AI Recruitment Tools-

Everything You Need to Know

Ameya Deshmukh
Updated: June of 2020

Recruiting and staffing teams alike are figuring out if they should proceed with business as usual or expect dramatic changes to adjust for the future. And if so, what tools will help align their future needs? AI recruitment tools with dramatic claims about changing your job for the better are not hard to come by, but when it comes to vetting AI recruiting tools on the market, the waters are muddied.

We’ve created a guide to AI recruiting tools to help you and your team decipher your specific needs, potential solutions, and how to vet the products that will make your processes seamless and convert top-notch candidates.

What is AI Recruiting Technology?

This term refers to artificial intelligence technology used during any stage of the hiring process. Leveraging proprietary natural language processing and machine learning techniques, it automates outreach and communications with job candidates. AI recruitment tools come in all shapes and sizes and solve a plethora of recruiting challenges — including automating your most daunting tasks, scheduling, flaws in candidate experience, communication roadblocks, and speeding up your start-to-finish hiring process.

Why Recruiters Are Shifting to an AI-Powered Recruiting Model

As AI has become more prominent in industries beyond HR, many Fortune 500 companies and large staffing organizations have made the switch to an AI-powered hiring approach.

By leveraging AI for recruiting, these businesses report a reduction in process inefficiencies, such as:

  1. High-Volume Hiring: Job postings receive an average of 250 applications each. Several recruiting departments lack the internal bandwidth to thoroughly tackle every application and reach out to each candidate. If recruiters take too long to get back to candidates, high drop-offs become apparent. AI recruitment tools incorporate a pre-screening process for post-application involvement. Including minimal requirements for candidates to be considered allows recruiters to easily filter out irrelevant or spammy applications and focus their time on qualified candidates.
  2. Interview Scheduling: Recruiters spend approximately 60-80% of their time scheduling interviews. As a result, they lose valuable time that could be used for thorough candidate engagement, strategic planning for hiring initiatives, and generating ideas to improve employer brand. The scheduling process can be quickly and easily handled by an AI recruiting assistant — no human interference necessary.
  3. Passive Candidate Database Management: Depending on the size of your company, some report having as many as one million candidates in their pipeline. Recruiters could never possibly reach out to every single candidate separately and update the information manually in their ATS. Many AI recruitment assistants take on communication between you and the candidates and ensure your ATS is up-to-date with relevant information recorded from conversations.
  4. Creating a Candidate Pipeline: Another time-consuming task for recruiting teams is researching qualified candidates and building a talent pipeline. AI technologies are designed to find interested candidates that make sense for your company and pass them along to your team.
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Traditional Recruiting Chatbots:

This type of bot has been on the market for a long time, and is slowly beginning to phase out as we see AI continue to evolve in the recruiting space. Traditional bots use little to some natural language processing and can recognize one-word responses (i.e., yes and no) and numbers from messages, but not complex statements.

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Enhanced Recruiting Chatbots:

These bots are a software program that automates conversations and answers a candidate’s specific questions. However, the bot only recognizes 2-3 predefined responses with predefined answers included (i.e., yes and no) or in a multiple-choice format. They are not able to determine context nor deviate from their automated responses.

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Conversational AI:

Conversational AI has the sophistication to handle conversational nuances that happen in conversations with candidates. Conversational AI(CAI) is a type of AI recruitment tool that uses advanced NLP, guided machine learning, and delivers a seamless experience for both candidates and recruiting teams. The natural conversation that CAI creates builds trust in candidates and their confidence in the hiring process, so they’re more likely to convert.

When you are evaluating the different types of AI recruiting software available today, ask yourself three questions:

  • Is this the most engaging solution available?
  • Is this the best solution available for extracting useable data?
  • Will this create a seamless experience for my candidates and my recruiting teams?
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Traditional Recruiting Bots vs. Conversational AI - Why Do Their Differences Matter?

The differences between traditional bots and CAI go beyond what they can (and can’t) understand in conversations. Here are other ways they differ:

Ability to Engage Candidates:

When it comes to candidate engagement, CAI surpasses the traditional bot. While instant engagement from a bot or automation tool is better than not hearing back at all which can give the candidate experience a slight uplift,a human dialogue is a gamechanger. To boost your employer brand and candidate experience, making your candidate conversations memorable, genuine, and empathetic is exactly where to start.

Long-Term Learning:

Messages handled by Conversational AI chatbots are not forgotten and disregarded the following week. Unlike traditional bots, CAI can remember complex information about a candidate and use it in future conversations. A traditional bot would likely ask the same question to the same candidate during a different interaction. A memory that is better than most humans is possible, thanks to machine learning!

Showing Emotions:

Human conversations are by no means transactional. Even the most stuffy, professional conversations you’ve ever held included emotional signals. Hence the name of chatbots, they get a bad rep of being too ‘robotic’ and lacking personalization. Conversational AI is the most emotionally intelligent bot of them all and is able to pinpoint emotional signals in messages, as well as trigger emotion-driven statements — without programming specific statements beforehand and risking tone-deaf malfunctions (for example, a candidate sends a sad message and the bot responds with an excited tone)

Speed:

In terms of how quickly the chatbot can gather data, CAI is the winner. Not only does this form of AI understand the information provided by the candidate regardless of message order, but it also speeds up conversations and avoids making them take too long (often resulting in candidate drop-off). For example, a candidate might share their current title, salary expectations, and years of experience in one message. Instead of asking those other questions later, it’s able to identify the information right off the bat and quickly enter it into the ATS.

