AI vs. the human touch - how to get the balance right in recruitment

AI vs. the human touch - how to get the balance right in recruitment

The use of AI in general is becoming increasingly widespread. The use of open-source programmes such as Chat GPT, for example, is becoming commonplace, while AI in arts and creative industries such as film and TV is causing controversy in terms of intellectual property.

In recruitment, AI has been in use for some time already, assisting in sifting applications, arranging interviews, and even analysing behaviour to make hiring decisions in pre-recorded interviews.

While many AI functions are beneficial to both recruiters and candidates alike, there are situations where the human touch can provide a better experience or more accurate results. We’ve laid out some of our recommendations for when to use AI in recruitment, and when human involvement is better.

What are the benefits of AI in recruitment?

Faster sifting – using keywords and other indicators, AI can aid in sifting applications to highlight candidates that meet the brief most closely. It can analyse CVs and applications to pick out candidates that represent most accurately the employee the company is looking for.

Unbiased sifting – if algorithms and sifting parameters are free of bias, AI can handle applications with no unconscious bias towards the candidates. Where humans can allow unconscious bias to affect their judgement, AI can sift applications without paying any attention to indicators of protected characteristics, such as name, age, or nationality.

More efficient scheduling – organising interviews and scheduling them around panellists’ and candidates’ other commitments can be consuming of time and resources. With AI, recruiters can ensure that interviews are arranged to suit most schedules in a fraction of the time.

Better communications with candidates - chatbots and virtual assistants can answer candidate questions, provide further information on the company and role, and send updates and reminders for interviews and deadlines throughout the process. This means that candidates are more engaged, don’t have to wait for office hours or for staff to respond to emails to gather more information, and feel more involved in the process.

More accurate screening – recent data shows that AI-driven verification technology used in carrying out Digital Right to Work checks is more accurate than human screeners when looking for fake or forged ID documents. As well as this, the process of using Digital Right to Work checks is also much quicker and more convenient for most candidates, meaning you can be sure your employees are who they say they are, and that their candidate experience is high quality.

When is the human touch preferable?

Looking beyond the algorithm – when sifting, AI programs tend to work within set parameters. This means that if a candidate has taken a non-traditional pathway towards the role, they’re likely to be overlooked by the AI, meaning employers risk missing out on high-quality candidates. Therefore, sifting AI programs should be used with caution to ensure excellent candidates don't slip through the net.

Interviews – AI programs exist that can conduct a virtual interview with candidates, asking set questions and providing a time limit for interviewees to answer. The AI records the interviews, and analyses the candidates’ responses, feeding back recommendations to recruiters. While this may sound like a great way to save staff time, we suggest it's used with caution. People are always different when they are talking to a real person as opposed to an AI, and being able to interact, ask additional questions, and respond in the moment to a candidate means you can learn more about them, make judgments on how they'll fit into the company culture, and offer a chance for people to respond in ways that are comfortable for them. Human connection also ensures a better candidate experience, since an interview is as much about the work seeker deciding if they want to work for a company as it is a recruiter selecting a new employee. Allowing candidates to put a face to a name and meet key team members, whether in person or via a video call, is essential for making a good impression.

Getting the balance right

When selecting the right tools to enhance your recruitment process, it’s important to identify the purpose you want your AI technology to fulfil.

For many employers, adopting AI and digital tools in recruitment is to accelerate the process, driving operational efficiency, and improving the candidate experience. Every technology has pros and cons, and it’s important to properly weigh up the implications of each one to find the balance that works best for your business.

How can Reed Screening help?

Ensuring your candidates experience a positive recruitment and onboarding process while maintaining the integrity and compliance of your screening procedures means building a robust process.

At Reed Screening, we have years of experience in providing fast, smooth, and thorough employee screening and background checks, to bolster your candidate experience. Our AssuredID service offers an easy and accurate way to verify a candidate’s ID digitally.

For more information, get in touch with our team.