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The impact of AI in recruitment: Sven Elbert weighes into the AI conversation

Tags: AI, Recruitment Process, Recruitment Transformation

AI is recruiters’ superhero cape, but with great power comes great responsibility. We spoke to Industry Leading Analyst Sven Elbert to discuss the impact of AI in recruitment, demystify the hype, and help organisations understand how to integrate AI into their own hiring processes in an ethical, sustainable way that’s good for everyone.

Recruitment is no stranger to the technology hype cycle. Blockchain. 5G. Internet of Things. And now, AI. But with the AI recruitment market valued at $630.5 million in 2022 and projected to grow to $839.5 million by 2028, it’s obvious AI is going to shake things up. 

But there’s a huge amount of noise out there. How will AI impact recruitment, exactly? Is AI coming for recruiters’ jobs? How is AI already changing hiring? 

And most important, how can talent teams ensure they’re preparing for these changes in a sensitive, ethical way that’s good for everyone?

Tribepad’s Neil chatted to Industry Leading Analyst, Sven Elbert, to answer these questions. Ready to demystify AI in recruitment? Read on for key takeaways from the session. Or dive into more detail by watching the fifth episode of The View.

 

Will AI replace recruiters?

 

AI in recruitment is poised for explosion

Sven shares some recent research into how recruiters are engaging with AI at the moment:

  • 34% of organisations are exploring how they could use AI
  • 40% of organisations have started their AI journey
  • 8% of organisations are using AI in an advanced way

These figures show the appetite for AI in recruitment is certainly there, but maturity is still low.

Sven likens AI to an enthusiastic new intern that’s great at sorting files but needs the team around and above them to understand the bigger picture. AI can’t function without recruiters: it’s a tool, like any other tool you use. He expands:

“AI is great at tasks like sifting through resumes and scheduling interviews, but it hasn’t mastered the art of the firm handshake; the smile you deliver as you seal a contract. Recruitment is a human-to-human interaction.”

In other words, AI has loads of value handling the boring, manual, administrative bits you probably don’t enjoy anyway. Which frees your time to focus on the strategic, people-to-people bits that probably attracted you to recruitment in the first place.

AI can help you get out of your own way, to be more productive, efficient, and faster—so you can add more value doing what you enjoy most.

In essence, AI is great at tasks that are repetitive, predictable, and involve navigating large datasets. That’s the stuff you probably don’t want to be wasting time on anyway. 

 

Using AI in recruitment: examples

  • Parsing CVs
  • Sorting, scoring, ranking CVs against set criteria
  • Searching and suggesting CVs from your database
  • Writing and posting job adverts 
  • Identifying possible candidates who haven’t applied
  • Predicting job success by analysing various datasets
  • Scheduling interviews
  • Transcribing and analysing video interviews 
  • Recommending personalised jobs to candidates
  • Keeping candidates informed 
  • Answering some of candidates’ and managers’ questions
  • Automating recruitment workflows
  • Surfacing data from recruitment reports 
  • … and so on

 

Recruiters are great at tasks that are personalised, unpredictable, and creative:

There’s understandably a lot of anxiety about how AI could impact recruitment. And this evolving tech certainly will ring the changes. 

But look at the verbs on this list and take heart. AI can parse; sort; search; transcribe; automate. But recruiters define; determine; develop; interpret; inspire. 

For most recruiters, that’s much more aligned with the work you want to be doing. Do you prefer scheduling interviews, or coaching candidates to help them shine? 

If AI can help us get better at joining the dots between data, recruiters are the ones creating those dots. As Sven succinctly summarises: “Is AI coming for our jobs? I would say yes. But only in a good way”. 

 

How could AI impact jobseekers and candidates? 

AI isn’t only changing how recruiters recruit. It’s also having a big impact on how jobseekers and candidates find their next role. 

Neil asked a roomful of recruiters recently whether they’d seen candidates applying with help from AI, and everyone raised their hand. 

