Artificial intelligence in recruiting: a guide to human resource

Artificial intelligence in recruiting: a guide to human resource

One of the HR Trends that will influence Recruiting in 2019 will definitely be artificial intelligence, better known, to those who know English or to those who are particularly fond of acronyms, as AI (Artificial Intelligence). This is what emerged at Wired Trends 2019, the events organized by Wired magazine together with Ipsos.

Artificial intelligence will also influence the world of work through machines capable of learning from experience and able to self-educate to improve learning processes from time to time. What, to use English once again, is defined as machine learning. Overall, we are talking about an expected growth in the coming years between 22% in 2018 and 40% in 2022.

Yet, despite the ongoing transformation, not all recruiters are ready (or prepared?) to embrace this innovation, indeed, according to Claudia Ballerini, director of Ipsos marketing, “in Western markets general feelings of anxiety and concern prevail”.

Before going into detail, it must be said that this is an inevitable change for Human Resources, as highlighted by the research conducted by Talent Garden together with BearingPoint HR are the most affected by the Digital Transformation.

Also confirming this are the words of Randstad’s Katrina Kibben:

Every area of recruiting where you can distinguish between input and output – such as CV screening, sourcing and assessments – will be largely automated.

And if artificial intelligence will have an influence, in particular, on the world of work, what will be the relationship with recruitment? How will it affect it? Will it be supportive or not? The benefits, to be honest, are not few. Let’s see them together.

P.S.: if you arrived at this article by searching on Google for “artificial intelligence in recruiting” you have already experienced automation: the machine has chosen for you the best answers, in terms of content, to your search question. What they call SEO (Search Engine Optimization), if you think about it, is nothing more than a “little bit” of artificial intelligence mixed with human’s ability to “get found”.

The benefits of artificial intelligence (AI) in recruiting

Many experts agree that the workload of recruiters will increase exponentially over the next few years. On the other hand, the size of recruiting teams will not grow proportionally, and they will either remain the same size or be subject to contraction. This will mean that recruiters will be forced to do “more with less” and face considerable workloads.

For example, among the HR activities that require more manual work is the manual selection of CVs, partly in light of the fact that up to 88% of candidates are not a good match for the position sought after. In addition, it is estimated that the process of CV screening and candidate selection to get to the point of scheduling an initial interview requires at least 23 hours of recruiter time per search. That’s frankly an unacceptable routine workload.

Fewer routine tasks, more time for strategic decisions

That’s where artificial intelligence could make a significant contribution: automating time-consuming, repetitive tasks like screening resumes or setting up interviews with candidates. ATS software like In-recruiting, which allows you to optimize time by planning and scheduling the entire selection process, are already going in this direction. If you’ve never tested it, you can take a free trial and experience what ATS software can help you with.

Going even further into detail, there are several activities that artificial intelligence could allow you to do, greatly improving the recruiter’s work:

  1. Optimize candidate search by keywords;
  2. Automatically extrapolate data from unstructured documents such as CVs;
  3. Use semantic analysis that provides interpretation to certain behaviors and actions and allows for candidate clustering;
  4. Support job ad writing;
  5. Refine online information search and enrich candidate files;
  6. Suggest similar candidates.

Think about it: if a recruiter were able to “delegate” some particularly burdensome and routine tasks to a machine, he would certainly gain more time to make decisions at a strategic level.

In fact, artificial intelligence allows HR not only to not interrupt its workflow, but to design and plan it in the best possible way and to experience it with greater awareness.
Moreover, thanks to AI and the automation of certain processes, the time to hire would be considerably reduced, as we know, which is essential in order not to let the best talents slip away. In fact, creating a smooth and flowing selection process improves the candidate’s all-around experience with the company.

On both sides, there is a twofold benefit.

  • For the recruiter or recruitment agency: focus on the most significant aspects of the talent acquisition process;
  • For the company: consider Recruiting as a real strategic driver that supports the achievement of the set objectives, in terms of business.

