The 8 best use cases for AI in recruitment
September 19, 2020
Viktor Nordmark
As a recruiter you’ve most likely heard or read about the usage of artificial intelligence in your line of work. However, it’s quite a big realm and it’s not completely easy to wrap your head around what it entails or what it could mean for your business.
In this article we’ll look at best practices for AI in recruitment, how it can support you and how it could breathe new life into your daily worklife by freeing up time, allowing you to direct your energy on what you prefer to focus on.

If you’re not already familiar with AI tools for recruiting, please become acquainted with the help of our Ultimate Guide to AI Recruiting. Whether you’re middle management, in HR or business in general, understanding this technology is of great benefit to you since it is the future of many businesses.

The perks of AI in recruitment

Before we look into the use cases, let’s begin by understanding how AI contributes to your business.

1. Since AI works faster than a human it diminishes costs by relieving people from time-consuming tasks.

2. Cost-per-hire decreases immensely by avoiding inefficient sourcing and other processes.

3. It increases work satisfaction in humans because people are relieved from operational burdens and can instead focus on the candidates at hand.

4. The quality of hire increases significantly.

5. Candidate satisfaction increases since the recruiters can spend more time on finding the right job for the candidates and less time on operational tasks.

6. The overall quality of an HR company increases because the data collected can be used to draw insights and learnings, if used optimally.

Eight uses of AI in recruitment

As of today, AI tools in recruitment are primarily used for cost-efficiency and speed-of-hire reasons. Therefore we encourage you, as a way to understand this better, to think of a tedious process that you would like to be automated, because chances are there is a tool for precisely that. And/or think of something that bothers you in terms of the human factor, biases as well as diversity. Remember that as with everything, which tool and use suits you best is up to you to decide, we’ll help you on the way by narrowing it down.

1. Increasing diversity and reducing bias

Let’s start from a factual vantage point; companies with a diverse workforce perform better financially. But companies today rely heavily on, as well as encourage, employee referrals. This makes sense in terms of trust, as an employer you trust your employee’s judgment regarding people. The problem with this is that we humans lean more towards referring to our own kin rather than an acquaintance you know have the competencies needed. This ties into something called the “Similarity Principle”, that is, we are more likely to like people who share similar beliefs and backgrounds. When it comes to diversity, asking for employee referrals is one way of actively avoiding creating a diverse workforce. Instead, what you can do is use an AI-tool that does the first sourcing for you. This tool will rummage through numerous applicants CV’s and shortlist the people who are best suited for the position, name, skin-color and heritage disregarded.

Keep in mind though, AI can’t be freed from bias as long as it’s programmed by humans (read up on it here The Ultimate Rundown of Bias in Recruitment) but what it can do is reduce it.

2. AI-driven interviews

There are different types of AI-interviews. One involves a conversational chatbot that asks the candidate the initial first-interview questions as well as double-checks if what the candidate has stated on her CV is true. How does the technology work? AI-driven chatbot platforms use deep-learning algorithms in order to mimic the voice of a human and thereby act as human-like as possible.  The AI reads the candidates replies with the use of Natural Language Processing (NLP), an advanced form of machine learning that enables the AI to understand jokes, change of tone and other human subtleties. The chatbot analyzes the responses, compares them to the job application and, for example, whether the candidate would be a good cultural fit or not. When all candidates have gone through with the interview, the chatbot provides the employer with a list of the most viable candidates.

Example format of a chatbot interview:

  1. Where did you study?
  2. Tell me about your favorite class and why it’s your favorite.
  3. Which coding languages do you know?
  4. You mentioned you know Python. Please finish this code in Python, your goal is to make a tree-map.

The next level of this are AI-powered video interviews. The candidate is being filmed whilst answering questions, the AI then analyzes facial expressions, tone of voice and phrases in order to give you its impression of this person. It can also compare the candidates’ personality type with the employees at the workplace to see if it would be a good match or not.
These interview formats are a great way for you to quickly understand which candidate you should focus more on and since you yourself don’t have to conduct the initial interview - you free up a lot of time, time you can use to focus on building relationships with the candidates who are proposed by the AI.

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3. Making processes faster and more precise

The areas in which AI outranks humans by far are:

a) its ability to analyze big data and provide humans with results based on the factors it’s been fed with

b) the speed of which it does it

We’ve written about the differences between humans and machines in our article “Will AI Replace Recruiters?”. Don’t fret, we’re great at different things. But it’s definitely to your advantage to make use of the AI in your own hiring processes. For example, the AI gives you an eagle’s view of your candidate pool. Say you’re searching for a person with very precise skills and experience, before you look outward, begin your search in your existing candidate pool. Type in your criterias and the AI will provide you with potential candidates on a whim. The more data the AI can drive insights from, the better use you can make of the metrics in order to increase speed and efficiency of your hiring process. Certain recruitment tasks are better suited for automation, there’s no point in having a human scour through 3000 job-applications when AI exists as a viable option.

