The world is changing, rapidly. Is AI a helpful tool, or a risk?
Machine learning and AI have been hot topics across various industries lately, and recruitment is no exception. More and more companies are using this technology to support their HR team and streamline the hiring process.
According to 2023 statistics from Business Solution, 65% of recruiters are already using AI in their hiring process. Plus, 89% of HR professionals believe that AI will improve their day-to-day operations. A different study, however, found that 87% of those surveyed felt there were risks related to using AI in recruitment processes.
There’s been a lot of hype and speculation about this technology and it’s hard to know what the future will hold. What does using AI really mean for recruiters? What are the pros and cons of using it to support our recruitment processes? Have we taken enough time to consider the dangers involved in relying too much on AI?
In this article, we’ll take a closer look into what the future of AI for recruiters might bring when it comes to incorporating this technology into their workflow. Let’s take a look at a few of the most common recruitment-related use cases for AI, and their pros and cons.
Example Use Case #1: AI Generated Job Posts
Job posts, careers pages and blogs about company values are important recruitment tools. However, writing these materials takes time and effort. In some cases, AI can be used in the writing process to create this content faster. This is especially true if the material is somewhat generic and can be based on an easily-replicated template.
However, the quality of the content ChatGPT and other AI tools produces is still not very high. It requires skillful prompting and a lot of tweaking to get what you want and sometimes, writing these materials yourself is more effective. This is especially true if there are unique values and a distinctive culture to your organisation that may be difficult to describe.
(Plus, AI-powered generative text tools are prone to making up facts and citations that don’t exist. So, anything you publish should be carefully proofread and fact-checked before it goes live.)
Example Use Case #2: Interview Chatbots
Another interesting use-case of AI for recruiters is AI-powered Chatbots. These are bots that use natural language processing to have initial conversations with candidates.
The bots can be programmed to respond to questions, as well as ask the candidate pre-determined questions to figure out their suitability for the role. Some studies have shown that AI-powered chatbots can eliminate some of the bias that can often show up in human hiring.
But of course, the software will only ever be as good as the data we feed it. How has this chatbot been built and what is it based on? If there are biases inherent in the dataset the AI is trained on, we shouldn’t be surprised when those biases show up in the results.
Also, while an interview robot can mimic a simple conversation, it doesn’t have the ability to evaluate human qualities in a subjective and nuanced way. As a result, it might overlook someone who is a great culture fit, simply because they don’t have the exact experience specified in the job posting.
Additionally, what happens when candidates learn to simply say what the chatbots want to hear, rather than being honest? According to this study, over 90% of people think that artificial intelligence can be manipulated in this way. The widely accepted belief is that whenever an automated tool is used, there will always be people who learn how to game the system to jump to the next stage in the hiring process.
Example Use Case #3: AI Video Interviewing
Another potential application of AI in the recruiting process? Video interviews.
AI-powered video recruiting software programs, such as Interviewer.ai, are designed to pre-screen and shortlist candidates. This technology can save you time by performing pre-interviews, and it uses AI to identify desirable traits such as the candidates’ speech cadence, body language, dressing, eye contact, and facial motion.
This can be interesting and helpful data and tools like this may help to streamline your process. However, they should be used with extreme caution. Using this technology to make hiring decisions could result in some serious pitfalls.
For example, the idea that an AI can identify a suitable hire from a candidates’ body language, eye contact and facial motion quickly becomes problematic. It could result in discrimination against neurodivergent people, since it’s harder for them to make eye contact or sit still when speaking. This could lead to a candidate being unfairly disqualified, although they may do an excellent job in the role.
How to Avoid Potential Pitfalls When Using AI
Yes, AI can be a helpful tool. It is, however, far from being able to take over the role of a recruiter. We have to be careful not to get caught up in the hype or overestimate its abilities. AI does not have a sentient mind and it is not capable of thought, or of making conscious decisions.
Some of the major concerns about using AI include:
- We should not eliminate human judgement completely when screening recruits. Sophisticated contextual knowledge and human awareness is absolutely necessary.
- AI interaction can feel impersonal. This can be very off-putting, especially for high-level candidates.
- AI doesn’t always eliminate bias. It sometimes perpetuates the existing bias in the data it’s trained on.
- There are legitimate concerns about data privacy and sensitive candidate information when using AI tools.
While AI can be used for the things that humans do poorly, such as repetitive tasks like scheduling, it should not be used for everything. There must always be a human monitoring and measuring the process to make sure the AI is adding value.
Here are some important tips to keep in mind for best results when working with AI:
- Make sure the data you use for training the AI is as diverse and unbiased as possible.
- Test and validate the model to make sure it is making accurate predictions, so you can adjust as needed.
- Make a habit of continuously monitoring and assessing the output, so you can make necessary adjustments to refine predictions.
- Chatbots can’t evaluate human qualities, so it’s still important to keep a human touch on all steps in the process.
Conclusion: Striking a Balance in the AI Era
While AI can be helpful, it is far from being able to take over the role of the recruiter.
AI is best used as a tool to enable and enhance human activities, but when it becomes too involved in the selection process you end up losing nuance, experience and knowledge.
In light of this, the role of an experienced human recruiter has arguably never been more important. The nuanced level of expertise that a professional brings is crucial for assessing the skills of each candidate and hiring in a fair and equitable way. Therefore, this is an opportunity for professional recruiters to really stand out and deliver quality, rather than quantity.
The future of AI for recruiters lies in striking a balance between harnessing the capabilities of this technology and preserving the human touch that is essential for meaningful connections.
What’s Your Experience with AI?
We’d love to hear your thoughts! Have you encountered AI in the recruiting process, either as a recruiter or a candidate?