Traditional hiring methods could no longer function as the Covid-19 pandemic struck, leaving recruiters with no choice but to rely on technology. The implementation of the automated process was unavoidable with the full recruitment life cycle taking place remotely, and there was no looking back.
It is fascinating to see how artificial intelligence (AI) is dramatically transforming the recruitment industry and has become indispensable for high volume hiring amidst the ongoing war for talent. What is more important is to see how it is designed to integrate with the recruitment process.
The applications of AI in the hiring process are promising, and the growing demand for these tools attests to this. However, despite the fact that AI has been around for over 60 years, organisations have yet to embrace it wholeheartedly partly because of various myths and misconceptions that surround the subject.
S Pasupathi, chief operating officer, HirePro, an AI-powered recruitment and assessment platform, says people's minds have been filled with skepticism as a result of a general lack of understanding and unwarranted concerns.
Another issue is that it takes time for people to adjust to new products and tools, as they are apprehensive/reluctant about stepping outside of their comfort zones, he adds.
“AI has grown to become one of the most over-generalised terms in recruitment. The sensationalisation of the term has birthed heavy misconceptions of its applicability and extent within the industry. This has also caused scepticism and mistrust towards many service providers. AI is causing leaps in the recruitment industry. However, such misconceptions only serve to keep organisations from reaching their full potential. When used correctly, AI in recruiting can produce exceptional results,” he says.
During an interaction with People Matters, Pasupathi talks about the over-generalisation of AI in the recruitment industry, shares a realistic overview of its applications, and debunks misconceptions on its use.
Here are some excerpts from the interview
AI applications: A realistic overview
The Indian recruiting landscape is distinguished by large volumes of resumes that do not correctly reflect candidates' genuine potential. This places a significant strain on talent acquisition teams. As a result, recruitment industry is primed for automation . AI helps them make better decisions, accelerate processes, increase scalability, and cut expenses. At a time when hiring is at an all-time high, AI, by automating the screening process and offering meaningful data analytics, is attempting to alleviate some of the real-world issues of hiring at scale.
The objective of AI in recruitment is not to replace human hiring, but rather to help people make better judgments rather than allowing AI to run the show. For example, if malpractice is identified while proctoring, the AI will alert the person watching the session rather than making a decision on its own.
AI is being utilised to address simple problems in the recruitment process that, if left unaddressed, will cause problems going forward.
Debunking misconceptions on AI in recruitment
Myth: AI will replace human recruiters
Reality: Many industries, including recruitment, might worry if AI will eventually replace human recruiters. While AI can be much more effective in filtering candidates based on criteria established by a potential employer and data available, it is practically impossible for AI to replace human recruiters.
Human touch is always an important part of the recruitment process. AI is more of a labour-saving tool than something that will entirely replace human operations. AI can analyse data to assist recruiters, but it cannot replace them. Recognising genuine talent always entails the use of the human brain. Rather than replacing jobs in recruiting, AI is poised to provide staffing and recruiting experts more time to focus on tasks that require human decision-making.
Myth: AI can decipher data
Reality: AI establishes connections from data but does not specify causes, requiring the human brain to decipher the meaning behind the correlation. AI will be able to harness vast amounts of data by following prescribed sets of commands, but it will not be able to perceive the broader picture, another reason why it makes a great tool to aid recruiters, but cannot replace them.
Myth: AI recruitment tools require specialised skills to use
Reality: It is a common misconception that artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning are all complicated computer science concepts and are extremely difficult to use. That may be true - but if you were building them.
In reality, AI has been seamlessly incorporated into a wide range of user-friendly recruitment systems that you are probably already familiar with. The ATS, for example, which is widely utilised in recruitment, includes some form of AI. To dispel this notion, keep in mind that AI is just a tool, which has been designed to guarantee that it can be seamlessly used in the recruitment process.
Myth: AI is error-free
Reality: AI is quick and efficient, but it is not error-free. It undoubtedly contributes to the reduction of human error just like any automated, data-driven system.
Myth: AI increases bias
Reality: Both Facebook and Amazon have recently encountered severe issues with their AI software, which has sparked several speculations concerning the reliability of artificial intelligence in hiring. Amazon's example, in which its recruiting software had a hidden prejudice towards women, was notably damaging to the reputation of AI in recruitment in general. The fact is that this is a rare occurrence, and AI actually reduces levels of prejudice throughout the hiring process.
The application of AI in virtual assessments produces fair, accurate, and objective outcomes. This technology enables interviewers to precisely assess the candidate's essential competencies, resulting in data that is fair and unbiased. Because of the current scale and growth in hiring, organisations are adopting interview services for assessments. Through the use of virtual hiring platforms, hiring managers may now focus solely on candidates' abilities and skills rather than their gender, colour, or background.
How can companies use AI in recruitment responsibly
In the not-too-distant future, AI will be able to find exceptional applicants for a job before a recruiter ever begins to look. Existing human resource systems will shift from being data-driven to being AI-driven. AI will be personalised and specifically linked to each of these sectors, depending on the company's specific business objectives. Organisations are increasingly embracing innovative methods of hiring and will continue to do so in the future.
In order to leverage this tool optimally to grow exponentially, employers should continue to use automation and assessments to evaluate talent and outsource interviews.