Artificial intelligence is generally defined as “machines that respond to stimulation consistent with traditional responses from humans, given the human capacity for contemplation, judgment and intention,” according to the Brookings Institution. Basically, AI “makes decisions that normally would require [a] human level of expertise.”
How are HR professionals and recruiters using AI?
According to Mercer’s Global Talent Trends 2020 report, most human resources systems and practices use AI in some way. Most notably, AI now plays a prominent role in candidate selection and decision-making.
Per the Mercer report, the most common AI uses in HR and recruiting are:
- Algorithms to identify the right candidate based on publicly available information (41%).
- Employee self-service, chatbots for information lookup and candidate management during the recruiting phase (39%).
- Wearable technology to track employee habits (35%).
- Integrating AI into the performance management process (34%).
- Virtual reality for learning and training (34%).
- AI as part of onboarding (34%).
HR professionals are also leveraging AI to recommend job openings and career paths to current employees and to screen job candidates during recruiting.
How does AI benefit recruiting?
- Saves time. AI chatbots can perform routine tasks, such as scheduling interviews, responding to basic questions from candidates and sending job offers.
- Searches for candidates. AI-infused technology can evaluate potential candidates’ online presence and help determine whether these candidates might be a good fit for the role and whether they are likely to accept a job offer.
- Enhances the candidate experience. AI chatbots are available to answer candidate questions around the clock, and they vastly reduce response times.
- Offers multiple engagement channels. AI lets employers communicate with candidates via text, web chat and social media messaging.
- Helps remove bias during recruiting and hiring. An article published in the Harvard Business Review says that AI can eradicate unconscious human bias. Moreover, AI can assess the entire candidate pipeline instead of “forcing time-constrained humans to implement biased processes to shrink the pipeline from the start.”
Despite the benefits of AI, fears linger.
According to the Mercer report, “1 in 3 employees believe their job will not exist in a few years due to AI and automation.”
Additionally, an article published by law firm Fisher Phillips outlines the risks of using AI in recruiting and hiring. These dangers include:
- Privacy concerns surrounding the collection, storage and use of personal data.
- Potential bias and discrimination. This can happen if the AI technology’s algorithms and data sets are programmed with certain biases regarding gender, race, ideology or other factors.
It’s therefore crucial that employers use AI in an ethical and lawful manner. As for employees losing their jobs to AI technology, the risk level is debatable. Notably, Jacky Carter, the author of an article published by global recruitment firm Hays, says she firmly believes “that people, not machines, will continue to play the dominant role in hiring and staff engagement.”