AI’s Growing Role in Recruitment: Exploring its Potential and Limitations

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By Brianna Rooney, CEO and Founder — TalentPerch

Artificial intelligence is taking the world by storm, and depending on who you ask, this could be a good or bad thing. Critics of artificial intelligence have cited concerns that artificial intelligence may take over their jobs, while proponents have heralded the technology as a powerful tool to increase efficiency and productivity. 

In the recruiting industry, this relationship is particularly strenuous than in others. Many are citing a decrease in the number of open HR and recruiting jobs. The argument has been made that the relative slow-down in hiring is to blame for the lessened availability of positions in these departments. (Although hiring levels remain greater than those pre-pandemic, they are down 17% year-over-year.) Others say the increasing reliance on automation in the recruiting industry is the culprit.


We are also seeing an increase in the prevalence of third-party vendors who run HR and recruiting for multiple organizations. Rather than having an in-house talent acquisition team, many organizations — especially smaller businesses — are beginning to outsource their recruiting needs to these vendors. As one would expect, many of these vendors implement AI solutions to improve their efficiency, making them a cost-effective solution for companies that cannot afford to keep a full-time talent acquisition professional on staff.

It is also important to note that the dynamic between employers, candidates, and hiring professionals is changing. The recent “Great Resignation” showed companies that employees have more power in the relationship than many had assumed. Thus, an increased focus has been placed on retention, and many recruiting professionals argue that strong retention must begin during the recruiting process. By finding employees who are a perfect addition to your company, you can better ensure they stay with the company long term.


How AI is being used by talent acquisition professionals in recruiting

The main reason why artificial intelligence has become such a useful tool in recruiting is because it allows recruiting professionals to find the best possible candidates for their open positions. AI can analyze large amounts of data in a short period of time, allowing recruiters to complete their jobs much more quickly and efficiently. 

The result is not only that open positions are filled promptly, but also (ideally) that these positions are consistently filled with skilled, qualified candidates. There are many ways that artificial intelligence is being used in the recruiting process, from the first contact the candidate has with the company to the moment they are hired:

  • Job listings: Recruiting professionals are beginning to implement AI in the recruitment process as soon as job listings are generated. Generative text models can be used to create job listings and descriptions for posting online that are designed to attract top candidates to apply. This not only ensures that job listings will yield maximum results, but also that recruiters will have to spend less time drafting them.
  • Candidate sourcing: AI can also be a tremendous tool for talent acquisition professionals when sourcing candidates. Algorithms can find eligible candidates from online platforms, social networks, and job boards, greatly increasing and diversifying the talent pool available to human recruiters.
  • Resume screening: Because of the superior data processing capabilities of artificial intelligence, talent acquisition teams can use AI to more efficiently screen candidates’ resumes. The AI can be trained to identify specific skills, experiences, and qualifications relevant to a position, and filter out irrelevant and unqualified candidates, saving recruiters time by preventing them from going down as many dead ends.
  • Candidate assessment: Many organizations are also now beginning to implement AI-driven assessment tools, which can be used to further examine candidates’ skills and competencies beyond their resumes and experience. This allows organizations to better standardize the hiring process by putting candidates on an equal playing field.
  • Interviewing: AI can even be a valuable tool in the interview process. In the early interview stages, AI-powered tools can be used to ask candidates pre-defined questions and assess their responses based on established criteria, helping recruiters weed out unqualified candidates early in the process.
  • Predictive analytics/data analysis: Finally, recruiters can use AI models for predictive analytics and data analysis. Using past data from successful employees, an AI model can determine which candidates are most likely to succeed in the workplace, allowing the hiring team to make the most informed decision possible.

Is AI in recruiting good or bad?

The benefits of using these AI platforms in the recruiting process are obvious. For one, the hiring decisions made using AI programs will be more data-based and objective. AI also has the ability to remove human bias from the equation, which can help increase diversity by focusing solely on the candidates’ qualifications, rather than characteristics such as name, gender, or ethnicity, which could unfairly affect a human recruiter’s decision.

However, there are some factors that an AI model simply cannot take into account in the hiring process. For example, AI will only look at the candidate’s skills and qualifications to determine if they are a good cultural add for the role. Human recruiters might consider other factors, such as their potential to learn and grow, or other skills or experiences they have that — while perhaps not directly relevant — could still help them succeed in their job. Not to mention, artificial intelligence is generally unable to evaluate candidates for factors such as cultural add, which can be just as crucial to their success as their hard skills. 

Still, there are several ways artificial intelligence can be a boon to recruiters. Over the past few years, many recruiters across the board have felt overworked as a result of burnout, with Bloomberg reporting that roughly one-third of recruiters experience “extreme stress on a weekly basis as a result of their work.” With the help of AI, recruiters can save valuable time and focus more on the candidate experience, ensuring that they are the best culture add for the role.

Recruiters that adapt AI and use it to become more efficient will be irreplaceable. The ones that ignore it (or are scared) will need to find new careers. 

Ultimately, the debate around using artificial intelligence in the recruiting process comes down to a give-and-take scenario. On the one hand, you have the process becoming much more efficient through digitization, but is this worth sacrificing the human element of the recruiting process? Even if AI can more efficiently and unbiasedly analyze data about candidates’ qualifications, there are some insights that only human recruiters could provide.

It seems that, for talent acquisition teams, the future of recruiting will utilize AI tools not as a total replacement for human recruiters, but as a supplemental tool — especially in the earliest stages of the recruiting process. Although the number of jobs in recruitment may dwindle due to the decreased workload these professionals will face, it seems unlikely that the position will go away altogether. Human recruiters simply have a canny eye on certain aspects of company culture for AI to replace them.

About the Author: Brianna Rooney is a serial entrepreneur and powerhouse in recruiting. She is the founder and CEO of TalentPerch, Thriversity, The Millionaire Recruiter & YouTube channel, and Techees.

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