Talent scouts: AI as recruiter’s friend & guide

Uma Ganesh | May 24, 2021 |

Recruiters ensure the human interface with the company brand

Recruiters have been the backbone for IT services companies in their ability to grow at a stupendous pace over the last several years. Whether it is campus recruitments or open hires or specialist hires, recruiters play a key role to support the delivery teams by providing the resources with the right skills at the right time. With the surge in the demand for talent and the availability of talent for emerging or ‘in vogue’ technologies being limited, companies have been deploying multi pronged approaches to tap the talent of their choice, amongst which digital and AI driven methods are being increasingly favoured by employers.

Companies are realising the usefulness of adopting a data-driven approach to recruitment supported by digital tools that help in seeing patterns and eliminate bias in the hiring process. With help of AI tools developed by companies such as Light NLP, it is now feasible for companies to reduce time to shortlist high match candidates through intelligent sorting including conversations of bots with candidates regarding ambiguous information, clarifying their areas of expertise or compensation details.

AI tools are also enabling organisations to go through unstructured content available through social media, process the information in structured format to determine candidates fit for the role. Crawlers are able to throw up potential candidates for consideration by studying the qualified databases, referrals and auto pointers to the right candidates based on their social media presence. Thus it is observed that the primary responsibilities of recruiters to spread the word around, identify potential candidates, sort out the CVs and shortlist those with the right fit for the role are now being fulfilled by tech tools. Hence the question about the relevance of recruiters for large employers such as IT services providers.

Post Covid-19, several companies are increasingly adopting remote hiring methods and are getting comfortable with AI powered chatbots for the initial screening of candidates. Further, employee verification and onboarding processes are also being serviced by AI. However, with minimal personal contact in the physical space, recruiters have to recognise the importance of creating a positive digital experience for the candidates. Therefore, they have to provide the human interface to the candidates with the company brand instead of focusing on mechanical activities taken over by AI bots.

With enhanced real time analytics at their disposal, recruiters would have access to better insights into candidates’ behaviour profiles and the opportunity to fine-tune their communication strategy for attracting the right candidates for open positions. Although the candidate database has substantially increased, recruiters need to hone their skills in setting up search and information requirements accurately to be able to find the right candidate pool that matches the job criteria. Therefore recruiters should now try to build on their analytical skills and use the insights to enhance their selling skills to be successful in the digital era.

AI driven recruitment engines leave out the bias in hiring. However, caution should be exercised to ensure algorithms do not introduce their own biases in their logic. Amazon had to do away with a recruiting tool when it was found to be biased against women. Hence it is important to validate the data used for building the AI model, the frequency of updation of the data used in such models as well as regular audit to ensure recruiters and the AI engine are aligned in terms of how they look at the data and interpret it for decision making. AI tools are here to stay in recruitment—the efficiency of recruiters would be dependent on their adaptability in treating AI tools as their companions and not viewing them as a threat.

Originally appeared in Financial Express