AI Recruiting: A guide to smart recruiting

July 20, 2021 Updated: October 30, 2023 10 min read

Artificial intelligence (AI) may sound like something from “The Jetsons,” but AI isn’t all talking robots and science fiction. From shopping to driving to managing our homes (thanks, Alexa), we depend on AI every day.

Things are no different at work. Employers around the world are increasingly turning to AI recruiting. HR and recruiting teams need to use every tool possible to find and hire exceptional candidates as quickly as possible. For many, that means using AI to power recruitment processes.

In this blog post, we’ll explore what AI recruitment is, how AI-powered recruitment is shaking up the talent acquisition landscape, and how hiring managers and recruiters can embrace AI recruiting tools to hire the right talent, faster.

What is AI for recruiting?

AI recruiting is the use of artificial intelligence in the talent acquisition process. Many AI-powered tools help recruiting professionals hire faster, smarter, and with less bias.

The purpose of AI recruiting is to streamline or automate parts of the recruiting workflow. This enables recruiters to work more efficiently, hire the best-fit candidates, and spend more time on the work that only humans can do—like building strong relationships.

How does artificial intelligence work in recruiting?

AI doesn’t replace recruiters but helps them do their jobs more effectively. In the same way, AI shouldn’t replace the hiring team but supplement the hiring process. How? Various AI applications exist to support talent acquisition professionals at every step of the hiring journey.

Early in the hiring process, AI can help craft outreach messages or answer candidate questions via chatbot. AI like ChatGPT can be used to draft initial versions of job descriptions or job ads, though it’s a good idea to assess these for bias and optimize for inclusion afterwards. Once applications start coming in, resumes can be screened for keywords and desired skills. AI can also help analyze video interview content and summarize candidate profiles. With all of this technical help, AI helps hiring teams make more efficient and informed hiring decisions.

How AI drives a more intelligent interview process

By leveraging machine learning and AI, employers can keep biases and guesswork out of hiring decisions. As a result, organizations can build more diverse teams, improve the candidate experience, and successfully compete for top talent in a hot job market.

In the past, most AI recruiting tools have focused exclusively on improving the ways recruiters source and screen candidates. However, the growth of remote hiring practices has led employers to look for ways AI can strengthen the virtual interview process. More tools are being developed to help analyze one-way or live video interviews for sentiment, provide accurate transcripts, measure speaker time, and offer tips for interviewer improvement. Some AI platforms also offer candidate recommendations, though this should never replace human judgment. 

What are the benefits of using AI in the recruitment process?

For many organizations, it’s becoming less about whether they should use AI recruiting tools and more about how and where to use them. As AI-powered recruitment tools become an increasingly important part of the HR technology ecosystem, teams are saving time, improving diversity, and delivering a better candidate experience.

Using AI, hiring teams can remove repetitive, time-consuming processes from their recruitment workflows. This gives recruiters more time to focus on developing relationships, engaging candidates, and training hiring teams to be great interviewers. Instead of spending the majority of their time poring over resumes and consolidating interview feedback, AI allows recruiters to strategically source more talent and increase their organizational impact.

Accelerate hiring

If your recruiting process isn’t efficient, you risk losing your top picks to the competition. The faster your hiring process, the fewer offers you’ll be competing with—and the more likely you’ll be able to secure top talent. AI recruiting software allows employers to quickly consolidate and assess interview feedback across the hiring team to improve the speed of hire—without sacrificing the quality of hire.

Automate time-consuming tasks

Let AI take care of tasks that keep you from building relationships and prioritizing top candidates. Use software to automate scheduling, answer straightforward applicant questions, and gather analytics. Chatbots can also save valuable time by sharing status updates with candidates and gathering required information or documents from them.

Accurately match candidate qualifications

Provide your AI recruiting tool with preferred job qualifications, and allow the software to analyze job applications to find the best matches. For instance, indicate a preference for leadership experience or project management. AI can scan resumes for keywords and present the hiring team with a range of candidates that meet those needs. Some programs can even help direct job seekers to open positions that would best suit their qualifications.

Efficiently screen candidates

When sourcing is a time-consuming and tedious process, requisitions stay open longer and hiring teams run the risk of making bad hiring decisions. By leveraging AI and machine learning technology, recruiters can automate the process of manually sourcing and shortlisting qualified candidates. For example, by using AI recruiting tools to review resumes and conduct keyword-based searches, recruiters can quickly narrow down the candidate pool to the best-qualified candidates.

