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Should Recruiters Worry About AI
Mike Wolford, Recruitingdaily 1207 Times 782 People

The lack of skilled IT workers is hurting the deployment of emerging technology, according to a new survey from Gartner. In areas from cloud to cybersecurity, this crisis is expected to last for years to come.

AI: Artificial, but not intelligent

A more scientific approach to artificial would be to use what is known as the “Turing test.”  The idea is simple: You have to ask a question that the AI or the human answers. If you can’t tell the difference between the human and the AI, then the AI is said to have passed the test. While some chatbots have fooled 1 in 3 people during five minute controlled tests, it is fair to say that no AI to date has passed the Turing test

Michael Beygelman, CEO of Joberate, said of AI, “it is artificial but it isn’t intelligent.” We have yet to create a true AI.

So, what actually is AI and what can it do? More importantly, why should we care?

Let’s start with this: The tools that are sold under the artificial intelligence umbrella fall into three (3) basic categories:

  1. Chatbots;

  2. AI assisted searches; and,

  3. Automated Assistants.


Chatbots are designed to do several different things. The first and most obvious is that they interact with prospective candidates that wish to apply to your company. They engage in what is called a natural language interaction. The idea is to have the chatbot ask the questions needed to complete a job application.

This is a much needed update to our current methods of applying for jobs online. According to Gerry Crispin, Co-Founder of CareerXroads, companies that have used AI chatbots get conversion ratios as high as 90 percent. The other things that an AI chatbot can do, that isn’t as obvious, is that it can screen candidates in near real time.

Once the application is completed, the AI can engage the candidate and ask if they would like to interview for the position. The chatbot will then present the candidate with questions they can answer with text, or in some cases, even create a video. 

The AI will analyze the answers and even evaluate the video. If the prospect passes the qualifying questions, the AI can schedule the interview by asking the candidate to select a time that is available based on the recruiter’s calendar. 70 percent of the candidates who completed the application also completed the AI interview. 

AI works best when dealing with hundreds of candidates

As Aaron Matos, CEO of Recruiting.com, explained, clients that have deployed his AI “Olivia” have been able to eliminate 70 to 80 percent of unqualified candidates before they even make it to a recruiter.

Artificial intelligence is more than an old school decision tree. It’s able to “learn” and adapt. Based on new information and feedback from recruiters, it’s able to improve its matching and screening. Max Armbruster, CEO of Talkpush, said, “The best value is when you are dealing with hundreds of candidates.”  

Artificial intelligence can help eliminate the dreaded resume black hole.

Pim Bemelmans, Director at XORBOT said, “We are working to eliminate the black hole of recruiting and make sure that every candidate that applies at least gets reviewed and gets appropriate feedback.”   

AI assisted searches

The second application for AI is in search. Ninh Tran, COO of Hiretual, said:
“The efficiency of our sourcing AI is about three-quarters of the best sourcer in the world right now. You can improve AI to (make it) better than a human, but it becomes increasingly difficult to get better because there are diminishing returns. The solution is saving people time. It is supposed to make your life easier. “ 

AI or augmented search is here and it is viable. It is going to be most useful to those recruiting in the IT space, but as more and more digital information becomes available, it will improve its performance in other areas as well.

Automated Assistants

A recruiting AI can help you automate some of your routine work. A company that was using an AI assistant was able to get the requisition approval process from four (4) days down to 1 minute, 45 seconds.

Scheduling is also something that the AI assistant is able to help with. Setting up phone screens no longer needs to take several emails or involve an episode of phone tag. The AI will allow the candidate to select a time when they are available and schedule themselves for the interview when you are available.   

So what is the short term impact of artificial intelligence on recruiting?

The answer: AI is a useful tool for companies that receive a large number of applicants and genuinely want to improve the candidate experience.

Yes, AI may bring humanity back to recruiting

The ability to screen hundreds of candidates in minutes is new to the industry. Interaction with an AI has driven conversion rates as high as 90 percent. When a video interview is offered, over 70 percent of people that had completed an application also completed a video interview. The AI was then able to stack rank the applicants for the recruiter to review. Additionally, the AI is available 24/7 to answer questions that the applicant might have. 

Ironically, it may be artificial intelligence that brings humanity back into recruiting and makes the resume “black hole” a thing of the past.

For those of you who struggle to find niche talent, an AI augmented search can be a good tool to use. At present, it doesn’t help you with outreach so you really need to punch up your messaging before you will see the results of better searches. That said, there is an advantage if you have the ability to uncover talent that your competition might not be able to find. 

An AI assistant will be valuable to those companies that have established processes and do high volume recruitment. The value is that it can help you take days off your time to fill rate once someone is already in the funnel.

The value of cutting three days off time to fill is relatively low for one req, but what if you could take three days of the time to fill for 1,000 reqs? What would that be worth? Something recruiters need to pay attention to.

Something else to consider: Short term, you aren’t out of a job unless you work in coordination. The tools are really designed at this point the help us get more hires and better hires in less time. Long term, 80 percent of recruiters will not be needed, but 20 percent will elevate their game to decision and strategy and the remainder will go do something else.  This is something we are ALL going to have to pay close attention to. 

Here’s one last bit of advice on the subject from Ninh Tran, COO of Hiretual:
“It is going to be humans partnering with technology to make things simpler and faster. If you don’t embrace it that is fine, but if there is a person that wants to keep their competitive advantage for years to come, becoming a new technology adaptor is the way to go.”   




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