The Truth Revealed: Will AI Replace Recruiters?

| Ameya Deshmukh
Artificial Intelligence
will AI replace recruiters?

4 years ago, when AI was first being introduced to the world of recruiting, some recruiters were afraid. There was so much content coming out. Every day on LinkedIn, I was tracking discussions on whether AI was going to replace recruiters. Every paradigm-shifting technology causes confusion and fear.  As humans, we’re biologically wired to fear the unknown. Now that the dust has settled we have a much clearer picture of how AI has actually impacted recruiting. Will AI replace recruiters? The answer is an emphatic no!

In our experience with 52 of the Fortune 500 and 6 of the 8 world’s largest staffing agencies, AI has not replaced recruiters. In fact, it’s done just the opposite. It’s transformed the way they spend their time. It’s made them more efficient. In many cases, it’s eliminated the hours they spent on scheduling and chasing down conversation threads. It’s given them 144% more time directly speaking to engaged highly skilled candidates. Conversational AI is helping recruiters do more of what they love and less of what they don’t

Will AI replace recruiters?

To answer this question, you need to understand how recruiting AI actually works. For example, do you know the main use cases of recruiting AI for staffing and recruiting companies? If not here’s a quick overview.

There are 3 main functions that AI can perform for your recruiting teams.

Conversational AI RPA (Recruitment Process Automation) 

So let’s say you get a new req from your client for 100 nurses in Colorado. You’d determine what factors you’d want to use to determine if a candidate met basic qualifications. If your recruiters could spend 100% of their time talking to a candidate for this role, what would those candidates have?

Now, when the average of more than 250 candidates applied to your job ad, conversational AI would engage all of them in real-time. It’d have conversations with them and determine if they met the requirements you told it to look for.

CAI would then schedule those candidates onto your recruiter’s calendars for interviews. It would also surface a list of all the candidates it spoke to and the data it collected about them. So your recruiters can still go back to the entire list and examine it with richer data.

Conversational AI Job Req Specific Outreach 

Let’s go back to the new req for 100 nurses in Colorado you got. You wouldn’t just put out job ads, you’d want to engage passive candidates as well right? Well AI helps with that too. All your recruiters have to do is upload a list of candidates into the Mya Portal.

Then, Mya, our conversational AI, will reach out to the list of candidates with Job Req Specific Outreach Campaigns. It’ll determine if the candidate is interested in the position, whether they meet your pre-screen requirements, and Mya will schedule them onto your recruiter’s calendars too.

Conversational AI Profile Refresh Outreach 

Now, you’ve probably got millions of candidate profiles in your database. But the problem is, they are all out of date. You don’t have fresh data on them and don’t have the manpower to update them regularly. This is the third way AI adds value.

Conversational AI can perform Profile Refresh Outreach. It’ll engage your passive candidate database in general conversations to determine if they are interested in work. It’ll also gather data about them like where they are interested in working, and what industries they are looking to work in.

How AI will make recruiters better

Did you notice anything about the 3 use cases for AI I shared? All of them involved the AI passing candidates over to your recruiting teams. The entire point of conversational AI in recruiting is to connect skilled, engaged candidates, to your recruiters faster and more efficiently. It makes the entire hiring process more human. It makes recruiting a better experience for candidates and recruiters alike.

So how does AI make recruiters better? Well, it makes them faster and more effective. Here’s how.

AI Improves Pre-Screening 

Every recruiting team is using a 2 step screening process. A pre-screen and then a recruiter screen. It’s essential. However, there are some common pitfalls with some forms of resume screening. For example, standard resume screening practices like resume parsers can create bias and overlook diverse candidates.

Conversational AI solves that problem by engaging candidates in conversations. It goes beyond a resume screen and adds additional relevant data that your recruiters can use to properly evaluate candidates. With conversational AI pre-screening, you get more higher-quality candidates.

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 engaged immediately after they apply. Don’t underestimate how powerful candidate engagement is.

In our research, we’ve discovered that creating a highly engaging experience early in the hiring funnel translates into better offer conversion down the funnel.  When you add conversational AI to your pre-screening process, you’re going to get higher quality candidates and they’re going to be more engaged.

AI Improves 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.

In fact, conversational AI produces 144% increases in recruiter productivity as measured by time spent talking to candidates, hiring managers, and generating placements. With AI-enhanced recruiting operations your recruiters are able to better engage candidates, find more qualified candidates, and submit candidates for placements faster.

When will AI replace recruiters?

AI sounds pretty great so far. It adds value in so many different ways to your recruiting operations. But what you can’t forget is that it adds value through digital transformation. What most people get wrong about digital transformation is that they focus too much on the technology and not enough on the behavior change.

Now, it’s highly important to think about the technology, since there are many types of recruiting AI and differences between conversational AI and the best-recruiting chatbots. But AI isn’t going to replace recruiters.

It’s designed to enhance your recruiting operations, not replace them. The entire point of AI is to make the hiring process more human, more efficient, and to make the world of work more equitable and accessible for all. You need recruiters to do that.

What skills can conversational AI not replace?

AI can replace data entry, scheduling, and pre-screening conversations. But these activities are just a small part of the hiring process. There’s so much more that recruiters have to do to make hiring happen. It’s unlikely AI will ever build relationships with candidates like recruiters do, however conversational AI has been shown to build connections with candidates.

Many times, even though we’re always upfront that candidates are speaking to an AI, candidates have arrived at interviews with our clients and shared praise about how engaging it was to communicate with Mya. Next, an AI will never be able to see the potential a candidate has.

How can an AI ever evaluate the complex answers candidates give to interview questions and see traits like passion for their craft? It’s just not possible. AI also cannot and should not be used to evaluate candidates’ personalities, the way they communicate, or whether or not they are a culture fit or culture add.

Having AI evaluate these highly personal and mutable soft skills is dangerous because it can be a place where unconscious bias enters your hiring process. Such things should be and will be left to recruiters in perpetuity.

Finally, AI can also not convince candidates to accept offers. However, 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 leads to a conversion or placement.

The future of recruiting AI

AI just isn’t going to replace recruiters. As more and more companies adopt AI recruitment tools, we’re going to see more conversations between recruiters and candidates. The entire world of work is going to be more efficient and more personal. We’re going to be able to connect jobs to people who are interested, skilled, and available faster than ever before. AI is simply an advanced tool. It’s the next wave of innovation in communication technology.

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