4. Increasing correct hires

When humans handle big collections of data there’s a high risk that the human factor plays its part. The human brain is faulty in the sense that we (most of us) can’t store a lot of information for a long period of time. Because of this, our decision-making process becomes flawed. Especially regarding remembering numerous candidates that could be suitable for a certain position. Chances are that you’ll miss out on the ideal candidate simply because you don’t remember, don’t have the capacity, nor the time to go through your talent pool. You might be familiar with Application Tracking Systems (ATS), a software application that enables the electronic handling of recruitment and hiring needs, from receiving resumes to hiring employees. This sort of application has been around for a long time but its functionality has been heightened with AI-based integrations. By typing in keywords and other metrics the system quickly gives you an idea of who to take a closer look at. In return you increase the number of correct hires simply because the AI has helped you produce quality out of quantity as well as saved your precious time by not making you look at unqualified resumes. Your existing talent pool aside, automated candidate sourcing can expand your outreach immensely on social media and forums alike. It can also be used to scan thousands of social profiles and send a first message to valid candidates.

5. AI based Voice of the Employee-initiative

Employee turnover is a huge pain-point for global corporations today. Rehiring remains expensive, costing US businesses between $160 and $550 billion annually, and turnover continues to link with other negative outcomes like poor morale, declines in productivity, and customer churn. Many Voice of the Employee initiatives fail at achieving what they’re supposed to due to the sheer mass of information collected from the employees. A full-time HR researcher reading and analyzing 30 responses an hour would take over 2 months to process 10,000 surveys and interviews. That’s not fast enough to catch and fix problems that lead to high turnover, nor is it an efficient use of an employee’s time. By automating these initiatives the HR department can derive more precise and actionable information. They’ll be able to spot dissatisfaction sooner and act on it before someone decides to quit their job. It helps increase workplace productivity and satisfaction at the same time as it saves the company money.

6. Sourcing

This type of AI helps you build a candidate pipeline list for the role you’re trying to fill. With the help of advanced filtering technology you can find the people best suited for a position in no time. You can choose between many different attributes including; work experience, skills, job title and even a candidate’s activity in professional communities.  This type of AI helps you build a candidate pipeline list for the role you’re trying to fill. It’s your go-to AI tool if you sit on a large talent-pool that is becoming more and more tedious to navigate through.

7. Performance management

With an AI-powered performance management tool you can align and track SMART goals, measure performance objectively and create a continuous feedback loop that boosts engagement through compensation and rewards. It will help you understand what people need in order to perform at their best and support them thereafter. Some are goal-driven, others are reward-driven. Instead of trying to decipher for yourself who needs what, make use of a tool.

8. Personalized employee experience with conversational AI

Most people who start a new job don’t know who to go to with their queries. Conversational AI for the HR system can support the new employees in their onboarding process. They could also be advised by AI engines to check out a new-hire web page containing useful information, including training modules and business-conduct guidelines. Everything a new employee might need is something this type of AI can assist with. It makes the onboarding process smoother and quicker and the employee feels supported throughout. The conversational AI solution uses NLP to know exactly what information the employee, manager or HR professional is seeking. Note that conversational AI requires customization; it is not easy to standardize. You can designate certain words as positive or negative, but the application works best when it can determine the correct context and the intent of the user.

A similar AI tool to the one stated above is the HR virtual assistant. For someone working in-house at an HR-department, virtual assistants are invaluable. Imagine employees being able to ask the virtual assistant about health insurances, company benefits and even ask for sick-leave. All those questions an HR professional has to answer a multitude of times can easily be outsourced to the assistant. This saves time and (of course) money, allowing her to focus on more people-oriented tasks.

As you might have understood by now, there is a vast array of uses of AI in recruitment and they are only increasing as the technology advances. We hope that you, with this article at hand, can make more informed decisions regarding where you should place your money in terms of AI. We advise you to look at your process as it is today, perhaps you already have an idea of where your department is flawed or completely overwhelmed, which areas could be fields of applications for AI? Remember that AI is here to assist you, not take your job away from you.

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The 8 best use cases for AI in recruitment
September 19, 2020
Viktor Nordmark
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