Is Artificial Intelligence Hindering the Recruitment Industry?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is growing at a rapid rate, with The Drum recently revealing that over half of UK businesses are planning to spend £10m in digital advancements in the next two years.

This is especially true in the recruitment industry.

In fact, we recently wrote about how tools like Beamery, Mya and ThisWay Global are transforming the way recruiters source and manage candidates.

With this in mind, does this mean that total integration of AI will completely eradicate the personal touch of recruiting and so, make it even harder for candidates to find a job? And for employers to hire great people?

AI and the candidate experience.

Earlier this month, BBC published an article about the negative impact AI was having on the candidate experience.

21-year-old Cardiff University graduate, Peter Lane, explained how artificial intelligence was hindering his career prospects and that he was having to take video-based screening interviews, stating: “I didn’t even meet my potential employers.”

He’s not the only one who finds this kind of process tedious and a little less than fair.

Can we really judge someone on their performance talking to a machine?

And is searching for people using certain keywords and phrases the right way to find superstar candidates?

Another issue with over-reliance on artificial intelligence is that candidates aren’t receiving the necessary feedback to learn and improve.

While it’s not always possible to contact every unsuccessful candidate personally, a quality recruitment company will take a few extra minutes just to put a few words together if their applicant wasn’t successful following the interview stage.

This is only fair, when the candidate has made the effort to show up.

Missing a trick?

Elle Robinson of Kiddy & Partners believes that AI can “help remove bias from the selection process.”

But is that true?

When you consider that the AI system is programmed by a recruiter or employer, in theory, it’ll still have predetermined prejudice, but will just use it at a quicker rate.

Recruiter pro tip

According to Mckinsey, culturally diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform their competitors, with 15% of gender diverse companies also likely to as well. Yet, these important factors are often ignored as recruiters or employers go for the person they have more in common with.

To learn how to avoid doing this, take a look at our previous article: ‘8 Essential Guidelines to Reduce Unconscious Bias In Your Recruitment Process’.

And then there’s the issue of candidates embellishing their CVs.

According to Xref, more than a quarter adapt their CVs for a certain role to make them sound more suitable.

As artificial intelligence continues to grow in the next couple of years, it’s inevitable that job seekers will recognise this and the issue will get worse.

Cultural fit.

Part of the recruitment process is finding a candidate that fits the company’s ethos and future aspirations.

While sophisticated AI programmes can highlight personality traits through statistics, they don’t have the capacity to gauge a candidate from a cultural point of view.

By meeting a candidate and hearing what they have to say, you can start to understand whether they have the same core beliefs that are integral to the business.

You’ll also have an opportunity to see if their personality matches the company’s behavioural traits and attitudes within the team.

In fact, agency central revealed the importance of cultural assessment, stating that those who fit within a company culturally had higher job satisfaction, were more likely to stay, and boasted higher productivity.

Finding the right candidate who matches the company ethos and environment is a matter of getting to know the person on a one to one level – which is something artificial intelligence can’t do.

Should recruiters abandon AI?

While artificial intelligence might be removing some of the personal elements to the recruitment process, we shouldn’t forget the positives too.

Sifting through hundreds of CVs is not only monotonous but time-consuming as well.

Using the power of AI, you can run an extensive keyword search to help whittle down the number of potential candidates.

Senior vice-president of product at Indeed, Raj Mukherjee, said:

“AI-powered technology gives recruiters back the time to make human connections, transforms the jobseeker experience, and ultimately, helps match talent to roles.”   

Recent developments.

And, we mustn’t forget that, though there may be limitations to AI right now, technology is constantly evolving.

Take the new revolutionary software called Talify as an example. This allows graduates to input their skills and personality traits in return for a list of employers who fit their specific criteria.

The founder of Talify, Michael Novack, explained to agency central:

“Candidates complete one instrument, but embedded within it are multiple measures, including job interest, self-assessed skill, experience, and personality. The tests can also assess leadership qualities, empathy, problem solving, ability to work on a team, and entrepreneurship, among others.”

Software programmes like Talify could make the recruitment process easier by helping bring job seekers directly to companies, for more competitive roles. Watch this space.

Summary

On reflection, whether you think AI will be a help or a hindrance to recruitment, doesn’t really matter.

Technology is constantly developing, whether we like it or not, so it’s important to keep up to date with all the developments, whether you choose to embrace them fully or not.

You don’t want to get left behind.

Just be careful not to lose your human touch.

Always make the effort to support your candidates with advice, feedback on their applications and opportunities to ask you any questions.

It will seriously boost your employer brand.

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