Transformation of recruitment through artificial intelligence

Johannesburg, 06 Feb 2019
Read time 4min 00sec

There has been an increase of chatter about robots and, more generally, artificial intelligence (AI) taking over the world of business.

Firstly, what is AI?

AI is the science of how to make machines that can think for themselves. This technology gives machines power to think like humans and mimic human capabilities, providing them with the ability to think, learn and decide so they can work smartly in various situations. Increasingly, machines have been able to learn and improve their own performance to produce results that were, up until recently, believed to be only possible to obtain using human intelligence and social experience.

Will AI take over recruitment?

AI is changing the world of recruiting by automating the way recruiters find and hire potential candidates. This technology offers tremendous capabilities to boost the traditional recruitment process. The introduction of virtual assistance makes the complex and sometimes tedious recruitment process simple and quick, assisting with interviews and analysing the capabilities of potential candidates.

This begs the question of whether or not AI will eventually take over recruitment entirely. The answer is that this is unlikely to happen. Roles that require people to think on their feet and come up with creative solutions, or occupations involving tasks that require a high degree of social intelligence and negotiation skills, are considerably less at risk of AI taking over their position.

Recruitment as a profession is therefore not directly at risk; however, as AI becomes more integrated into companies, other roles may very well cease to exist, causing a decrease in jobs to recruit for.

A report done by Deloitte in the UK estimated that in the next 20 years, low paid, unskilled and repetitive jobs will be five times more likely to be taken over by AI algorithms.

On the other hand, technical advances don't just destroy jobs, but also create entirely new jobs. Ten years ago, no one had ever heard of a digital risk officer or a social media analyst, but as technology changes, so too does the workforce. As some roles vanish, new ones will appear, making it a matter of adaption rather than extinction.

How AI can benefit recruitment

* Quality hiring: One of the most tedious jobs for recruiters is selecting the right candidate from a large pool of job applicants. Thankfully, with the help of AI, applications can be filtered through and candidates with the highest potential can be ranked at the top of the list. This technology can also gather and assess the data of each candidate and create proper insights in less time.

* An increase of analytics: Through the creation of candidates' insights, recruiters are able to identify the skill of potential candidates and optimise the positions they are placed in to ensure their skills and talents are maximised. This boosts business productivity and candidates' motivations.

* Saves time: AI makes the process of sifting through applications faster by selecting candidates that match the given specs.

* Finding the right fit: Through the help of AI, the right candidates are selected and placed into positions tailored to maximise their talents. This insures both companies and their employees have a mutually beneficial arrangement, thus decreasing staff turnover.

Preparing for change

There has always been a fear of technology and what it might do to the workforce, and this technological revolution is no different. Although the changes are perhaps moving at a greater speed, it still entails the same risks and opportunities. If we educate ourselves, understand the challenges and adapt, the risks can be mitigated. Now is the time to take advantage of the opportunities AI has to offer.

As wonderfully put by Alice Weightman of Hansen Search: "There's an art to recruitment. It's not just about matching candidates to jobs; if that was the case, the consultancy sector would have died out a long time ago. It's about being able to accurately read a given situation to see what a client really needs, even if they don't see it themselves yet. It's about being able to build relationships that allow you to carefully calibrate all stages of the recruitment process to ensure the right result for all parties."

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Editorial contacts
Cruze Control Technologies Jessica Blackburn (082) 387 2907
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