Find great talent

Hiring the wrong employees is not only expensive, but it can also have a huge impact on morale, productivity, and profits. Unfortunately, it’s also a common mistake. Using AI-powered recruitment software, employers can improve their ability to find and hire the best-fit candidate from a pool of applicants. AI can help recruiters automatically screen thousands of resumes to find the most relevant candidates for any job, as well as conduct early screening interviews that lead to stronger hires.

Better long-term fit

With increased speed and efficiency, recruiters can compete for the best talent. Resume screening helps hiring managers identify top candidates more easily. And AI-driven interview insights help teams make more informed decisions. These benefits come together and help companies make impactful, accurate hiring decisions. Getting the right candidates into the right roles will both improve retention and employee satisfaction.

Improve engagement

Candidates who feel a strong connection with an organization during the recruiting process are more likely to turn into employees. By using an AI recruiting tool that can interpret interview conversations, recruiters and hiring managers can also gain more insight into each candidate. This leads to more meaningful conversations, which leads to real connections and, ultimately, more engaged candidates. Candidates also appreciate an efficient hiring and onboarding process.

Reduce bias

Left unchecked, unconscious bias can easily creep into the recruiting process and cause employers to miss out on the best candidate for the position. To avoid poor hiring decisions, compliance issues, and lack of diversity, use tools that help combat bias. Standardize interviews with an AI-powered recruitment solution, assess communications and job descriptions for inclusion, and learn how to improve your interviewing skills.

Source potential candidates

AI tools can be used to expand the talent pool. When programmed to search for specific keywords or qualifications, AI can scan job boards or social media to help find candidates. These candidates can be nurtured or invited to apply to relevant open positions.

Key techniques used in AI recruiting

It seems like new AI tools come out every day. For now, these are the most common ways recruiters are using AI to boost their recruiting strategy.

  • Automated sourcing. Add passive or active candidates to your talent pool with the help of AI. Recruiting software can scan social media accounts, job boards, and online communities to find candidates that match pre-determined criteria. 
  • Natural language processing (NLP). NLP can analyze text or spoken words and offer insights. It can be used to identify candidate strengths and behavior or flag areas of concern. It also helps provide transcripts of audio content.
  • Chatbots. Chatbots can respond to applicant questions or requests quickly. They can provide information to job seekers about the company, the interview process, or open positions.
  • Video interview analysis. AI can summarize conversation sentiment and speaker ratio, or highlight opportunities for interviewer improvement. AI-generated transcripts can be assessed for keywords as well.
  • Bias mitigation. AI can help avoid biased decision-making by delivering standardized screenings to candidates early in the interview process. It can offer objective summaries of candidate profiles and help redact personal information from resumes.
  • Predictive analytics. AI can analyze candidate resumes, social media presence, and skills assessments so hiring teams can better understand a candidate’s potential. AI can also help predict the likelihood of retention within a certain role.
  • Ranking and scoring. Recruiters can connect with their most promising candidates when AI helps rank and score top resumes. AI can analyze recorded interviews and offer scores afterward as well, though recruiters should only use this data to supplement their decision-making process (not replace it). 

With so many applications, AI has the power to transform the entire hiring process. It’s just a matter of choosing the right software for you!

What are the potential challenges of AI for recruiting teams

The benefits of applying AI in the recruitment process are significant, but it also has its challenges. Learn about the potential pitfalls and how you can avoid them.

Bias in AI algorithms

As it’s programmed, AI extracts insights from large sets of data and makes predictions based on that analysis. Using AI built on biased data will perpetuate those biases.

Solution: Regularly audit and update AI algorithms to minimize bias. Use diverse training data to ensure fair representation. Engage technology built by diverse teams of developers.

Candidate privacy concerns

When AI is used to gather and analyze data, users are not sure how data is stored or shared. Some countries even enacted bans on ChatGPT due to privacy concerns.

Solution: Be transparent about data usage, obtain consent, and comply with data protection regulations like GDPR.

Less personalized experience

Using AI to answer questions, schedule meetings, or craft messages can make for a less personal experience. It could also frustrate users who are adapting to new technologies.

Solution: Implement AI in a way that complements human interaction. Use chatbots for routine tasks but ensure candidates have access to human recruiters when needed.

Over-reliance on technology

With tools available to source, chat, and rate candidates, recruiters could easily slip into an over-reliance on AI. HR professionals might start to value AI recommendations over team collaboration or critical thinking.

