Artificial Intelligence has something of a muddled reputation. Popular culture has painted it as something negative, out to take away people’s jobs and control our actions, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. AI is here to help and one of the fields where it is making great strides is that of recruitment. Let’s take a look:
AI Saves Time
Each recruiter will be able to spend, on average, only about 13 hours on each position that they must fill. This means finding the best and most streamlined way to sort through all the hopeful applicants’ details and come up with a shortlist ready for the interview process to get underway.
AI Has a Wider Reach
Human recruiters must rely on that pool of candidates that they have access to: this usually means people who have signed onto the agency’s books, people who respond to job advertisements and so on. AI has the ability to scan much more widely, scouring employment databases, sites like LinkedIn and even employee lists in large institutions, such as universities, multi-national companies and charitable organisations. From this enormous pool, AI can produce a longlist of more suitable candidates than a human recruiter could possibly amass on their shortlist!
AI Identifies Passive Candidates
Following on from the above point, AI will identify a wide pool of passive candidates: those who are settled in employment and not actively looking, but who might be persuaded to accept a position for which they are completely – and possibly uniquely – qualified. Seventy percent of successful workforces credit such employees with bringing a fresh approach to work and a strong measure of success along with it, making them a highly valued commodity to any company.
AI Strips Out Unconscious Bias
Even the most socially aware person has preferences and biases, some of which they are unaware. This can result in people with ‘foreign’ names being left off short-lists, for example. Many recruiters, such as Eagle Headhunters, have taken steps to reduce these biases by using AI systems to strip out any such signifiers and assess people purely on their merits, experience and qualifications. However, generally speaking skilled headhunters continue to rely on a scrutinous selection process over AI. Whilst recruiters can cast a wide net, headhunters are generally approaching passive candidates, making the need for human experience much greater.
However, any company using AI would do well to monitor the system: Twitter recently apologised for an issue with their supposedly unbiased photograph algorithm which had displayed a subtle but noticeable ‘preference’ for people with lighter skins and would actually ‘ignore’ photos showing darker skinned people. This was not intentional, being based almost entirely on photography exposure levels that had unwittingly been set to too narrow a range; but it certainly seemed offensive to those who were most affected by it!
AI Speeds Up the Process
AI questionnaires can give human recruiters a tremendous boost, by answering questions, gathering candidate data and creating a shortlist that contains only those people whose skills and experience are exactly what the position requires. This process takes mere minutes, compared with human recruiters trying to winnow through the plentiful details, looking for the required keywords and experiences.
AI has already become invaluable in the recruitment industry, and it is almost certainly here to stay.