Aside from being the biggest game-changer in multiple segments, it is undeniable that AI (Artificial Intelligence) has unearthed multiple use cases and possibilities today.
Thinking along those lines, how would AI fare for recruitment? Let the discussion begin.
Job markets have been reeling globally in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the same time, the industry has been confronted with a surprising exodus of workers in the quest for something more meaningful in life.
However, the shift hasn’t opened up a wealth of opportunities for aspirants. They’re finding it harder to crack jobs today.
What could be the reason?
Many organisations have been fine-tuning recruitment processes via artificial intelligence. By automating pre-screening for qualifications, checking credentials/certifications and scheduling interviews, employers are hoping to make recruitment procedures more efficient.
In reality, these systems filter applications by screening CVs and cover letters for particular sets of keywords. The absence of the same in these documents is leading to the instant elimination of otherwise-skilled candidates.
In short, if resumes aren’t being seen by human recruiters, then it poses an issue. With machines rejecting candidates on such grounds, companies face risks of missing skilled talent. Some AI systems even scrutinize gaps in resumes which could otherwise be explained by candidates.
A Harvard Business School and Accenture report outlines how in 2021, 27 million people were hindered from finding jobs in their preferred sectors due to AI tools.
The only probable solution is an expansion of candidate pools via algorithms, along with deploying lookalike matching based on the highest-performing talent. Humans are still indispensable in examining resumes and determining the best fit.
It is more than a mixed bag in reality; most candidates feel anxious about being able to find an audience with employers in the face of being scanned by AI tools.
Many of them, however, testify to faster and more streamlined methods of recruitment for those with stronger CVs.
AI capabilities can considerably fast-track communication, getting stronger applicants directly before potential employers. Other tools also help in accelerating onboarding, training, orientation and tech set-ups.
As mentioned earlier, millions of workers are being instantly rejected or filtered out by AI tools owing to reasons such as the absence of specific keywords, gaps and so on.
Automated hiring mechanisms sometimes reject genuine and skilled candidates as per several reports. These are hidden workers who desire employment but are being rejected regularly through processes emphasizing more on what they lack instead of their intrinsic value to an organisation.
Immigrants, those with disabilities, caregivers, veterans, those who served prison sentences and those with relocating spouses are bearing the brunt of these mechanisms along with people in more categories.
While the problem is clear, the solution lies only in a shift towards more positive or affirmative job filters by companies from negative filters when scanning resumes. These include the skills to be brought by candidates to any job position instead of focusing on not having experience, degrees and so on.
Experts also recommend easier application procedures for drawing skilled talent along with clarity for applicants on when the company will respond.
While AI usage in hiring procedures has accelerated over the last few years, responsible usage is the need of the hour. Companies are relying on AI for automated screening and evaluation, data analytics and virtual interviews.
Yet, AI can hinder their access to skilled and genuine talent if they are not careful enough with their strategy. In the absence of historical data for training and equipping AI-based algorithms, recruitment tools will carry biases more predominantly than before.
However, with efficient and responsible usage, AI can help in creating a wider, fairer and easier recruitment procedure as per industry watchers. Companies have to stop seeing AI as a quick fix while implementing it in a half-baked manner which does more harm than good. The onus lies on recruiters to ensure ethical, widespread and diverse usage of AI for hiring.
It is a common perception that since HR departments do not directly garner revenues, leaders are more amenable to automation for cutting costs. However, at this point, there is a need to align human and technological resources for ensuring the best results.
There are anxieties regarding the data collected by AI on candidates and regulations on management of the same. While addressing these concerns, companies should go all out to responsibly deploy AI tools. Some are taking the right steps by using the technology to find problematic content in JDs and other briefs, ensuring inclusivity and gender neutrality. AI is also being used by many companies to help new employees get access to swift onboarding systems and organisational information.
Instead of replacing human beings entirely, AI can be a potent tool for helping them work more efficiently, thereby saving on costs and time in the long run.
Some companies, for instance, are looking at AI tools to only identify applicants based on specific skill sets, without looking at conventional education, name, gender, etc. A double-checking mechanism may also work as a hand-holding measure till AI algorithms also evolve in response to multi-faceted requirements.
As can be seen, AI in recruitment is still a mixed bag with a lot of fine-tuning and streamlining needed. Going forward, one can remain hopeful about the responsible, ethical and efficient usage of AI to transform recruitment procedures but not in a chalk-and-cheese manner that leaves little scope for understanding, interpretation and opportunities in many cases.