Over the last several years, recruiting for qualified and talented resources has become more of a challenge. From the recruiter’s perspective, there are more resumes to review, less time to review each resume, and some resumes are skipped altogether. At the same time, competition to attract talent has increased and the need to quickly bring in and hire qualified candidates is greater than ever. Often, by the time a recruiter gets to interview a candidate, they have already accepted an opportunity elsewhere.
From the candidate perspective, recruiters are often unresponsive and/or fail to return calls, inquiries, or tell candidates final decisions. There are clearly challenges on both sides.
Applicant tracking systems have been designed to help with several of the tasks involved with the recruitment process, but many are limited to little more than an electronic filing system. Keyword searches miss many qualified resumes, and they are often lacking intelligence to actively source candidates when needs arise.
This is where new technology products help. When we think of artificial intelligence in recruiting, we often think of chatbots pre-qualifying candidates or scheduling assistants which are able to efficiently coordinate interviews. The world of artificial intelligence in recruiting is much more complex than just processing those few tasks. Below is a general overview of how artificial intelligence can enhance the recruiting process from the pre-recruiting activities through candidate selection.
Job descriptions can be outdated, vague, attract the wrong candidates or fail to attract the right candidates. Job postings may be placed on job boards randomly or with little strategy. Even before recruiting begins, using artificial intelligence can make the overall process more efficient and effective by analyzing job descriptions and making advertising for open jobs more successful.
Improving job descriptions. Products which focus on job descriptions look at the job description’s language. They determine if it is gender neutral, positive, plain english, etc. and make suggestions for improvement.
The Benefit: By analyzing and scoring the language in the job description, recruiters can continually improve effectiveness of these descriptions, attracting a candidate pool with a higher percentage of potential matches.
Effective Advertising of Job Openings. These tools use marketing techniques to analyze data from all over the internet and determine the best time and place to post job openings.
The Benefit: Timing and placement creates a higher probability of finding the right candidates. Also, through machine learning, these ad placements are analyzed and continually improved.
Online job boards make opportunities available to a considerably wider audience and with this, internal recruiters may receive dozens (or more) of resumes to review for each listing. Because of the number of resumes and the time it takes to review each, many qualified candidates can be overlooked. Applicant tracking systems were created in part to make this process more organized and effective, but did little to solve this issue. Using artificial intelligence to screen resumes, the process is not only accelerated, the likelihood and speed at which a job can be filled improves dramatically.
Creation of Candidate Profiles. These tools can create candidate profiles of both active and passive candidates and can sometimes determine the candidates interests (personal and professional) based on their social footprint. These profiles are stored in an internal database, and when there is a new job opening, a powerful search and match engine is used to determine likely candidates.
The Benefit: Active and passive candidates are quickly and easily found and can save the company significant costs and time in hiring. Predictive analytics help to determine the best matched candidates for the job.
Reduce bias / Increase Diversity. Some of these products strip out demographics entirely, enabling candidates to be reviewed solely for their education and experience, reducing instances of bias. Other products highlight demographics. These are used by companies who focus on increased diversity.
The Benefit: There is a greater chance of reducing bias and/or increasing diversity.
After reviewing the resumes, another time intensive task is to pre-screen, communicate with and schedule candidates for interviews. There are many products available to automate and assist with these tasks.
Filtering Candidates. Chatbots have been created to easily filter candidates into or out of a candidate pool. Many use natural language processing and scan for key words to ask the candidate questions related to the job.
The Benefit: By using contextual questions, they save time by gathering and storing candidate information as well as determining the best candidates to forward in the process.
Enhanced Communication and Coordination. With the use of Chatbots and by connecting the candidates email, the internal company calendar system and the applicant tracking system, chatbots can work with both the candidate and the calendars of all interviewers to determine the best time for testing, interviews, etc. Also, communications can be automated throughout the recruiting process, updating candidates on the status of their application as well as enabling candidates to ask questions and get quick answers. If the chatbot does not know the answer to a question, they are often programmed to reach a live recruiter to get the answer quickly.
The Benefit: Reduce the amount of time spent on scheduling, increase the timeliness of communications and decrease the time it takes to get candidate questions answered.
After suitable candidates have been determined by going through various filters, and in addition to interviews, many companies use different types of testing to determine the best candidate for the job. These tests impact candidate selection but may be used at any time during the recruiting process and are often used as pre-interview screening tools.
Skills Testing. Skills testing, often used for technical candidates can assess, rank and compare candidates based on their abilities.
The Benefit: Employee knowledge and skills can be objectively measured, reviewed and ranked.
Psychometric Testing. Psychometric testing can ensure that candidates are a good match for both the role and the company, based on personality and cognitive abilities. These tests are deeply integrated with industrial and organizational psychology and can review a candidate’s communication, leadership and problem solving styles. They can also test their attitudes, values, motivation and preferences.
The Benefit: These tests can save the company time and money by finding candidates that fit well in the organization, which in turn will reduce attrition and enhance employee engagement.
Gesture and Voice Analysis. Through the use of video interviews, gestures and voice variances – this technology uses 1000s of data points which are analyzed and scored to predict the candidate who is the best fit for the position. Results of all of these tests are reviewed and candidates are ranked and compared to other candidates.
The Benefit: In addition to reducing recruiting costs and time to hire, there is greater consistency in interviewing and assessments of candidates provide greater predictability in terms of acclimation and attrition.
This was a very high level overview, intended to introduce the basic ways artificial intelligence and advanced technologies can improve the recruiting process. As it is meant for a non-technical audience, it does not review variances and nuances in different types of technologies. Future articles will discuss some of these technologies more in-depth.