Recruitment is one of the core responsibilities of the HR department, with the hiring team being composed of individuals with the skills to conduct the vetting process. These individuals interact with candidates to ensure that they are the fit for the role.
But what happens when the “human” aspect of recruitment is removed entirely? Can artificial intelligence replace humans and still hire the right people?
The use of robots as recruiters
AI, in the form of machine learning, plays a huge role in hiring people. According to a survey from LinkedIn:
67% of companies save time in recruitment because of AI
43% of companies believe AI removes human bias
31% believe AI delivers the best matched candidates
The same survey revealed that 58% of companies say AI is most helpful when it comes to sourcing candidates; 56% believe it does well in screening; and 55% believe AI is good at nurturing talent.
How exactly is AI used in the hiring process? Some companies use video to evaluate candidates and predict their success in a position. A team of on-staff psychologists even help create tailored assessment algorithms that reflect the ideal traits for a particular position in a company.
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The algorithm assesses how individuals answer preselected questions in a recorded video interview, grading their verbal movements and sometimes, their facial responses.
Indeed, robots can conduct video interviews of prospective candidates themselves, which can lessen the burden on hiring managers; help companies expand their job candidate pool; and ensure that the recruitment process remains consistent.
But can robots hire the right people?
Unfortunately, using robots in recruitment can have unintended consequences. A report by The Guardian explained that using robots as recruiters is “not foolproof”.
A research team from Harvard Business School surveyed business leaders in the US, UK, and Germany who said they use AI in saving time and cost for recruitment. The research found that 88% of these executives were aware their tools rejected even qualified candidates.
The HBS research, led by Professor Joe Fuller, helped provide an explanation to how exactly automatic rejections occur. One reason is that the job descriptions in algorithms include too many skills and criteria. Many companies add new criteria to existing job descriptions, which build up into a long list of requirements. Because of this, algorithms end up rejecting qualified applicants who may be missing a few skills from the list.
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Additionally, about 50% of executives surveyed admitted that prospective candidates who had a six-month gap in their resumes were often rejected, too. These candidates never got to be interviewed by a hiring manager, despite being qualified for the job.
AI is an unstoppable force in the corporate world, which means it must be enforced properly to give all candidates an equal chance at job screening. The use of AI in recruitment may remove human bias in some instances. However, at other times, it can also derail a great candidate’s chance of getting hired.