Ilya Shmidt, Chief of Operations at careerista learning platform where Edtech meets SaaS in job placement.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies have now become powerful enough to truly transform the way we live, work and interact with the world around us. They’re changing everything, whether it’s gaming, e-commerce, cybersecurity, or space exploration – and technology recruiting is no exception.
At my company, a learning and job placement platform, we work closely with AI in our recruitment process. I’ve seen firsthand how AI can be used to streamline many of the administrative tasks involved in hiring, freeing recruiters to focus on more strategic activities. From my perspective, the future of tech recruiting is likely to be heavily impacted by the continued development and adoption of AI and machine learning technologies.
Using AI in recruitment
Recruiters can use AI and machine learning algorithms in many ways, including:
• Improve job descriptions: AI tools can help identify biases in job descriptions, such as gender-based language, words that may discourage older applicants, or phrases that imply a racial bias, and then suggest possible alternatives.
• Recruit candidates: These tools can automate the search of job boards and internal databases, recommend job openings to previous applicants, contact potential candidates and match interested professionals with the most suitable positions for them. In addition, chatbots can answer candidates’ questions about the position before they apply. This approach can ensure a more accurate match of potential candidates with open positions.
• Screening Resumes: One of the most time-consuming tasks in the technology hiring process is candidate screening and filtering. AI screening tools can help speed up this process by extracting and analyzing critical information from every resume, narrowing the candidate pool and enabling recruiters to focus only on high-potential applicants. AI solutions can also rank resumes based on objective qualifications such as experience, skills and education.
• Assess skills: AI-based tools also enable recruiting professionals to measure a candidate’s technical competencies and soft skills through solutions such as questionnaires or online, gamified assessments. Collected data can then be analyzed by AI algorithms and turned into insights about a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses.
• Run background checks: AI solutions can aggregate the professional backgrounds of technical candidates from multiple sources and provide recruiters with a comprehensive report on a candidate’s skills and experience.
• Preliminary interviews: Interview builders allow recruiters to create a list of questions specific to each position and generate evaluation guidelines. Interview robots powered by conversational AI technology are then able to conduct initial interviews and shortlist applicants based on predefined criteria. Video interview platforms can also analyze the content of a candidate’s answers, along with hidden information such as their choice of words or intonation, to provide valuable insights to hiring managers.
While it can provide many useful benefits, we should not forget that AI is still just a tool. It can be used for good; however, it can be the exact opposite if companies don’t commit to using it ethically.
For example, as employers we know that we should not ask a candidate about his political affiliations or sexual orientation. However, some screening tools may obtain such sensitive data indirectly and without applicant consent. They can scrap their social media posts, conduct a linguistic analysis of their writing samples, analyze non-verbal cues from video interviews, and create a comprehensive report on each applicant in minutes. It is your responsibility to ensure that these capabilities are not used in a manner that exceeds ethical boundaries. You must respect the privacy of each individual, collect only the data you absolutely need, and strictly comply with employment laws.
Another major concern is that bias can build up in AI solutions over time, even if they were initially completely free of bias. After all, computer models learn from people and historical data. For example, if a company historically hired mostly men for software development roles, there is a risk that AI recruiting tools will give male candidates a higher rating than female candidates with the same qualifications. Therefore, AI systems must be transparent. You must be able to determine how a certain result has been achieved and why Candidate A is a better fit than Candidate B. This way you can detect potential problems early and solve them quickly.
Tips for using AI in recruiting
Companies can take proactive steps to ensure they use AI tools both effectively and ethically in the hiring process by following the steps below.
1. Define your goals.
Whether it’s improving candidate quality or eliminating bias, you need to understand your key objectives to choose the right tools and know how to measure their effectiveness over time.
2. Commit to being transparent.
Decide what information about applicants to collect and make sure it is relevant to the job. Let candidates know that you use AI technologies in recruitment and request permission to process their data.
3. Schedule regular audits.
You should regularly review your tools for compliance with ethics and relevant laws. If you use a vendor’s solutions, ask about their audit framework. If it’s an internally built tool, consider hiring an external auditor.
AI-based technologies can significantly streamline the process of hiring technical staff. These tools can speed up finding qualified candidates, simplify the screening process, make interviews more efficient, and more. However, they cannot fully replace human expertise and it is critical that companies learn how to ethically use this technology to be successful.