By combining machine learning and recruitment, AI is transforming hiring practices across the world, streamlining the recruitment process from resume screening to candidate assessment. Should you be excited about these changes, or worried? What effect will AI in hiring have on your HR department? Will AI-powered hiring practices build stronger, more diverse organizations or make it harder to avoid bias in your recruiting practices?
In our previous article, we took a look at how AI technology, including Machine Learning (ML) analysis tools and chatbots powered by Large Language Models (LLMs) like ChatGPT, is shaking up the modern HR department. Now, we’ll dive deeper into a more specific subject: how AI recruiting is shaking up the search for top talent.
What is AI recruiting and how can AI be used in hiring?
Many people are saying that the future of recruiting and talent acquisition is AI—so what exactly can AI recruiting do?
AI-based tools shape virtually every stage of the modern recruitment and hiring process, from targeting online advertising and finding job candidates to augmenting the job interview process to streamlining onboarding.
Let’s take a look at just a few of the ways talent acquisition and AI combined are providing new opportunities for companies to find the right candidate for the job and choose the right fit for their company culture:
Transforming AI Candidate Sourcing
Using powerful AI algorithms, you can more easily than ever match advertisements for open positions on social media and job search platforms such as LinkedIn and Indeed with potential candidates who fit the criteria for your position and are most likely to apply.
Finding Leaders with AI Executive Search
AI recruiting can also transform how you discover new leaders for your organization. AI algorithms can help your recruiting team efficiently search and analyze vast databases of executive candidates, help make data-driven decisions about which candidates to pursue, explore the availability of executive talent in the labor market, and streamline efficient tasks.
Keep in mind that for leaders especially, the most important skills to look for are soft skills and other human-focused expertise that are not easily quantifiable. While AI can make the search for executive talent far easier, humans will always be a better judge of these skills than AI recruiting tools.
AI-Powered Resume Screening
Large businesses especially go through hundreds or even thousands of resumes a day, but businesses of all shapes and sizes can struggle to keep up with the deluge of job applications from qualified candidates—especially in the age of remote work where anyone can work from anywhere.
With AI resume screening, recruitment professionals can quickly and efficiently separate the wheat from the chaff and identify the most relevant candidates for further consideration without getting bogged down in figurative or literal paperwork.
Used prudently and ethically, talent acquisition AI algorithms can help recruiters combat unconscious bias in the recruitment process and promote diversity and inclusion in their hiring practices to build stronger work cultures.
Conducting Pre-Employment Assessments
Using AI algorithms and chatbots, organizations can design and administer flexible pre-employment assessments such as cognitive tests or behavioural assessments to help gauge the hard skills and soft skills a candidate will need to succeed in a role. Using predictive analytics, AI recruiting tools can predict a candidate’s likelihood of success in a role.
AI chatbots can also engage with job applicants in real time to provide information about the position and schedule interviews, as well as help hiring managers nurture relationships with potential candidates throughout the hiring process and beyond.
Streamlining Onboarding with AI in Hiring
AI even plays a powerful role post-hiring. AI recruiting tools can also automate administrative tasks and provide information to new employees to make onboarding easier and faster.
Is Using AI in Hiring Ethical?
The growth of ML and LLM technologies under the umbrella of AI has raised a lot of pointed and urgent ethical questions as of late. Many people in fields affected by AI are asking themselves if AI is really safe to use without running into difficult ethical dilemmas; hiring and recruitment are not exempt from these worries.
One of the biggest challenges with using AI in hiring is bias and discrimination. AI can help correct for bias and increase diversity and inclusion in your hiring practices—or it can unconsciously reproduce your existing biases.
The phrase “garbage in, garbage out” has a long and storied history of pointing out that computers are only as smart as the data you give them, and this can happen with recruitment. Many AI researchers have pointed out that if you feed historical data that contains biases for or against people based on race, gender, age, or other protected characteristics into an algorithm, the algorithm might just reproduce and perpetuate those biases. At worst, AI can make a company’s hiring practices even more biased while “laundering” the bias through an opaque and apparently objective decision-making process.
Some of the other ethical risks of joining talent acquisition with AI include a lack of transparency in decision-making, giving an unfair advantage to candidates whose knowledge of AI enables them to game the system, and the potential mishandling of sensitive data in AI training databases.
At the end of the day, is AI in hiring ethical? There’s a simple answer to this question: ethics is for people, and while ChatGPT may be able to hold a conversation, it’s not a person—just a tool, and a tool is only as ethical as the person using it.
Professionals using AI recruiting must take into careful consideration how they can avoid ethical issues like the aforementioned dilemmas and prioritize fairness, accountability, and transparency in the hiring process while using powerful AI tools.
Will AI Replace Recruiters?
People have worried about machines taking their jobs since 1779, when Ned Ludd allegedly smashed his first knitting machine, and the AI boom, like many other tech booms throughout history, has plenty of recruiters wondering if AI will automate them right out of a job. Fortunately for anyone responsible for hiring decisions, AI will never automate humanity out of the talent acquisition process.
In our previous blog, we shared a famous IBM quote when we discussed whether AI would replace HR professionals: “A computer can never be held accountable; therefore a computer must never make a management decision.” That quote is just as applicable here. At the end of the day, accountability will always be paramount in recruiting, and only humans can be held accountable for their decisions.
The human element and careful scrutiny of AI operations—by humans, of course—is the key to ensuring that AI in hiring is used ethically. So while AI might mean a single recruiter can do more faster, allowing talent acquisition teams to do more with fewer people, there will always be plenty of room for humanity in recruiting.
Stay On Top of Recruiting Trends and Technologies with Gameplan HR™
The rules of the game are always changing, and with AI recruiting shaking things up, it can feel as though the rules are changing faster than ever. Our HR services and resources, such as our Human Resources Operating System (HROS™) and our educational programs, are here to help you keep up with the future of talent attraction and recruitment in your strategic HR practices.