A worryingly high 84 per cent of candidates say the current recruitment proceedure is ineffective, according to a study researched and authored by James Wright from the international executive search firm, Carmichael Fisher, in association with the West East Institute (WEI). The findings of the report – The impact of artificial intelligence within the recruitment industry: defining a new way of recruiting – were presented at the 2019 WEI International Academic Conference on Business, Economics, Management and Finance at the Harvard Faculty Club in Boston, USA.
Examining the use of AI in typical candidate selection processes, such as analysis of the CV and job interviews, the report’s aim was to identify the areas of hiring that were putting off candidates, as well as where AI could be better utilised.
Significantly, the study indicates positivity towards AI for its ability to lessen bias and improve diversity levels as part of the wider hiring process. The report outlines that the use of smart assessment tools such as gamification and video analysis technologies will deliver more objective assessments of candidates. It also found that AI will enable faster and fairer applications – reducing fallout rates and improving diversity.
However, when AI is used as part of the CV reading process there is aversion: 86 per cent of research participants stated that they would rather a human looked at their CV. Interestingly, most candidates said they would not want a business to make a hiring decision based on their CV alone. Both recruiters and candidates seem to agree that “the CV is dead”, although there is little consensus on what could replace it.
The study also asked whether the complete automation of the hiring process was favourable and 73 per cent of respondents stated that it actively worsened their perception of a business. Considering automated job interviews, nine in 10 of the individuals asked agreed that they would rather a human interview them than a robot, again indicating that favourable attitudes exist towards human interaction.
When looking at the recruitment process and candidate perception of a business, a good culture came out on top – 79 per cent of people surveyed considered this important. Four-fifths of respondents also stated that they would normally ask questions about the company in an interview. This further demonstrates the need for personal communication in hiring, particularly as top talent remains in the driving seat in a candidate-driven employment market.
“The use of AI in the preliminary stages of recruitment is useful to analyse the market and to assist with areas of potential human error such as unconscious bias,” noted James Wright. “However, once you have a candidate shortlist, the process becomes intrinsically human and interactive. One of the most common words we found used in the study, when asking participants about using AI for the whole hiring process was ‘impersonal’.
“The role of a recruiter is entirely based on consolidating solid and trustworthy relationships with candidates, getting to know them and their wants and desires,” Wright concludes. “While the future of HR and hiring certainly will welcome AI to take over those more administrative tasks, the role of the human recruiter isn’t going anywhere yet.”