What is Artificial Intelligence (AI) and what role does it play in recruitment

pexels christina morillo 1181316 scaled 1 | What is Artificial Intelligence (AI) and what role does it play in recruitment
By Paula Smith | 28th October 2020 | 5 min read

One of the most talked about technological advancements of the future, AI is likely to transform the recruitment landscape for the better.

AI stands for Artificial Intelligence and essentially AI is a technology that is programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions. 

AI allows us to operate more efficiently and effectively and already plays a significant role in society and the tasks we perform every day.

Typical examples of Artificial Intelligence include: 

  • Product recommendations when shopping online 
  • Virtual assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri 
  • Photo recognition - who and what is in the photo 
  • Credit card fraud detection tools

Often confused with Automation, AI can be described as machines that solve problems that are too complex for the human brain to process. In contrast, automation however simply automates processes normally carried out by humans.

However, AI and Automation can be combined to help make things simpler, quicker and more efficient than ever before. 

As technology continues to progress at a phenomenal rate, the use of AI is becoming more and more prevalent. It’s no longer a concept that is limited to social or recreational activities, but a powerful tool that is set to make a significant change in the business world too.  

Whilst we know that the true power of AI is yet to be seen, according to research 10% of organisations have already integrated Artificial Intelligence in their HR department, while another 36% are planning to incorporate it within the next couple of years.

How is Artificial Intelligence being used in recruitment? 

Through the use of recruitment software, HR departments have been using automation for years. Whether it be an automated acknowledgment on receipt of an application, sifting tools, or automatic decline notifications, this type of technology has helped organisations make significant time savings when it comes to recruitment, but what role will Artificial Intelligence play? 

In a candidate-driven market, organisations need to be much more proactive in their approach to recruitment. Whilst job boards will undoubtedly remain part of sourcing strategies for some years to come, the ability to promote jobs to passive candidates (i.e. those we are not looking for a new role ) has become a key priority for many in-house recruitment teams. AI will help recruiters to do this. 

Building and nurturing talent pools, and maximising employee referrals will also be facilitated by the use of AI when it comes to Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion, as AI will ensure that recruitment decisions are made without bias. 

Naturally, the role of Artificial Intelligence in recruitment will continue to change rapidly as organisations seek to find new and unique ways to attract and hire the best possible talent. With every new challenge or obstacle faced, technology will be configured to provide a solution.

As the potential benefits derived from AI are so significant, it's not surprising that AI is high on the agenda for in-house recruitment teams across all industries and sectors, but with a wealth of options to choose from, we have identified some of the most powerful AI tools set to be introduced in 2021. 

  • Automated Candidate Sourcing 

Rather than posting adverts on job boards and waiting for applications, AI will allow you to search for candidates with the skills you are looking for. Whilst functionality differs between providers, essentially you will be able to input the key criteria and the social media profiles of candidates who match will be automatically presented to you for consideration. Not only will this remove the need to manually search multiple platforms for potential candidates, but with the ability to send automated messages ( i.e. details of your vacancy) directly to them, the process of candidate sourcing will be revolutionised. 

  • Candidate Rediscovery 

Working in a similar way to candidate sourcing, AI can help to automatically identify candidates that have previously applied for a role or are currently sitting in your database. This will potentially remove the need to manually search for candidates or perfect boolean strings in order to find good matches for your roles. 

  • Candidate Matching 

Understanding candidate behaviour is key to AI. Working in a similar way to online retailers, one example of this would be to use AI to analyse what kind of roles, locations or salary bandings a potential candidate is searching for on your website and then show them suitable jobs or customised content on their next visit. 

  • Internal / Employee Referrals 

AI can help take the power of employee referrals to the next level by removing the need for employees to actually make the referral. The ability to scan the social networks of current employees and identify potential candidates can be done at a touch of a button and lets you engage directly. 

  • Equality, Diversity and Inclusion 

By essentially removing the human element and any unconscious bias, AI will undoubtedly play a huge role in the delivery of discrimination-free and inclusive recruitment strategies. The number of tools available to support ED&I is extensive and includes: 

  • Automated candidate sourcing ( as outlined above) -  will ensure you reach a wider pool of talent
  • Gender-neutral advert content creation - helps to ensure that job descriptions or adverts are not more attractive to one particular gender 
  • Unbiased scoring tools - using technology to automatically score applications without any influence from personal or sensitive information held within the application or CV
  • Facial Expression Analysis

During the recent pandemic, the use of video interviews has increased phenomenally. The use of AI on video interviews can monitor an individual's expressions and reactions during video interviews and can mirror that of previous successful hires. The vocabulary used when answering questions can also be analysed to identify key skills and personality traits of each person interviewed. Examples can include how positive an individual is, how much they talk about themselves, and how frequently they mention key terminologies.

Whether HR teams are looking at AI or Automation, technology remains the driving force behind the most successful and efficient recruitment strategies. 

Just like the significant changes that are outlined for transport systems, medical expertise and online security, AI will be responsible for a wealth of new and improved ways of recruiting. 

For more information on Artificial Intelligence in recruitment and how you can innovate your current processes, check out our IRIS networx solutions today.