AI in recruiting: the complete guide to optimize your recruiting in 2022

Last updated:
May 12, 2022
May 13, 2022
min read
Brendan McConnell
ai in recruiting
Table of contents

You’ve probably read the endless headlines: artificial intelligence is going to change the way we work, AI is out to get your job, we are on the verge of a new era with AI technology - all those elaborate claims.

In many ways, the headlines speak the truth. Artificial intelligence can and will change many industries around the globe, including recruitment.

What you might be less familiar with, though, is how that transformation will actually happen, what it’ll look like, and why. In this article, we’re going to shine a light on AI in recruiting, and how it will benefit your hiring strategy in the future. Plus, you’ll learn the impact AI has on the recruiter role and HR, while busting some common AI myths. 

What is AI in recruiting? 

AI stands for Artificial Intelligence. When met with a term like “AI”, your mind automatically travels to robots and flying cars. But it’s actually far simpler and humble than that. 

AI in recruiting apples to your talent acquisition process. Machines and formulas - when formatted accurately - can shortlist your ideal employee automatically, as well as implement automation into the mundane, manual recruitment tasks. 

Artificial Intelligence was created - in the space of recruitment - to automate sections of or entire workflows that crop up frequently. It reduces the need to work on high-volume, repetitive tasks. 

When used in conjunction with your ATS, AI in recruiting allows for a better insight into your talent pool, a stronger relationship with potential candidates, and a decrease in bias. 

So, let’s take a look at the benefits of AI in recruiting in more detail. 

The benefits of AI in recruiting

We touched on the many benefits of AI recruiting in a previous article, but let’s have a quick recap of how artificial intelligence will help you and your recruitment teams before we dig into some core use cases.

  1. It will reduce or eliminate time-consuming and redundant tasks.
  2. It will allow teams to do more and better work with fewer human resources.
  3. It will help to improve the quality of hire through job matching, standardized process, regular analysis of recruitment data, and incremental process improvements.
  4. It will reduce cost-per-hire by eliminating inefficient sourcing and processes.
  5. It will greatly reduce operational burden on recruiters, freeing them up for more strategic and human-driven tasks.
  6. Company knowledge and improvements will be automatically retained and applied to subsequent tasks and processes.
  7. It will provide recruitment teams with powerful tools to tackle the most challenging, time-consuming, and expensive tasks.

Of course, whether or not your company reaps these benefits of AI recruiting will depend on how you use it, and which artificial intelligence tools you leverage to augment your work.

The challenges of AI in recruiting

Based on the benefits, it appears that AI creates sunshine and rainbows! Sadly, there are some challenges that come along with AI in recruiting, such as:

  1. For AI to work effectively in recruiting, you need a lot of data for it to function. 
  2. The automated workflows set up will need routine testing, which can take up time. 
  3. Artificial intelligence isn’t human, and so lacks a human “touch”.
  4. If it’s not set up properly, there can be big errors, which may result in missed interviews, applicant drop-outs, and many more.  

5 ways to use AI in recruitment

Artificial intelligence works best when it’s applied to repetitive jobs and processes, and when processing and analytics abilities are deployed to encourage continuous improvement. Improving processes, automating jobs, and leveraging data for continuous growth are all core themes you should be thinking about when adopting AI recruiting tools at your company.

Let’s take a look at some AI recruitment use cases.

1. Establishing a fair recruitment process

Creating a recruitment process that’s fair and emphasizes diversity should be a priority for every recruitment team. Not only does a transparent and fair hiring process lead to a great candidate experience, but it generally leads to a better hire in the end. That’s because being fair often means being objective, and looking at candidates based on their likelihood to succeed rather than hiring based on any potential bias.

AI recruitment is particularly well suited to encouraging fair recruitment because it leverages objective data to make decisions. Recruitment platforms equipped with artificial intelligence are able to collect and analyze thousands of data points from every candidate who applies for a position, and use historical evidence to make a decision on who to shortlist.

AI in recruiting can also be used to gather and analyze candidate information through means like video recruitment, structured interviews, resume screening, talent assessments, and language analysis.

As AI is integrated into more and more parts of your recruitment strategy, this ability to take subjectivity out of the process becomes stronger and more consistent. The result is a near removal of bias from the majority of the recruitment process, and stronger diversity within your team.

2. Reducing errors in the recruitment process

Another critical use case for AI in recruiting is using it to reduce simple errors and omissions in the recruitment funnel. Unfortunately, due to the sheer volume of applicants that many companies receive, it’s easy for things to fall through the cracks. This might be something as simple as forgetting to reply to an email or question, or it could be as significant as entirely missing a qualified application due to human error.

