The AI Revolution for Recruitment

In the era of autonomous vehicles, food delivery by drones, and swiping our way to love, it’s clear that the tedious, time consuming, and often fruitless job recruitment system of old is in need of a tech-makeover. Who better to do it than the all mighty AI.

AI is already affecting the technology powering digital advertising, vehicle connectivity, and financial services. The recruitment industry is also ripe for an AI revolution.

In fact, 15% of HR leaders in 40 countries shared that they believe AI is already impacting the workplace, and an additional 40% believe that AI will significantly influence their decision making, in the coming two to five years. And it should, as implementing AI promises to maximize efficiency, reduce annual business costs, and tackle workplace inequality and discrimination, and more.

AI can process tasks at a scale that most HR teams would struggle with, including quickly and efficiently analyzing thousands of candidates’ applications, saving valuable time and money when searching for talent with the most relevant competencies and experienceNot only does this streamline the recruitment process, it also helps companies hire the most suitable candidates, drastically reducing the chances of hiring an ill-suited employee, while maximizing resource utilization enabling the best use of resources.

Hiring the wrong person can be crippling for companies, particularly smaller businesses. A bad hire not only presents a wasted opportunity cost, but equally troubling bi-products such as low productivity, and negative morale. When AI takes over the process of sifting through resumes, it will free up managers to refocus their attention on crucial matters such as employee retention, office morale, and of course productivity.

Job seekers are also looking for more efficient methods of job hunting. Tired of dealing with grueling applications, they too are turning to easy-to-use technologies which smartly match them with suitable companies. The level to which AI is empowering candidates goes as far as pinpointing the traits and trajectories of top performers, to tailoring job searches for opportunities that will result in a strengthened career path, ultimately providing an edge when it comes to securing the role and future they want.

While AI is remarkable in many ways, it’s not full-proof and requires oversight and vigilance to make sure conscious and unconscious human bias doesn’t seep into the hiring process. AI systems needs to be programmed what to learn and what data is important. But because they need to be programmed by humans, there is a risk of AI emulating existing human bias. For instance, if a company’s culture is already predominately made up of white males, with similar backgrounds, there is a danger that AI would exacerbate the problem by selecting candidates that match that company’s existing make up -not based on the variable of their actual ethnic background, but rather traits that tend to be more popular among members of a certain group.

As a National Academy of Sciences research paper shows, both male and female managers are twice as likely to recruit men, as opposed to women, based on paper resumes alone. AI can tackle this problem by focusing solely on experience and ability, ignoring demographic information such as name, nationality and/or gender.

Don’t fret! There are ways to consciously program the system to eliminate, or reduce, existing and inherent biases. This is a perfect example of how humans and AI will collaborate in recruitment. So, for those of you who are worried that AI will put you out of a job, it won’t. It will however, change the nature of your day to day work – and for the better.

The AI recruitment revolution is still in its infancy, but HR teams know that there is no better combination than artificial intelligence and emotional intelligence to build a winning team.