A typical corporate job receives an average of 250 applications for a single job vacancy. Screening such a large volume of candidates is a monumental task. Traditional practices of sourcing and screening candidates are labor-intensive and time consuming. Software, and more specifically, AI-driven software has been rapidly employed to deal with these time-consuming tasks. Research shows that the use of AI recruiting has become industry standard, with 99% of Fortune 500 companies using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to automatically screen candidates.
It’s not just applicant screening either. AI recruiting software is used to source candidates, test and analyze personalities, track applicants, and take them through the entire recruitment process. AI tools are changing the entire recruitment landscape to meet the talent needs of organizations and candidates alike.
How is AI specifically used to do these tasks? This article will provide an overview of AI use in recruitment with industry-leading examples from real companies. We’ll also provide suggestions for quick and easy AI tools to enhance your recruitment today.
What is AI recruiting?
AI recruiting tools use machine learning and algorithms to streamline candidate sourcing, screening, candidate relationship management, and decision-making.
Anyone that has applied for a job in the last several years has likely encountered AI in recruitment. A prevalent use of AI recruiting is through candidate resume screening. Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) like iCIMS, Taleo, and Greenhouse help recruiters screen and track applicants via machine learning, a type of AI. By taking resumes for top, middle, and bottom candidates, companies can train the system based on those judgments. This becomes a baseline so that the AI can make its own judgments on whether a candidate is qualified or not.
Besides screening applications, there are AI-driven behavioral assessments designed to analyze a candidate's skills or personality. There’s even AI recruiting software that can assess facial and vocal characteristics from video interviews.
How does AI take DEIB into account? There are famous cases in which AI seems to have perpetuated existing biases in the recruitment process. Reuters reported that Amazon scraped an AI recruiting tool because it favored men over women. An audit of another AI screening tool found that the algorithm identified two key indicators of job performance: being named Jared and playing high-school lacrosse.
Cities like New York are creating policies to prevent AI bias in recruitment. New York City’s ground-breaking law requires companies using AI to undergo an audit for bias as well as notify job candidates when AI tools are used.
Not all AI intervention works against diversity. AI recruitment software has the potential to reduce bias by removing humans at the initial steps.
But let’s be clear: recruitment is still not a fully automated process. Humans do eventually put eyes on resumes and speak with candidates. Bots are not doing everything. At the moment, AI is utilized to streamline time-consuming tasks, reduce inefficiencies, and prevent missed opportunities.
Companies using AI for recruitment
Are companies using AI recruiting in more creative ways? Definitely. Here are two real-world examples of how companies used custom AI for recruitment purposes. Notice that AI can be used to carry out traditional recruitment tasks or to create dynamic, new practices that push progress in the field.
Mining from within
With a workforce of 70,000+, Cigna implemented AI and automation tools to efficiently promote and hire from within rather than constantly searching externally. Powered by AI, Cigna’s Intelligent Talent Experience platform suggests jobs to further current talent’s career paths.
Staffers learn about open positions in the company they may have never been aware of without scouring LinkedIn or the company job board. What’s more, the AI suggests job descriptions and highlights skills a person may want to acquire or improve upon based on their current role. The results? Visible cultivation of internal mobility within six months:
- 50% of employees updated their skills and interests
- 60% of employees completed profiles in the talent marketplace
- 24 skills added per employee on average
As a result, the Cigna recruiting team now has three major assets. First, they can count on a selection of motivated internal candidates for new openings. Second, they have robust talent profiles and data at their fingertips that can be leveraged to improve employee retention. Finally, employees see that Cigna values their talent and their career growth, which improves their sense of belonging within the organization.
In the finance industry, a leading global investment firm was looking to develop their early career hiring process. Their hope was to boost the diversity of their summer internships and full-time analyst courses to reflect more variety across the demographics of gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic level. They turned to AI specialists Pymetrics to gamify their hiring practices.
Gamification is the practice of applying elements of video game play (point systems, competition, and entertainment aspects) to work tasks, thus encouraging more engagement and efficiency than typically expected.
To do this, Pymetrics designed and introduced games to current employees in targeted roles. During play, the games collected data and created success profiles for those roles based on a list of non-traditional and traditional strengths associated with the roles. Incoming candidates were compared to current successful talent profiles. Those that matched up as “highly recommended” were selected to move ahead in the hiring process. The non-traditional but data-driven AI pipeline was a disruptive practice designed to completely change the way candidates are considered.
The results of this disruption was clear progress:
- 99% participation rate by targeted roles
- 62% increase in female representation
- 95% satisfaction rate across the firm in relation to the new process
How to use AI to make recruiting easier
As we always say, AI is a tool. It’s not an end-all-be-all solution, but it can be used to make our jobs easier. Applied to specific recruiting tasks and functions, AI tools can help make your HR team’s data-crawling, reporting, and content generation more efficient. Let’s review a few tools that you can apply to recruitment tasks in your own organization.
AI recruiting tools
There is plenty of AI-driven software available for talent acquisition. The software ranges from comprehensive, all-in-one systems to simple, free tools for specific tasks.
