Artificial intelligence and recruitment
Artificial intelligence radically changes the management of the entire personnel recruitment and selection process. As emerged from the research “The future of HR: Five Technology Imperatives”, it is necessary to adapt to changes in the labor market; and these technological innovations give managers new tools to cope with this type of transformation. Thousands of people have already been contacted on the phone by a robot. It says, “Good morning, I’m Vera a robot, are you still looking for a job?”. Many proceed to be interviewed by the robot which then emails the outcome of the interview. It’s like science fiction but it’s now a reality.
Vera is the best-known case of cooperation between recruiters and industry 4.0. Made by a Russian startup in April last year, Vera reached celebrity status when the furniture giant IKEA hired the system for its personnel selection. This is the best-known case but Vera also collaborates with more than 200 other companies to help select staff – and the numbers are constantly growing.
This type of intervention radically changes the way HR professionals are thinking about the entire recruitment and selection process.
Why use artificial intelligence for personnel selection?
Artificial intelligence and machine learning support recruiters in achieving two important objectives in selection personnel.
The first is to make the search for new staff more efficient. Companies require more and more specialised employees who are difficult to find using traditional methods. Now, recruiters can make a more targeted selection of personnel using AI computer tools that can analyse large databases quickly.
The second is to manage the entire recruitment process more efficiently. Pre-selection activities such as analysing CVs can be automated to simplify and speed up the process so that the recruiter can focus on the candidates that most nearly correspond to the selection criteria.
What are the applications?
How can a recruiter make practical use of artificial intelligence? In reality there are many applications that are currently used, mainly for the initial selection of candidates.
CV parsing applications, for example, automatically analyse resumes by extracting the most relevant data. This type of software analyses texts for syntax and semantics, contextualising and comparing their content. This allows CVs to be processed more quickly and, more importantly, more precisely and meticulously. In this way, comparable data can be obtained and the most suitable candidates for each position identified.
It is worth stressing that, so far, AI applications only affect the initial stages of personnel selection. They are used to identify a short list of ideal candidates for the job position, who will then be examined by recruiters during individual interviews.
What are the advantages?
The new technologies applied to personnel selection provide companies with considerable advantages:
- they help in the search for interesting personnel;
- they analyse the profiles of people who are not actively involved in the search but who might be interested in a new work experience;
- they optimise searches for highly qualified positions. Advertisements are frequently not able to find a match because the requirements are not available; these systems refine the search by finding the most suitable candidates available.
The fundamental element: the human factor
There is no lack of criticism of the use of artificial intelligence for personnel selection. One risk is that algorithms and automated systems can take personality away from the whole staff selection process.
We are convinced that artificial intelligence cannot totally replace recruiters. All systems are effective only in the first phase where they save recruiters time and effort.
No machine will ever be able to replace a good recruiter in personnel selection; it always takes a series of human judgements to evaluate the skills and competences of a candidate.
For this reason the hope is that the final phase of recruitment will remain entrusted to a good recruiter whose skilled contribution no machine will ever be able to have.