Artificial Intelligence (AI) has helped many industries, including Human Resources. As more AI tools become available, streamlining the hiring process can save a lot of time. But when considering all the pros and cons of using AI, it is also important to determine what will be the best decision for your company.
According to the Academy to Innovate HR, traditional recruitment to hire new employees usually involves the following steps:
Each of these steps completed without AI, means the recruitment process is more labor intensive and longer. According to LinkedIn, this entire process can take up to six weeks to complete. With the help of various AI tools, this total amount of time can be reduced by incorporating analytical tools and automation to allow the recruiter to work on other tasks.
According to Recruiter.com, many repetitive tasks and high volume screening can be delegated to AI in order to help the recruiter narrow down the candidate pool based on the established parameters. Some of these tools include:
Chatbots – These computer programs simulate a human conversation and are designed to answer general questions about a posted job (e.g. education requirements, hours, etc.) This allows the candidate to ask more specific questions when speaking directly to the recruiter in the future.
Screening – AI can analyze a large amount of data and determine the resumes that are the closest match for the position, based on the education and experience of the applicant. This screening could also include examining social media to predict if the job candidate would be successful based on that data.
Interviewing – According to Gartner, 86% of employers utilized video technology for interviewing candidates during the pandemic. Automated video interviews, also known as AVIs, allows AI technology to record the candidate’s answers within a set timeframe. Then those responses are analyzed based on visual cues, language used, and their tone of voice. A final report with the results is then sent to the employer for further consideration.
There are many pros and cons in using AI technology, some of the biggest advantages and concerns include:
Reducing unconscious bias – Humans have the potential to make snap judgments that create an unconscious bias toward a new hire that could be discriminatory if based on factors such as race, age or gender. However, when AI technology is focused solely on skills, education, and experience this unconscious bias is often reduced.
Ability to handle high volume quickly – Since AI automates the process, even if hundreds of job seekers apply for a particular position, AI can screen for a set criteria, sort, and keep track of each step that is completed by every candidate. This often can eliminate hours of tedious review and gives recruiters the best candidates based on their qualifications. This also allows for unqualified applicants to be eliminated at the start of the process.
Enhancing communication throughout the process – Many candidates will drop out as a job seeker if they aren’t able to check on the status of their application. Many AI systems will update the process as candidates complete each step which promotes both timeliness and transparency for the job candidate.
Missing human judgment – When AI is programmed to find specific keywords or educational backgrounds and doesn’t find an exact match, a qualified candidate could potentially be overlooked due to this error. This also makes the process less flexible due to the lack of human judgment.
Technology that’s too powerful – AI has the ability to analyze all the factors related to a particular candidate and make the most logical choice based on those hard skills. However, according to a Pew Research study 71% of people were not comfortable with the idea of AI making the final hiring decision.
Creating an impersonal process – Depending on how much AI can be programmed to simulate humans, it’s still a computer system that has the potential to be impersonal. Recruiters who rely too much on AI could discourage candidates who ultimately want a good experience that’s more personal in nature.
As new AI technology is developed and improved, this will continue to impact both hiring practices and the role of recruiters in general. Some of the ways AI will likely be beneficial in the future will include:
Identifying candidates before they apply – Most AI programs are designed to scan and analyze information but that function doesn’t have to be limited to only job seekers who apply for a particular job. AI can use its algorithms to search for job candidates, beyond the job posting and do proactive outreach for an open position.
Candidates will be less likely to leave the hiring process – Wading through a long and cumbersome hiring process without a confirmed job offer isn’t attractive to most top candidates who have multiple opportunities. Even if your company is the better choice, most will go elsewhere if they can start sooner.
Recruiters can focus less on time consuming administrative tasks – Recruiters typically like the human aspect of HR versus the paperwork involved for hiring someone. Since AI can condense the process of these mundane tasks, recruiters are free to develop a better personal experience for the candidate.