AI recruitment:
Everything recruiters need to know 

In this guide, we’ll ‌break down what AI in recruitment means, some different types of AI systems, and how the new technology can empower HR-teams. 

Introduction

Today, AI technology is helping enhance the employee experience, as many low-value and repetitive tasks can be automated with the help of conversational virtual assistants, thus freeing up time for workers to focus on more strategic tasks for HR teams. But AI is not one monolithic term but needs to be seen in a more nuanced way. In this guide we will take a closer look into AI recruitment and how HR-professionals can benefit from implementing new technology. 

What is AI recruitment?

AI in recruitment refers to AI technologies, or AI software, designed or used for HR professionals. While there are different kinds of AI recruiting software, they all use artificial intelligence to automate certain parts of the talent acquisition process. 

 

Different types of AI technology

In the field of HR, algorithms, speech analysis and social robots are particularly popular AI technology. As they automate repetitive tasks and can help eliminate human bias. 

Algorithms

An algorithm is a procedure for solving tasks of a predefined specific class based on rules and experience. In the field of HR, algorithms are used to preselect candidates through software like an “Applicant Tracking System”. For HR, this AI tool has the advantage of increasing the efficiency by saving time and resources during the repetitive tasks of reading resumes and checking the requirements.

Speech analysis

Speech analysis analyzes communication beyond the algorithm by additionally measuring “hidden” information, such as the choice of words or the sentence structure that the candidate uses. The software uses algorithms but can additionally detect emotions and the personality.

Social robots

Social robots are complex combinations and use different types of AI. Multiple types of these robots already exist to interview and select candidates while simulating human behavior, speech, and decision-making. An example for a social robot is Tengai, who can speak, listen, confirm, and show emotions while assessing soft skills and personality traits during an interview. A valuable benefit of using robots for interviews is the elimination of human bias because the robots do not consider the appearance, age, gender or background of the candidates.

Identifying complex AI

AI can also be classified depending on the degree of complexity, with more intelligent systems potentially offering better functionality, as they can integrate more data. Scholar Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlein (2019) have developed an AI implication framework for organizations and suggest three stages of artificial intelligence: 

  1. Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI)
  2. Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)
  3. Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI)

Impact of AI on HR: major findings

Tidio asked 1068 people about how AI could impact the recruitment process and this was the results: 

1. Nearly 67% of HR professionals believe that AI has many benefits and a positive impact on the recruitment process. 

People think AI will free up the recruiter’s time (44%), provide valuable insights during the recruitment process (41%), and make the recruiter’s job easier (39%). But there are also those who believe that artificial intelligence in hiring could lead to overlooking unique and unconventional talents (35%) and destroy the HR industry (26%).

2. Around 85% of recruiters think that AI is a useful technology that will replace some parts of the hiring process.

Only about 15% of HR professionals believe that humans are irreplaceable and necessary throughout the whole recruitment process. Also, around 23% think artificial intelligence will replace them in the process and they’re scared for their job.

3. About 79% of recruiters believe that artificial intelligence will soon be advanced enough to make the hiring and firing decisions. Whereas, only about 43% of candidates share this opinion.

A whopping 56% of applicants don’t want AI to make decisions related to hiring and firing employees. Interestingly, only about 22% of recruiters answered the same. 

4. Only about 31% of respondents would agree for AI to decide whether or not they get hired for the job.

However, this number increases to 75% if there’s a human presence involved in the decision as well. Only about 25% of participants think artificial intelligence making recruitment decisions is completely unfair.

5. About 89% of respondents think that AI could help with the application process for candidates. 

Only about 11% of the participants believe that there’s no use for artificial intelligence from the candidate’s side during the application process. And, this number shrinks to only about 5% when we look at what the recruiters believe. 

 

Why use AI for recruitment?

HR leaders are facing a radically different landscape, not just as a result of now entering the third collective year of managing a global pandemic but because an unprecedented number of workers are taking their fortunes into their own hands and opting to leave the workforce en masse in a phenomenon known as the “Great Resignation.” In fact, the most recent numbers released by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics prove that the movement is showing no signs of slowing, with an estimated 4.5 million people quitting their jobs in November 2021 alone. 

With decisions to make on how to build a hybrid workforce and improve the virtual recruitment experience for global candidates while focusing on diversity and inclusion, as well, HR leaders have to explore newer avenues and technologies to get ahead — and artificial intelligence (AI) is at the forefront. AI technology is helping enhance the employee experience, as many low-value and repetitive tasks can be automated with the help of conversational virtual assistants, thus freeing up time for workers to focus on more strategic tasks for HR teams.

 
 

Benefits with AI recruitment 

1. Collect objective data 

To make more informed decisions, recruiters need objective candidate data. But collecting objective data is almost impossible, as our human biases will get in the way. When implementing an AI into the hiring process, recruiters get access to structured data which makes it possible to quickly identify matches between candidates and jobs, and streamline a taxing process. 

2. Fair candidate experience 

AI can create great candidate experiences with brisk responses and guided instructions throughout the application process. Using AI to screen candidates, early on in the recruitment funnel, can help mitigate bias and thus contribute with a more unbiased and fair experience. The candidate user experience is crucial when it comes to recruitment because it makes candidates engage emotionally and socially, which is also proven to lead to more honest answers.

