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AI: End of the Line for Recruiters?
Artificial intelligence (AI) is well and truly on the rise across many sectors and industries. In fact, there’s probably been a point where you’ve asked yourself: “could my job be taken over by a robot?”.
For recruiters, this could be an extremely likely possibility.
Research into the HR and recruitment industries has found that 70% of HR managers believe the recruitment process would be more effective if it were more data-driven and, because of the technological advances in the industry, an increase in the use of AI would be an obvious solution to this problem.
However, many could argue that an increase in AI will lead to jobs being put at risk – but should we simply embrace this change and prepare for new roles to open up within the sector?
AdView expects AI to transform the industry in three ways:
1. AI can be used to reach a larger pool of skilled and talented candidates
A human recruiter’s manual ability to carry out candidate searches is much more limited than AI’s. All recruiters know that an effective way of finding out about a candidate’s attitudes, interests and values is through their social media profiles but AI can take this one step further.
AI technology can analyse a wide variety of words used in any given candidate’s social media posts, making it an extremely useful tool for narrowing down the talent pool during the early stages of the recruitment process. But, this doesn’t mean that a recruiter’s role becomes futile – it simply allows them to spend more time on worthwhile and valuable activities whilst AI undertakes candidate screening tasks.
By using AI in the candidate search process, any risk of unconscious bias on the recruiter’s behalf is reduced. Instead, AI can ensure that recruiters focus on the candidate’s expertise and skills so the most talented applicants shine through, benefitting both the individual and the recruiter.
Whilst it could be argued that AI will mean it’s the end of the line for recruiters as the technology will be enhancing and improving efficiency in the recruitment process, it’s important to remember that AI doesn’t have the advantage of experiencing emotions that humans do. Humans have an innate ability to judge character and personality, meaning the need for manual screening when selecting the right candidates will always be necessary.
2. The job candidate experience will be improved by AI
The process of searching for a job, applying for it and waiting to hear back – and often getting radio silence – can be painfully long and stressful for job seekers, especially if the business or recruitment agency they are applying through has an inefficient process.
It is equally as important for a job candidate to feel impressed by the business they are applying to, as it is for the company to feel like the candidate is perfect for the role. If a job applicant has to wait two weeks to find out their application has been accepted, another two weeks to schedule an interview and a further three weeks to find out if they’ve landed the job, there’s a strong chance they’ll be discouraged.
At the very least, they’ll now have a negative perception of the company but they could also have spent that time talking themselves out of wanting the job. However, AI can reduce this processing time; with the use of technology, businesses and recruitment agencies can improve the candidate experience and prevent them from becoming disengaged.
According to findings from a recent survey by Software Advice, 41% of job hunters have put their negative candidate experience down to being unable to contact a recruiter. Chatbot software, such as Mya, enables job applications to be reviewed for the mandatory criteria immediately; instead of waiting two weeks to hear feedback from a recruiter, candidates can find out in a matter of minutes whether they have been accepted for the next stage of the process.
Due to the high volume of CVs and applications recruiters receive, it means that it is almost impossible to provide feedback to an applicant in such a short space of time. AI technology means that the time of uncertainty for the candidate, whilst they wait to be contacted, is significantly reduced.
3. AI will be used to discreetly identify and keep track of job seekers’ behaviour trends and patterns
Even before the initial candidate screening stage, AI is already hard at work. Through analysing data, algorithms and trends, AI can pick up on the behaviour of active job seekers. If someone is spending a significant amount of time searching for ‘marketing jobs’ on a job board website, AI will track and learn this pattern and target the job seeker with relevant marketing jobs.
Not only can AI reach active job seekers, it also has the ability to target those who may not be actively searching for a new job or career; AI software can analyse data from social media to learn when a user might be leaving their job, looking for work or changing career.
For human recruiters, staying on top of job hunters’ trends and patterns can be a time consuming process, but AI can take on this role and reduce the manual investment. A recruiter’s ability to follow up with candidates can only go as far as phone calls and emails (apart from stalking LinkedIn and Twitter profiles) which, again, is a timely process, and often not appreciated by the candidate.
AI’s ability to discreetly track and spot candidates’ behaviour patterns is a win win situation for both recruiter and candidate; recruiters have more time to focus on reaching the most suitable candidates, and job seekers don’t find themselves inundated with follow up calls.
So, will the growth of AI eventually mean recruiters will be completely replaced by AI?
Google have already introduced Cloud Jobs API, which works to improve the recruitment process by matching “job seeker preferences with relevant job listings based on sophisticated classifications and relational models”, and we can only expect to see more companies and recruitment agencies following suit.
It’s likely that recruiters will find themselves relying on AI more and more over the coming years as the amount of depth and efficiency it can bring to the recruitment industry is phenomenal. But, it could eventually lead to jobs being replaced.
It can be argued that a human’s ability to feel emotion and assess character is something that AI cannot compete with, so humans will always be needed as part of the recruitment process. A recruiter’s time and effort can often be consumed by low-level admin aspects of their role, so if AI can take over these tasks it shouldn’t be seen as a negative impact.