Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Report finds negative impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on job seeking candidates and employer brands

Poor candidate experience due to increased use of artificial intelligence during application process has been found to alienate skilled candidates and potentially damage employer brands:

  • 9 in 10 job seekers don’t want to deal with automated CV tools during application stage
  • 86 per cent of applicants want their CVs assessed by a person, not a machine
  • Three-quarters of candidates look negatively on employer’s who include AI at point of application

Increased automation of the hiring process is seeing many organisations miss out on top talent at all levels of the organisation, according to new research published by global executive search firm Carmichael Fisher.

Examining the use of AI in typical candidate selection processes, the report’s aim was to identify the areas of hiring that were putting off candidates, as well as where technology could be better utilised.

Authored by James Wright in association with the West East Institute (WEI), the findings of The impact of artificial intelligence within the recruitment industry: defining a new way of recruiting paper were presented recently at the Harvard Faculty Club in Boston, USA which played host to the 2019 WEI International Academic Conference on Business, Economics, Management and Finance

Key among them was that nine out of 10 job seekers reject the notion of artificial intelligence being used to parse CV’s. Accordingly, 86 per cent of respondents would prefer their application to be reviewed by a human, rather than an applicant tracking system.

Interestingly, most candidates said they would not want a business to make a hiring decision based on their CV alone. Artificial intelligence is highly effective at streamlining the recruitment process, but unless the applicant’s CV contains sufficient keywords relating to the position being recruited for, it runs the risk of elimination from the process.

Video interviewing has been seen by many as an alternative to the CV, but the research found that this format is equally unpopular among candidates.

As with application parsing technologies, one in five respondents stated a “dislike” of video interviews. Nine in 10 stated they would favour of human interaction over that of a robot with four-fifths of respondents saying that they would normally ask questions about the company in an interview.

This further demonstrates the desire among job seekers for personal communication in hiring, particularly as top talent remains in the driving seat in an increasingly candidate-driven employment market where employment is at a record-high.

The study also asked whether the complete automation of the hiring process was favourable and three-quarters (73 per cent) of respondents stated that it actively worsened their perception of a business and its overall employer brand.

Overall, the research indicates that the traditional recruitment process needs to change – with 84 per cent of candidates labelling the current procedure as ineffective.

Significantly, the study indicates positivity towards AI for its ability to lessen bias and improve diversity levels as part of the wider hiring process. It outlines that the use of smart assessment tools such as gamification and video analysis technologies will deliver more objective assessments of candidates. The report also found that AI will enable faster and fairer applications – reducing fallout rates and improving diversity.

Speaking on the findings of the research, James Wright, Technology Consultant from Carmichael Fisher said:

“The use of AI in the preliminary stages of recruitment is useful to analyse the market and to assist with areas of potential human error such as unconscious bias.

“However, once you have a candidate shortlist, the process becomes intrinsically human and interactive. One of the most common words we found used in the study, when asking participants about using AI for the whole hiring process was ‘impersonal’.

“The role of a recruiter is entirely based on consolidating solid and trustworthy relationships with candidates, getting to know them and their wants and desires. While the future of HR and hiring certainly will welcome AI to take over those more administrative tasks, the role of the human recruiter isn’t going anywhere yet.”

To access the full report, CLICK HERE.