1. Sourcing – DorkGPT and Recruitin.net
Sourcing candidates is one of the most time consuming tasks for any recruiter. Despite the inordinate amount of time spent on sourcing, even the best recruiter can miss opportunities for the right talent. Using AI to increase efficiency in sourcing is an excellent way to utilize AI technology. If your recruiter in India or Mexico is looking for candidates across the globe, they are likely using Google as a starting place to search for candidates. This means they need top-notch searching using Boolean Operators (and, or, not, quotation marks, parenthesis, etc.) and “x-rays” (using generic search providers like Google to scan other websites like LinkedIn).
DorkGPT is free AI software that a recruiter can use to create better Boolean searches. With DorkGPT, recruiters can type plain text requests such as “find profiles of full-stack developers” and the software will provide the string for you to use in Google.
Recruitin.net is another free AI software that can help a recruiter carry out more efficient searches. Recruiters employ this user-friendly software to input specific parameters like keywords. Recruitin.net will then automatically generate search strings for candidate sourcing.
2. Job descriptions – Merlin ChatGPT
Merlin ChatGPT is a free AI plug-in for Google Chrome. Install Merlin ChatGPT from the Chrome web store. When a recruiter does a Google search (for anything), the Merlin plug-in appears in the top, right corner of the search results page. From there, we can input a request such as “write a job description for a full-stack developer.”
Merlin will do the heavy-lifting of writing the basic job description. Remember: Don’t just copy and paste! Edit, edit, edit. It's important that you closely revise the job description to ensure that it is both appropriate for your company and the position, but also DEIB. There is a lot of bias in job descriptions – particularly in certain industries like tech. Edit the job description to be as inclusive as possible.
3. The PowerToFly DEIB Business Suite
The PowerToFly DEIB Business Suite is a comprehensive SaaS solution connecting companies with top talent from underrepresented backgrounds. It works to ensure that new hires and teams reflect the world we live in.
The platform’s Candidate Search feature enables recruitment and talent acquisition professionals to enhance recruitment efforts, identify diverse professionals efficiently, and make data-driven hiring decisions.
This feature uses AI-driven matching, diversity filters, custom-list building, and direct messaging. It's an accurate, robust method for diversity hiring that works harder and more efficiently than traditional tools. Recruiters can precisely filter candidates based on a variety of identity criteria like gender, ethnicity, parental status, affiliation with specific community groups, and more.
Key recommendations for AI recruiting
When implementing AI recruitment tools and platforms, it’s important to use AI ethically in light of diversity and inclusion best practices. We’ve covered the DEIB implications of generative AI before. Here, we highlight key recommendations aimed specifically at AI in recruiting.
AI for efficiency
A key best practice for AI in recruiting is to utilize it to make time-consuming tasks more efficient or reduce errors in labor-intensive tasks. Machines can scan text and comb through information much faster than humans. Information “scraping” refers to extracting data from the web. Many of us learned to create our own Boolean operators searches at the library or in computer class. Now, AI can create expert Boolean search strings for super-targeted search results.
AI can also handle Optical Character Recognition (OCR) by converting images of text into machine-readable text. AI can also be used to cut down on time-consuming management tasks in recruitment such as business process automation (assigning tasks, managing applicant progress, and follow-ups).
Human writers for human content
Using AI to do the heavy lifting for common text like your Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) copy is a great way to employ AI in writing. Above, we discussed how it can be used to jumpstart writing a job description. When there are widely accepted, basic parameters for a certain text (such as a letter), AI-generated content can be an appropriate jumping-off point to begin the task.
Vanderbilt University committed a serious public gaffe when, after a tragic school shooting, a student-wide email was sent out with an asterisk at the bottom indicating it was written by ChatGPT. When it comes to content that is human, heart-felt, or addressing a specific community of people, there’s no substitute for a human writer.
Be transparent about AI use
With AI recruiting tools being adopted by companies big and small, it’s important to develop an official policy about its use and disclosure. Employees using AI for coding, writing, or other uses, should let managers know. Suppliers in your chain using AI should also disclose its use to their customers.
Get AI-specific training
AI training is a practice in risk management. So few people understand what is truly happening when we talk about machine learning and AI tools in recruitment. They may not know how AI processes the data it is fed.
Bring in an expert that understands exactly how AI is being used in your recruitment (or other) process and discuss the data safety measures specific to your organization. This expert should train all employees on the function of this technology from start to finish.
Training your recruitment team on AI tools is like teaching your teenager how to change a tire before sending them out onto the road. Employees who understand how the AI functions will be prepared to jump in and fix things when it makes a mistake.
PowerUp offers self-paced, expert-designed courses on inclusive AI.
Browse the full course catalogue.
[H2] AI recruiting for a streamlined process
AI is here to stay. It’s an efficiency technology being used by top firms to enhance the recruitment process for both companies and candidates. Labor-intensive tasks such as candidate sourcing and screening are ideal tasks for AI-driven technology. With AI in recruitment, it is more important than ever that recruiting professionals understand the technology intimately and disclose its use. Companies can manage risk by being transparent and maintaining an inclusive, human-centered recruitment process. Request a demo to learn how PowerToFly can enhance your AI recruiting with diversity in mind.