Why Conversational AI is Becoming a Preferred Recruiting Tech

While CAI is taking over the AI recruiting technology market, we’re not here to shame enhanced recruiting bots. In fact, this form of recruiting tech is responsible for the evolution of CAI. Without it, we wouldn’t have technology as advanced as CAI today.

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Key Challenges that AI Recruitment Tools Address (and Solve)

  • Job description optimization
  • Resume screening process
  • Interview scheduling
  • Video interviews
  • Candidate communication
  • Matching
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Unconscious bias in hiring
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Using AI for Resume Screening and Avoiding Common Pitfalls

Whether you work at a staffing firm or in your company’s internal talent acquisition department, most recruiters will agree that resume screening is one of the most strenuous and time-consuming tasks of the day. LinkedIn data states that recruiters spend an average of 23 hours, screening just one candidate. Talent acquisition leaders have the opportunity to mitigate this challenge today, thanks to advancements in recruiting AI.

Why Not Use Resume Parsing Tools?

You might be thinking, “aren’t resume parsing technologies designed to reduce candidate screening time and only select qualified candidates?” If so, you’re correct — that is their purpose. But, they’re no longer enough to suffice. Basic parsing tools aren’t advanced enough to truly capture who qualified candidates are. By solely relying on specific keywords and algorithms rather than a logical understanding of what appears on the resume, recruiting teams are missing out on a large stack of qualified candidates — not to mention, leaving those that could’ve been your next best candidates in the dark, which is detrimental to your employer brand. Flaws in resume parsing tools often end in a lose-lose situation for businesses and candidates alike.

The New & Improved Alternative: An Efficient and Accurate Candidate Screening Process

A step up from a resume parsing tool is an enhanced recruiting chatbot. As you learned in the “Common AI Recruitment Tools” section above, they still don’t quite cut it. What recruiters need is technology that is able to understand the meaning and intent behind a candidate’s words — rather than robotically spitting out keywords and phrases that don’t always make sense.

At last, technologists developed Conversational AI (CAI) — a sophisticated recruiting chatbot driven by natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning. CAI’s advanced capabilities make it possible for recruiters to fully, not partially, rely on tech to make educated decisions on candidate qualifications — all while holding humanlike conversations with candidates (in fact, candidates often mistake CAI for humans)! Leveraging AI resume screening tools adds a human touch to your recruiting process, ensuring candidates aren’t ignored and works at the speed of light, saving recruiters the time of day needed for other tasks.

Automated Interview Scheduling with AI

60% of recruiters say that they regularly lose candidates because they aren’t able to schedule them for interviews fast enough. When it costs thousands of dollars for your company to acquire a candidate, it doesn’t make sense to lose them solely because of scheduling friction. However, there’s a large opportunity for you to create speed and efficiency by automating your interview scheduling using technology like bots, chatbots, or conversational AI for recruiting to enable convenient scheduling and re-scheduling of interviews.

The Types:

Simple Interview Scheduling Tools – With this option, your recruiting team can set up hours they are available and have candidates book time on their calendars. A problem with simple interview scheduling tools is that they require your recruiters to continually share their link with candidates.

AI Interview Scheduling Solutions – A conversational AI platform, for example, would have AI interview scheduling as an included feature. So, you’d get the benefits of AI pre-screening, AI interview scheduling, and bidirectional ATS integrations in a single solution.

AI Recruiting to Support Diversity

If you’re a leader in the staffing or talent acquisition space, you already know that a diverse workforce is a better workforce. From increased productivity, engagement, innovation, range of skills, and everything in-between, this idea is commonplace for you. And that’s great — you know you need to build a diverse team, but knowing this alone isn’t and has never been enough.

If you really care about improving diversity, you need to recognize that choosing the right technology can help you reduce the impact of unconscious bias and make more diverse hires than ever before.

AI can create bias. How?

  1. If a non-diverse team built it and the datasets are based on a specific demographic.
  2. If the tool is used for resume parsing, looking for keywords that will rule out diverse candidates.

Don’t feel like there’s not a form of AI that you can’t trust. Instead, consider these steps when vetting your tech:

  1. Look for diverse teams of engineers with bias in mind and a company culture focused on conversation design
  2. Seek out a tool equipped with conversational AI
  3. Focus on the specific conversation design

But, Is it Actually Possible to Prevent Unintentional Bias with AI?

AI seems like an easy solution to connect with a more diverse candidate pool and improve recruiting processes. But recent events, such as Amazon scrapping its recruiting AI tool because it showed bias against women, have raised flags around the issue of bias in AI and the importance of taking action to prevent this from happening.

