The Rise of Artificial Intelligence in Recruitment

The potential for AI to improve the recruitment process is colossal and some argue could even remove human bias from large parts of it.

AI Applications range from simple candidates searches and selections across job boards, scheduling calls and interviews, detect lack of inclusiveness in job adverts, through to far more complex online tests, behaviour assessments, interview analysis, etc. There is seemingly something for everyone even if not yet within every company’s budgets.

Amidst the excitement, adopters of AI recruitment systems do need to be extremely cautious and be aware of some existing and future pitfalls.

Some of these might include:

  • Biased Data: Some very public scandals have already demonstrated some of the dangers of AI reliance by highlighting that biased data makes for a biased algorithm… makes for biased recruitment.
  • Decision making lacks empathy: AI does not (yet?) possess the ability to be empathetic or to use common sense in its decision-making process. By removing these very human qualities, results can sometimes be unreliable or always identical. More importantly, candidates who have something different to offer could easily be missed and instead, mirror profiles are shortlisted.
  • Opacity in process and low trust: the decision process making of AI is often clouded in mistrust as it is rarely evident or properly explained. As a consequence of a lack of transparency, many still feel uneasy with using or being subject to such technologies.
  • UK GDPR and the AI exemption: With no obligation to provide meaningful evidence that data being processed is necessary for the execution of employment or contract, such a regulatory loophole can fail to deliver the protections GDPR was designed to provide.

Current UK Legislation: There are widespread and ongoing calls in the UK to update the legislation and regulations. AI will be an area requiring regular reviews and careful monitoring for both law makers and users.

It would be foolish to believe that the use of AI will not gather pace in recruitment as well as change its landscape over time. With the potential to remove human bias and carry out tasks in an instant which would normally take days or weeks for humans, AI will be adopted as long as it is affordable to businesses.

Successfully embracing AI requires a careful and balanced approach. By understanding the tools and systems, communicating their applications effectively and working ethically to set true and future proof benchmarks, companies should avoid unintended consequences.

The truly successful companies will be those combining the above approach whilst not being over reliant on AI. Instead, it will be those achieving a balance between the use of AI and human involvement in the decision-making in such a way that showcases the talent and uniqueness of their staff.