How Artificial Intelligence is disrupting recruiting
Whether chat robots or active sourcing, this much is certain: digitally supported recruiting is transforming the HR industry and has become state of the art. Given the growing digitalisation of the world of work, this development is hardly surprising. But in which areas and phases of a recruiting process are digital technologies being used? Core elements include the increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI), chat-bots and algorithms, as well as the analysis of the data obtained (Big Data). In the following article, we will look at the possible uses of AI and the question of whether or not AI can completely replace human interaction. Let's first take a look at the definition of AI:
Artificial intelligence (AI) is “the ability of a digital computer or computer-controlled robot to perform tasks commonly associated with intelligent beings.” AI applications can help recruiters facilitate their daily work, as their use brings the following benefits: process optimisation, time and cost-saving, neutralization and objectivity. Thus it helps effectively and successfully recruit new employees in the long term. In the following we would like to present concrete examples of applications:
AI job applications can help recruiters optimize advertisements so that applicants find them as easily as possible in search engines, for example by optimizing keywords. Likewise, suitable job advertisements can be created based on existing data and published on the most promising channels.
Sourcing & Matching
AI can also be used for sourcing candidates who accurately match the job description. Special software can crawl several million public professional profiles on the internet on various platforms, including LinkedIn, GitHub, Quora, Facebook and many more and create a ranking of suitable candidate profiles. At Expertlead, we also use AI-based algorithms to identify and automatically pre-qualify suitable IT experts by checking the quality of existing code that the developers have published on GitHub or GitLab.
CV parsing is the automatic analysis and reading of CVs in the online application process. A tool transfers relevant applicant information, such as name, address, work experience, qualifications, degrees, hard and soft skills, into a database. This facilitates the work for the HR department, as this information no longer has to be transferred manually. A big plus: AI prevents biases from influencing the selection of incoming applications: Thanks to the objectivity and anonymisation of data, diversity instead of discrimination is promoted. Decisions are made exclusively on the basis of data - aspects such as origin, name, gender or similar do not play a role. CVs can also be automatically screened for specific buzzwords. For this, it is important that the recruiter defines appropriate criteria beforehand. The challenge here: In some circumstances, it is important to look at the personality and learn more about the background and the environment in which the person has worked.
Already in frequent use are chatbots that can manage the first contact with applicants in an automated manner. For example, if a candidate has a question, they can get a quick and reliable answer via a chatbot without a member of the HR department having to take the time to respond. Besides the benefit of saving time, chatbots also have a positive impact on the candidate experience, as they increase the engagement with candidates and respond immediately to questions without impatience. The challenge: In the end, it is a machine, not a human, that communicates with candidates: Chatbots can lack empathy and often have difficulty distinguishing between formal and informal language or understanding dialects or slang.
Artificial intelligence can also be used in the context of job interviews. This applies to the scheduling of interviews and the management of interview stages and their correspondence which can significantly speed up the processes. In some cases, systems even take over the initial video interviews, where every candidate is asked the same set of questions to check whether they fit the job. However, this could potentially have a negative impact on the candidate experience, as it could leave candidates with the impression that they might not be valued enough for someone to speak to them in person. The lack of a human counterpart and of a direct response to what is said could also potentially make some talent feel insecure.
AI can also support recruiters in conducting and evaluating assessments, for example, intelligence tests or subject-specific assessments such as tech challenges. For example, tech recruiters can use the platform Hackerrank to assess the skills of developers with online coding tests. Through assessments, the skills of a large number of applicants can be tested in a standardized, structured and objective approach to selection - and not only in the tech sector. The assessment is developed by humans who, depending on the position to be filled, put together certain exercises that are intended to assess the hard or soft skills of the candidates. There is AI software that performs personality tests, but also game-based assessments that can measure both cognitive skills and career-relevant personality traits. Besides the advantage that more candidates can be tested faster and in a standardized way, there are also concerns about the accuracy of such technologies.
Advantages and limitations of AI in recruiting
The use of AI can save time and costs by optimizing processes. This can also be an advantage for candidates: Job advertisements that are a perfect fit are displayed to them. AI can also quickly pre-screen a large volume of incoming applications and match them with job requirements. This means that candidates can be given initial feedback in a timely manner. This also significantly improves the quality of the initial approach, as only candidates who truly fit the job are approached by recruiters with a tailored message. Having decisions free of biases can have an additional positive effect on the diversity of corporate culture.
Despite various advantages that AI and other technologies offer in the application process, they will never be able to completely replace the human component and the crucial personal contact between HR professionals and applicants. AI applications match data with pre-defined criteria. If an applicant does not fit 100% into the scheme, they may be rejected in the pre-selection process despite being the perfect fit - and vice versa. Therefore, it is important that humans are involved in the decision-making process in order to review the insights gained through technologies and to place them in an overall context. In the end, behind every applicant is a human individual, with their own story, feelings, and needs that cannot be fully captured by AI applications.