Solution: Maintain a balance. Use AI to enhance efficiency but don’t replace the human touch in recruitment. Continue to thoughtfully make hiring decisions.

Lack of technical skills

New AI applications are being developed all the time. Adopting AI requires an adjustment period that could be challenging for recruiters.

Solution: Invest in training or partner with experts who can guide the integration and maintenance of AI systems.

Data quality

AI is only as good as the data it’s built on. Poor quality, biased, or incomplete data will deliver poor results.

Solution: Regularly clean and update your data. Implement data quality standards and protocols.

Cost and implementation 

Incorporating new technology costs money and time. Especially when AI feels like a nice-to-have rather than a must-have, accepting these costs could be prohibitive.

Solution: Start with small, manageable AI projects before scaling. Consider the long-term cost savings from automation.

How to ensure the ethical use of AI in recruiting

AI recruiting is an invaluable tool for businesses that want to find the best talent possible. But it also raises important ethical issues. To overcome these ethical challenges, there are a few things employers should keep in mind when implementing AI recruitment software.

First, remember that machine learning and AI can only make decisions based on the data it’s given. If an algorithm is built on biased data, this can lead to biased insights. Companies using AI for recruiting must be intentional about the data they provide to their software. 

Engage with AI vendors who are transparent about their machine-learning models. Ask about their ongoing auditing practices. Seek providers that will ensure the ethical use of its AI algorithms and the personal data collected during the hiring process.

Be aware, too, that AI isn’t perfect. Some tools, like ChatGPT, have yet to safeguard against plagiarism. Some of the content delivered by AI is not properly credited to their original sources, and not all information shared is accurate. Users of AI should be aware of the risks of spreading disinformation.

Most importantly, don’t let AI replace human decision-making. Check AI’s work for plagiarism, bias, and accuracy. Don’t forget that all of your recruiting tools still require human oversight.

What types of AI tools are available for recruitment?

AI-powered recruitment tools include candidate-sourcing software, resume screening programs, and chatbots. Some video interview technology uses natural language processing and AI for analysis. Other tools integrate with the recruiter’s applicant tracking system (ATS) for automated communication, scheduling, and information gathering. AI can also help analyze conversations or candidate profiles to help predict future success.

So, is AI ever going to replace human recruiters?

The short answer is no. AI, for example, will never be able to replace social skills, empathy, and negotiating abilities. While AI-powered recruitment technology can help automate and improve some tasks that are currently done manually, AI will never replace recruiters—it will only make them better.

By leveraging AI recruiting tools to streamline the manual processes that can be done without a human touch, recruiters can redirect their efforts toward those that can’t. Essentially, AI-powered recruitment technology helps put the “human” back in Human Resources.

Steps for integrating AI tools into your current HR tech stack

There’s so much to learn, and so many tools available, that it can seem overwhelming to begin incorporating AI into your workflow. It’s best to start with a plan. 

Start with well-defined goals

Consider your workflow. Identify your most pressing needs and choose AI that can help. For instance, are you spending a lot of time booking interviews? Use an automated scheduling system. Are you reviewing too many unqualified resumes? Take advantage of screening technology. Start small, and go from there.

Choose reputable AI vendors

AI is a growing industry, so it’s important to partner with a vendor that you trust. Vendors should be transparent, and ethical, and regularly audit their systems. Be careful to choose software that does not perpetuate bias and stores data safely.

Ensure data quality

AI vendors should be transparent about what data their algorithms are built on. Evaluate whether those data sets are diverse or if their results are skewed by bias. Ensure data is accurate, comes from reliable sources, and is not built on stolen intellectual property.

Develop and enforce guidelines for ethical AI use

Commit to the ethical use of AI. Choose reliable vendors, AI that mitigates bias rather than perpetuating it, and programs that protect privacy. Allow for informed consent, avoid the spread of misinformation, and monitor content written by AI for accuracy.

Provide training for HR staff and gather feedback

Once you’ve chosen an AI tool, educate coworkers on its use. Ensure all members of the hiring team are aware of the potential challenges and how to overcome them. Monitor its adoption, measure success, and address any concerns users might have.

Ready to embrace AI in your hiring process?

From interview insights to optimized job descriptions, Clovers is here to help you! Schedule a demo to learn how Clovers can help you accelerate hiring, reduce bias, and put the right people in the right role—every time.

Doug Leonard

Doug is constantly working to make the hiring process more objective, insightful, and informed. As a trusted leader in the recruitment industry, Doug is always ready to guide candidates and companies to (and through) a person-first hiring experience.

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