7 Ways AI is Changing the Game for Recruiting

Griffin Mulcahey April 26, 2018
7 Ways AI is Changing the Game for Recruiting

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are well on the way augmenting nearly every industry. Despite the ironic twist, hiring people is always being assisted by AI.

Recruiting is one of the toughest issues businesses face today. So it’s only natural for AI to be used as a tool to solve a challenging and expensive problem. Finding the right talent is critical for business success, and hiring the wrong person is expensive. Recent estimates put the cost to find and hire a new employee at a quarter of a million dollars – a cost that can quickly become astronomical if that person turns out to be a bad fit.

When it comes to the world of work, AI is already changing the way people hire and search for jobs. At its best, it offers new possibilities for overcoming the problems people face in their professional and personal lives today.

With the ever increasing data available about candidates, many innovative AI companies are taking on the challenge of helping improve talent acquisition in a variety of ways.

Let’s take a look at 7 ways AI is setting a new standard in recruiting.

1. Automating the Basic Blocking and Tackling

Recruiting is a high-touch activity that sucks time away from stakeholders throughout a company. AI startups are significantly reducing the operational burden by automating low level tasks and providing better information for decision makers. A basic example of this tackling is automating the administrative nightmare of scheduling interviews. Or saving recruiters sourcing time by automatically finding and ranking candidates. While these might not be killer apps for HR, they can deliver immediate value while helping AI companies gather data to expand into new areas.

2. Gathering Useable Data

Most companies hiring process is incredibly inefficient. To address this, companies need better data and intelligence that allows them to find the right people for the job and focus on the right indicators when screening.

With each recruiting effort companies create a huge amount of data on the candidate and even the companies internal processes, but almost none of it gets captured for future reference. When companies need new talent, they post a job, source candidates, screen them across different interviews and eventually pick one to fill the position.

Every single time either companies or candidates go through this process, they have to start from scratch, losing not only time but also valuable information across recruiting events. AI driven Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are leading the way in helping companies effectively manage this data much like the CRM boom has revolutionized sales cycle efficiency.

3. Finding the Right Candidates, at the Right Time

When it comes to sourcing, companies still struggle to get their message through and target the right candidates at the right time. AI startups are leveraging existing data to tackle this very aspect. One basic way is AI can help companies create better job postings that will differentiate them. The next step is using AI to discover passive job seekers and target them with personalized messages at the right time.

4. Screening and Assessment

Screening tends to rely on resumes which are both an indirect indicator of a person’s skills and an incomplete picture of their achievements and capabilities. Many companies are developing new types of screenings by generating engaging tests to assess candidates on tasks they’ll have to do on the job. Or companies unify all the data they have about their employees to build predictive models that will help them hire in a smarter way.

New technology of automated assessments gives HR and recruiting professionals insight into how a candidate would perform certain job tasks. For example, if a job requires foreign language skills a recruiter can send a 10 minute language assessment to each candidate. The recruiter gets a clear understanding of the candidate competencies instead of anecdotal interviews that take up lots of time and effort.

5. Matchmaking Machines

Every recruiter wants to create the best possible match between a candidate and position. With greater access to relevant data than ever before, recruiters should be in a better position than ever to make this happen, right? Not so fast.

The problem is that too much data is indigestible for humans. The Paradox of Choice sets in. We’re not always sure what to do with all the information, or how to filter the data we need, and this applies to recruiting as much as any field.

AI technology can improve the odds of creating an ideal match—even right at the beginning of the process—by applying algorithms and making predictions that select only the most relevant jobs before showing them to job seekers.

Using natural language processing abilities, AI can also comb through what are often text-heavy and unstructured resumes to pinpoint critical information and paint a more accurate picture of the ideal job for a particular candidate.

The result - AI filters out the best 10% of the candidate pool before the recruiter even starts the human process. The recruiter can spend more time on the best candidates instead of wasting time on hundreds of options.

6. Removing Unconscious Biases

While companies have increasing amounts and diversity of data they can leverage to try to identify the best fit for each position, the recruiting process is still stuck in the past, based on Resumes and CVs followed by (potentially biased) interviewers’ opinions, and companies are suffering because of that. Even though we are talking about people, machines seem to be able to help not only source but also screen applicants. In fact, studies have shown that humans are notoriously bad at picking the right applicant and a meta-analysis illustrated that algorithms can outperform human experts in hiring.

Even though AI is far from being able to autonomously decide who a company should hire when it comes to figuring out who the best person is for the job, you might want to check out how AI makes recruiting smarter.

7. Helping Recruiters Have More Human Time

The human element will never leave recruiting. In fact, it will become an even bigger differentiator Candidate as Technology evolves: Candidates more and more want the human aspect (updates, courtesy follow-up, closure). The human to human contact will start coming back to the forefront again when we hit a cycle where people will realize they have neglected the human component after focusing on the “shiny objects” of Artificial Intelligence. Recruiters who truly master the AI tools will have a huge advantage over the competition. By understanding how this works, and tailor messaging, your approach, and your efforts to become more human, getting to know the candidates faster and realizing what approaches make the difference in closing the candidate for the job.

When job seekers interact with great recruiters, they build trust, loyalty and a sense of teamwork—and this cannot be replicated by machines. The role of AI is to free up more time for recruiters, so they can place more focus on the human relationships that make them great at what they do.

It’s understandable if you’re a little unsettled at the thought of AI changing the way you recruit talent. Maybe you’re picturing your clients receiving messages and answers from an impersonal chatbot or generic SPAM emails.

But the truth is, AI is a tool that serves us. Hiring great candidates can become a far more efficient, less stressful process. Not bad for a cold, impersonal machine—and this is just the beginning.

Even as AI continues to make significant advances, it is never going to replace human recruiters. Rather it will enhance and improve our work.

At Enzyme, we are using AI to power our platform and driving better hiring decisions for healthcare leaders. Interested in learning more about how we accomplish this? Sign up at Enzyme