May 11 2020

More Employers Deploy AI in Their Hiring Practices

From parsing resumes to evaluating interviews, artificial intelligence helps businesses automate recruitment.

As businesses find themselves suddenly receiving significantly more resumes, in many cases for jobs they need to fill but for which they are not yet ready to interview, emerging artificial intelligence technology designed to modernize hiring practices is proving vital.

AI appeals to recruiters because they often need to do more with less: 52 percent of talent acquisition leaders say screening talent from a large application pool is the hardest part of recruitment, according to Ideal, an AI-focused recruiting company. That task is expected to get more challenging as HR departments start seeing more applicants for every opening.

AI “automates the process to some extent, so it’s less labor intensive,” explains Bart Selman, professor of computer science at Cornell University College of Engineering. “You can potentially screen a lot of applicants, and it could provide a sense of objectivity in the hiring process.”

Big job boards use AI to rank candidates for employers, considering things like listed skills, experience and location.

AI Is a Win For Both Managers And Candidates

Job seekers can benefit too. One common application is the use of AI algorithms to scan companies’ existing job postings for terms and phrases that may reveal signs of unconscious bias. Says Mark Brandau, principal analyst at Forrester Research: “Let’s start there and clean this stuff up.”

Another is the deployment of AI-powered chatbots to increase engagement and the overall experience. “It helps engage candidates directly, just like you would expect a customer experience to be,” Brandau said. “It gives them direct answers and stimulates engagement so they don’t just leave” the hiring website.

AI can also help candidates feel like they were seriously evaluated for the job by giving specific feedback to those who don’t get an interview. “One thing you hear with places that get a lot of resumes is applicants feel like they were never actually considered,” says Selman. “If there’s an AI system that at least considers everybody, that’s a positive.”

MORE FROM BIZTECH: Watch how businesses can build a resilient workforce for the future. 

More Managers Tap AI for Hiring Help

Brandau also suspects AI will be tapped more for hiring as greater numbers of candidates enter the job market in the coming months. Some industries are actually striving to hire many workers quickly, and most businesses will see spikes in candidates. AI’s ability to parse through large numbers of applications makes it an excellent solution for batch hiring and for quickly identifying the most qualified candidates for individual jobs. 

When businesses are ready to interview, AI can help there, too. More than 100 companies are using an AI-driven system that evaluates candidates’ facial movements, word choice and speaking voice during video interviews, using the data to give them an “employability” score, according to The Washington Post.

Brandau has also seen organizations using AI in their efforts to keep employees on. In Germany, for example, McDonald’s and ALDI grocery stores created a staff-sharing partnership in which workers can be redeployed between the organizations. AI can be used to help identify what talent is needed where and when, across different companies or even across different pieces of a supply chain.

“It’s an incredible area for AI to help,” Brandau said. “How do you match employees and their skills to different organizations that might exist in that network? It’s a huge area where it could be applied.”

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