AI in Recruiting: Just Scratching the Surface

Mar 15, 2024

AI has been making serious waves lately, with virtually no industry untouched by the potential impacts it might bring. Of course, the world of recruiting is no exception.

AI, like any innovation, has quite a bit of duality — a mix of advantages and challenges — plus a vast unknown. So far neither good nor bad, AI’s future is yet to be determined. For now, the most important piece in all of this is building awareness of the evolution that is beginning to take place, as well as what this might mean for the future of recruiting.

In order to keep up with best practices, both employers and job seekers should strive to be well-informed about the potential impact AI could have on the recruitment process. Understanding AI’s uses, capabilities, and limitations empowers individuals on both sides of the hiring equation.

One notable shift in the modern approach to recruiting is the use of bots. Equipped with advanced algorithms, bots are becoming strict gatekeepers as they work to filter applicants. The rise of these digital gatekeepers makes it challenging for job seekers to have their profiles reviewed by real humans. The efficiency of these bots comes at a cost as they can easily exclude qualified candidates due to rigid keyword scans and predetermined qualifications. Often, the best candidates are those that don’t fit into the predefined box — the ones that bring diverse skills and experiences but fail to meet narrowly defined criteria. These people are now at risk of being rejected before they’ve even been seen by a real person at the company they’re applying for. This is particularly evident in large corporations that resort to software to filter large volumes of resumes swiftly.

Another important note is that the aesthetic presentation of resumes is also at risk of algorithm biases. Creative formats, colors, and graphic designs, which are used as a way for candidates to stand out, might now be reason enough for bots to discard the entire resume. The challenge for resume-writers has developed beyond simply showcasing their qualifications — now they must also do so in a way that aligns with the preferences of these digital gatekeepers.

There has also been a marked increase in the use of video analysis software in interviews. Traditional face-to-face interviews are no longer the norm, as candidates find themselves increasingly interacting with algorithms instead of real people. These sophisticated systems track not only the words spoken by a candidate but also more nuanced factors such as their body language and voice inflections. While this offers a streamlined evaluation process, it also naturally raises concerns about the ability of algorithms to truly understand the complexity of human communication.

The truth about AI is that it cannot provide true value without the human touch. AI cannot function properly when humans don’t take the time to double check its work. We need to find a balance between the efficiency of AI and the importance of human judgment.

AI should be viewed as a tool to augment the capabilities of recruiters, not replace them. Human-centric values, such as creativity, intuition, and diversity, should be integrated into the design and application of AI in recruiting processes. A collaborative approach, where humans guide and oversee AI systems, can lead to a more inclusive and fair recruitment environment.

Rather than panicking about the dawn of AI, or going full force into this technology that is still in its infancy, let’s just work to stay informed while keeping an open mind.

As we continue to see this evolution unfold, we should begin establishing guidelines for the ethical use of AI in recruiting. Employers and employees alike should be mindful of the potential biases embedded in algorithms. Employers can work actively to eliminate discriminatory practices, while employees can draft their resumes with bots in mind.

Since AI is obviously here to stay, we should focus on building awareness, prioritizing efficacy as much as efficiency, and advocating for more integration between AI and the human touch. The future of recruiting should not be a battleground between man and machine but a collaboration where technology serves as a facilitator, leaving room for the essential qualities that make us uniquely human.

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