Pre-pandemic, nobody had heard of a Great Resignation, which fundamentally altered the supply-demand balance for many jobs. If you find talent and hire people, you want the most effective tools on your side, because the cliché “it’s hard to find good people” is now so true that it hurts.
Artificial intelligence can be a powerful aid when used to best advantage in hiring, or a bumbling troublemaker when applied improperly.
Let’s look at five solid use cases for AI and how it can ease your burden in one of the toughest hiring years ever.
1) Enhance efficiency in a remote environment
According to a 2021 Enterprise Technology Research survey of North American CIOs expect the percentage of permanent remote workers to double pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year, jumping from 16.4% to 34.4%.
With recruiters and candidates working remotely in different locations and time zones, it’s more important than ever that processes are smooth and task ownership is clearly defined.
AI can help manage this new work reality, pushing notifications when a task is ready for a new team member, managing centralized inboxes for SMS communications with candidates, or combing internal databases for redeployment opportunities within the company. The possibilities are many, but they all center around efficiency and clarity!
2) Deepen insights for recruiting teams
Legacy recruiting technology does a good job of sorting through applications to find resumes and cover letters with relevant keywords. While this is helpful for high-volume hiring, it can exclude great candidates who have uncommon career paths.
For example, a restaurant manager likely has many of the skills needed for a sales job, but might be overlooked by legacy technology that is not capable of identifying transferable skills and experience.
Instead of a simple yes or no based on keywords, AI uses data science and TA team feedback to provide deeper insights through job matching scores to surface relevant (sometimes unexpectedly so) candidates. Armed with this information, recruiters and hiring managers can make more strategic hiring decisions that take into account the uniqueness of each applicant and treat people like, well — people!
3) Improve communication
One of the top candidate complaints about the recruiting process tends to be the lack of communication. A 2020 survey from Talent Board reported that 63% of candidates find employer communication inadequate during the recruiting process.
There may be a lot happening behind the scenes with the company — resume screening, interviews with multiple candidates, and discussions between teams — but for candidates, it’s a lot of waiting with no way of knowing what is happening with their application (if anything at all).
The barriers to keeping candidates informed are what you would expect: a lack of time and inability to scale. AI can enable chatbots which answer questions 24/7, automatic updates as applications move through the system, and centralized SMS portals to chat with candidates while maintaining data compliance and oversight.
The added bonus here is that these resources also decrease the number of candidate inquiries so TA teams can focus their efforts on in-depth communications instead of administrative questions.
4) Check inherent bias
A study conducted by Yale University found that both male and female scientists tended to opt for male candidates when hiring, even offering an average of $4K more in starting salary. And these are people trained to be objective!
Unfortunately, the above is just one of many examples of how unchecked inherent biases impact the hiring process. However, the good news is that AI holds promise for rooting out discrimination from all stages of the hiring process.
Before a team even posts a job, AI tools can scan job ads for discriminatory language. Then, when applications come in, AI algorithms can surface candidates with the relevant skills and experience, without factoring in irrelevant information like gender, race, name, or age — even hiding that information from recruiters until the appropriate stage of the hiring process.
5) Increase efficiency
When you consider that up to 40% of a recruiter’s time may be spent sorting resumes in a legacy Applicant Tracking System (ATS), it’s easy to imagine how AI technology that helps surface relevant applications can significantly increase recruiter productivity. And this is just one example! Automated interview scheduling, chatbots, and SMS portals in more modern Talent Acquisition Suites can also make the process move more quickly.
Cost-per-hire is another metric that AI can impact positively. Saving time saves money but there’s more to it than that. For example, some AI tools can optimize job ad placement and move budget to the best performing channels to help optimize recruiting spend.
About the Author:
Jerome Ternynck is the CEO of SmartRecruiters