel a deficiency of human touch and may terminate the process prematurely. Also, chatbot conversations may appear to be robotic, for obvious reasons. Furthermore, they are not fully capable of understanding human lingo and emotions. And these characteristics altogether may impact candidate experience rather negatively.

2. Reliability is Still a Matter of Concern

Most AI-based recruiting tools are still in their nascent stages. They are still going through a data learning curve and may have numerous inconsistencies and flaws. The data made available to these tools is not enough many a time. They need a plethora of data to recognize patterns and derive conclusions.

For instance, an applicant screening system may reject a candidate’s profile simply because he or she doesn’t meet the exact requirements mentioned in the JD. The applicant might have used a different font in the resume, or the scanner wasn’t able to read it properly. An unusual page orientation, format, or picture placement may get a lot of candidates rejected, even if they would make perfect choices for the role advertised.

Also, with social recruitment on the rise, AI tools may start judging applicants on their digital footprints and social media activities. While this “may” provide great insights into their skills, what about a person who is great for the role but isn’t much active on social media?

3. Bias May Still Make Way for Itself

AI, which is expected to reduce bias related to name, age, gender, nationality, etc. in the recruitment process, may unknowingly introduce bias in the system itself. This happens because AI recruiting tools analyze patterns. Now, if you feed your company’s last five years’ recruitment data into an AI-powered tool, it will learn from the database. It will pick up any pattern that was present earlier but hasn’t been excluded by the algorithm yet.

A classic example of this is Amazon’s AI recruitment system. The company was trying out this system to shortlist candidates automatically for certain unfilled positions. The team working on the tool found out that the tool was biased against female candidates because the previous 10 years’ data fed into the system had a pattern of subconscious/unconscious bias against females. The algorithm had no idea it was supposed to ignore it.

In addition to requiring a lot of data, Artificial Intelligence carries numerous challenges in its practical application in the HR field. However, AI-aided tools will change the role of recruiters in the days to come and will bestow them with more flexibility, productivity, and intelligent insights.


The post was first published by TecHR Series