Recruitment has been steadily moving away from the old-fashioned use of “gut feeling” since data analytics first achieved mainstream viability. There’s still a role for intuition — and certainly a major role for human assessment, since we’re not even close to machine learning being able to replace complex human thought — but each year the industry grows more sophisticated.
In fact, the use of AI systems to replace or enhance parts of the hiring process is disrupting recruitment in various ways, causing recruiters, employers and applicants alike to adjust how they approach it. Let’s look at 5 ways in which AI is making a significant mark.
5 WAYS AI IS DISRUPTING THE RECRUITING INDUSTRY
1. It’s drawing from existing connections
Personal connections remain highly influential in recruitment. We’re wired to favor people we know, regardless of how hard we try to defeat that bias, and it’s usually a good thing: if you know someone, you can personally attest to their skills and likelihood of fitting in with your corporate structure. It makes a lot of sense to use personal networks to assist with hiring.
And though personal recommendations have always driven recruitment, they’ve typically been fairly passive from the perspective of employers — perhaps an existing employee will relay that someone they know is looking for a new job, and the employer will find room for them. The process hasn’t usually been much use for employers actively seeking new blood, but that’s something that AI is changing.
AI systems can rummage through all available social networks, deciphering identities and figuring out how people are connected (individual networks already do this in various ways). That information can then be used by employers to find candidates who are linked in some way to people they know (and thus more likely to be a good fit culturally and professionally).
2. It’s enhancing talent searches
When recruiters or employers look for talent, they need all the information they can get about people’s backgrounds, accomplishments, and skills. The more data they can accrue and parse, the more usefully they can compare candidates and identify the top contenders — and AI systems are capable of finding and framing data in ways that people never could.
Just think about all the personal details readily displayed in social media accounts (and user accounts of all varieties). While they could be found and gathered manually, it would be an exhausting and prohibitively-lengthy process, whereas a powerful AI system could get the entire thing done in minutes (if not seconds). The result? A range of candidates presented with tens or even hundreds of sort-able fields containing notable data points.
Consider how people trade websites online today. Because shoppers don’t need to hunt for analytics — having them clearly presented through online marketplaces — they can think about other things, such as their personal impressions of the sites. The same goes for talent. If you have all the skill-relevant metrics clearly marked from the outset, you can start digging deeper.
3. It’s automating scheduling
Scheduling is a tricky part of recruitment to get right, particularly when you’re looking to bring in a large pool of applicants for a lengthy interviewing process. 10 people, each with one interview before you make a decision? Not a problem. 200 people, each with two remote interviews followed by three in-person interviews? How do you arrange such a thing?
Previously, this was something that recruiters and managers would need to patient figure out, often making mistakes along the way and needing to contact applicants to rearrange interviews or (temporarily) cancel them. The result would typically be a lot of frustration and a feeling among applicants that they weren’t viewed as valuable.
But AI systems can now handle this for you. Google Hire is one such system — many people already rely on their Google Calendars (particularly automated updates through Gmail and other integrations), and the Hire system can give you a clear overview of how your interviewing schedule fits together. Soon enough, AI systems will be using defined preferences to fill calendars without any direct input.
4. It’s making interviews dynamic
Remote interviews may already be standard in the recruitment industry, but they certainly haven’t been perfected. The intangible elements that can be detected when you meet with someone in person have been lost, and little (aside from convenience) has been gained. But with AI technology, they can be transformed into powerful information-gathering tools.
Think about how time-intensive it can be to prepare an interview for a technically-demanding position — even if you’re not meeting with them in person, you still need to confirm that a candidate can do everything they claim they can do. With an AI interview solution at hand, you can simply define parameters (the type of test, the difficulty level, the subject matter) and get an ad-hoc interview test — and when the test is over, the software can assess the results and let you know how that candidate compares to others.
This might seem fanciful to some, but it’s entirely viable. In fact, it’s already happening (just see how Paññã uses adaptive interviews, for instance). The interview of the future will be mostly automated, leaving the people involved to focus on the aforementioned intangibles. Should you entrust everything to AI yet? Well, no — there’s still a lot of work to be done. But give it time.
5. It’s reducing “ghosting”
Ghosting is a term dragged from the dating world, referring to the unpleasant phenomenon of simply being ignored by someone who’s done with you but doesn’t want to let you know. In recruitment, it’s been a frustration (mainly for candidates) for a long time. When you go to a lot of effort to create a targeted application and attend a couple of interviews, you at least expect to be informed of your failure — but that doesn’t often happen, for whatever reason.
But AI systems can make this a thing of the past, all without causing recruiters or employers any inconvenience. When the decision is made to hire a candidate, all other candidates can automatically (and immediately) be informed. And if everything in the hiring process has been tied together correctly, they can be sent relevant notes on how they performed and came across, giving them valuable feedback for future efforts.
Recruitment is a tough but essential and high-value process. Choosing the right candidate (or the right employee) can make the difference between success and failure. And while a good hiring process should always be driven by human assessment, AI is already showing how conveniently and powerfully it can speed up the overall process.
About the Author: Pat Foster writes for Ecommerce Tips, an industry-leading ecommerce blog dedicated to sharing business and entrepreneurial insights from the sector. Start growing your business today and check out the latest on Twitter @myecommercetips.