AI in Recruitment: The Pros & Cons

Over the past several years, AI has become a fast emerging and highly influential section of the recruitment industry. AI stands for Artificial Intelligence and concerns software that can complete duties normally requiring human intellect, such as decision-making or speech recognition.

This latest branch of technology has been specifically developed as a labour-saving tool, with the intention of reducing the time spent by recruiters conducting repetitive and large-scale tasks. For instance, as many employment agencies will tell you, the most time-consuming element of any recruiter’s role is still the process of thoroughly reviewing a mass of potential candidates’ CVs. A task that’s made considerably easier by the addition of this automated service. However, throughout today’s blog we will not only be reviewing the advantages of AI in recruitment, but also considering some of its shortcomings and limitations.

AI Advantages

Let’s begin by looking at some of AI’s strengths.

As we just mentioned, the self-directing nature of this software allows any recruiter to automatically screen a vast number of candidates, in a much shorter space of time than is typically required. This also means that, by analysing potential applicants based on their probability of achievement, the program removes the possibility of personal bias or prejudice. Vastly reducing the average time taken to hire and allowing recruiters to capitalize on the best candidates for the role.

What’s more, AI can not only improve the speed of recruitment, but also the quality of the applicants selected. This is due to that fact that, the system uses a wealth of information and statistical input to cross-reference the applicants understanding, competence and experience to that of the job listing. Meaning any potential employee selected for the role via this system, are not only less likely to resign but also be more content and productive in their work.

According to Ideal.com, recruiters have already seen encouraging results from these kinds of systems. Specifically, in reductions to their cost per screening, earnings per worker and employee retention rate.

AI Disadvantages

But if AI has so many benefits, why do we still need recruiters? With this in mind, let’s now look at some of the limitations of using AI in the recruitment industry.

First and foremost, the biggest problem of using technology to recruit, is that it’s near impossible to replicate human instinct or empathy. For example, the software does not account well for any applicants whose resumes contain unorthodox experience. This is especially true of any an individual that fits the listing perfectly due to their hobbies, interests, disposition or temperament. A shortcoming that ultimately results in a workforce becoming too uniform and lacking a balance or variety in character traits.

Lastly, any program based on AI will require a vast amount of information, before it can accurately replicate a variety of human behaviors. Practically, this would mean that a single listing could potentially require thousands of CVs to be input. Furthermore, after inputting this information, the AI may also begin to replicate undesirable human traits. More specifically, the software has been known to develop unintentional biases towards certain applicant’s backgrounds. Meaning that, although it does still avoid discrimination based upon physical or demographic characteristics, AI can still retain the kinds of unconscious biases that are already present in a conventional recruitment agency.

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