Has artificial intelligence revolutionized recruitments?

Has artificial intelligence revolutionized recruitments? Source: Shutterstock

Has artificial intelligence revolutionized recruitment?

  • Recruitment technology continues to become more and more advanced, streamlining the hiring process and significantly reducing the administrative burden.
  • Artificial Intelligence will redefine hiring and reshape the workforce.
  • The use of artificial intelligence will replace 16% of recruitment sector jobs before 2029.

Though the technology has been around for over a decade now, the adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in employment recruiting expanded rapidly throughout 2020 in response to Covid-19. Due to the pandemic alone, the adoption of new technological behaviors, from video-conferencing to remote working, reached levels that were not expected until 2025 or even 2030. 

In fact, a report from The Economist cites research from global consultancy firm McKinsey where they acknowledge that recent data has showed that we  have essentially vaulted forward five years in digital adoptions, both in consumer and business behaviors. All in the space of just eight weeks.

The accelerated use of AI and machine learning by recruitment specialists over the past year has added thousands of jobs to the global market, and most  importantly become essential prerequisites for enhancing recruiting efforts for companies around the world.  

Why Artificial Intelligence in recruitment?

Well, for starters it’s incredibly precise, accurate and fast. AI has an unparalleled ability to rapidly sift through millions of data points among candidates, enabling recruiters to quickly identify high-potential individuals suited for open roles. 

Additionally, AI allows recruiters to tap into a wider talent pool to source potential candidates. This includes scouring through online career boards, social media platforms, and even going through agency databases. 

Prior to the pandemic, some large organizations had already adopted digitally-led human resource processes and were using AI for candidate consideration. Multi-national telecommunications company, Vodafone was already using AI to sift through over 100,000 graduates applying for 1,000 jobs. With such a high volume of candidates, the company’s HR department recently teamed up with HR software company HireVue to test an AI application that removes human bias from the recruitment process. The system works by extracting as many as 25,000 data points from video interviews. It examines visual and verbal cues from candidates, comparing their word choice, facial movements, body language, and tone to help identify the best ones. Utah-based HireVuu’s AI system uses previously recorded videos of job applicants, asking them interview questions via their laptop’s webcam and microphone, and using subsequent movements and answers to base their concluding points.

HireVue has shared that between its inception and September 2019, it had conducted a total of 12 million interviews. Out of these, about 20% were done using AI software.  The other 80% were done using a human interviewer on the other end of a video screen. The overall figure has now risen to 19 million, with the same percentage split.

HireVue first started offering AI interviews in 2016. Users of this service include computer chip designer ARM, and travel services firm Sabre. 

Another US-based firm, Pymetrics’ has been using AI software in the initial recruitment processes of a number of multinational companies on their client roster. These include globally-recognized names like McDonald’s, JP Morgan Bank, accountancy firm PWC, and food group Kraft Heinz. If AI deems the candidate suitable, a human recruiter will then set up an in-person interview.

What’s the future of AI in recruitments?

A report from 2019 said that the growth in the use of AI will replace 16% of recruitment sector jobs before 2029.

Even global research and advisory firm Gartner predict AI-related job creation will reach two million net-new jobs in the next few years. 

The World Economic Forum in its recent report went on to identify data analysts and scientists, AI and machine-learning specialists, big data specialists, and digital marketing and strategy specialists as the top four roles seeing increased demand.

How can SMEs in Asia use AI in recruiting?

While China and the US are competing for the first position in the AI race, small and big businesses throughout Southeast Asia also have developed some innovative AI solutions, too, but not without some challenges.

Even a McKinsey Global Institute study on AI reveals that those companies that have a clear plan to apply machine intelligence in their business are seeing a significant impact on their business. That same study reported that more than 30% of Southeast Asia’s biggest companies mentioned terms such as “machine learning” and “AI” in their most recent annual reports, compared to only 6% in 2011 illustrating that AI is moving to the forefront of businesses’ strategies. 

According to Vervoe, SMEs can use AI in hiring in three specific parts of the process; sourcing: to find and connect with talent faster; screening: to identify and select the best applicants quickly; interviewing: to schedule interviews and save time.

There are also tools that use AI to improve recruiting results – on a small business budget such as Vervoe, SmartRecruiters, ZipRecruiter, Workable, Breezy, and BambooHR.