How AI Can Disrupt Recruitment

By: Gaurav Verma, CTO, Aasaanjobs

The digital age has come as both a boon and a curse to recruitment and recruiters. While it has made searching for candidates and vacancies convenient and accessible, it bears its own considerable baggage. The sheer volume of positions and potential candidates puts an overbearing burden on the recruitment process. How can recruiters show efficiency and thoroughness at the same time? How can they make sure that they find the right candidate before someone else does? The answer lies in data collection and artificial intelligence, and the best recruiters of the near tomorrow are the ones who will invest in letting data and algorithms lighten the burdens that they face.

Recruiters face a variety of different challenges in today’s recruitment process. Crafting the right job description isn’t as easy as it sounds, especially with the large amount of jargon that exists in the corporate world. Choosing from amongst different networks and websites upon which to place your vacancy has a strong impact upon the kind of applications you get. Even if you manage these two steps, dealing with the tsunami of CVs and applications taxes time and productivity to no end. Finally, dealing with subconscious biases can be incredibly difficult – a smooth talking and assured candidate can easily turn into an unproductive and nervous employee, and finding the right ‘fit’ for a position is a torturous process of trial and error.

Artificial Intelligence technology in today’s day and age largely refers to machine learning through pattern recognition. Essentially, AI tracks all the data at the input and output level, and over repeated use begins to find the most efficient way to do things, tweaking parts of the process in the desire to make it optimal. The iterative and data-driven approach of artificial intelligence makes it a panacea for the weaknesses of recruitment, and adds a strong measure of convenience and effectiveness.

Imagine if a software takes your draft job description and is able to search the internet to find every conceivable way to refer to the marketing professional you’re looking for. A potential candidate who searches for the term ‘growth hacker’, common in startups, might not find the vacancy in marketing because he’s looking for it under a different name. Being able to adapt and evolve your initial description of the position in the vacancy to improve your chances of meeting the right candidate saves you time and effort you might not have to begin with, and prevents you from missing out on promising prospects.

Artificial intelligence would also be able to use data to indicate which platforms should be used to get specific types of candidates; platforms that specialize in entry-level and blue collar vacancies would be more productive to post on for those vacancies than others. It would also prevent extraneous applications, and the added benefit of the use of AI would be its ability to scan through the volume of applications and help filter out the less promising candidates – something that Google has been using for years now to great effectiveness.

Finally, AI could make the final leap into removing the biases that are known to exist in recruitment.Studies have revealedthat recruiters often select or prefer candidates based on irrelevant characteristics such as ethnicity, religion, and gender. Our social context and presumptions about people can often lead to us making inaccurate judgements about people; and while this is only human, it makes the recruitment process more subjective. AI can help remove such inequities, and also guide the recruiter to make more rational choices – should I interview this candidate again or should I move on? Is it worth it to take someone with slightly less experience because he has more relevant skills? Having the data and AI at hand makes these processes far more efficient, objective, and rational.

The benefits of AI to recruitment aren’t limited purely to optimizing the current process. HR personnel in companies are constantly looking to add to the total skill set of their company by adding the right employees to their fold. However, tracking the required talent or experience, being able to know the right time to add it into the company, and knowing where and how to search for the skill set are all benefits that AI brings to recruitment. Talent Mapping can even help with scheduling, such that even before the skill set is needed, the recruiter is searching for the right candidate. This greatly adds to the efficiency of a company’s growth by avoiding the delay that would happen otherwise.

It is highly unlikely that the near future will have AI taking interviews, so recruiters will continue to have the most important role in the process; however, they will be made far more effective and efficient once the nascent use of AI in recruiting becomes mainstream. Early adopters are likely to gain the most benefit from it, and the best recruiters of the future will be the ones that deploy AI strategically.

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