AI Recruitment and How it Works |

Once known as the great fear for science fiction writers, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is starting to play a more important role in the day-to-day lives of everyone and everything. If there is one area the business world is starting to benefit from, the use of AI is in recruitment. 

AI is improving efficiency, personalisation, and data-informed decision making in recruitment and over 80% of global businesses are using AI in their recruitment procedures already.

In this guide you will learn about what AI is for recruitment, effective uses of AI in recruitment, the benefits of AI and how it is changing the role for recruiters.

What is AI for recruitment?

The world of recruitment has changed over the years and the role of AI has helped to shape many of these changes in the last few years in particular. AI in recruitment is able to take many of the time consuming, repetitive tasks whilst offering personalisation and data insights throughout the hiring process.

The advantages of AI are being heralded around the recruitment industry but what it really does, and it does it very well, is that it allows recruitment to solve big, complex, repeatable problems with quality results. AI is there to better illuminate the path to get you the candidates you want to hire and sift through applications which don’t meet your standards.

One of the key examples is that AI recruitment allows recruiters to focus more on dealing with day to day jobs and having the data behind them to do so. In fact, thanks to the nature of job applications today, recruiters have on average 6 seconds for one resume!

This is by no means enough to fairly judge a candidate. It’s no wonder why 66% of recruiters said that they would like to implement artificial intelligence in HR recruitment to improve their ability to identify proper candidates.

AI can also be used to better improve talent acquisition - especially with passive candidates by automating communications and performing outreach content to attract attention.

One of the other things that pops up in AI in recruitment is Machine Learning (ML). Whilst they are interchangeable with one another they are two different things. Artificial intelligence allows machines to make decisions and solve complex problems, ML is the process of making machines “intelligent” by feeding them data sets and specific examples. In short, ML is the training process, and AI is the science and engineering of applications and innovations made possible by ML.

Effective uses of AI in recruitment

Whilst AI is becoming prolific in the day to day lives of people, we have yet to see the full capabilities of such technologies and making human lives better. We encounter AI on a day-to-day basis but many times we aren’t aware of it, what we have yet to see is the use of AI in countless applications which will enable us to do more things in the future that will be to the benefit (hopefully) of humanity.

Naturally, as we are discussing the role of AI in recruitment we are seeing the impact that it is making in this part of the business world. It cannot be understated that AI is really transforming recruitment by doing many of the things that we have mentioned previously and so much more. For example, AI is helping recruiters to deal with thousands of CVs, work faster, more efficiently with far less likelihood of bias affecting decisions.

From improving efficiency from the automation of tedious tasks to giving more flexibility in the parameters recruiters are setting, AI is making waves in the recruitment world. What it allows recruiters to do is to focus on the big picture items and be more strategic within the organisation whilst AI handles the types of things that can slow down and weaken HR teams' efficiencies.

What other practical ways is AI helping recruiters? Here are some examples: 

AI bias control

For organisations that are committed to bringing in more diversity and hiring candidates who are more objectively assessed based on their skills and job match, AI is doing this better than any human can be expected to. It doesn’t have the unconscious bias that humans have but not only that, it can redact all the necessary information to help humans not have bias about their hiring decisions as well.

Using things like candidate fit scoring ensures that they're screened based on skills and experience rather than a bias-based demographic.

Physical interviews by AI powered bots

Again, pre-screening and first interviews are things that AI powered bots can handle. Whilst there will not be the back and forth of questioning, it can ask certain questions to elicit candidate requirement-based responses. 

The use of AI enabled bots in the interview process ensures consistency - and removes bias - especially from the types of questions which are asked. 

AI for candidate background assessment

As previously mentioned, AI is the perfect tool to complete laborious and repetitive tasks which also means it is perfect to do things such as background checks which lowers both errors and bias. 

AI enabled background checking alleviates recruiters from this tedious work and provides more reliable, unbiased assessments.

AI for reference checking

Similar to background checking - manually checking candidate references is time consuming and can be error prone - especially if a recruiter is having to spend hours doing countless checks on countless candidates.

An automated AI-powered reference checking alleviates recruiters and makes the process more efficient.

AI for onboarding new employees

Onboarding is critical for organisations to not only make new talent feel welcome but to get them up to speed quicker. AI again alleviates staff from the onboarding process and enables new hires to progress through the onboarding process at their own pace. From helping with training deliverables to giving out questionnaires and surveys to see if they understand source material or if they need more time and help. 

AI keeps track of all aspects of the process - making certain nothing is overlooked.

AI for personalisation

Being able to personalise tailored content throughout the candidate and staff lifecycle is great for their experience. AI can improve job candidate experience by dynamically presenting job related content that’s the right fit for them.

