Artificial Intelligence Changing the Role of Recruiters

AI is no substitute for human search professionals, but the technology is going to completely overhaul the people business, say recruiters. A new report from Korn Ferry uncovers how talent professionals feel about the increasing use of big data and AI in their roles. Let’s go inside the report.  

March 16, 2018 – Artificial intelligence is transforming the face of workforces around the world.

For executive recruiters and human resources departments, it has meant a growing number of new, specialized roles to fill and untapped talent to discover.

Once feared as making the role of the recruiter impersonal and robotic, AI today gives recruiters the information they need to source and hire higher-quality professionals. Those are the findings of a global Korn Ferry survey of close to 800 talent acquisition professionals.

Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of respondents said AI has changed the way recruiting is done in their organization, with 69 percent saying using AI as a sourcing tool garners higher-quality candidates.

When asked to compare the quality of candidates today to five years ago, when AI was still in its infancy, 59 percent said candidates are more qualified today, and 51 percent said roles are filled in a more timely manner.

According to the survey, talent acquisition professionals are welcoming AI as a tool. Nearly half (48 percent) said Big Data/AI is making their roles easier; 40 percent said it mainly helps is by providing valuable insights; 27 percent said it has freed up their time; and 21 percent said that their teams can focus more on the human aspect of the business.

“AI helps us dramatically enhance outcomes by finding patterns and relationships to better understand what a successful person looks in a particular position,” said Jacob Zabkowicz, Korn Ferry vice president and general manager, RPO, North America. “For example, in a search for a global automotive maker, we discovered that in one country there was a significant movement of executives from the luxury goods sector to the automotive sector – a relationship that wouldn’t have been obvious without AI.”

AI’s Impact

AI is able to eliminate repetitive tasks that slow down business operations. Speeding up business processes enables recruiters to make placements faster than ever seen before. “Along with speed, AI provides cognitive insight into a candidate’s ability to perform a job at a high level,” said Nachi Junankar, founder and CEO of Avrio AI, an artificial intelligence talent platform based in Boston. “This will ensure that recruiters are matching the right candidate to the right job, every time. In addition to analyzing and matching, AI will be able to increase candidate engagement, allowing recruiters to spend more time nurturing potential candidates. Overall, AI is going to allow recruiters to become more strategic and effective.”

Here’s How Artificial Intelligence Will Change the Way You Recruit
“There just aren’t enough hours in the day”? In an industry that moves as fast as talent recruitment, lack of time is a serious problem. Recruiters are spread so thin that 75 percent of applicants never receive a response after submitting a resume.

Franz Gilbert, Korn Ferry vice president of product innovation, said that data for data’s sake was not a solution for smart talent acquisition practice. “Recruiters need to refine their skill sets and work with the right kind of AI tools that will provide them with critical information such as compensation analysis and supply/demand reports on particular job categories in specific regions,” he said. “We use AI to provide hiring managers with tangible insights, not simply industry rules of thumb or anecdotal stories about similar searches.”

What Recruiters Are Saying

Korn Ferry asked corporate recruiters if Big Data and AI has impacted their work and 38 percent said it has made their job somewhat easier; 25 percent said they don’t use Big Data/AI; 20 percent said that it has had no impact; and 12 percent responded that it has made their jobs more difficult.

Related: AI Ushers in a New Day for Companies and Recruiters

Talent professionals were also questioned as to the top reason that Big Data/AI is making their jobs more difficult. Fifty-three percent said it has given them more data than they know what to do with and 41 percent said that it takes away the human element. Fifty percent of talent acquisition professionals replied that Big Data/AI has impacted their organizations. More than half (51) said that using Big Data/AI to source candidates garners more qualified candidates to some extent while another 18 percent said it does so to a great extent.

Korn Ferry also asked the talent professionals about their understanding of how Big Data/AI can help in the recruiting process. Sixty-six percent said they have some understanding; 17 percent said they have a great understanding; 16 percent said little understanding; and one percent claimed to have no understanding.

When asked whether they were afraid of the impact AI will have on their jobs, job, 85 percent said no and the remaining 15 percent responded yes. Korn Ferry also questioned recruiters on whether they believe AI will replace their job. Eighty-nine percent said no and the other 11 percent said yes. Lastly, talent professionals were asked if they were excited about the prospect of working with AI more, to which 87 percent said yes.

Related: Five Ways HR Can Maximize Data and Analytics

“Digital transformation has been – and continues to be – a hot topic,” said Rick DeRose, co-founder and managing partner of executive search firm Acertitude.  “It presents one of the biggest opportunities for businesses to reimagine how they organize, recruit, develop, manage, engage and retain talent.”

Hunt Scanlon’s Top 10 Artificial Intelligence Stories of 2017
One of our most important missions at Hunt Scanlon Media is to report on the trends that are altering the executive recruitment industry, and in many cases, the world of business. Among the most consequential transitions we’ve reported on this past year has been the rise of AI – and what it means for the future of …

“Leveraging Big Data to compute descriptive, predictive or prescriptive analytics helps leaders better understand their companies and make competitive moves,” Mr. DeRose said. “We’re seeing an explosion of recruitment technology capabilities built on these algorithms, from identifying people based on specific requirements to determining how open someone is to a career change to using video to analyze honesty and character. At Acertitude, we continue to balance a hands-on, ‘human’ approach with data-driven tools and assessments.”

New AI Tool

As AI continues to change the recruiting and HR functions, talent acquisition platform SmartRecruiters recently released the latest addition to its talent acquisition suite: Recruiting Assistant. Using the latest developments in data science, Recruiting Assistant enables companies to find their ideal fit, faster, freeing up recruiting capacity and reducing wasted ad spend. By processing large volumes of both internal company and external marketplace datasets, Recruiting Assistant screens, discovers and automates over a million candidate matches a month with over 3,000 companies globally, including Adidas, IKEA, Visa and Bosch.

Related: Analytic and Assessment Tools Gain Traction among Headhunters

“Recruiting Assistant heralds a new era for recruiters, where AI connects people to jobs more efficiently than ever,” said Jerome Ternynck, CEO of SmartRecruiters. “Drawing from millions of users across thousands of companies already using SmartRecruiters, our algorithms can predict what an ideal candidate looks like, at never-before-seen speeds. The machine also undermines inherent human bias, which really drives diversity.”

Far from making humans redundant, Recruiting Assistant assists them, automating the most time-consuming aspects of screening by intelligently surfacing the best candidates, or even qualified current employees that may have been otherwise overlooked. Recruiting Assistant is self-learning and improves with usage to produce better matches over time. This optimizes available talent and significantly reduces sourcing costs.

“As the first talent acquisition suite with native AI, our Recruiting Assistant applies a layer of intelligence across all our product offerings,” said Hessam Lavi, director of product, talent. “Our AI solution automates the cumbersome and error-prone task of screening candidates, surfacing the best fit from your entire talent pool, thereby improving the quality of hire and returning countless hours of lost time to recruiters.”

Stay tuned for further developments in this field – they are coming fast and furious.

Related: For Executive Search Firms, Analytics Can be a Game Changer

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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