The recruitment industry is typically keen to adopt new technology; eager to implement anything that can make processes more streamlined, efficient and profitable. Yet, as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning have become buzzwords of the year and have started to make huge impacts on a variety of industries, the recruitment industry has held back, with many worried about the future of jobs and if using AI is really worth the headache of cleaning up machine errors.
After all, recruitment is all about people: the recruiters, employers and candidates. Does the introduction of AI mean the loss of a personal touch that underpins the entire industry? Or does it present huge opportunities for the industry to grow, and for early adopters to stand out from a very crowded marketplace?
Playing the blame game
Human error is still a primary cause of failures in the recruitment industry. A tired recruiter sifting through thousands of CVs for a high-profile brand or a sought-after role will undoubtedly leave room for errors to creep in; an excellent candidate placed in the ‘not this time’ pile or a candidate with sub-par experience given the chance of a first-round interview. However, technology can’t shy away from the blame, with Amazon’s incident with its experimental automated recruiting engine being a prime example of why AI technology is not ready for mass adoption.
The truth is that error can come from anywhere. Until AI technology is fully developed into various applications that can show how efficient the technology really can be, errors will undoubtedly appear.
Striking a balance
When broken down, the aim of recruitment is to bring candidates and clients together, securing the best person for the job in the shortest amount of time. It’s all about doing the job right, but doing the job efficiently: only the agencies that are able to place the most candidates, successfully and quickly will set themselves up for future growth and secure a reputation of leading the industry.
The solution, right now, is therefore a combination of both man and machine. AI technology coupled with a human touch to keep recruitment what it is all about – people – but using the technology available to make the processes the best they can be. Provided the technology is correctly adopted and implemented, using AI will allow recruiters to spend less time sifting through hundreds or thousands of CVs; this is a job for the machines. This leaves recruiters more time to deal with interviews, post-interview analysis and candidate comparison, as well as other parts of the recruitment cycle. Recruiters are known for being people-centred – it’s a huge part of the role – so this allows recruiters to be left to what they do best whilst the machines do the legwork.
What does the future hold for the recruitment process? Recruiters can’t turn their backs on AI software due to fear of the unknown. At this stage, AI has the ability to not only support but complement the activities in the recruitment cycle, but human interaction still plays a very important part. After all, computers can’t do everything. It is the recruiters that are able to strike the balance between ‘man’ and the machine who will see the true benefits: from time savings to a much more refined candidate selection process.
Andy Richardson, CEO, Dynistics