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Pros and Cons of Automation for Talent Recruitment

Artificial intelligence is working its way to replacing certain human actions. AI-written content is no longer a surprise, as the internet community is raging about ChatGPT. Thus, learning that AI automation is booming in the HR department is hardly surprising, as it brings plenty of benefits to the employer, including the ones below.
Daniel Zacharias

Erick Cardenas

February 7, 2023
automation for talent recruitment

Nowadays, and thanks to a plethora of outsourcing opportunities, the talent pool has never been bigger. This is excellent news for all employers trying to fill in the gaps in their teams. However,  it also means that the difficulty when trying to find the best possible match has increased. That’s when talent recruitment automation comes in. 

This practice is there to speed up the selection process and help identify the best candidates through artificial intelligence. AI has been supporting talent acquisition efforts everywhere for a while now, showing good results across the board. However, there are instances where AI is still falling short, be it because algorithms are incapable of finding the proper candidates or because they aren’t properly trained. 

It’s fair to say, then, that automation for talent recruitment has both advantages and downsides that will define whether the practice is right for you or not. That’s why I wanted to review recruitment automation’s pros and cons, so you can decide just how much you should rely on such a selection process.

Talent recruitment automation advantages

Artificial intelligence is working its way to replacing certain human actions. AI-written content is no longer a surprise, as the internet community is raging about ChatGPT. Thus, learning that AI automation is booming in the HR department is hardly surprising, as it brings plenty of benefits to the employer, including the ones below. 

It’s faster

There’s just so much AI recruitment software can do for you to save precious time and speed up the process.

First of all, it makes the initial screening process much faster, as automation quickly discerns between prospective employees and unsuitable ones. It also makes sending out an interview invitation fairly easy and relieves you from the stress of scheduling. In addition, you can even make it an obligation that should a candidate wish to have an interview, they need to comply with specific requirements, such as recording a short video of themselves answering work-related questions. 

By allowing the AI recruitment software to assign automatic pros and cons, or perhaps a point system, you’re going to have a nice overview of candidates’ qualifications and compatibility in the shortest time possible. 

Overall, automated talent recruitment is a huge time-saver. It’s a great asset to rely on in times of need, e.g., when you need to hire an expert fast to resolve an unexpected issue.

It’s cost-effective

An HR department is necessary, of course, but its maintenance can be costly. For example, most HR functions assign $1,350 to $3,800 per employee, which is nothing to sneer at. The highest amount is more than double the lowest one, so, obviously, there’s plenty of room for improvement. 

Luckily, automation can help you with that improvement. 

With an automated hiring process, you can narrow down or omit plenty of steps, yet you’ll still have a handful of excellent candidates. You’ll be able to reduce the HR costs and, by adding a new pro to your team sooner, you’re also one step closer to the final goal (e.g., presenting the new app to the market and obtaining revenue).

Automation gives fair chances

The AI recruitment software uses the data you feed it to get the best possible candidate for you. Therefore, you can count on it being unbiased as much as possible as it’s not set to validate candidates according to their ethnicity, age, or gender. The only important details from their background are the ones concerning qualifications and work experience. 

You could argue that an AI’s first impression of a person is mostly impartial. While we humans may be imperfect in this respect, as we sometimes tend to let our own experiences rule our judgment. For instance, an AI recruitment tool can’t be fooled by someone physically resembling an ex-employee who was fired for negligence.

That’s not to say that AI is completely unbiased. Since people build and train AI algorithms, it’s common to find unconscious biases seeping into the final model. That’s why you have to take this advantage with a grain of salt, as not all AI solutions will have the same behavior. 

Automatic archive

Automation means you can cover many processes promptly without overanalyzing. Therefore, if a candidate didn’t make it this time, the list of their qualities can go into the archive and stay there for future reference, should you have an opening for them later on.

As the initial selection is fast and clear, it only makes it too easy to store the contacts.

Disadvantages of automated recruitment

Automation is fast, efficient, and… imperfect. The list of its disadvantages mainly revolves around what only a human employer can do (at least so far). 

Here are some of the biggest issues with automated recruiting.

Lack of out-of-the-box thinking

Let’s assume you’re searching for a skilled developer with the potential to become a team lead. With automation, your AI tool is going to search only for developers that are already team leads in their current companies. However, that criteria would omit a large number of developers that haven’t held that position yet, but would otherwise prove valuable to your team, and probably become a leader very soon.

Sadly, it’s very easy for AI to overlook someone’s good traits and simply archive the application. In contrast, a human would see through the list of qualities and better determine if the candidate might be the right fit.

Keyword bias

The whole automated hiring process revolves around the right keywords and entities an application has to possess. The AI recognizes the phrases as valid and isolates the application with the highest number of keywords as the potentially best. That system’s not always showing you the top results, though.

Let’s say that you have two CVs in front of you. Both candidates have listed identical skills, and have spent an equal number of years working in the profession, though in different companies. The AI is going to assign them an equal number of points for their work experience and pronounce they have the same level of expertise. However, since an HR pro is usually very well acquainted with the competition and the prominent companies, or they know how to research them, it won’t be too hard for them to determine which candidate is better.

Lack of human touch

If you are keen on statistics such as the fact that 26.24% of job applicants can actually hope of nailing the job, then you probably feel an employer has the advantage as they’re the ones choosing, not the other way around. Yet, sometimes the truth couldn’t be further than that. Reverse recruitment is also changing the practice.

Of course, candidates send out applications because they’re interested in changing their job or they’re simply testing out the job market. Thus, it’s no surprise an experienced professional with an impressive resume can choose among several appealing opportunities. In that case, an advanced AI chatbot is hardly going to make a candidate intrigued as much as a good HR rep could. A good recruiter not only interviews the candidate about their experiences but is also there to answer their questions about the company and provide valuable insight into the company’s culture. 

This is particularly substantial since Millennials and Gen Z find a company’s values to be the crucial factor in deciding whether to stay with an employer or not. While the pay was one of the biggest reasons to look for a new job in the last two years, the second was mental health and burnout. An experienced HR manager will surely convey a better message about the value of mental health than an automated machine response.

All things considered, automation definitely gives you a helping AI hand in the recruitment process. It’s a wonderful tool to have to save time and initial expenses. However, it’s just as important to know when to jump in with your HR human professional and let them take over.

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