Why and how to use AI for recruitment

You might think it would be easier to recruit in a tough economic climate. But judging by how things are currently playing out, you’d be wrong.

Yes, the UK unemployment rate rose in the last quarter, but it still remains relatively low. Concurrently, the economic inactivity rate, while showing recent improvement, still remains reasonably high. The combined effect of these factors means that there’s a shortage of people in the jobs market at a time when, in many sectors at least, there’s still high demand for labour as businesses continue to bounce back.

Unsurprisingly, many are starting to explore what they can do to speed up the process and improve their chances of success. It is here that AI can play an important role.

While not a panacea for all recruitment woes, AI has come on leaps and bounds in the last few years and used correctly, it can play a key role in speeding up the process by reducing workloads so long as you don’t lean on it for your core communication and most importantly, selling. Here’s how…

Sourcing relevant candidates

AI can help to automate the labour-intensive administrative tasks that often contribute most significantly to time delays in the recruitment process – with the most obvious of these being candidate sourcing.

Recruitment agencies used to sell on the size of their candidate database, but now most people can be found on LinkedIn. So why not let an algorithm trawl the internet for the matches you need? AI has the ability to analyse hundreds of thousands of social profiles in a matter of seconds based on key criteria such as their job title, industry, location, experience and more – with the added bonus that it doesn’t work 9-5 hours. You can even get a third-party plug-in for LinkedIn that will send an intro message on finding a strong match and deliver tailored follow-up messages depending on the candidate’s response. Keep it simple though – it’s only to gauge initial interest and to set up a call to provide further information. You’ll still need a human to do the real selling.

Equally, AI can be harnessed to quickly and effectively screen CVs, reviewing candidates’ skills and experience against the job description – and any other predetermined criteria that you want to set – to identify the best matches. But don’t forget that we’re not born with perfect CV writing skills; AI can narrow down the pool for you, but again, you’ll need a human to delve into the person behind the ‘paper’. 

Leave writing job ads to (capable) humans

In my view, one area where AI falls short currently is in developing job adverts. AI can only learn from what’s out there. Its function is to mimic, amalgamate and regurgitate. For years, job boards have been filled with glorified job specs, topped and tailed with meaningless stock phrases and clichés – hardly a rich seam of effective examples to learn from. It’s the equivalent of training a chef by making them work a shift in every Wetherspoons kitchen in the UK. Consequently, it struggles in this area, with the writing of attention-grabbing, compelling job adverts best left to those who know what they’re doing.

Success is a human-led process informed by AI

Recruitment has always been a human-led process and for now, at least, the best way to use AI is by combining the work of specialist recruiters with AI to maximise results. There’s no doubt that AI can add real value in certain areas of the recruitment process – but be wary of becoming over-reliant on it.

For example, most of us have already experienced a fruitless back and forth with a chatbot that’s quite simply out of its depth. Whether it’s a query about your car insurance or tech support, we all end up cursing the business for being cheap and not having any respect for good customer service. So be careful, because if you’re not discerning with your own AI choices in your hiring process, you risk your candidates drawing similar conclusions about your business too.

Interested in hearing more about how we can solve your challenges? We’d love to hear from you.

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David Clark

Operations Director


David Clark