Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Recruitment

by Sabine Steiner in — June 2019
Philosophers and scientists are studying the mind of people for as long as we can remember. Our passion for knowledge always leads us to the question, "How can we use what we have learned for ourselves to improve our lives?"
Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Recruitment

One of the genius physicists of our time, Stephen Hawking, sees artificial intelligence as a real threat to humanity. He fears that someday a machine will be created that can be improved and developed by itself until at one point it will surpass the human being and replace us. Technology has come into full force in the process of selecting and matching talent with business needs. This is a process that creates many challenges for companies, but also has many positive consequences. Digital transformation and technology destroy the ways in which the workforce is traditionally organized on the one hand, but on the other hand, it also changes the needs of job seekers.

How Can Artificial Intelligence (AI) Support the HR Industry?

AI promises to improve every aspect of human life, especially in business. Interactions between human and machine intelligence are often seen in human resources departments. The impact of this new technology can improve day-to-day recruitment, evaluation, management practices, and so on.

Тhe AI-related technology market will increase from $ 8 billion in 2016 to $ 47 billion in 2020, according to the online edition of HR Technologies. AI will impact all aspects of business, including human resources. Artificial intelligence automation technologies will help companies reduce costs and will enable company employees to focus on what they do best.

The 6-Stage Maturity Model for Automation

Forrester Research has developed a six-stage maturity model that shows where companies are in their automation processes. At low levels are companies that experiment with and implement AI technologies on a pilot basis. Higher in the ladder are those that have built automated centres and used bots in their manufacturing processes. "Most mature," according to Forrester Research, are companies that rely on artificial intelligence in their business analyses. Оnly 10% of companies are currently at the highest level.

How Automation Can Help HR

"Most human resources departments are waiting for system changes that take a long time," said Martin Fiore, Americas Tax Talent, leader of EY's professional services company. "Corporate systems are hard to change because they are huge in volume and require the involvement of the whole organization. Robotic business processes (RPA) and artificial intelligence are just the opposite, because they can create effective change without affecting the rest of the company," he added.

Practice shows that, with the automation of some tasks, the execution time can be reduced from 150 minutes to 3 minutes. Another advantage is increased accuracy. Manually entering form data can lead to mistakes, while using a machine this risk is minimized.

In addition, the work of HR professionals involves reading a huge number of summaries to find the right candidates. They are used to searching for keywords - they use their own algorithm.

"There are people who can create algorithms not only for skills and experience, but also to try to find out if a candidate can be a good accountant," says Jim Johnson, Senior Vice President of the Recruitment Agency Robert Half International.

"However, this is an imperfect mechanism. In many cases, accountants are not professionals in writing a summary, so an algorithm is needed to adapt to each candidate and to predict some things. "

Why HR Leads to Workforce Transformation

Human resources bears the responsibility of replenishing an organization with productive people of value, even though the department is sometimes considered overhead.

One bot can carry out the same number of repeat operations as two or three employees, says Le Claire. In the US, companies can buy a bot for about $ 30,000 and keep it for another $ 20,000 a year, saving 6,000 hours of work. The problem is with resistance from employees who believe that technology can displace them.

However, experts say there is no danger of this happening. Rather, the goal is to unload people from repetitive and boring tasks so they can engage in creative ones. The best interaction between man and machine is not static. As machines become more intelligent, more and more tasks can be automated. That is why management practices must evolve constantly.

Don’t Hesitate to Ask for Help

Companies can take advantage of the expertise of consultants who have experience in automation. Normally, consultants start with baseline assessment. They also ask HR professionals to determine what exact results they are trying to achieve with automation.

"Participation of experts is necessary because RPA cannot be implemented in all processes. When there are too many involved decision makers involved, it becomes too complicated to be run by a bot, "says La Claire.

The best automation processes are simple and require a lot of information and time. It is important to consider how automation will affect the workforce across the company.

"The professionals of the future need to accept technology as a colleague, not as a piece of machine," says Fiore. "This perspective helps professionals delegate the recurring part of their duties and to engage in more creative tasks," he adds.

Employees are not cheap. Therefore, organizations' efforts must be directed to transferring repetitive tasks to bots so employees can be free for activities that add value to business.

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Using Automation to Analyse Terabytes of Data

The most time-consuming procedure in HR is looking terabytes of data, such as the CVs of candidates and their social profiles. Due to lack of time, human resources specialists sometimes do not look at the information in detail, resulting in cracks in recruitment procedures. This can put the wrong people in the wrong place in the company and lead to unnecessary costs for re-hiring. This problem can be solved thanks to the analytical capability of AI, which can review a huge amount of data for multiple candidates at once.

Bots for FAQs

Employees frequently have questions that the HR should answer. This can take time and even become exhausting. AI technology can take care of this task. Now chatbots can record frequently asked questions. Instead of asking human resources specialists, employees will be able to turn to chatbot, saving time for people in the department to focus on more important duties. AI promises to improve our lives a lot, but will it be able to eliminate the human aspect? There are situations in which human relations are so unique that they cannot be programmed in advance. In these cases, only a real person can answer the questions correctly.

Freeing Up Time for Activities that Add Value

The time saved by AI doing some day-to-day tasks can be measured in days or even months. HR professionals can use this time for live interviews, shortlisting, performance analysis, and many other tasks.

AI can certainly make improvements in everyday routine processes, but will it be able to replace people completely?

Of course, it will be hard to predict what rules are needed in that fictitious future where we are already in a developed artificial intelligence. This is a question we cannot answer. We just have to be ready for the new world.