Artificial Intelligence

The robots will take over, soon there’ll be no jobs left.” Sound familiar? We’ve been hearing all about the threat of AI in the news for months now, but is all of this scaremongering really necessary?

The advancements in artificial intelligence, machine learning (AI/ML) and automation are exciting, and these advancements produce innovative concepts such as autonomous vehicles, AI-based personal assistants such as Siri and Alexa, and algorithms that can support and ease our everyday tasks. On the other hand, AI and ML present unnerving and scary prospects that leave many feeling like they’re on the set of a Terminator film. However, with revenues from AI expected to reach $59.8 billion by 2025, this technology is not likely to go away. So, while it continues to grow, why not make use of it and make your HR responsibilities easier?

According to Deliotte’s 2018 Human Capital Trends report, 38% of companies use AI and 62% are likely to introduce AI into the workplace by the end of the year, and one of the ways automation, AI and ML are expected to help is in the task of hiring and recruiting. These technologies have the ability to automate many of the responsibilities that are time consuming and laborious for recruiters. In fact, by automating the recruitment process, companies will not only save time, but their HR efforts will be faster and more efficient.

So, how is automation going to change the hiring process and how will it affect recruiters and their jobs for the better?

Finding the right candidate

The first step in the recruitment process is searching for the right candidate. This has always been one of the more difficult and time-consuming tasks for a recruiter. Screening thousands of CVs manually can lead to a huge bottleneck in the recruitment process, leading to wasted time and resources. Powered by AI and ML, the CV screening process can be automated. Using intelligent screening software, organisations can screen CVs and match them to the job requirements of the role. After this process, the software can learn what is required of future candidates and make decisions based off previous hires. Last year, Unilever ditched the traditional CV screening process in favour of using AI and algorithms to hire new graduates. This method of recruiting will only become more popular, and recruiters need to get up to speed if they want to have their pick of the talent pool.

The type of software that Unilever and so many other companies are implementing can learn about their current employees’ skills, qualifications and experience to automatically select or eliminate candidates, taking the recruiter entirely out of the screening process. This allows the recruiter to focus their time on higher priorities such as meeting with the selected candidates and assessing their suitability in the company.

Real-time insights

More often than not, recruiters approach potential candidates with job specs that are not relevant or tailored to the candidate’s experience. With the help of AI and ML, recruiters can screen prospective candidates and process vast amounts of data across a number of channels. This allows their ML tools to learn and provide real-time insights and knowledge on candidate behaviour. These insights can range from determining the best time of day for the recruiter to contact a candidate to tracking the emotions of a potential candidate and matching them based on the current workforce.

Automating recruitment processes allows recruiters to understand people’s true capabilities, improving the overall candidate experience and making the recruiting process more effective for the company that is hiring.

It’s all about the experience

Today, it’s the candidates that call the shots and their experience during the recruitment process can influence whether they accept your job offer or not. Providing a great candidate experience is essential and is one of the most effective ways to recruit more successfully than your competitors. With the technology available today, the recruitment industry has the ability to implement automated systems that can make the lives of both the recruiters and the candidates easier, while staying up to date in the digital age.

Chatbots are taking the recruitment industry by storm and are making the hiring process easier and faster. Using AI and ML, these assistants can help eliminate any ‘quiet periods’ during the recruitment process and help companies keep in contact with their candidates, so the recruiter doesn’t have to. Similarly, chatbots can respond to any questions or queries 24/7 and are far quicker than a recruiter replying to an email.

Ensuring that you’re communicating with your prospective employees throughout the recruitment process, keeping them up to date on their application and showing that they are valued will improve the overall candidate experience and leave a good impression of your company.

Looking to the future

With the advancement of automation and chatbots, it’s clear that the hiring process will continue to change, but it’s not just the recruiters that will feel the benefits. Google recently introduced the AI-powered Google Duplex that can book appointments and make reservations for you while making polite conversation. It’s technology like this that will make its way into the field of HR and help candidates automate their applications, while similarly, helping recruiters to communicate with talent. Perhaps in the future, Google Duplex will apply for a job on behalf of the candidate or we’ll start building our own, personalised chatbots that will cover all of the mundane processes of a job application for us? The capabilities of this technology will not only enhance the recruitment process, but completely revolutionise it.

Now is the time to automate your processes, and adopt AI and ML to gain a competitive edge in recruiting. As Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, recently said, “There are really three themes that are worth calling out, AI and automation, the skills gap, and the rise of independent work.” The digital world is evolving, and all organisations need to prepare for the sweeping change that automation will introduce. Utilise this technology and embrace the benefits that these changes will bring – the organisations that do, will be the best prepared to succeed.

Peter Gold, principal consultant, thought leadership and advisory services, Cornerstone OnDemand


Rebecca joined the HRreview editorial team in January 2016. After graduating from the University of Sheffield Hallam in 2013 with a BA in English Literature, Rebecca has spent five years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past she has been part of the editorial teams at Sleeper and Dezeen and has founded her own arts collective.