3. Increased efficiency 

With the integration of AI, recruiters can manage their workload better and improve their productivity. To substantiate, the findings of a LinkedIn survey reveal that 67 percent of hiring managers are grateful to AI for saving time. It is a given fact that recruiters often find themselves trammelled with a huge influx of applications, queries, and other work commitments. In fact, there are various reports that suggest that recruiters are among the most prone corporate workers when it comes to burnout.

4. Private and secure 

Today, AI is being used by the public sector in many countries. For example in Sweden, where Gävle Municipality is using more AI technology to ensure security and privacy. They argue that having analog processes makes it challenging to keep track of candidate data and follow GDPR regulations. The Gävle Municipality even developed a digital hiring method that collects all information in one place and assists recruiters with structured data. 

Tengai’s conversational AI

Imagine a recruiter that treats all candidates the same, always asks the same questions and doesn’t care about appearance, gender or age. Well, you don’t have to imagine because they already exist! Introducing Tengai, the interview robot who is programmed to conduct objective job interviews. Tengai is unique and a very effective recruitment tool because it can establish a “human” connection with candidates during the job interview.

In comparison to a chatbot, Tengai’s conversational AI social behavior makes behavioral realism possible. This is crucial to enhancing the candidate experience. The immersive experience Tengai creates during an interview is one of the things that makes the interview software unique. Some have questioned if Tengai would be as effective as a chatbot but the fact is, being a conversational AI robot is crucial to the immersive candidate experience.

Interaction creates behavioral realism 

Behavioral realism definition is the complete absence, or presence, of nonverbal behavior. In Tengai’s case, the focus is on how consistent the nonverbal behavior is with actual humans (e.g. eye contact). Studies show that behavioral realism is a powerful predictor of perceived social presence. Tengai’s natural behavior creates the feeling of being there with a real person, which is a crucial component of interaction. This makes the user treat the interview as reality, which contributes to a higher level of intimacy and connectedness.

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Common myths about AI recruitment

While AI in recruiting is becoming one of the top trends, which is transforming the traditional hiring process. There are still many misconceptions and myths about AI. 

1. AI will replace human recruiters 

Today, there is empirical research that makes a strong case for AI leading to the complete automation of sourcing, screening, and matching. However, AI can never replace emotional intelligence which is exclusive to humans. It is therefore imperative that everyone in the corporate world realizes that AI is here only to assist recruiters. Especially since AI has the immense prowess to add value to the efficiency of recruiters and to help them manage their overwhelming workload.

2. AI tools are complicated 

Another popular misconception about the integration of AI in recruiting is that AI tools are too complicated. The truth, however, is in stark contrast to this famous myth. In fact, as per Undercover Recruiter, 80 percent of recruiters assert that AI adds more efficiency and agility to their performance. 

3. Recruiting with AI is expensive 

This couldn't be further from the truth! Companies that have already incorporated AI in recruiting have been able to bring down the cost per hire by 35 percent. This validates the fact that AI in recruiting is not only time-effective but also cost-effective. Moreover, because AI in recruitment minimizes the prospects of hiring bad candidates, reduced cost of replacement is an indirect cost-benefit of AI in recruiting.

4. AI is only efficient for large organizations 

Some people believe that AI in recruitment is only suitable for larger enterprises. But there is no proof that larger organizations would benefit more from implementing AI into their recruiting funnel. In fact, small or medium businesses will not have to think on the lines of having a big recruitment team in place given the immense efficiency added by AI. Having said that, AI in recruiting is everyone’s game to win!

Tengai's screening interview is convenient, rewarding and efficient for candidates.

Sinisa Strbac, Chief Product Officer at Tengai

 

Empowering HR teams with AI technology

When it comes to KPIs, a recruiter is almost always judged by two metrics: time to hire and quality of hire. The recruiting function is asked continually to reduce costs while delivering better results, even though finding quality talent to fill important roles is almost always named one of the top challenges 

Reduce time to hire

Finding the right person to join your particular organization and its particular situation takes nuance and human experience. AI is not yet ready to replace humans in this important process. It can, however, be a useful tool in reducing the time spent on repetitive and mundane tasks that take much of a recruiter’s time. The technology can be smoothly integrated into the recruitment process by utilizing software that manages interview scheduling or by automating the application process while using AI to screen resumes for keywords. Up to 40% of a recruiter’s time can be spent entering data into an ATS or sorting through resumes. This time is far better spent engaging with candidates, building relationships and improving candidate experience.

Improve quality of hire 

Finding the right candidate within a large talent pool to be the toughest part of the hiring process. Artificial intelligence and machine learning can be leveraged to assist in this process by instantly searching through a substantial data pool to find candidates who meet the search criteria. The more the recruiter uses the AI, the more it will “learn” what outcomes the user is seeking. This technology is especially helpful in the recruitment of passive candidates. The pool of qualified passive candidates is exponentially larger than the number of applicants actively seeking an open role. Having the ability to efficiently search the entire universe of possible candidates allows for a more inclusive and effective search. Using AI to narrow a candidate pool or provide valuable data about a certain candidate group can add significant value and efficiency to recruiting. Thus, the recruiter is able to introduce more quality candidates to the process that they otherwise may not have found.