As artificial intelligence evolves, we’re going to increasingly rely on it for boosting the hiring process. In Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, author Max Tegmark asserts that the “rise of AI has the potential to transform our future more than any other technology.”
Recruiting has always been a time-consuming, repetitive process. For example, many companies have used AI to quickly process large amounts of data to improve efficiency, accuracy, and productivity. In its simplest terms, AI is really just automation that allows us to solve big, complex, repeatable problems with quality results. AI is there to better illuminate the path to get there.
Similar automation capabilities and benefits can be applied to recruiting processes, especially for repetitive, high-volume functions such as screening, sourcing and scheduling. AI-powered technology is meant to speed up time-consuming manual processes so recruiters can focus on more valuable initiatives during the hiring process; AI is not meant to replace human recruiters despite what some might believe.
Recruiting AI enables talent acquisition teams to discover passive candidates and unlock data-driven insights that guide decision-making and better outcomes such as quality of hire. AI recruitment tools can help deliver the right jobs to the right talent, the right talent to the right recruiters … and ultimately build
So it is, as we already see in the hiring process. AI is already saving HR teams time and money while attracting the best candidates in these key ways:
Solving the Sourcing Process
A recent study found that 46 percent of companies struggle with finding and attracting the right candidates for their open positions. AI programs can search online resumes and social profiles to find the best candidates for each job based on specific traits. They can also relay personalized messages to promising candidates and do it in scale — something human recruiters could not do alone.
AI is being taught to overcome human biases during sourcing and screening. The key is teaching the program on data that presents as gender-neutral and training it to ignore other identifying information that might trigger biased decisions. An organization may end up with a pool of applicants far more diverse than if the HR team itself had sourced them.
Enhancing Employee Experience
Once your AI program sources and contacts candidates, AI can lead them through the recruiting funnel quickly and efficiently, ensuring the candidate experience goes smoothly. Recruiter chatbots can provide real-time answers to candidate questions, offer quick feedback and suggest next steps. They can provide links to promising job descriptions, clarify company hours and location, and schedule interviews.
Having a good experience during this phrase is a big deal, as is borne out in a study by CareerBuilder: 58% of candidates are likely to have a negative opinion of a company if they never get a response to their job application. 67% percent are likely to have a favourable view of the company if they get frequent updates after they applied. Instead of dead air, a chatbot fills the space — and furthers the hiring process.
AI-powered conversational tools can also give the screening process a boost. Since these tools are always learning, they’re ideal for when going back for a second look at candidates who applied in the past. AI tools can store essential data on all applicants, saving time and effort when you’re ready to reach out to them again. Companies that use AI tools have reduced their cost per screening by 75 percent.
Using technology to screen talent also saves time and effort for candidates. When CVS Health began using the Virtual Job Tryout assessment, it was looking for an automated screening tool to shortlist candidates quickly. The company processes over one million applicants per year: saving time on the hiring process is critical to the recruiting team.
By offering job simulation inside hiring platforms, CVS enabled candidates to virtually try out some of the tasks in a potential position. Depending on their performance, they might be invited go proceed to the next step in the recruiting process. Or they might decide the position wasn’t a good fit, saving themselves and the company time. CVS Health found this tool screened out half a million applicants right away, saving 40 years of hiring manager time. The tool also brought a measurable improvement in performance, training, new hire retention, and operational outcomes.
Assistance with Interviewing
AI in HR provides a simple way not only to reach out to possible candidates, but also screen, rank, and shortlist their resumes based on the traits most relevant to your company. Then, once you have a list of people you’d like to interview, the chatbot can act as the scheduler.
Certain AI tools can also help you conduct a later-stage virtual interview before inviting a candidate to come in person. Conducting a video interview with preset questions, you can run an AI program to analyze candidates’ facial expressions, tone of voice, mannerisms, and word choice.
This technology will make it more likely you’ll end up with new employees who fit your company culture, which is why major brands like Google, Facebook, and Apple have been using this technology for years in their hiring process. And now even more companies use it, including Capital One, Allstate, ThredUp, Hilton, and AT&T.
AI is also improving onboarding procedures — by, for instance, automating repetitive or tedious tasks like conducting background checks, putting together documents about benefits, and creating offer letter templates. AI can also help organize, print, and deliver all onboarding paperwork.
The same can be said of training documents — another time-consuming step when the HR team has to do it manually. Instead, AI-powered tools can ensure all new employees receive copies of the paperwork that spells out company policies and log-in information.They can track when documents have been read, prompt an electronic signature, and schedule meetings to go over the information further when necessary.
And all can happen 24/7 from anywhere, which means employees can start training or getting answers to their questions any time and from any device. It also allows the HR department to focus on tasks that cannot be automated or done outside of business hours.
Why use Artificial Intelligence in the Hiring Process?
From sourcing and screening candidates to interviewing and onboarding, AI is undeniably changing HR’s capabilities. A report from Deloitte in 2017 notes that 38 percent of survey respondents believed AI would be widely used at their company within three to five years. In 2018, that number rose to 42 percent. It’s still climbing.
72 percent of executives believe AI will offer significant business advantages in the coming years, while a LinkedIn study found that 76 percent of hiring managers believe AI will be at least somewhat important in the future. As Eric Sydell, EVP of Innovation at Modern Hire, summed it up, “AI is a perfect way to recruit the best talent that will excel at your company, as it uses huge volumes of data to predict outcomes better than any person can. Not only does AI save HR departments time, but it also gives candidates some insight into whether they even want the job.”
About the author
Cynthia Trivella is the Managing Partner at TalentCulture . She has over 20 years' experience within the field of HR Communications, Talent Sourcing Strategies and Employment Branding using industry's best practices for attracting and retaining A-Level Talent candidates. She seeks to leverage her technical and marketing expertise to successfully develop and implement short- and long-term employee communication plans and processes that increase engagement and employee performance, all tied into the employer/employment brand within organizations of all sizes.