Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Artificial intelligence in recruitment: possibilities and limitations

Javid Muhammedali, Head of AI, Bullhorn

While AI itself isn’t new, the proliferation of it is. That’s because developing AI technology is now cheaper, more pervasive and more democratic than ever. It’s also supported by other technology innovations such as smart phones, IoT and cloud computing, which have exploded in popularity over the last decade or so. These ubiquitous building blocks enable rapid development, testing and iteration of new features today that seemed like science fiction only a few years ago.

AI might be overhyped with futuristic depictions of robots but even still, recruitment companies haven’t harnessed AI enough. Adoption levels are still low in the industry, even though it can significantly enhance the quality, scale and velocity of your recruitment process, without replacing human recruiters.

Any recruitment firm that wants to be more productive should be using AI-driven technology. And it isn’t difficult to integrate into existing systems – all it takes is some time and careful planning.

Integrating AI into regular processes

Using AI doesn’t necessarily mean having massive datasets to work with – you can still use machine learning and pattern recognition on the smaller datasets that you already have access to. AI can provide intelligence to recruiters in a few key areas, including…

Talent intelligence

Talent intelligence incorporates data or information on how to find and reach quality candidates successfully. These can include insights on how and where to post a job, how many candidates you need to find to successfully fill a role and how to recognise when you’ve found a suitable candidate. Most recruitment agencies already have this information in one form or another (usually written down in onboarding documents and how to guides). When collected and actioned via an AI-driven process, recruiters can follow a data-driven process that’s flexible enough to get results while reducing sourcing costs.      .

Workflow intelligence

Workflow intelligence helps to enhance      recruiter productivity. When candidates have been identified, recruiters should run through an intelligent workflow, with information on how best to automate processes like screening candidates, scheduling, background checks and running back office functions like invoicing and billing. When collected over time, this information will give an indication of recruiter productivity. You’ll be able to see how many candidates that recruiters reach out to and how many they’re converting. Then they can feed this data back into the system, so that when a new recruiter joins a company, they won’t be starting from scratch.

Insight intelligence

Insight intelligence refers to real-time, on-the-job intelligence. It gives recruiters and salespeople at recruitment companies insights as they’re doing their jobs, without forcing them to disconnect from what they’re doing and look at specific analytics tools. Proactive insights are given to the user via alerts, such as ‘these are the 10 most common screening questions for this particular role’ or ‘now is the best time of day to reach out to a specific candidate for the best chance of a response’. These don’t interrupt the flow of work, but rather assist recruiters as they’re working.

When smart, practical tools are developed to actually benefit users (fine-tune rather than      trying to completely disrupt a process), they can do great things. However, there are some limitations to AI in the workplace that are worth considering.

Limitations of AI

Of course, AI isn’t the be all and end all. For starters, AI can use data to tell you what is happening, but it often can’t tell you why it’s happening. As a rule, AI focuses on correlation, not causation, which is an implied logic – not a flawless one.

This correlation can also reinforce bias as it purely links job profile data to job specs rather than considering background and other types of experience. And if you use it without due care,     , you could lose sight of wider changes in the job market that AI doesn’t account for.

AI can’t yet directly replace recruiters. While there is a need to adopt new technology, we still need to hire and retain talented recruiters. The     stage where the human element can be removed from the recruitment process and the perfect candidate is automatically placed on every job is years away.. But today, AI can help make your processes more streamlined and efficient – and who doesn’t want that?