Tools like LazyApply are totally transforming how candidates apply for jobs — using AI to automatically apply for 1000’s of jobs with a single click. With advanced algorithms to avoid detection from job boards and recruitment platforms. 

AI is making recruitment feel a little like a cat-and-mouse game. Jobseekers are racing to accelerate, automate, and streamline the jobseeking process, while recruiters race to protect the integrity of assessment and screening, so you can trust you’re still getting the best candidate for the job.

This tension risks recruitment becoming adversarial, but that’s not the best outcome for anyone. At its best, recruitment is collaborative: we’re all on the same side. Jobseekers want to find a great-fit role where they thrive; recruiters want to find great-fit new hires that thrive.

John Lewis is a great recent example of this attitude 👏. They recently announced they’ll be posting their interview questions for every role online with a view to helping candidates put their best foot forwards. 

The beauty of this isn’t just that it helps candidates. It also helps recruiters go deeper at interview with more probing questions that uncover greater depth and nuance about candidates than simply how well they interview.

We see a lot of panic about AI in recruitment — understandable, since it’s still such early days for the technology. Change always brings more operational and strategic challenges than business-as-usual. 

But we believe AI stands to benefit everyone, making the recruitment process fairer, faster, and better for recruiters and jobseekers alike. 

To realise the true power of AI in recruitment, though, there needs to be some deep consideration into how these tools are developed and impact processes. And that’s not always happening. 

 

Ethical AI development is a must

AI developments are coming thick and fast. Seemingly every HR tech provider is racing to keep up with Silicon Valley’s huge swathes of investment into AI recruitment tools. 

Sven says his conversations with vendors steer onto AI within a couple of minutes, if that. He’s besieged. 

That’s not to say many of these tools aren’t brilliant – Sven talks about “huge potential” in the AI recruitment market at the moment. But it’s critical for organisations not to get swept up in the hype.

For instance, Sven shares recent research that says 30% of recruiters using AI for recruitment haven’t considered the ethical implications and how AI might impact bias. That’s an astounding admission. 

As you embark on this exciting journey, it’s critical to challenge your vendors to ensure you really understand that how your recruitment tools use AI. 

 

Some pointers to integrating AI in the recruitment process:

  • Transparency. AI can’t be a black box. Make sure you understand why and how the algorithm draws its conclusions about candidates. Recruiters must make final decisions, not an algorithm. 
  • Safeguards. Ask your vendors what safeguards they’ve got to make sure AI remains a positive for everyone. Do they have tests to see how the AI acts and reacts to different situations, for example? 
  • Regulation. Regulation of AI hasn’t yet caught up with development. Sensible organisations will ensure they’re built compliance architecture around AI before leaping ahead with AI tools, to keep everyone safe.
  • Escalation. AI doesn’t replace humans, it supplements them (louder for those in the back.) To that end, processes using AI should have a clear escalation chain ending with human interaction. For example, AI chatbots must escalate to a recruiter where it can’t answer a question with 100% certainty. 

AI is going to be a wild ride. To make sure you can enjoy the journey, it’s important to move forwards with caution.

 

AI is recruiters’ superhero cape – but don it wisely

It’s an explosive time for AI in recruitment, but the industry is still finding its feet. AI has enormous potential to make hiring more effective and more enjoyable for everyone — faster; fairer; less faffy; more human. 

But there are also undeniable challenges here that need careful thought and consideration. 

We’re as excited as anyone about the power of AI. Like many other providers, there’s lots of AI development on our roadmap. But we’re also acutely aware of the need for sensible, ethical investigation, to make sure AI changes recruitment for the better for everyone.

Tribepad is the trusted tech ally to smart(er) recruiters everywhere. Combining ATS, CRM, Video Interviewing, and Onboarding, our talent acquisition software is a springboard for fairer, faster, better recruitment for everyone. 

Trusted by organisations like Tesco, NHS Professionals, and Subway, 25-million people in 16 languages use Tribepad. 

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