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Will AI Threaten the SME Hiring Process?

19 July 2017
Besma Whayeb
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Will AI Threaten the SME Hiring Process? | In Demand by AdView

It’s no secret that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is well and truly on the rise. It’s prevalent in businesses of all sizes, and is quickly affecting the hiring process, even in small to medium enterprises.

With all this talk of AI, at some point you’ve probably already asked yourself “Could my job be replaced by a robot?

And for those working in HR and recruitment, this may actually be true.

The Power of Data

Recent research found that 70% of HR managers want the hiring process to be data-driven, and technological advances mean that the obvious solution to this problem would be to increase the use of AI.

Many will argue that this could put jobs at risk, when in fact we should embrace this change because it will make way for new roles within the sector.

At AdView, we’re expecting AI to transform the hiring process in three key ways. We explore each below, and put them into context for SMEs and their own hiring processes too:

1. AI will find the most suitable candidates

As a small business, it’s vital that the person you’re hiring shares your business values, will fit into your company’s culture and will drive sales and traffic to your SME.

This is achievable with AI; it can dive deeper and wider into the candidate search than a human can.

Social media reveals a lot about a person’s attitudes, interests and beliefs, so what better way to learn whether a potential candidate is suitable for your SME than using AI to analyse a variety of words in their social media posts?

Not only will this narrow down the talent pool in the early stages of the hiring process, but it will also allow HR teams and recruiters to focus on more worthwhile and valuable tasks.

Some will argue that AI will put an end to recruitment and HR jobs, as it has the ability to enhance processes whilst allowing for more efficient candidate searches, but many would disagree.

AI is unable to adopt the innate human ability to judge character and personality that is so important when hiring for your SME, so there will always be a need for manual screening.

2. AI will be much more discreet

AI’s role comes into play one step before the initial screening part of the hiring process starts. By analysing data and algorithms, AI can pick up on and track job hunters’ behaviour trends.

If a potential candidate is spending a significant amount of time searching for “senior marketing jobs” on a job board site, AI is able to learn this behaviour and target them with similar positions.

The power of AI also means that those who may not even be actively searching for a new job can be reached and targeted.

AI software has the ability to analyse data from social media posts in order to learn when a potential candidate might be leaving their current job, looking for a career change or graduating from university.

Not only does this save HR teams time, which is especially beneficial in SMEs as resources can be limited, it also means that recruiters don’t have to spend valuable time on routine follow up phone calls and emails with candidates. AI can discreetly monitor potential candidates’ behaviour patterns instead.

3. AI will improve the recruitment experience

Having a negative experience when job hunting can often lead to job applicants having a negative impression of a business, even before they’ve had an interview.

Businesses of all sizes should understand that it is just as important for a potential candidate to feel impressed by your business as it is for you to be impressed by them but, as an SME, maintaining a positive reputation is vital.

A long and slow hiring process is likely to discourage job seekers from the role, especially if they are a good fit for the role. If it takes a long time for applicants to find out they’ve got through to the interview stage of the hiring process, they might have already talked themselves out of the job.

However, with the use of AI, HR teams can reduce the processing time and create a positive experience for candidates so they’re prevented from becoming disengaged.

Chatbot software, such as Mya, allows applications to be checked and reviewed for the essential job criteria immediately so the bot can let candidates know whether they have been accepted on to the next stage of the hiring process within a matter of minutes.

Due to the sheer volume of CVs and applications small business can receive for a job role, HR teams can find it almost impossible to respond to a candidate in this short amount of time. But, with the support of AI, candidates won’t be faced with radio silence after applying for a role.

So, what will the growth of AI mean for small businesses?

With the level of depth and efficiency AI is able to contribute to the hiring process, it’s likely that HR teams and recruiters will find themselves relying on AI more and more and eventually it could lead to jobs being replaced.

Research by RS Components has found that 37 per cent of administrative jobs are at risk of being taken over by AI and robots, and this could have a big impact on the hiring process of SMEs.

If technology takes over the low-level admin aspects of their hiring process, this shouldn’t be seen as a negative impact of AI as it’s enabling small businesses to focus on hiring the perfect addition to their team.