Either way, the result can be a poor candidate experience, or missed opportunities to hire a top candidate.

Recruitment tech that leverages AI such as Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) or chatbots can identify these problem areas, and ensure that they stop happening. This is accomplished by a combination of analytics and process improvements. AI can continuously monitor and analyze a recruitment process for errors and omissions and suggest improvement areas and new processes to alleviate issues.
Likewise, messaging applications like chatbots can be used to ensure that any time a candidate asks a question or sends an email, there’s somebody on the other end to answer.

Through a series of continuous monitoring, improvement, and automation, AI recruitment can be used to dramatically reduce the number of errors in the overall hiring process. Fewer errors mean a better experience, which means a happier pool of applicants. The end result? Better consequences for your company.

3. Increasing the use of analytics and metrics

All of this talk of monitoring and analyzing the recruitment process brings us to perhaps the core use case of AI in recruitment: leveraging the abundance of analytics, metrics, and data.
Until AI, this extensive collection of data wasn’t obtainable. 

As you likely know, the last decade or so in many businesses has been dominated by the collection of big data. Thanks to an explosion of digital technology and different ways of tracking and collecting information about clients and candidates, many companies have an absolute surplus of data to work with.

Artificial intelligence is the tool for turning that data hoarding into actionable processes and metrics that drive real business results. AI recruitment, therefore, is the next frontier for leveraging analytics and metrics to accomplish better results from your hiring.

By its nature, AI technology is only as good as the data that you feed it. Companies that have been diligent in collecting data about their employees are well suited to leverage AI for the next step in process improvement. If historically, your company hasn’t collected much data, that same technology is a good way to pick up the slack.

Onboarding AI-driven platforms across different touchpoints in your recruitment process will enable a continuous collection of data points on your candidates and employees. These will provide insight into what makes a good hire. The same platforms will allow you to monitor the core metrics that matter most to your business, and alter your strategy to ensure that you’re hitting your goals for growth.

4. Making the process faster and more efficient

By automating time-consuming tasks, and focussing on the metrics that drive the best results, recruitment teams are able to drastically improve the speed and efficiency of their hiring process. 

We’ve already talked about the value of leveraging big data analytics to improve your recruitment process, but the automation of tasks is just as important to overall success.

Effective recruitment strategies will always be driven by human input. That means that recruiters need to be freed up to think strategically, build and execute frameworks for success, and network with real people who will make a difference in their organization. 

A recruitment team that spends most of its time on tasks that a machine could do will not be getting the most out of its human resources. There’s a direct correlation between this and the performance and efficiency of the overall recruitment process.

Likewise, certain recruitment tasks are just better suited to automation. Communication tasks, for example, that require the same email or information to be sent out over and over again are much better suited to a machine that can mass send messages at a set time. 

Similarly, sourcing and screening technology has gotten to the point where machines can quickly scan hundreds of resumes and social profiles, and match them to potential job openings. Yes, a recruiter can do that too, but there are too many variables at play that make the process much less efficient.

Think of it this way: if you were writing a novel, you’d use a laptop to type it. It’s highly unlikely you’d use pen and paper to write your story, just as you’d use printing technology to print and publish your book. This is no different. 

AI in recruiting is best thought of as a tool that enhances your team’s efficiency and output. Humans are best suited to strategic tasks, while machines can take care of the repetitive and data-heavy ones. In the end, your recruitment process will thank you for it.

5. Enabling better assessments

Lastly, AI in recruitment can be used to improve how you assess candidates. This can be accomplished in many ways, depending on the technology you’re using.

ATS platforms, for example, leverage artificial intelligence, to quickly screen resumes for predetermined keywords related to the job requirements.
Many ATS platforms will use natural language processing and other forms of AI to quickly analyze resumes for word choice and content to determine who should be shortlisted.

Given that most resumes that are submitted for most jobs are unqualified candidates, this type of technology can mean significant time savings for recruiters.

Likewise, automating candidate sourcing can both expedite and expand your outreach on social media, job boards, forums, and so on. AI can be used to analyze hundreds of social profiles, for example, to find and message passive but high-quality candidates.

AI can even be used alongside traditional interviews to analyze things like body language and word choice, providing an extra layer of objective assessment that recruiters can use to make a hiring decision.

These are just 5 general use cases for AI in recruitment. This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of potential. If your company is looking to get better and more efficient results from your hiring, then AI-driven recruitment tools are likely the way to go.

What are some myths about AI in recruiting?

