Automation and Hiring: Are Robots Coming for Recruiting?

Guest: Rachel Bitte A.I., Jobvite, Rachel Bitte

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that the machines are coming. More specifically, that the machines are coming to the workplace. According to a recent survey, those predictions might not be too far off.

The study reports that “85% of customer interactions within an enterprise will be with software robots in five years” (that includes hiring and recruiting). If you’ve been keeping up with the news around artificial intelligence and automation in the workplace, you’ve probably been bombarded by apocalyptic scenarios predicting the ‘rise of robots’ and the downfall of American jobs.

This has some workers in many industries (including recruiting) freaked out, and that’s not entirely unfair given the research above and statistics floating around the web such as: “38% of U.S. jobs are at high risk of replacement.” So what does it all mean, and is the world of recruiting and hiring destined to be run by quirky robots and machine learning algorithms rather than humans?

The short answer: probably not. Even as we’re now seeing more machine learning pop up in recruiting, we’re nowhere near the stage where AI could manage every step of the recruiting process. Actually, the technology we’re seeing emerge right now is helping everyday recruiters perform their jobs better (especially those who deal with high volume requisitions).

New machine helpers can automate your most tedious, routine tasks and eliminate unnecessary rejection busy work so that you can focus more on creating incredible, personalized hiring experiences for qualified candidates. All that said, here are some reasons why you should be more excited than afraid to welcome some new AI friends to your hiring team.

No more scheduling interviews

This is already starting to pop up across various industries, and for the most part, no one is complaining about software that can automatically schedule meetings or interviews for you. In the scope of recruiting and hiring, this is especially useful. What used to be complicated can now be completely automated as machine learning can look at calendars to arrange the time, book an open room and even send instructions and directions to the candidate.

The next step is adding a feature so candidates can self-select when they’re available so the platform can handle the entire scheduling process from start-to-finish. This will eliminate much of the tedious back-and-forth between candidates and recruiters, get an interview booked more quickly (speeding up the process for both parties) and allow either person to easily change the timing on the fly should a conflict arise.

Better insights with candidate ranking

Another great new feature available thanks to the rise of robot tech is candidate sorting systems. Now, contrary to what some think about these features, they usually do not automatically cut candidates from the running. Rather, it develops an ever-evolving algorithm based on your criteria to stack-rank candidates – allowing you to hone-in on those likely matches for the job much faster.

Some may even provide a list of the top-five candidates you should spend your time on. This system creates a better experience for the candidate as well, since recruiters can get in touch with qualified candidates more quickly, and let unqualified candidates know to continue on in their job search.

More positive candidate experiences thanks to chat bots

When it comes to chat bots, there are cool things on the horizon, but the technology isn’t quite there yet. The most exciting feature will be the ability to personalize what would usually be a mundane touch-point with the candidate. Machine learning could glean info about recruiters over time to provide candidates with some friendly talking points outside of past job duties. For example, it could pick up on the recruiter’s interest in snowboarding and let the jobseeker know. Something as simple as this could potentially transform a mundane interview into an opportunity to connect and share similar experiences.

That said, it seems unlikely that chat bots will be able to perform any kind of complex assessments of candidates in the near future. But, they could help eager jobseekers better understand the company, culture and more. These exchanges will eliminate the mundane for the recruiter, and assist the candidate when it comes to the actual interview with a real human.

So for now, you can breathe a sigh of relief that robots aren’t coming for your recruiting job. Rather, they’ll be helping you execute better and save you critical time along way. But with the administrative duties vanquished, what should you be doing with your time to be more productive and essential to your company?

Recruiters today should be thinking more about creating a talent pipeline and recruitment marketing. This is a much more proactive type of recruiting that will focus around building connections with your company brand and crafting a quality candidate experience. Do that, and you’ll be just as indispensable to your company as ever, even if some new fancy new robots have joined the office.


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