AI for Recruiting is Here, But There's No Need To Worry

Many people are concerned that AI is going to take their job, or somehow make the world a scarier place to live in. While there may be some cause for concern, especially in the distant future where we have limited predictive powers, AI is mostly going to change the world for the better.

Just like AI has the ability to transform our healthcare, education and transportation systems, this same type of technology is going to have massive impacts on recruiting. In fact, it’s already changing the lives of thousands of people each day in really positive ways.

To take a deeper look at how AI and machine learning is helping both recruiters and job seekers, I wanted to dive into a few statistics around how AI based recruiting chatbots are making a difference in peoples’ lives.

  • Robots don’t get bored: Humans don’t want to do repetitive tasks for the majority of the day. It leads to burnout and attrition. From the recruiting side of the equation, AI does a lot of the most mundane tasks a recruiter has to perform each day including the HR coordination work of scheduling interviews, as well as the initial boilerplate screens of job seekers. It’s estimated that using AI saves a recruiter nearly 2 days of their time each week! This allows recruiters to spend more time with the best fit applicants, and on more strategic long term projects.
  • The blackhole: Most people who’ve applied for a job have experienced the dreaded resume blackhole. They apply for a job, and never hear back 80% of the time on average. This is frustrating to say the least. However, employers who are using AI to manage the top of their recruiting funnel respond to every single applicant who applies for a job. You don’t have to rely on recruiters remembering to send emails to candidates, this communication is simply built into the overall recruiting process.
  • Everyone gets a chance: A resume rarely tells the full story of a person and how they’d be a good fit for a job. It’s just an outdated way to represent a person. Employers who use chatbots will screen nearly every applicant, and ask them questions that relate specifically to the job they are applying to. Also, AI screening cuts down on the unconscious bias that can hurt the right candidate’s chances of getting the job.
  • Simply better candidate experience: 92% of candidates list themselves as satisfied when automation is applied to recruiting. Contrast that with 15% of people who have a positive experience before AI. The difference is due to many of the factors above, in addition to small things, like allowing automation to fill in applications faster, schedule interviews more effectively, and give answers to candidate questions on demand.

The Economic Benefits of Using Automation

While many of these benefits aren’t directly related to ROI, they are still important to understand and appreciate. Also, many of them can in fact be translated into a dollars and cents number that your CFO can appreciate.

For example, decreasing the amount of repetitive work that a recruiter has to do each day means that recruiters stay longer in their jobs. It also means they have more time to think strategically about the processes they are using to attract and convince job seekers.

Another example here is the removal of the resume black hole. Virgin found that their candidate experience was so bad, they were losing over $5 million each year as rejected applicants were moving to their competitors. Getting rid of the resume black hole means that less people feel spiteful towards your employer brand.

While there is no doubt AI will bring some negative change, we should be very excited about the long term benefits. Lastly, we should all be on the lookout for ways that we can take advantage of this trend right now in the present!

This post originally appeared on SelectSoftware's blog where we write about the latest in HRTech.

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Comment by Jeff Weidner on June 11, 2019 at 4:47pm

How long does it take to learn how to drive? I live in NC and at minimum it takes 1 year with a permit and 6 months with a provisional license and then another 6 months with a provisional plus license. BUT I would argue it took about 15 or 16 years to even get to that point of being able to recognize red, recognize letters and numbers, recognize the shape of a stop sign, recognize and react to a ball rolling in front of you etc. Essentially millions and millions of repetitive tasks every hour of every day until you understood it enough to even get to the point of being able to sit behind the wheel of a car.

Now translate that to AI. If you wanted to train a computer to source or "recruiter" first you have to get it recognize "stuff" like job titles, contextualize meaning of words in grammatically correct and grammatically incorrect sentences, first person, third person, spelling of words and common misspellings like manger versus manager etc, then you have to train the AI to match that (usually poorly written) resume to a (poorly written) job description and then teach the AI to stack rank without bias. That should take about 15 years. Right now we are about 3 maybe 5 or 6 years in depending on who you ask and what line of BS you are willing to believe. Now train it by running it through millions and millions of tasks and test it and make adjustments etc

The difference is that with humans if I wanna learn how to drive it will take me 15-16 years, if my wife, kid etc wants to drive it will also take them 15-16 years. There are no short cuts. No matter who you are, given a certain mental capacity, anyone can learn to drive but it takes 15-16 years give or take.

With AI even if it takes 20-30 years to perfect a task, once it's perfected it can then be cloned and updated and modified across all systems and from then on it takes an instant to "train" a new system on how to do that task; be it autonomous driving or sourcing resumes.

From the demos I've seen on AI resume search today in 2019 it's good, not perfect. It's usually as good if not a bit better than a human recruiter but still needs a lot of work. If it is good now in 5 years it will be amazing and in 10 years it will seem magical.


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