Since 2022 began, there’s been a surge in use of AI hiring software. We’ve already been through the benefits and challenges, but what are the common misconceptions about AI in recruiting? We’re going to debunk the AI recruitment myths one ‘nope’ at a time. 

Recruitment AI myth 1: AI is a chatbox. And a chatbox only. 

No, no, and no. 

It’s true that, according to the Mercer Trends Report, chatboxes are the most heavily used feature of AI in recruiting. 

It’s also true that chatboxes are a great string to your company’s bow. Especially when it comes to recruitment. You can leverage the instant messaging technology to avoid candidates having to wait for responses, allowing you to build rapport quicker without growing frustration. They also, if set up properly, allow you to format frequently asked questions, so you don’t have to answer the same one a thousand times a day. 

Where it deviates from the truth, though, is the misconception that all AI recruitment software does is offer chatboxes. And while many see the benefits of a chatbox, if that’s all the technology offers, some may think it’s not worth the trouble. 

That’s where the recruitment world is missing out. Because AI hiring software offers so much more than a chatbox. 

When you invest in implementing AI as a solid recruitment tool into your hiring strategy and process, you can automate tasks that take up a lot of your time. Analyzing resumes, setting up emails based on conditional formatting, personalizing your messages for better rapport, and optimizing hiring ads for better response are just 4 of many features included in solid AI recruitment software.

Recruitment AI myth 2: AI will make human recruiters redundant 

One of the main concerns surrounding AI in recruitment, and one of the leading reasons why some hiring companies and recruiters have yet to utelize AI software is for fear they’ll be replaced by technology. 

It’s true that AI technology has advanced over the years, as it’s using the latest technological features we have in this day and age. Rather than embracing this, some recruiters are fearful that they’ll, in time, no longer be needed. 

The myth lies in that. AI technology will not replace recruiters. It’s a tool made for recruiters to make their lives easier, allowing them to be more productive and focus on the more complicated tasks, or tasks that require a human touch. 

The jobs that require human work are often more rewarding, allowing recruiters to feel valued and content with their workload and to-do lists. 

Recruitment AI myth 3: Recruting AI increases bias

This myth stems for some unfortunate cases of AI software showing bias in some large companies. Take Amazon, for example, who was harbouring a not-so-public bias against women, demonstrated and developed further by their AI software. That raised eyebrows, and many asked whether AI is an ethical choice. 

However, the likelihood of this happening is incredibly slim. It’s actually far more likely that your AI recruiting software lessens and even eliminates human bias

If you configure your AI software properly, it’ll look for the relevant skills and qualifications, and ignore the unrelated human characteristics like gender, age, religion, and race. 

Recruitment AI myth 4: AI is only helpful for bigger, more established companies

One of the key benefits of using AI in recruitment is the amount of time you’ll save when hiring members of your team. It’s understandable that small business owners who have only just started growing their team believe AI isn’t aimed at them. 

But the truth is, every business who is hiring people can benefit from AI recruiting software. 

Smaller businesses who are more focused on saving money, for example, could actually reduce their expenses in terms of cost-per-hire. This is down to job advertisements being fully optimized, allowing you to hire quickly and effectively. 

Recruitment AI myth 5: AI is hard to use and you’ll need a specialist to set it up

If you peeked behind the curtain and discovered the in’s and out’s of AI recruiting software, you’d be amazed at how much technology is packed into it.

But, luckily, you never need to draw that curtain. You need only look at it from the outside. And it’s actually very simple to use. 

When you start using it, you’ll likely make a few mistakes, as we all do with any new software. However, it’s been designed to avoid overwhelm and with the users at the forefront. Most of the time, setting up automations just requires a little pre-planning, a few clicks, and a test or two. And it’s something you can do yourself. No expert required.  

How can AI affect and change the recruiter role and affect HR?

Now that we’ve debunked the myths - specifically that using AI in recrutiing will replace recruiters and HR members entirely - let’s consider how it has and will adjust the lives of anyone who needs to hire people. 

AI is a tool that should be used in conjunction to others. It enhances the process, rather than replacing it. 

Using AI in recruiting means recruiters and HR members can be more involved and proactive. It offers more emphasis on cultural fit

Furthermore, the quality of hire will increase, recruiters will have more time to focus on more complex, human-required tasks, and mundane, repetitive tasks will be lessened. 

Is AI the next step for your recruiting strategy?

So, is using AI in recruiting for you? Will it enhance your hiring process, save time, and boost your quality-of-hire? 

The truth is, AI can be a valuable tool for any company, no matter the size or stage of its life. If you’re planning on growing your team or, perhaps even franchising, AI will be a powerful tool for the sake of your time and your organization’s success.

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