Will AI Replace Recruiters?

Oct 09, 2018 - Joe Matar

AI-powered recruiting tools are everywhere!

For almost every stage of the candidate journey (from sourcing to engagement to screening to interviewing to everywhere in between), AI-powered tools are being deployed to improve the recruiting process and overall candidate (and recruiter and hiring manager) experience. Companies have leveraged the ability to automate tasks in order to make the lives of the recruiter easier. Let’s take a quick look at how AI is stepping in at each stage of the recruiting process. Also, when you're done, don't forget to check out our Definitive Guide to Recruiting Chatbots to get all your questions answered about this powerful recruiting tool.

Sourcing

Companies spend a lot of money trying to find the right candidates especially since sourcing typically requires a high volume of outreach. But with the right technology, a sourcing specialist’s time can be optimized to the point where he or she is only spending time with job seekers that are more likely to be qualified. That’s where AI comes in. A few AI technologies out there, like Hiretual, take advantage of the fact that there are mounds of data on all of us scattered across the web. But the key is finding and making sense of all this data which is exactly what their AI technology is built to do. Their AI technology will scour the web of over 700 million professional profiles to find only candidates who meet certain conditions (like skills or job titles) that you select and return those candidates to you allowing you to follow up. The next step is conversations and screening.

Conversations and screening

Whether a candidate comes into your funnel from your sourcing, recruitment marketing or employment branding efforts, the next step in any highly-functioning recruiting funnel is engagement. And one of the most effective ways to do this is through starting a conversation with a candidate either through a live chat or with an AI-powered chatbot. Now we’ve all heard of chatbots. Chatbots can be found in marketing, customer service and even in the personal finance industry! The main purpose of the chatbot, regardless of the industry, is to start a conversation with a human on the other end. In recruiting, this human is called a job seeker or candidate who is likely interested in a company or role and wants to start a conversation to learn more. Chatbots can certainly help. AI-powered chatbots, like our very own, can start conversations with job seekers and candidates right on your careers site or job requisition landing pages at any time. These chatbots for recruiting are great for a few reasons:
  • They can capture a job seeker’s contact information so you can follow up later.
  • They can conduct basic screening so you only engage with the most qualified candidates.
  • They can automatically schedule an online chat with your recruiters and hiring managers at a later time.
  • They never sleep!
But as we’ll discuss shortly, the AI-powered chatbots are there to help, not replace, the recruiter by moving qualified candidates more quickly to the interview phase. The Recruiting Chatbot Revolution ad

Interviewing

AI interviewing is still in the early stages but there are already companies, like Robert Vera, offering this service. While the AI interviewer is clearly not a human, there are some advantages to deploying a technology like this. For one, it keeps all the interviews structured. Same questions. Every time. And we know from plenty of research that the structured interview is one of the most effective hiring techniques. Secondly, AI interviewing technology can help you get through high volumes of interviews. The robot never gets tired. It will “take notes” on all responses. And it will assess candidates only based on the candidate’s answers. This is great. So with all these great AI products in sourcing, engagement and interviewing, will interviewing robots, AI-powered chatbots and AI for sourcing replace humans? The answer, I believe, is not any time soon.

Will AI replace humans?

As I was taught in school, the answer to this question depends. Specifically, it depends on the time frame. Will AI replace recruiters in the far off future? I’d say it is likely. But in the next 5-10 years? No way. Right now, AI is very good at a narrowly defined set of tasks. Just as the computer is superior to all humans at arithmetic, AI is superior to recruiters at tasks like poring through 700 million professional profiles looking for keywords and returning those profiles to the recruiter. To better understand this concept, let’s dig a little deeper on the arithmetic analogy. Of course, anyone with a middle school education could theoretically calculate any addition, subtraction, multiplication or division problem given enough time. But the computer excels at this task for a few reasons. Firstly, if there is a significant number of calculations to be done, time is not a problem for the computer. Secondly, the computer will make far fewer errors if it is programmed correctly. And lastly, and somewhat related to the penultima reason, the computer does not get exhausted, which is what makes humans more prone to making mistakes. All of these reasons apply to the "AI versus the human recruiter" debate. Take chatbots, for example. Chatbots will never get tired of asking pre-screening questions or chatting with job seekers and candidates. AI that scours the web for candidates who match your ideal candidate profile won’t get blurry-eyed staring at screen after screen of LinkedIn profiles. And the interview robot won’t be tempted to ask questions out of order (thereby ruining the structured interview technique). But unlike humans, AI is limited to these tasks. AI may be able to perform facial recognition but can it create a painting? AI may be able to recognize speech but can it write a book? The answer to both of these questions, at least for now, is no. Similarly, AI can have basic conversations with candidates but it is the recruiters who can do the relationship-building and assessing of the candidates. That is the true power of the recruiter. And the current use cases of AI should only free up the recruiters to do more of this relationship-building by allowing them to have more meaningful conversations with candidates. And that is exactly why we built an AI-powered chatbot into our conversational recruiting platform: to free up the recruiter to have more real, authentic and meaningful conversations with qualified candidates. You can learn more by watching a product tour or requesting a demo.

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