Technology is fast advancing and companies are striving to keep pace, to reap the benefits that come with it. Without technology, operations can be ineffective, inefficient, time-consuming, repetitive, strenuous, name them.
One such department that has had to deal with a lot of such drawbacks is the human resource department, especially in recruitment. Dealing manually with loads of applications has not been easy, and companies have even lost the best talents to their competitors.
Since artificial intelligence made an appearance in the recruitment process, there have been tangible changes in most organizations which have embraced it. Companies can now, not only effectively and efficiently achieve talent acquisition, but also retain employees using “artificial intelligence”.
The technology involves the use of software capable of auto screening the résumés faster and without human error, and scheduling interviews with pre-qualified candidates among other activities.
How Does It Work?
The AI in recruitment has various automated components that are integrated to handle different parts of the recruitment process, without interrupting the workflow.
They are AI-powered aides used to interact with potential candidates in the firm’s resume pool at the preliminary stages of recruitment. They answer candidates’ questions, give them updates, and also suggest the next best action to candidates. This makes the application process easy, therefore, encouraging more to apply.
A case in point is in the United Nations job application process. Upon opening the website and choosing the position to apply, the chatbot asks you if you want to pick details from an application you had done before.
You, therefore, do not need to give details they already have, like bio-data, qualifications, and experience. This makes it convenient for both the applicant and the recruiting team.
- Screening Software
Upon receiving résumés and having them in your database, you now embark on screening them. The software screens the résumés really fast and accurately, grading each candidate according to the recruiter’s defined needs.
The software has the ability to pick a candidate’s skills and experience from other sources like previous employers and social media profiles if they are not depicted from the submitted résumé. In the same manner, it can discover any dark spots about the candidate from the same sources.
Upon screening and profiling, the software then shortlists the best candidates who are to be invited for the interview.
Ideal.com has got a chatbot and customer messaging software that reaches candidates in real time. It is even possible to reach passive candidates. They also have resume-screening software that screens, grades and significantly shortens recruitment time.
3. Computerized interviews & Tests
With the AI technology, firms are able to conduct interviews online. The interview software is able to evaluate the candidates’ body language, speech, word choices, and eventually come up with the best candidate for the job. Vodafone, a British telecommunication market leader, uses Talentpitch, artificial intelligence software, to select retail and customer service staff. This helps the firm to recruit employees with the right skills and personality. Vapiano, a German restaurant chain also uses Talentpitch to screen and interview its potential employees
Benefits of Artificial Intelligence in Recruitment
This technology comes with a whole range of benefits, to the recruiter and to the potential candidates. Some of the benefits include:
- Eliminates Time-Wasting Activities In Recruitment
With the current unemployment levels, you expect to receive loads of résumés for any job upon publishing the opportunity. Dealing with the résumés would take a substantive amount of time.
With AI in place, time-consuming activities (like the screening of numerous curriculum vitae and scheduling of interviews with pre-qualified candidates) will be automated.
Even without increasing the size of the recruiting team, a company is, therefore, able to handle higher volumes of work. This is because there will be no repetitiveness and human error. The employees can, therefore, be engaged in other strategic activities as the AI does the otherwise repetitive tasks.
Unilever is using AI to screen entry level candidates. The company has posted an exceptionally remarkable review of the technology. This is in terms of time, costs, and eliminating human bias, therefore improving on gender parity.
- Reduces Operational Costs
The firm is able to operate with a lean workforce. This solves the headache of a perennial bloated payroll for many institutions.
- Enables uniformity in the recruitment process
With the automation, it is now possible to achieve some level of process standardization. Objectivity is realized and human bias is eliminated. This improves the image of the company to the public and potential employees.
- Enhancing Strong Relationships with Potential Employees
It is important to treat potential employees like your own customers. You may not need all of them today, but you don’t know when you need them. The image you portray is a powerful marketing strategy (which involves no financial implication like adverts).
The interactions done by the AI are a surefire way of building such strong relationships. Even if the candidate is not offered a job, he/she feels recognized by the institution through the personalized communication done by the system.
Challenges of Artificial Intelligence in Recruitment
Like every other innovation, this one has its own challenges which if not taken care of, can water down all the benefits we have seen above. These include:
- It Can Adopt Some Human Prejudice
Though AI is aimed at eliminating bias, it can unintentionally adopt the bias that has been there in previous manual processes. This happens because the system learns to screen and shortlist resumes based on past shortlisting history.
Such biases include age, gender, preferring candidates from specific colleges, and racial bias, among others. The recruiting firm needs to point out such issues to the supplier while procuring so that the supplier can get rid of such probable “biases”.
2. Incredulity of new technology
It is human nature to be skeptical of anything new to them. The human resource professionals may understandably, not quite embrace the new technology, in fear that it may not perform the duties just as they (humans) perform. This leads to resistance and not giving the technology a chance. To overcome this challenge, companies need to properly orient the human resource professionals to the technology and reassure them of the efficacy of the same.
3. Resistance from Workers and Trade Unions
The mention of robots at workplaces gives a lot of jitters to employees; they see their termination letters being prepared and this can lead to a lot of conflicts, including court cases. To avoid this, the company needs to prepare the employees psychologically and assure them that their jobs are not been taken over by the robots; that AI is just an augmented knowledge tool and cannot do certain jobs. Employees will be deployed to areas where robots cannot perform.
It is indisputable that the world is quickly adopting artificial intelligence in recruitment. Clearly, this is the way to go for any firm that wants to remain competitive.
Eventually, organizations in general, and the human resource departments, in particular, have got some hope of regaining the lost glory by speeding up recruitment, achieving objectivity and eliminating human errors and bias that have perennially hit the department and robbed it of its integrity.