AI technology: recruiter friend or foe?
In this day and age, artificial intelligence is everywhere – even if you don’t realise it. From self-checkout machines in supermarkets to self-driving cars, there’s no denying whatsoever that there are huge benefits to certain industries in terms of streamlining
processes, saving on labour costs and generally improving performance. But what about in recruitment? A debate has been raging as to where AI fits within the recruitment world – whether it should be
fully implemented, used in parts or even used at all. Here let’s discuss some of the pros and cons we’re experiencing as recruiters in this fast-moving, tech savvy world:
PRO: Time spent resourcing candidates = massively reduced
Candidate sourcing is undoubtedly a long and arduous process – one which a lot of recruiters will admit they enjoy the least. With AI options out there to help with sourcing potential candidates, a lot of time can be saved with unsuitable individuals being screened and removed from systems quickly and efficiently – meaning you don’t have to. This could potentially leave you with a list or database of suitable, contactable candidates who are merely waiting for your call, minus the graft of having had to find them all yourself.
CON: Hidden gems = missed
Whilst AI can drive quick results, it’s also important to remember that nothing can replace the savvy of a recruiter who’s been doing the job for a while – someone who may be able to spot a ‘diamond in the rough’, as it were. When you’re working at CV
level, every word counts…How to say this politely?
Some people just don’t know how to write a CV. This means that, unfortunately, some AI systems may rule out a candidate based on a lack of ‘correct’ responses or low number of keyword matches, where an actual human being would have been able to read between the lines and identify that the candidate
was perhaps more suitable than they appeared on paper. This fundamentally means candidates missing out on potential opportunities, and recruiters/agencies missing out on potential deals. No good.
PRO: Quick responses = better
Implementing AI into your agency’s contact systems can be a great thing – sad to say, sometimes opportunities are missed when consultants don’t respond quickly enough to an application or enquiry. Having an instant messaging system in place which could
respond immediately to prospective candidates (or clients, for that matter) ensures that contact has been made, in some instances even garnering their availability and scheduling a call or meeting for a mutually suitable time. Thus, AI could minimise the risk of
losing any potential placements due to just being ‘too busy’.
CON: Robot interaction = underappreciated candidates
Ultimately, nobody likes being seen as a number – and AI runs the risk of doing exactly that. It could be that certain people may find talking to a ‘robot’ a little too impersonal and may harbour negative (and certainly as yet unfounded, but difficult to diminish)
thoughts as to how the agency in question operates. If none of your humans has time to speak to me, why should I make time to speak to them?
PRO: Basic screening = quick and easy – for BOTH sides
When it comes to recruiting, nothing is more frustrating than finding the absolute perfect candidate – you begin asking them questions and they’re giving you ALL the right answers. They’re perfect for this job.
That is, until you realise they’re based 170 miles away from your client. AI gives us the ability to quickly screen for key information and suitability pointers, saving time (and heartache) for any mishaps
later on in the process. Truly a pro for both candidate AND recruiter.
CON: A job goes beyond experience
Have you ever been interviewing a candidate, whether face to face or over the phone, and just had ‘that’ feeling?
Their CV isn’t great; they don’t have the exact experience your client is looking for… Nonetheless, as a good recruiter you’ll sometimes be able to tell that your client is just going to… Well, love them.
Robots can’t take into account cultural fit. They don’t know that whilst Tim here hasn’t got everything on paper, what he has got is the right attitude, that your client James will love – and to top it off, he too is a MASSIVE Liverpool fan.
A robot can’t tell you that whilst Sarah has got less than the year of experience that XYZ Ltd were hoping to hire, she does in fact come from a similar background to the CEO, and you just know they’ll get on like a house on fire.
AI won’t be able to deduce simple things, like the fact that yes, this candidate is based more than a hundred miles away from head office – but they’re desperate to relocate so that they can be closer to their partner.
We need humans for this.
So, the short and short is, AI has its place in recruitment as it does elsewhere in the world – but we should never place less
importance on the details within what is truly an industry-led and powered by humans. It’s exciting to see where this technology
could take us in future, but nothing beats a good old chin wag with a real-life human being!