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The Impact of AI in Recruitment

by Greg Hayes


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Artificial intelligence (AI) has dominated the headlines in recent months, particularly since the launch of ChatGPT. Use of the apparently game-changing technology in our household has been limited to the inane, with commissioning Google’s Bard to re-write the 70s ‘classic’ Islands In The Stream, in the style of Eminem being a lowlight. But with Messrs Gates and Musk sounding the warning bells and with the launch of the government’s ‘Pro Innovation Approach to AI regulation’ white paper in April, clearly more serious minds are considering the impact AI will have on us all, both negative and positive.

AI will undoubtedly have a major impact on the way organisations recruit. A recent survey of over 1,000 HR professionals found 82% felt this impact would be positive. You can see the potential for significant automation within a process, and tasks such as the screening of CVs, scheduling interviews, or managing feedback are being conducted by computers in some organisations. You can imagine AI’s use in helping identify the best candidates through analysing CVs, social media profiles, performance reviews, and references. For many roles, interviews will likely be conducted by an AI-generated avatar, and the technology is already here to analyse pupil movement and detect deception or embellishment in a candidate’s responses.

A particularly interesting angle for AI’s deployment in recruitment is reducing bias when hiring. It is being touted as a tool that will remove human bias and ensure candidates are treated fairly regardless of personal characteristics. I’m not convinced it is the panacea, however, as there are complex issues such as algorithmic bias and data bias to contend with when developing and training AI models.

We are certainly at the beginning of a revolutionary technological leap, and the potential is huge and exciting. But AI is not without limitations, and clearly, we are some way off from it being able to understand the nuances of human behaviour, and it is expensive to implement and maintain. Adopting the benefits as they are proven while exercising caution and retaining human judgement is the obvious path.

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