Transitioning from Recruiting Automation to AI

Misunderstanding what technology offers is slowing adoption of AI in talent acquisition, according to a new report by AI application firm Censia. Let’s take a look inside their latest report, which explores cases where AI is beginning to transform not just the way recruiters work, but the way they make decisions across select parts of the hiring process.

September 26, 2019 – A large barrier to AI acceptance in the talent acquisition world is the confusion between the capabilities of automation and AI. The benefits of AI sound like extreme hype if it is understood as mere automation. “Automation tools, which are widely used in the industry today, allow talent acquisition teams to do more of what they already do, but more quickly, serving a similar purpose as hiring more recruiters,” said Joanna Riley, CEO and co-founder of talent acquisition provider Censia in a new report.

In contrast, AI solutions, which are just hitting the HR tech marketplace, help talent professionals make better, more informed decisions. “Oftentimes AI solutions include automation, so AI also lets recruiting teams do more with less,” Ms. Riley said. “The key difference between AI and automation lies in the ‘more’ part — AI’s more is imbued with far greater intelligence than recruiters have on their own today. Automation only lets recruiters do more of the same. The AI-enabled more is not the same, it’s better.”

Implementing AI is like giving all those additional recruiters access to a tireless, limitless, always on predictive solution with decades of experience. “AI won’t only help companies improve their judgment when it comes to hiring, though,” said Ms. Riley. “When getting quality candidates through the door becomes much less of a burden, talent acquisition teams will get to focus on being strategic partners in their organizations who directly contribute to driving company growth.”

In the report, Ms. Riley explored a sampling of cases in which AI is beginning to transform not just the way recruiters work, but the way they make decisions, across select parts of the hiring process:


Marketing automation took the business world by storm over the last five years, according to industry trade publication MarTech Today. The talent industry benefited greatly from marketing automation tools like Smashfly, Ascendify and others by being able to centrally track email campaigns and follow up on candidate conversations automatically, at scale.

Joanna Riley is an entrepreneur, advocate and mentor for diversity in technology. She is CEO and co-founder of Censia. She has a highly experienced background in building and scaling companies, which she attributes to her deep passion for people and building technologies that allow people to be their best selves. Ms. Riley brings her wide knowledge of the industry to better transform the way enterprise companies hire talent. Censia was built to transform the way enterprise companies hire talent, and its platform is a true system of intelligence for the enterprise, predictively matching the most in-demand people to opportunities at scale, all powered by AI.

Ms. Riley also pointed to AI assistants like Textio that are now influencing what recruiters say to candidates by helping recruiters write better job listings, providing real-time writing guidance based on the hiring outcomes of over 10 million jobs posted a month.


What about the inbound side of recruitment, where candidates are interested and coming to employers? Perhaps the top complaint of job seekers is that they overwhelmingly don’t receive responses to their job applications, according to recent report by Forbes.

Related: Here’s How Artificial Intelligence Will Change the Way You Recruit

“On the employer end, the volume of interested but unqualified candidates for each open position is simply too great for recruiters to keep up with personalized responses,” said Ms. Riley. “Responses and rejection letters have begun to be automated, but lack the personalization required to maintain a solid brand identity. AI can offer a better candidate experience.”

3 Ways AI Will Make Hiring Human Again
The future of talent acquisition has never been brighter. People are what makes every organization tick, and artificial intelligence (AI) solutions are poised to make hiring the most people-centric it’s ever been. And truth be told, today the talent acquisition function in organizations is reactive. Talent professionals are not at fault.

“Post and pray, go for volume sourcing strategies are nearly ubiquitous, and have years of momentum behind them,” Joanna Riley, CEO and co-founder of talent acquisition provider Censia, said in a new report. “At current rates of turnover and growth, it’s hard for recruiting teams to find the time to take a step back and reevaluate their processes. The disruption across recruiting processes that adoption of AI brings will make better aligning talent acquisition with companies’ strategic needs far more achievable.”

Dozens of companies are offering chatbots like Mya to bridge the current information gap between applicants and companies. “Chatbots are AI systems that communicate with candidates through text in a human-like manner,” said Ms. Riley. “They can ask and answer basic questions, send reminders and status updates, handle interview scheduling and even kindly recommend other job openings to rejected candidates. Because chatbots have the ability to ask questions and process answers, they have the potential to better prepare candidates and recruiters for the interview.”


“Ways for employers to test candidate skills, cognitive abilities, motivations, and personalities such as tests and interviews have long existed in automated form, but are limited in their ability to predict candidate success,” Ms. Riley said. “Companies like Pymetrics are making assessments predictive by developing machine learning algorithms based on assessments of existing employees. HireVue is taking assessment a step further through video interviewing. It delivers not just a platform for managing video interviews for entry level hires, but analyses of candidates’ facial expressions, tone of voice and choice of words against other candidates to recommend the best ones for an in-person interview.”

“See the difference between automation and AI?” Ms. Riley asked. “Wading through the hype around recruiting AI is difficult, but knowing what separates automation from true AI is a great first step to understanding the changes to come.”

“All of the solutions highlighted here address the middle of the hiring funnel,” she said. “Identifying the absolute best person for every opportunity is why Censia is doing for sourcing through data and modeling what other AI companies are doing for the rest of the recruiting process: providing solutions that aren’t only faster and cheaper, but more intelligent.”

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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