AI personalisation improves the working lives of staff by tailoring career development pathways, training opportunities and internal progress specifically to match individuals.

AI recruitment automation

AI is being used to deal with many of the tedious, time consuming aspects of recruitment. E.g.

  • Sourcing candidates

Automatically identifying those with the best fit for a role.

  • Screening

Assessing, scoring and ranking talent/applicants.

  • Scheduling

Setting up interview times and using chatbots.

  • Communicating

Sending follow up correspondence and next stages if successful

  • Assessment tools

Getting candidates to complete assessments and analysing results to present back to the recruitment team.

Benefits of artificial intelligence in recruitment

As previously mentioned, AI is having an important role in the world of recruitment and we have managed to already identify many of the benefits of AI in recruitment, but naturally there are more.

Here are just a few of the additional benefits that AI is making to the recruitment process. 

Improves the quality and objectivity of recruitment

One of the key areas in recruitment is the opportunity to promote and reward candidates based on their knowledge and experience. The best way to do this is by having a clear and objective look at the skills they possess and remove the potential for bias and errors in the screening process.

Another way to ensure the quality of recruitment remains high is by implementing better candidate communication and keeping assessments that are consistent. These are two areas where human interaction can vary greatly so many aspects of this can be missed without AI.

Finally, being able to score candidate suitability is essential. You want to be able to compare the different candidates on an equal basis and scoring based on standard criteria is a key to all of this.

Attract candidates who are the best fit

One of the biggest issues with recruitment was either; 

  • Finding candidates who didn’t fit the criteria for the ideal hire or
  • Trying to shoehorn candidates into roles they weren’t ideal to fill

What AI has managed to do is source candidates with very specific skills and experience in a quicker timescale which means that they can then reach out to more candidates and even look through the talent pool to see if they can identify talent in other areas.

AIs role has thus become essential to identifying candidates who are the best fit for the role based purely on their skills and capabilities. 

Saves time and money

Another benefit of using AI in the recruitment process is that it reduces both the ‘time to hire’ and ‘time to fill’ metrics.

Time to hire - measures the number of days between a candidate applying for a job and that same candidate accepting a job offer. 

Time to fill - measures the number of days it takes to fill an open position, from the date a job requisition is posted to the date a new hire accepts the position. 

What AI manages to do in order to save time and money is that it reduces the likelihood of losing valuable talent due to overly long recruitment processes. By getting hiring right first time staff churn and expensive miss-hires are reduced.

How AI is changing the role of recruiters

Our general understanding of AI has been shaped - widely - by films and TV shows. For many, it is believed that AI will remove or take over from humans altogether. However, the realistic view is that AI serves as an invaluable assistant that enhances the job performance of recruitment professionals.

Overall, AI will help recruiters in a few key areas - and importantly, the more advanced the technology becomes, the better it is for everyone. 

AI will help recruiters to be more efficient and make better hiring decisions. It will make recruiters more proactive in many cases, being able to align strategy with data provided from AI to get the best talent into the organisation. 

AI recruitment will give recruiters the tools to free them up to focus on the more beneficial aspects of their jobs - such as building and developing valuable relationships. Going deeper than how a resume fits to find candidates who will meet company culture and generally improve the candidate experience.

AI will make recruiters align more closely with hiring managers. Recruiters use AI-driven visuals showing KPIs such as quality of hire to educate hiring managers on outcomes.

Challenges of AI recruitment

Whilst there are many benefits that AI delivers to the recruitment process, there are significant challenges that need to be faced. These include:

  • In order to screen candidates as accurately as an experienced recruiter, AI needs a lot of data to ‘learn’ what it needs to. That means that AI has to be aligned with machine learning in order to better identify what is required. 
  • Although AI can avoid human biases - it can also learn them and repeat them in automated processes. By ignoring many of the typical biases, it can learn other non conscious biases by humans in the input criteria. 
  • Automated AI powered workflows need to be routinely and regularly tested and verified.
  • AI based processes lack the ‘human’ touch.
  • If AI based systems are not set up and validated correctly there is potential for huge errors.

In summary

We are starting to learn about the impact that AI can have in our day-to-day lives thanks to a wider knowledge about algorithms in general conversation but AI is already having a significant impact in recruitment. With nearly 70% of recruiters demanding that AI practices are put into place to help with recruitment, it’s no wonder why AI is being considered such a prolific shift in the way we start to recruit candidates into roles. 

The Thomas Recruitment Platform provides an AI centred platform which can help with the selection and assessment of candidates as well as help to automate communication and correspondence with candidates.