The state of AI and automation in the recruitment process
In October 2023, ChatGPT broke records when it hit 100 million weekly users. Users are quickly discovering how they can make use of the technology in their daily lives, including job seekers and recruiters. The model is fundamentally changing the way job seekers and recruiters interact and present themselves during the hiring process.
Leveraging the assistance of chatbots, candidates can now generate professional, tailored cover letters or resumés within seconds. These tools can not only improve communication with recruiters but also aid in interview preparation by offering insights into potential questions. On the recruiter’s side, AI and automation have the potential to noticeably boost efficiency, due to the automated generation of job ads, swift screening of applicants’ resumes for essential skills, and the streamlining of initial communication processes with candidates.
However, critical questions arise: Does the widespread incorporation of AI in recruitment processes lead to improved outcomes? Could the extensive use of AI and automation potentially compromise personal connections, thereby affecting candidate satisfaction negatively? Lastly, in which steps of the recruitment process does AI prove genuinely beneficial, and where should humans retain their decisive advantage?
Demands of candidates put more pressure on recruiters
Due to the tight labor market, candidates currently wield more negotiation power than recruiters, leading to increased demands for quick responses and transparent processes. According to a survey by The Stepstone Group, a significant 61% of candidates express the preference for companies to respond within one week at most. Notably, a quarter of candidates would prefer an employer with a swifter and more straightforward application process, even if other factors are more prominent elsewhere.
The elevated expectations of job seekers, coupled with the pressure on recruiters to fill positions, intensify the challenges faced by recruiters. Per the survey cited above, 67% of recruiters experience physical and mental stress in their roles. The growing prevalence of AI and automation in recruitment offers a timely solution to accelerate the recruitment process for both job seekers and recruiters.
Do candidates fear automation in the recruitment process?
Candidates are well aware that AI and automation can significantly speed up the hiring process. More than half of respondents in a recent AI survey agreed that the use of AI will speed up the application process for candidates. But still, part of the debate about AI and automation in recruitment is candidates’ fear of potential bias and pitfalls that might turn out to be to their disadvantage. The question arises: should recruiters be concerned about losing potential candidates due to the implementation of automation?
While candidates are rather skeptical of recruiters using AI in the final decision, two-thirds of candidates agree that AI can make the application process more efficient and reduce manual tasks and time to a personal meeting. Meaning, that candidates’ aversion to AI does not apply to the early stages of the recruitment process, spanning from application submission to scheduling job interviews. According to our survey findings, 81% assess the use of automation in these stages as either positive or neutral. At the same time, when asking recruiters about tasks they would like to automate, they highlighted tasks of the early stage of the recruitment process: sending confirmation of receipt, writing job ads, sending reminders, checking application completeness, and administering applicant data. While candidates are skeptical of recruiters’ AI use, it seems that the two parties’ goals from the technology are currently aligned.
Unexpected positive effects of AI on communication
But how does AI impact communication and social relationships? Research has indicated that algorithmic responses can increase communication speed, promote the use of positive emotional language, and lead to conversation partners perceiving each other as closer and more cooperative. However, this is only the case as long as conversation partners are not suspected of using algorithmic responses. Consequently, the prevailing negative perception of AI chatbots does not align with the actual experience, provided that the utilization of AI remains undetected.
In this sense, leveraging the advantages of algorithmic responses, such as enhanced communication speed and positive language use, is advisable for recruiters. However, it is crucial to view these tools as a means to facilitate quicker personal contact. Additionally, recruiters should maintain a distinctive communication style to distinguish themselves from other employers. Achieving this can be accomplished by training the algorithm to align with a specific corporate language.
How AI and automation impact the accuracy of candidate assessment
In the future, certain aspects of resumés are expected to gain greater significance. While grades for certified degrees are expected to become less important, we see a shift towards prioritizing meta-competencies such as adaptability, creativity, and problem-solving skills followed by professional knowledge and experience. While automation tools can easily handle degrees, soft skills and meta-competencies are currently best evaluated by humans through psychological tests. This, again, underscores the role of AI in expediting personal contact between candidates and recruiters.
ChatGPT is streamlining the job application process, empowering job seekers to effortlessly craft application documents and apply to companies with greater ease. This increased ease may lead job seekers to consider roles that don’t align perfectly with their qualifications, as the application process becomes less laborious.
As a consequence, recruiters will likely see a surge in the number of applications, necessitating more comprehensive efforts in screening candidates. To cope with this influx, recruiters will increasingly rely on automation tools to expedite the application screening process.
The growing use of ChatGPT in crafting cover letters raises questions about the evolving importance of written texts. If job seekers increasingly turn to AI for cover letter creation, the significance of such written documents may diminish. Consequently, there could be a heightened emphasis on personal meetings and candidate evaluations as pivotal aspects of the recruitment process.
The integration of AI and automation in recruitment processes has the potential to reduce the time leading up to personal meetings or interviews. Despite the positive sentiment among job seekers towards AI and automation in the initial stages of recruitment, the ultimate decider remains the personal meeting, especially as meta-
Recruiters are encouraged to leverage automated responses for efficient communication and employ positive emotional language. In the end, recognizing the decisive role of personal meetings and the growing importance of meta-competencies becomes paramount in optimizing the recruitment process.