Artificial Intelligence in Recruitment – The Game Changer

Statistics show that more than 85% of applicants don’t hear back after applying and 71% of employers claim that they can’t find a candidate with the right skill set. These percentages held real 20 years ago, and not much has changed even today.

Why has there been a mismatch and why has this trend not depleted over the years?

The black hole called internet has consumed many profiles that have been potentially missed out by HR Managers and Recruiters alike. Employers hiring new candidates after several rounds of interview and the stringent shortlisting process still consider new hires ‘a risky investment.’ No business either big or small is immune to these hiring difficulties.

Is the real problem lack of right candidates or lack of proper tools? Artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) have made some inroads in answering the age-old difficult question. Technology has helped to reduce the staggering statistics and bridge the gap. To understand why we might need a glimpse into the history of recruitment.

History of Recruitment:

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” – Lewis Carroll

Today, it’s challenging for many recruiters and candidates to imagine a recruitment landscape that does not have the internet and technology at its heart of things. This, however, was not always the case; the recruitment industry has evolved over a period of time. And each decade has seen a milestone that has changed the recruitment industry immensely.

A Snap Shot of Recruitment History: 

Artificial intelligence and Recruitment

AI or Artificial Intelligence is a simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially, computer systems. It is the combination of two words, ‘artificial’ and ‘intelligence.’ Here, artificial is any non-natural thing that is simulated, and intelligence is the ability to understand, think, and learn. It has been used in areas as diverse as, marketing, finance, fertility tracking and recruitment to name a few.

Recruitment industry and Artificial Intelligence are areas of my interest. The recruitment industry has been smitten by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for a while now. It has progressed leaps and bounds in areas of infusing machine learning into the recruitment process.

The Growth of AI in recruitment:

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning can be grouped into three categories, and each type has its significance in the contribution to the HR Technology industry today.

Supervised Learning: The Beginning

It all started with the little crunching of a broad set of information and CVs into insightful reports. Much known Application Tracking Systems (ATS) do this job well. They collate massive influx of CVs and sort them in appropriate buckets for recruiters to pick and use.

Unsupervised Learning: The Progress

We soon realized that sorting of CVs was just the beginning, so we came up with software that not only sorted CVs but also highlighted potential candidates for recruiters to pick up and match. This intelligent search is now used in various job sites that match keywords and meta tags. These processes have saved a lot of time, efforts, and energy for the employers and recruiters.

Reinforcement Learning – The Way Forward

However, the thrust now is on Reinforcement Learning (RL), wherein, the system is trained to perform the task of not just identifying the potential candidates, but going ahead and pro-actively interacting with them on your behalf. (Wait… isn’t that what a researcher in a recruitment agency supposed to do? Are they going to be out of jobs soon?)

It can, for example, identify the candidate, connect with them and filter them by asking fundamental questions such as, “are you interested in a job change now?”, “what kind of change will excite you?”, “what are your role and salary expectations?”, Etc. The recruitment team can customize questions that will do the necessary filtering so that when a Recruitment manager engages with the potential candidate, he/she knows the expectations exactly, helping them to close the candidate faster and more accurately.

The future of recruitment in AI and ML space is exciting, it may not ultimately make a recruiter redundant (Machines stealing their jobs?), at least not yet. But, it will inevitably push the HR Managers and recruitment agencies around the world to evolve and engage with the potential candidates differently if they need to win over machines. It’s not a question of will it happens, but, when will it happen.

Would love to hear your thoughts on how machine learning and artificial intelligence helped you in your recruitment process 

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