First results of AI applied to recruitment: less turnover, more return on investment

The first results of AI applied to recruitment are particularly promising. Companies that have started using AI-based recruitment software have seen:

  • Reduce their cost per candidate screening by 75%
  • Increase their return per candidate by 4%
  • Decrease – which is far from negligible – turnover by 35%.

It is expected that this improvement in job matching will lead to happier, more productive employees who are less likely to leave their jobs. Definitely a good prospect not to be overlooked for the future and a benefit of AI applied to recruitment.

In the words of Katrina Kibben again:

The upside is that we can standardize our processes to make better and more objective assessments of a candidate’s skills and competencies, while removing any inherent biases (biases) related to the search and selection process.

The challenges of artificial intelligence in recruiting

So far the benefits. But what are the challenges for those who want to use artificial intelligence for recruitment and selection?

Artificial intelligence requires a lot of data

In general, AI requires a lot of data to learn how to mimic human intelligence and do so accurately (without, as we’ve seen, replacing humans!).

To give an example: When AI uses machine learning, it needs a not inconsiderable amount of data to learn how to screen applications like a recruiter would. This may mean “assimilating” several hundred or thousands of resumes before reaching a sufficient level of accuracy.

Artificial intelligence can “learn” bias from humans

While artificial intelligence promises to reduce unconscious bias by disregarding information such as a candidate’s age, gender and race, it also learns from human behavior.

This means it could assimilate any human biases inherent in the recruiting process, even if unconsciously.

To avoid all this unpleasantness, it’s important to make sure that the AI software in place is aware of these issues and has taken steps to remove clear patterns of potential bias (such as only hiring people of white ethnicity, who have studied at a certain university, or only men: these are just some of the biases that can affect a recruiter’s work).

In this regard, one must also ask: without machines and software, would we have noticed the presence of such biases?

Probably not; that’s why artificial intelligence can raise the quality of a selection process and ensure that the choice of a candidate or not is in line with the company’s objectives and not the result of personal considerations, conscious or unconscious.

Moreover, in this sense the company has a double “enrichment”: not only in finding the best candidates for that position, but also in carrying out selections that are as meritocratic as possible, which in terms of employer branding and corporate reputation ensures a higher value to the company itself.

Skepticism about new technologies

Recruiters are often “bombarded” by technological innovations which, very often over time, do not prove to be as useful as they were thought to be, and instead of being trends, tend to disappear. This aspect may also, in the end, push them to approach with skepticism any technology that promises to make their job easier and faster.

One of the challenges of artificial intelligence will therefore be to make sure that HR, in making use of AI, can understand how any software that will automate even one of the recruiter’s tasks will do so in the best possible way.

How AI will change the recruiter’s role: enhanced intelligence

intelligenza artificiale recruiting

In light of what we’ve said, what will change for HR recruiters? Industry experts believe that the future of artificial intelligence for recruitment will be increased intelligence.

This is nothing more than the belief that it is not possible to completely replace human capabilities with technology. Talking about augmented intelligence means imagining technology as something that can improve human aptitude and efficiency but not replace it.

As Michael Haberman, HR Consultant, puts it:

Augmented Intelligence, rather than for the total replacement of people at work, will be used to make them more effective and efficient. I think this may be the best use of AI for HR.

In light of what has been said so far, we can therefore go so far as to list 3 ways in which Augmented Intelligence will change (and improve) the role of the recruiter:

  • Will enable proactive and strategic hiring;
  • It will allow you to spend more time with the candidate and build relationships to understand if – they are the best person for a given role;
  • Will help complete the hiring cycle with area managers by leveraging recruitment KPIs.

Artificial intelligence in recruiting: 3 points to keep in mind

Ultimately, what is the contribution of artificial intelligence in recruitment?

Here is a summary of what has been said so far:

  • It is used to optimize and automate part of the workflow, particularly the volume of highly repetitive and non-strategic tasks;
  • The main advantages in recruitment are time savings and improvement in the quality of recruitment thanks to increasingly standardized job matching;
  • Artificial intelligence, if well used, is able to overcome the unconscious bias of recruiters, guaranteeing a selection process that increasingly meets company objectives.

Artificial intelligence at the service of your recruiting process. Request a free demo