Recruitment AI: Could a bot help you hire?

Recruitment AI: Could a bot help you hire?

AI has already changed the world we live in. From industries like Transportation, Law, Healthcare, and National security, AI is already being programmed and put to use to make our lives easier.

 

But there’s one industry that often isn’t talked about alongside AI. And that’s recruitment.

 

In the UK, the recruitment industry contributes 43 billion a year to the economy.  But unlike some of the other heavyweight industries that already make heavy-use of AI, not much thought is given to how AI can change the future of recruiting.  

Table of Contents

The Rise of AI 

ChatGPT has been all the rage these past few months. Launched at the end of November 2022, it quickly began making international headlines.

 

It generated a million users in just 5 days (with many more unable to use it because of too much traffic). So, if any of you are wondering why the sudden interest, and why every newsletter and newspaper has a section talking about it…you’re not alone.  

 

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The simple reason is it’s breaking records and making history. Since its release, ChatGPT  has become the first ever AI product to cross more than 100 million monthly users in just 2 months.

 

To put that into perspective, it took Facebook 4 years to reach that and Google one year. In short, it’s the fastest growing app in history.

 

The image below, showcases how ChatGPT compares to some of the world’s biggest platforms when it comes to surpassing 1 million monthly users. 

ChatGPT surpasses 1 million monthly users

AI & Data

One of the things that has made ChatGPT stand out from anything of its kind, is its consistent evolvement and its ability to improve. Not only can it answer informational questions, but it can also write poems, essays, raps, sonnets and even write in the style of well-known personalities.

 

The image below shows ChatGPT’s answer when asked to criticise someone’s food in the style of Gordon Ramsay: 

Gordan Ramsay criticising someone's food by ChatGPT

Apart from a few missing swear words here and there (ChatGPT can’t swear), which you could expect from Chef Ramsay if you’ve ever watched an episode of Hell’s Kitchen, it’s surprisingly accurate. 

 

The fact it can pull well-known Ramsay phrases such as “it’s completely raw,” from its data, shows just how much data we’ve got out there for AI to draw from.

 

This is exactly how certain deepfake AI generators can convert text to be read aloud in the voice of Gwyneth Paltrow or Snoop Dogg for example. 

 

ChatGPT brings back old fears about AI

Even though the system has had 300 billion words fed into its data, it’s not connected to the internet, at least not yet. And even with its extensive amount of data, and the amazing things it can currently do, OpenAI themselves write on the ChatGPT site that some of its answers may not be factually correct. 

 

They go on to admit that fixing the issue is ‘challenging’.  Despite all of this, ChatGPT has raised a few questions and concerns from teachers, writers, lawyers, and even programmers themselves. 

 

Questions like would teachers be able to spot ChatGPT written essays from students? Would students be able to cheat more easily? What jobs would be at risk? Though some fear that AI may replace humans in their jobs, others think AI may simply be more an assistance tool to help them instead.

 

Concerns about AI replacing humans and posing a danger isn’t a new phenomenon. It’s a theme that Hollywood loves to explore, take Stanley Kubrick’s A Space Odyssey for example or Isaac Asimov’s I,Robot. 

Questions like would teachers be able to spot ChatGPT written essays from students? Would students be able to cheat more easily? What jobs would be at risk? Though some fear that AI may replace humans in their jobs, others think AI may simply be more an assistance tool to help them instead.

 

Concerns about AI replacing humans and posing a danger isn’t a new phenomenon. It’s a theme that Hollywood loves to explore, take Stanley Kubrick’s A Space Odyssey for example or Isaac Asimov’s I,Robot. 

2001 A Space Odyssey

But even before that, it’s a distrust that dates as far back as the Luddite movement of 19th century England. An anti-technological and anti-industrialist movement that was born in Nottingham and swept over large parts of England. 

 

In the same way that some workers today fear AI taking their jobs, the luddites feared machines taking theirs too. 

 

Though undoubtedly AI will change the way we work (and has already changed many industries), there are many ways we can use AI to help us.

