Imagine a world where everything is automated, individuals go about their business without ever having to speak to another person, and all of life’s needs are at one’s fingertips. This is what’s happening now, around the world as organizations look for ways to streamline processes using the latest technology.
Some may believe that things have become less human, but others say it’s a welcome change. Now, it’s being considered as an option to eliminate the lengthy and often inaccurate process of recruiting the best candidates.
Coming to a recruitment office near you – artificial intelligence
Technology in recruitment is nothing new. The truth is, artificial intelligence has been developing over many decades, and as each new piece of recruitment software gets integrated into our world, the process becomes somewhat less human.
Katrina Kibben writes for Recruiting Daily, that, “the pace of technological advancement has been something of a mixed blessing,” adding that it’s not about human recruiters at all. “The biggest change in recruiting will have almost nothing to do with recruiting – the future of the industry will be largely determined by how candidates adapt (and adopt) to new technology,” she says.
It’s only a matter of time before artificial intelligence will replace some of the routine recruitment functions recruiters take for granted today. As candidates become increasingly reliant and comfortable using non-human technology, the speed of tech adoption will only increase.
How AI is changing human resources and recruitment
A number of experts have warned that artificial intelligence would eventually invade the last frontiers of human resources and recruitment. Where do things stand currently?
Companies such as Facebook, GE, IBM, Hilton Worldwide, SAP and many others have been slowly adding data analytics into their recruitment practices. A few years ago, it was unheard of to scan candidate resumes for data, but now it’s commonplace. Machine intelligence is being used to scan through other aspects of candidate information, such as their social media content, their facial expressions, even their work samples to identify top candidates – and weed out the undesirables.
“Such practices raise questions about accuracy and privacy, but proponents argue that harnessing AI for hiring could lead to more diverse, empathetic, and dynamic workplaces," says Sean Captain, a journalist with Fast Company.
Louis Efron, who contributes to Forbes, expresses that “corporate recruiting is broken” as a system. It’s filled with inaccuracies and black holes where candidates disappear. Efron shares statistics that claim “85% of job applicants never hear back after submitting an application.” This indicates that some recruiters are still not able to stay on top of recruitment processes, and the candidate experience has a long way to go towards being a positive one.
Perhaps there is room for more automation and AI in recruitment if it can restore better recruitment practices from the human side of things. Kibben mentions that AI will improve the candidate experience and is a winning proposition for recruiters who will be able to strategically partner with hiring managers instead of simply filling job requests.
Meet RAI – your new assistant
HiringSolved is working on a new ‘experimental conversational AI based interface’ called RAI (Recruiting Artificial Intelligence) that the company is toting as the ‘cousin to Siri’. Recruiters will be able to ask RAI questions in order to locate the right candidates in databases, using a chat-bot format instead of spending hours sourcing candidates or reading through resumes.
According to Todd Raphael, who writes for ERE Media, “The idea is that the artificial intelligence will make you a better recruiter, guiding you through questions that very experienced sourcers ask themselves in order to chop through a database and hone in on who they want.” This is welcome news for recruiters who want to save massive amounts of time and get down to the business of actually talking with candidates.
But this is not the only AI in the recruitment market today. HireVue’s video interviewing system allows recruiters to analyze facial expressions and voice patterns, based on facial recognition technology. Textio launched their application, Opportunities, which is designed to highlight language that recruiters use in job postings and provide pointers to improve the wording to attract more qualified candidates of all backgrounds.
There is still room for humans in recruitment
But most experts say that AI will never fully take over human recruitment work. Experts like John MacIntyre, professor of Adaptive Technology and Dean of the Faculty of Applied Sciences at the University of Sunderland, have studied disruptive technology for years. He told Personnel Today that AI provides a way to augment, rather than replace decision making.
"AI-based systems are great for specific tasks such as recognizing patterns in data," he said. "But, unlike humans, they are unable to intelligently interpret that data, combine it with other information and make decisions on that basis."