Is Recruiting Ready for AI?

is recruiting ready for ai?

Artificial intelligence is an idea that is present all around us. It began a few years ago when it became possible to collect enormous volumes of data and utilize technology to analyze that data. Predictive analytics in particular has become increasingly popular since then, changing practically every aspect of our life. With the aim of 1.) Increasing our efficiency by reducing the amount of repetitive and low-value work, and 2.) Enabling us to make better judgments, we are now using AI and Machine Learning (ML) more and more. But in terms of hiring people, are we prepared for that?

Is Recruiting Ready for AI? 


Understanding the Terminology

First, there often is confusion between the terms AI and ML, the interrelationship between them, and how Big Data fits in between. Just to add to the mix, there also is Deep Learning to untangle to understand the differences. So, just what do these terms mean?

Artificial Intelligence

 Machines behave in human-like ways and employ human intelligence. Smart work is done on tasks. It includes human abilities like language comprehension, object and sound recognition, and problem solving.

Machine Learning

A technique for achieving AI; machines learn by being exposed to information rather than being programmed to perform particular tasks.

Deep Learning

a method of machine learning that takes its name from the way that neurons in human brains combine to create greater understanding.

The development of AI that thinks like a human is progressing steadily. Some of it is already happening; when you browse the internet after binge-watching a Netflix series, you will see advertising for content resembling the show you saw. You are considerably more likely to be interested in those targeted advertisements than in random advertisements for diapers, even though they may be annoying and feel like “Big Brother.” Email providers also using AI to filter spam.

Downsides in the Current Technology

AI is significantly impacted by the exposure to information that is biased, which caused the debacle of Microsoft’s Tay 2016’s Twitter chatbot The experiment, which was intended to encourage user interaction and learning, was abandoned within 24 hours because Tay had picked up on and repeated racist and other offensive comments. Additionally, AI technology produces biased conclusions because it assesses a large amount of past data. For instance, if you’re looking for your company’s next top executive, you might apply the standards of other accomplished executives in your industry. The issue is that a white male will probably be identified in the results because, statistically speaking, that group has held the majority of executive positions regardless of their aptitude.

Theoretically, AI is very appealing for hiring because it’s thought to be able to eliminate unconscious prejudices that all people have. However, a machine cannot take the role of human connection in recruitment or the capacity to build and maintain relationships. Additionally, technology cannot accurately evaluate cultural fit or a candidate’s attitude toward the position. I recommend Fortune’s Unmasking A.I’s Bias Problem for further reading.

How Recruiters Can Use AI Today

ML might be the most useful tool for recruiters right now. By being able to evaluate millions of applications or bios to find possible prospects that recruiters can subsequently focus on, ML allows us to expedite and automate sourcing efforts. It has a substantially greater success rate than the keyword function of early applicant tracking systems and is much more sophisticated. The scheduling of interviews, the screening of applicants, updating stakeholders on the progress of the hiring process, and running background checks are further techniques being utilized to reduce the low-value (but required) recruiting duties.

I am starting to dive more into this topic as I find it fascinating to think about what’s next for recruiting. To learn more, Metzano is conducting a survey to see how prevalent these new technologies are being used in recruiting today. We would appreciate it greatly if you take this short 3-minute survey. I also encourage you to comment and share your thoughts on how AI can help or hinder recruiting efforts.

Pamela Harding

Described by HR Magazine as ‘An HR Linker and Thinker’, Pamela Harding manages LinkedIn’s largest group of HR professionals. As CEO of Metzano she brings together 1.5 million professionals as they network in LinkedIn groups and is community chair of Linked:HR, the largest single profession group on LinkedIn.

Reader Interactions


  1. Stacy Chapman says

    Thanks for such a nice summary! I’m currently obsessed by bias and how it can potentially be amplified by machine learning and AI. Are you planning any work on how we can step up as an industry and prevent that happening?

  2. Anushman Sinha says

    Well, if we talk about how Artificial Intelligence is leaving behind the concept of science fiction where the word recruitment is no exception. Artificial intelligence is today’s workaholic environment is already taking a grip in a changing the way pattern of hiring people in the organizations and for those who are looking for jobs. Therefore, it has already made a positive difference in the world of recruitment and hiring and in solving the problems of professional and personal lives of people.


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