Companies are doing everything they can to save time and money these days. Profit expectations soar each year and the only way for companies to meet those projections is to find ways to optimize their business. A new avenue for optimization is on the horizon. Artificial intelligence has helped companies save time and money for years, but now they are turning to recruitment. If A.I. can help with countless aspects of a business, then why not let it choose the best possible people to join that business, right?
A.I. is still in its early stages on the recruitment front. In 2014 Amazon began using A.I. to recruit new prospects. After about a year, the shipping behemoth realized that artificial intelligence was being sexist. The data used to program the A.I. was saturated with male candidates and therefore could not be unbiased. It’s 2019 now, are we ready for robots to start recruiting? And if we are, what does that mean for the average Joe? After much non-A.I. assisted research, I have put together a pro and cons list for A.I recruiting. Let’s see if the robots passed the test.
Removal of Bias
The biggest advocate for A.I. hiring is the removal of human bias. This robot will not take in the color of your skin, where your family is from or if you have an accent. Robots love data and that is all they care about. Ideally, recruiters will only focus on your skills with less of a chance for discrimination.
Faster for both parties
Time is money. This is true for companies but definitely true for people trying to secure a new position. A.I. can speed up the recruitment process for both employers and applicants. A.I. is already used to scan resumes instead of having a live person go through each individual candidate. A.I. can do the work of ten people in a matter of minutes. Skills and experience will be scanned right out of your resume and cover letter giving recruiters the good stuff that will set you apart from competitors right away. A.I. also means you can schedule the phone or in person interview faster. No more waiting for one recruiter to be available and having them yawn through the 5th interview they have had today.
Waiting to hear back about a job can make days seem like weeks. You need this job and a paycheck soon, but every time you check your email…it's blank. Artificial intelligence like chatbots on company websites and auto emails can help soothe this difficult process. Employers can focus on looking at applicants and making hiring decisions while A.I. can do the busy work—like provide updates that keep candidates in the loop regarding their application status.
The biggest argument against A.I. in hiring is applicant comfort. If you have ever had an automated phone interview then you know how strange it can be. A recording asks you a quick question and then a tone plays. You answer and press the pound sign to continue. Sounds easy enough but it is very difficult to know which question will be asked. The conversation is powerful and can help you get into your comfort zone when going through an interview. Robots have no interest in small talk. They only want data. This makes these interviews quickly available, but difficult to excel in.
Resume/Cover Letter Scanning
Though in the pros list, there is a downside to reviewing resumes and cover letters with A.I. All of that hard work that you put into your resume and cover letter may be lost. Robots will not be impressed by the layout or fonts you used in your designs. Data is their goal. Specifically, they will only grab data they are programmed to grab and analyze.
Are you one of those people who interview well? A.I. could make that skill obsolete. Robots are notoriously bad at identifying soft skills such as empathy, friendliness, public speaking, teamwork, and creativity. If soft skills are your strong suit, it could be a while until your recruiter sees these skills if at all.
The bottom line is that A.I. is still in its infancy. Companies need to implement A.I. where it fits and works best before making the entire process automated. In the meantime, if you’re looking for a job you should research upcoming ways companies use A.I. so that you can adapt accordingly. Judging by the number of issues that A.I, brings up, it will be a while until applicants have to adapt to the new way of hiring.