Today’s recruiters and HR managers are expected to do more with less: fill openings faster, find stronger candidates, and do it all with fewer resources. Artificial intelligence (AI) recruitment tools have become accessible for even the smallest companies, and—although they can’t solve all your hiring challenges—AI can help you do your job more efficiently and effectively.
However, when used inappropriately, AI recruitment can make it even harder to address some of the biggest hiring challenges out there, from employee churn to ensuring a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace. Knowing how to properly deploy an AI system for your recruiting efforts is key.
AI hiring works best when it is deployed to support and optimize the aspects of talent acquisition that only a human hiring manager can do. These strategies can help you free up valuable time, spot talent you might otherwise overlook, and optimize the benefits of AI (while avoiding the pitfalls):
- Focus on what AI does best
- Be transparent about your use of AI
- Maintain hiring etiquette
- Understand the limits of AI
- Be ready to test and readjust
Following these best practices can help recruiters reduce the cost per hire without increasing the danger that you’ll make a bad hire.
1. Focus on What AI Does Best
Unlike other forms of automation, AI (when supplemented with machine learning technology) is designed to adapt and develop based on how users interact with it. In other words, the more the technology is used the more it learns and, in theory, improves over time.
For example, you might use AI’s pattern recognition capabilities to pinpoint qualities that your best employees share, and then direct it to seek out those same qualities in the application materials provided by job seekers. But make sure that the comparative resumes and assessments you use from top performers correspond to a diverse range of employees to avoid inadvertently teaching your AI hiring software to look for only one type of employee.
AI recruitment technology can also assist in proactive talent sourcing. So, rather than scanning job boards in your sector in search of resumes with the qualities you’re seeking, AI software can search for you and alert you to any candidates that fit your criteria.
AI is particularly effective at streamlining mundane, time-consuming tasks, such as:
- Scheduling using automated email, chat bot, or voice recognition software
- Identifying skills gaps among your current employees
- Assessing applicants’ materials to determine possible hires
- Inputting criteria for applicant tracking systems (ATS)
2. Be Transparent About Your Use of AI
Make sure you comply with all the laws guiding the use of AI recruitment in your city or state. A growing number of states and local governments require employers to inform applicants when AI is used in the hiring process.
Many of these laws require recruiters to gain consent from applicants if they are going to use facial recognition software. Others grant candidates the right to have any data obtained using AI deleted at the end of your hiring process.
Even if no such laws yet exist in your locality, alerting candidates that AI will be used in your hiring process and assuring candidates that they will maintain control over their data can improve your employer brand.
3. Maintain Hiring Etiquette in AI Recruitment
One of the biggest complaints about AI recruitment is that it dehumanizes the hiring process. That’s why it’s essential to include automated responses into the early phases of the process. These may range from automated acknowledgements that application materials have been received to early round rejection emails.
It is okay to use AI’s capabilities to cut down on administrative tasks and generate automated correspondence during the early phases of a search that attracts a high volume of applicants. However, it’s never okay for employers to “ghost” applicants, especially at later phases of the hiring process.
Don’t lean on AI to interact with candidates at the later rounds of the hiring process. Think of every applicant as a potential customer, future hire, or brand ambassador, capable of damaging (or enhancing) your brand via social media. Don’t risk offending candidates who’ve invested considerable time into your company’s talent acquisition process by failing to extend the courtesy of a personal rejection.
4. Understand the Limits and Dangers of AI
When used properly, AI can help to make your filtering process more objective since AI does not have any preconceived bias for or against applicants’ names or schools. It simply looks for skills.
In theory, this should mean that using AI will make your hiring process more equitable. In fact, the opposite has been proven true. In many cases, AI tends to exclude women, members of the LGBTQ community, and racially and culturally diverse candidates from applicant pools at a higher rate than traditional recruiting.
It turns out that when algorithms are designed to learn to anticipate the desired outcomes of the humans that use them they do an excellent job of picking up on even the unconscious biases that can guide hiring decisions. For this reason, it is imperative that you conduct frequent quality control tests to measure outcomes against your company’s DEI goals.
5. Be Ready to Test and Readjust Your Algorithms
If your AI recruitment software fails to find candidates with the skills you need, don’t assume the quality of job seekers in your field has suddenly taken a nosedive. Instead, your AI processes may need some adjustment.
Even if you are finding decent candidates to fill your open roles, you still need to conduct control tests at least 2-3 times per year. To make sure your AI is working as intended, perform a human review of a randomized set of resumes for a recently filled role. If you spot qualified candidates whose resumes were filtered out early in your hiring process, you know you need to adjust how you’re using AI.
Make the Most of AI Recruitment to Find and Manage Top-Quality Candidates
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