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AI Recruiting: A guide to smart recruiting

Clovers editor-at-large

Table of Contents

Artificial intelligence (AI) may sound like something from “The Jetsons,” but AI isn’t all talking robots and science fiction. From how we shop to how we drive to how we manage our homes (thanks, Alexa), the reality is that we all depend on AI every day.

Now, employers around the world are increasingly turning to AI recruiting.

While a single job posting at the height of the pandemic could yield hundreds—even thousands—of applications, the war for talent is heating up again. We’re back in a candidate’s market and recruiters must compete.

Although a candidate-driven market is a sign of a healthy economy, it does make recruiting more challenging. HR and recruiting teams need to use every tool in their arsenal to find and hire exceptional candidates as quickly as possible. For many, that means using AI to power their recruitment processes.

In this blog post, we’ll explore what AI recruiting 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 recruiting?

AI recruiting is the use of artificial intelligence in the talent acquisition process. From auto-screening candidates to managing communication to more effectively interview and assess candidates, AI has a number of applications that can help recruiting professionals hire faster, smarter, and without bias.

The purpose of AI recruiting is to streamline or automate parts of the recruiting workflow. This, in turn, 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.

And AI isn’t reserved only for the big tech companies anymore. According to a study done by the HR Research Institute, 96 percent of HR managers believe AI has great potential to help in the right talent acquisition, and 55 percent say AI will become a regular part of the recruitment process within the next five years.

How is AI changing the recruitment process?

From saving time to improving diversity to creating a better candidate experience, the use of artificial intelligence to optimize recruiting offers employers many advantages.

Accelerate hiring

No longer do employers have a steady stream of perfect candidates banging down their doors with resumes in hand. 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 likely be competing with—and the more likely you’ll be able to secure top talent.

By using AI recruiting software, hiring teams can identify the best candidates faster and accelerate the hiring process. AI-powered video interviewing technology like Clovers, for example, enables employers to quickly consolidate and assess interview feedback across the hiring team to improve the speed of hire—without sacrificing the quality of hire.

Screen candidates

Sourcing candidates is a vital part of the recruiting process—but it’s not what recruiters should be spending all their time on. Unfortunately, nearly half of recruiters say they spend most of their workweek—at least 30 hours—on sourcing alone. When sourcing is a time-consuming and tedious process, requisitions stay open longer and hiring teams run the risk of making bad hiring decisions.

Leveraging AI and machine learning technology, recruiters can automate the process of manually sourcing and shortlisting qualified candidates. Using AI recruiting tools to screen resumes and conduct keyword-based searches, for example, recruiters can quickly narrow down the candidate pool to the best-qualified candidates.

Reduce bias

We all have biases, even if we’re not always aware of them. But left unchecked, unconscious bias—also known as implicit 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, legal troubles, and lack of diversity, 93 percent of companies recognize the need to reduce bias in their talent acquisition process. And while unconscious bias training is a step in the right direction, training alone is not enough to eliminate bias from recruiting. That’s where AI comes in. Standardizing interviews with an AI-powered recruitment solution like Clovers, for example, HR teams can reduce bias in the interview process to ensure a fair, inclusive hiring process for all candidates.

Improve engagement

No candidate wants to feel like a nameless cog in the wheel of recruitment. By creating recruiting processes that are both scalable and efficient, recruiters can develop deeper relationships with candidates and give candidates a better experience.

One study found that when conversational AI has been a part of the recruiting process, candidates offered a job are 38 percent more likely to accept. Why? 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 gain more insight into each candidate. This leads to more meaningful conversations, which leads to real connections and, ultimately, more engaged candidates.

Find great talent

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the price of a bad hire is at least 30 percent of the employee’s first-year earnings. And the cost of recruiting, hiring, and onboarding a new employee can be as much as $240,000. 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. Research from CareerBuilder reveals that 74 percent of employers say they’ve hired the wrong person for a position. 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 interviews that lead to stronger hires.

How AI is changing the role of the recruiter

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 painstakingly poring over resumes and consolidating interview feedback, AI allows recruiters to

  • Improve their relationships with hiring managers
  • Be more strategic
  • Increase their organizational impact

So, is AI ever going to replace 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.

Why should you use an AI recruitment platform?

Companies in every sector are increasing their HR and recruiting investments in AI. Nearly 9 in 10 companies globally already use AI in some way for HR and 63 percent of talent acquisition professionals say AI has changed the way recruiting is done in their organization.

For many organizations, it’s less about if they should use AI recruiting tools—and more about how and where to use them in the recruitment process.

AI recruiting software enables hiring teams to be more efficient and make better hiring decisions. AI recruiting technology also enables recruiters to get more value from the tools and systems that already make up their recruiting tech stack, such as their applicant tracking system (ATS).

An increasingly important component of the HR technology ecosystem, AI-powered recruitment tools enable organizations to get more from their existing technology investments while hiring faster, smarter, and more fairly.

There is a wide variety of AI recruiting tools for sourcing, screening, interviewing, and onboarding candidates. But in order to enhance recruitment processes, any tool should integrate with your existing recruiting technologies.

An AI-powered video interviewing solution, for example, should integrate seamlessly with the video conferencing platform you already use to conduct interviews—such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. If not, it might cause more headaches than it’s worth. After all, any AI recruiting tool should make your hiring process easier, not more complicated.

Challenges related to AI recruiting

The benefits of applying artificial intelligence and machine learning in the recruitment process are significant, but it also has their challenges. For starters, AI needs a lot of data to learn how to screen candidates as accurately as a human recruiter. And although AI can reduce bias in the recruiting process, it can also learn human biases.

An important aspect of artificial intelligence is that it extracts insights and patterns from large sets of data, then makes predictions based on that analysis. This is precisely what makes AI recruiting so powerful—but also what can make its algorithms vulnerable to past biases. Unfortunately, this is a story that eCommerce giant Amazon knows all too well.

In 2015, the online retailer scrapped its AI-powered recruitment platform after discovering the tool did not like female candidates for software developer jobs and other technical roles. Why?

Amazon’s computer models were trained to screen potential candidates by observing patterns in resumes submitted to the company over the previous 10-year period. But since most resumes came from men—a mere reflection of male dominance across the tech industry—Amazon’s system essentially taught itself that male candidates were preferable for future technical jobs.

AI recruiting and ethics

There is no question that AI recruiting is an invaluable tool for businesses that want to make sure they find the best talent possible. But as seen with the Amazon example, it also raises important ethical issues. To overcome these ethical challenges—and address the hidden biases that can be built into AI systems—there are a few steps that employers should take when evaluating and implementing AI recruiting software.

First, it’s critical for companies that use AI recruiting tools to be incredibly intentional about the data they feed to the software. Machine learning and AI, of course, can only make decisions based on the data you feed it. If you feed it biased data, it can lead to biased predictions.

Gaining clarity from any AI vendor on how their platform’s machine learning models work is also vital to ensuring biases aren’t being perpetuated through AI. It’s important to demand ethical responsibility from AI recruiting technology providers, and specifically, seek out providers that will ensure the ethical use of both its AI algorithms and the personal data collected during the hiring process.

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.

While most AI recruiting tools have focused exclusively on improving the ways recruiters source and screen candidates, the rapid adoption of remote hiring practices due to the COVID-19 pandemic has led employers to increasingly look for opportunities to integrate AI into the virtual interview process.

The interview, after all, is a pivotal point in the candidate’s journey and has a major impact on a candidate’s final decision to join your company. And with an AI-powered video interview solution like Clovers, hiring teams can conduct better, more equitable interviews to get the insights they need to hire the right talent, for the right roles, every time.

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