There’s no secret that HR is an imperfect profession.
People are complicated, business changes daily, and talent supply ebbs and flows. It’s unpredictable, complex, and sometimes downright perplexing.
Naturally, HR leaders are beginning to rely on artificial intelligence to do their bidding. Perhaps they need an easy way out of the complexity that is HR; maybe they simply desire to streamline the talent acquisition process. Either way, we have a problem.
How can robotic functions deal with complicated humans if humans themselves can’t even do the job?
Matt Charney of Recruiting Daily points this problem out succinctly: “Artificial intelligence is engineered to work exclusively as a rational actor…As any HR professional can tell you, there is no such thing as a ‘rational actor’ when you’re dealing with human beings.”
On the other hand, employing a uniform process for dealing with difficult talent might have its benefits. Nobody receives special treatment, resumes and applications are received in one large database, and the process remains simple (relatively speaking).
The question is: do the benefits of artificial intelligence outweigh the drawbacks? Let’s hash out a few of each:
Benefits of Artificial Intelligence in Recruiting
When artificial intelligence is employed, all candidates must endure the same processes, applications, and screenings. This reduces anxiety among candidates and ensures that none fall through the cracks. If automated responses are activated, all candidates receive the same basic messages. As undercoverrecruiter.com points out, this also ensures that discrimination is reduced. Often visible characteristics such as race, ethnicity, or gender can no longer play a role in the recruitment process.
According to eremedia.com, artificial intelligence has the ability to source, screen, and match candidates using basic algorithms and past trends. What does this imply? Artificial intelligence quickens up the pace of recruitment and makes our lives easier. When open requisitions are building up and hiring managers need names ASAP, artificial intelligence can scour the internet for names, screen them for relevance, and match them to the correct position in the time it takes me to eat a sandwich.
Drawbacks of Artificial Intelligence in Recruiting
While it is true that artificial intelligence can screen candidates much quicker than humans can, it is at the cost of quality. Artificial intelligence uses keywords to sift through resumes and identify those with specific phrasing; this eliminates those with creative terminology and unique resumes. Furthermore, candidates are becoming more aware of this process and purposely include those keywords on their resumes. This does not make them any more qualified for the job; rather, it makes our jobs more difficult.
Candidates aren’t robots. Treating them as if they are simply a faceless profile in a large system will turn many candidates off, leaving you with negative referrals. Humans are social creatures; they desire interpersonal connections, acknowledgement, and a sense of dignity. Automated messages and digital algorithms strips recruitment of its personalization (at least in the initial stages) and leaves candidates talking to a faceless robot. That is hardly the image you want to create.
Where do you stand on the artificial intelligence issue? I would love to hear your positive and negative experiences with the controversial topic!