 

AI will only improve, and using it as it becomes better and more efficient, will only help human workers make the most of their time.  

 

What is AI in recruitment?  

AI is already being used in many industries. Take Finance or Marketing for example. In Finance, traders can use AI to monitor the market and enter a trade when certain requirements have been met. AI can analyse years and years of data to predict outcomes much faster than a human ever could. 

 

In Marketing, you might visit a company’s website and then find that company following you around the internet with targeted ads – otherwise known as re-targeting. These are all forms of AI – and AI in recruitment is no different.

 

AI in recruitment looks to streamline the hiring process and give recruiters’ access to tools that save them time and money. No different to Finance or Marketing.  

 

How is AI used in recruitment?  

AI in recruitment is mostly used to do the following:  

 

  • Reduce admin and streamline the process 
  • Source & filter from wider pools of candidates for recurring hires 
  • Hire without bias 

 

Streamlining the process 

If a candidate applies to an open position, the AI can send an automated e-mail thanking the applicant by name, and communicating what the next stage would be if they’ve been successful.

 

This cuts out the time it would take a recruiter to manually examine a candidate’s test, and then write to them to let them know they’ve made it to the next round.

 

This is even more important if the recruiter is hiring in volume. Read more about the differences of general recruitment vs volume recruitment here.   

 

Source & filter from wider pools of candidates 

AI can source candidates from stored databases or from data that it’s analysed online. This then makes the job vacancies visible to a much larger audience.

 

Not only that, but when candidates apply, AI can filter out unqualified candidates using ‘killer questions’ and by picking out keywords in the same way a human recruiter could. 

 

If a candidate makes it to the final stage, AI can then perform the final check by engaging in CRB and reference checks. Having passed all that, a human recruiter would get notified and could then decide to make a final offer.

 

Either way, the recruiter saves time and has a wider applicant pool to choose from.  

 

Hire without bias 

Though not completely perfect, AI can help prevent employer bias from a hiring process.

 

Though it’s possible that AI can analyse and pick up on biased trends in place at your organisation (like Amazon’s failed attempt at using AI in 2018 which found that the software discriminated against women), if developed and tested well, it should help an organisation hire fairly and avoid certain biases (like hiring candidates from a similar university etc). 

 

This can be done by programming an AI tool to ignore demographic data, and instead focus on the skills and experience of a candidate.

 

This is why the ideal recruitment solution involves a mixture of AI and human intelligence 

 

Will AI replace recruiters?  

Amazon made headlines again when a leaked document showcased last year that they planned to replace their recruiters with a new AI system (hopefully different to the last one they tried in 2018). Add that to the arrival of ChatGPT and many people are fearing for their jobs. 

 

However, ‘replacing’ humans with AI, is unlikely. What’s more likely is a system where humans use AI to work smarter and not harder. Even though AI can cut down huge amounts of time for recruiters, there’s still so much benefit a candidate can get from a human recruiter. 

 

Human recruiters can show empathy and understanding, they can recognise times where they might have to sell or push harder in a way that an AI system couldn’t. Much in the same way AI chatbots are great for speedy responses or answering basic requests. 

 

But as great as they are, they don’t replace the specific needs and understanding that a human customer service advisor can give.

 

In fact, 86% of consumers prefer humans over chatbots, and 71% of consumers wouldn’t use a brand at all if it had no human interaction according to Forbes.  

Chatbots are great. But people need people.

The future of AI in recruitment

 While there’s no doubt that AI will only continue to improve in the long runthere’s still a lot to be done. Just last week, Bard (Google’s answer to ChatGPT) made a mistake that sent its shares plummeting by 100 billion dollars. Despite that, we know that AI combined with human supervision can make for an overall much more positive experience. 

 

In the same way self-help checkouts help cut queues at supermarkets, they still require human supervision when things go wrong. AI can do the same thing for recruiters. It can cut the wait times and the slow, time-consuming, repetitive tasks. 

 

But human recruiters will be needed at some stage of the process. Find out more about how humans and technology can work together to create a better hiring process in our eBook.

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