Although there’s no way to be 100% certain you’ve mitigated all bias, you can take steps to avoid the source of them. When used correctly, conversational AI(CAI) can prevent bias in those initial interactions a company has with candidates by removing unintentional socioeconomic and cultural barriers that prevent equitable access to job opportunities for diverse candidates through inclusive conversation design.

Along with adopting CAI, staffing leaders can keep these two priorities in mind:

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Look for a Diverse AI Engineering Team

One of the best ways to prevent unintentional bias is to ensure that the team building the tools represents a variety of perspectives. Be thoughtful about who you hire for your AI team, and look for people with different backgrounds, genders, ethnicities, and years of experience.

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Establish Governance

Examine your recruiting process for areas of risk for unconscious bias and make sure to purchase AI from a vendor that has a strong focus on conversation design. Properly designed AI recruiting conversations, like the ones we create at Mya, will prevent the impact that unconscious bias has on recruiting.

Innovative Uses of AI in Recruitment

Adopting AI is exciting, and you may even get overwhelmed wondering where you should employ AI and create recruiter driven processes that support candidate experience. We’ve compiled the three most innovative uses of AI recruiting tools to benefit from the technology quickly.

Implementing AI Recruiting Tech Without Disrupting Your Workflows:

Many concerns come from fear of disruption. Look for AI recruiting tools with an implementation plan. Implementing Mya’s conversational AI is a strategic process that begins with identifying a role that has a dearth of candidates, or that has so many candidates that a recruiting black hole exists. Next, our customer solutions team gathers the data points you’re looking to collect from candidates, applies them to one of the conversational blueprints from the Mya Conversation Cloud, and gets your conversational AI ready for deployment!

Grow Your Integrations as You Go:

Depending on the size of your company, some report having as many as one million candidates in their pipeline. Recruiters could never possibly reach out to every single candidate separately and update the information manually in their ATS. Many AI recruitment assistants take on communication between you and the candidates and ensure your ATS is up-to-date with relevant information recorded from conversations.

Rapidly Deploy Your AI Across Different Jobs and Client Companies:

Internal recruiting teams at enterprise organizations are often responsible for filling a variety of positions. There can be a need for conversational AI to screen warehouse workers and a conversational AI to screen executive candidates as well. Seek out a conversational blueprint that can support both cases, or for multiple industries if necessary.

Will AI Replace Recruiters?

In short, no. AI, as we know it, will instead make recruiters’ lives easier and more efficient.

Here’s what it can and cannot do:

AI Improves Pre-Screening

The standard 2-screen process (pre-screen and recruiter screen) is essential. However, pre-screens like resume parsing is ripe with bias. Conversational AI solves this problem by engagement through conversations instead.

AI Improves Candidate Engagement

In a standard pre-screening process, candidates often wait for weeks or months to get any communications from your company. With conversational AI, they’re immediately engaged after they apply.

AI Improves the Candidate Experience

When your recruiters are leveraging an up-to-date passive candidate database, and spending more time with candidates instead of with high volume early-stage tasks, they can focus on doing things that create business value.

This begs the question, what will conversational AI not replace?

AI recruitment tools can manage data entry, scheduling, and pre-screening conversations. These activities are just a small part of the hiring process. There’s so much more recruiters must do to make hiring happen like building relationships with candidates, engaging with hiring managers, interviewing, and more. AI will never be able to do everything that recruiters do – like relationship building. But, conversational AI can support everything your recruiters do by creating an incredible engaging candidate experience pre-application and post-application before the interview.

AI can also not convince candidates to accept offers. What it can do is improve offer conversion by creating a highly engaging experience early on in the hiring process. Your recruiters can then take over to build a relationship with the candidate and create an experience that will naturally lead to a placement.

AI Recruitment Tools: Changing the Role of the Recruiter

Here’s what we think is going to happen: Recruiters are going to get to become career coaches, content creators, and agents for social good. Why? They’ll have more time to focus on human-centric objectives.

You’ll engage more with qualified candidates that really want to work for your company. You’ll develop relationships with them. You’ll help them navigate the complex world of work as they alternate between gig work, remote work, and full-time work.

You’ll help them with internal mobility, with reskilling, and help them plan their talent journey inside your company and outside.

You’ll be active on social media even more than you are now. You’ll be a known entity to candidates even before they apply. You’ll make videos, podcasts, social posts, and articles that create value for candidates.

Along the way, you’ll build your company’s employer brand. You’ll build even more expertise on unconscious bias and diversity. You’ll examine your company’s hiring process and identify problem areas that are introducing bias. You’ll eliminate them or work around them and track the results of your diversity efforts.

Recruiting AI Means a Renaissance Period for Recruiting.

It’s never been a better time to be a recruiter. As recruiting AI sees more adoption in talent acquisition, recruiters will get the opportunity to reskill to create an even bigger impact. You have an opportunity in front of you that’s never before been seen in recruiting history. You can impact people’s careers and lives like never before. You can engage and create value for candidates like never before. You can create more diverse teams and impact the performance of your company like never before.

The secret: AI recruitment tools. You just need to find the right one. Ready to meet Mya? Take the first step by requesting a demo.