The impact of AI on recruitment and the hiring process

  • July 20, 2023

The impact of AI on recruitment and the hiring process

It’s impossible to avoid AI at the moment, it seems everywhere you turn someone is touting a new use for it and there’s no doubt it’s already making a big impact in sectors like healthcare, financial services, climatology and pretty much anything else you can build an algorithm for.  

But is it nuanced enough to actually help companies with their hiring? Can it really help you source and hire better candidates? Can it speed up the process? Is it making life any easier or fairer for candidates or hiring managers?

Well, the answer is yes, and no…

It’s certainly proved itself as a useful tool for recruiters so far. It helps with writing adverts and also enables much faster, usually more accurate searching.  Natural language Processing (NLP) techniques mean candidates can be matched to job opportunities with varying degrees of accuracy quite quickly.

AI can help hiring managers or recruiters build their shortlists, but what then?

What about the all-important candidate experience? Can it really be personalised to keep ever more distracted applicants engaged?

Again, yes and no.

Chatbots are being used increasingly for the initial comms with applicants. This can be well received if done properly as it allows for rapid fire, 24 hour responses that help guide potential applicants through the process of uploading their details to your portal or ensuring they end up in the right department.  

However, if it’s done badly it can be a real turn off and leave a bad impression, the exact opposite outcome you were going for. We have all experienced the feeling of disappointment when responding to questions from the (seemingly) very human sounding avatar only to feel like an idiot when it dawns on you, “Oh, it’s just another machine, ‘Katie’ doesn’t really exist, or indeed want to help me” – that feeling could cost you a very important hire.

One area it does better is in helping avoid unconscious bias. With D&I at the forefront of most company’s hiring strategy, AI has proven very useful by providing objective, data-driven assessments. By focusing on relevant skills and qualifications, AI algorithms eradicate the influence of factors such as a candidate's name, gender, or appearance.

It should be noted however that the system is only as good as the data it is using. So it’s important to ensure the info you’re putting in is objective in the first place. Otherwise, you could end up with a heavily biased system that you don’t even realise is discriminating!

How does AI help the interview process?

Well, here we are a way off. AI can do no more than act as a glorified chatbot, so in terms of conducting an interview in such a way as to replicate a real life interaction, we have a way to go. However, for basic roles that require easily measurable skills, it can be used effectively. For example, if you were wanting to hire a developers in different countries, you could automate the process including assessments meaning people could be interviewed and tested at a time convenient to them regardless of where they are in the world.

What's next with AI in recruitment moving forward?

AI has proven to be a useful tool for recruiters and hiring managers. If properly adopting it and ensuring the right data and messaging are available, companies can reduce their time to hire and improve the fairness of the process from a D&I perspective. However, as with any transformative technology, there remain mainly challenges and pitfalls. Finding the right balance between automation and a personal, real life interaction is essential to create an engaging and ultimately successful hiring process.

If you’re looking to hire or have any questions about how AI is being used within recruitment, get in contact with our specialist recruiters today.