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Is AI and Tech the Answer to Effective Recruiting?

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Headshots of HR experts Maysa, Sergio and Yiorgos

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly prevalent in all aspects of our lives. When it comes to recruitment and the HR industry, a recent study by Tidio, found that nearly 67% of HR professionals believe that AI has many benefits. Additionally, around 85% of recruiters think that AI is a useful technology that will replace some parts of the hiring process.

2 pie graphs: 67% of HR Professionals believe AI has benefits 85% of recruiters think that AI will replace parts of the hiring process

In our recent webinar, Emerging Recruitment Trends to Watch Out For, our invited experts Yiorgos Boudouris (Head of Talent, Forma AI), Maysa Hawwash (Founder and CEO, Scalex) and Serge Boudreau (VP Business Development/Head of Sales, Careerbeacon) shared their insights on how AI and technology are impacting recruitment today and into the future. Here is what they discussed. 

AI and Tech Reduce Time to Hire

For both candidates and recruiters, AI can help reduce time to hire. Serge explained,

“We're seeing that 61% of all job seekers will actually apply [for open roles] on mobile devices, so the way we interact with candidates has shifted. Technology is playing a really key role in streamlining a lot of the recruitment processes.” 

For candidates, being able to apply on a mobile device, on the go, allows them to apply quickly to roles of interest. The best talent is hired fast and candidates need to be able to keep up. Organisations that allow for a simplified, streamlined approach to job applications, not only reduce their time to hire by reducing hoops they and the candidate need to go through, but ultimately end up providing a better candidate experience.

If it’s easy to apply for a role, you may even find passive candidates coming out of the woodwork.  

While Serge acknowledged that

“technology for recruitment is never going to replace a really good recruiter or a recruitment function, it will enhance it if you do it right.”

Currently, Serge estimates that recruiters and Human Resources (HR) Managers spend about 60% of their time doing admin tasks, such as scheduling interviews or conducting reference checks, but there are some great technology tools to do that instead.

One pie graph: Recruiters spend 0% of their time completing administration

Admin tasks like these all take up a recruiter's time, ultimately increasing the time to hire. If recruiters embrace Applicant Tracking Systems and other recruitment software, this can free them up to spend more time building relationships, developing their recruitment marketing strategy and, for in-house HR teams, growing employer brand. 

AI and Tech Improve the Quality of the Hire

“Tech can help you understand your talent pool better,” said Maysa, “allowing you to pull really cool insights so you can customise your outreach to potential candidates.”  

Where AI and tech can really make a difference is the analysis of metrics and data over time. In turn, this improves the quality of the hire as a Talent Acquisition Specialist has visibility to compare and contrast candidates, allowing them to select the best candidate for the role as a result of clear insights. 

While some believe that AI and tech can help improve the quality of a hire as it helps remove implicit bias, others believe that AI can learn biases over time. Maysa cautions that tech and AI should not be used alone to make decisions around which candidate to hire.

“While we think about using AI to streamline certain aspects of the recruitment process, we also need to be mindful of the ethical and legal implications.”

Yiorgos expanded on this with the idea that recruiters and HR professionals are ‘Process Managers’. Tech and AI can be used to facilitate a process, but humans still need to be involved to manage that process. A good candidate experience and making the right hire is the outcome of a good and efficient process. 

Serge agreed. If you have a poor process, AI and tech won't help improve that, it will simply enhance the bad elements. 

Headshot of Serge with his recommendations: Talent Acquisition Specialists should focus on 2 things -

Serge says Talent Acquisition Specialists should be focusing on two things:

  1. The Hiring Manager relationship
  2. The relationship with the candidate

The aim is to deliver a ‘values first’ relationship that builds trust and maintains that human element of recruitment. 

Yiorgos goes further with the idea of relationship management and explains that it is important to

“position ourselves [recruiters] as advocates of and a partner to our candidates.”

AI and Tech can Help Personalise Hiring 

It seems counter-intuitive, but with increased data collection and increased visibility on candidates, recruiters and hiring managers can use this information to tailor their approach to candidates. 

Yiorgos explains, “I certainly have more touchpoints with candidates than I've ever had before.” This has become especially important in the last two years where there have been barriers to touchpoints, such as not being able to meet in person. 

Leveraging technology, for example, conducting a video interview has helped to reduce or remove those barriers, making the recruitment processes as seamless as possible. 

Ultimately, a seamless process helps reduce time to hire and reflects well on the employer. It indicates that you as the employer, value the time of your candidate by making the stages of recruitment simple. 

Yiorgos gives an example of recruiting at Forma AI.

“In our initial touchpoints with the recruitment team we offer candidates the option to have cameras on or cameras off when meeting for a video interview. This is a level of accommodation that we can provide quite easily.” 

This is an example of an organisation personalising their processes to fit in with the unique nature of a candidate. Some more introverted candidates who are perfectly suited to an available job opening may struggle with a video interview.

Closing Remarks

Increased personalisation, improved quality of hire and reduced time to hire are only three examples of how AI and tech can be effective in the recruitment process. There are many more.

As the webinar closed out, it was interesting to hear all three experts speak openly about finding the right balance between hiring quickly to meet KPIs and recruiting top talent versus hiring the right candidate. “We know the impact bad hiring decisions can make on any organisation”, Serge said.

Tech and AI help to remove the barriers of your hiring process and reduce the need for recruiters and HR to spend time on tedious administration processes. This in turn leaves more time to develop stronger relationships with both hiring managers and candidates. 

As long as the human element of hiring candidates for roles remains central to the recruitment process, then tech and AI can continue to support HR professionals in their positions.

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