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Written by:
Zoe Boyd

AI in talent acquisition: Transforming strategies for the better

AI has been revolutionising the recruitment industry for some time now. Find out how you can use the technology to transform the way you hire.

It would be hard to overstate the impact artificial intelligence (AI) has had on the recruitment industry. Companies all over the world are talking about the possibilities of using generative machine learning to become more efficient and effective at sourcing talent. However, behind all the hype there has actually been a relatively slow uptake of this technology.

LinkedIn’s ‘The Future of Recruiting 2024’ report found that, while 62 percent of talent professionals are optimistic about the impact generative AI will have on recruitment, only 27 percent are using or experimenting with it. Of those who use it, it seems that they’re not unlocking the true potential of AI.

The most common use for the technology is writing job descriptions, which only 57 percent of recruiters using AI reported as an outcome. Just 35 percent used AI to engage with candidates faster and/or easier, which is surprising given AI’s incredible utility in this area. Machine learning can play a huge role in transforming talent acquisition strategies, and could change your company’s trajectory for the better.


The Rise of AI in talent acquisition

An overlooked factor in why AI is set to play such a huge role in talent acquisition is the rise in passive recruitment. This became the norm in recruitment around 2019, when a HubSpot report showed a 35 percent increase in passive candidates being seen as the most important source of hires by organisations.

While passive recruitment is much more beneficial for talent acquisition, it is also more labour intensive. AI’s ability to reduce the workload of recruitment therefore makes it extremely valuable for sourcing passive candidates. The technology can assess candidate strengths, contact them automatically and screen a vast number of CVs quickly and without bias.

AI has filled this niche spectacularly, and organisations in 2024 are increasingly realising this. A Leoforce report found that only 30 percent of recruitment organisations had invested in AI in 2022-23. However, this is predicted to balloon to 81 percent by the end of 2024 as companies realise the benefits of the technology.


Benefits of AI in talent Aquisition

Among the minority of businesses currently using AI, it’s clear that many are not using the technology to its full potential. A Mercer study, for example, found that just 23 percent of these organisations were using AI to screen CVs in order to eliminate bias. This is a major benefit that machine learning has over a human recruiter, and it shouldn’t be neglected. AI can look at candidates objectively, based purely on their skills and qualifications, preventing them from being rejected due to bias.

This has multiple knock-on effects. Reduction of bias leads to an improvement in the diversity of candidates. It also ensures a higher overall quality of candidate, as AI-driven recruitment doesn’t discount talented individuals due to unconscious prejudice.

AI can also speed up the recruitment process significantly. A number of talent acquisition activities can be safely automated by AI, from screening candidates to contacting them and organising meetings and interviews. This frees up time for recruitment professionals to use their skills in areas where human decision-making is needed.


Applications of AI in talent acquisition

There are a few areas of talent acquisition in which AI can be used. The first is sourcing candidates. As mentioned above, an AI-powered search engine can be used to scour databases for any candidates that meet a certain set of criteria. This makes it much quicker and easier to locate passive candidates for a role.

AI chatbots can be used throughout the recruitment process to provide a simple point of communication for candidates, improving their overall experience throughout. In addition to helping schedule interviews, AI can even conduct them. Using natural language processing, it can assess candidate performance and screen them automatically, leaving you with the cream of the crop.

There are many more ways AI can assist with talent acquisition, but in general anything that requires checking a candidate against a range of criteria – a major part of recruitment – can be automated and sped up using artificial intelligence.


Case studies of AI in talent acquisition

Plenty of companies have used AI in their recruitment to great success. A key example is Mastercard. The payment card services firm was facing a period of intense growth, and needed to update its talent acquisition process to match. It chose to use AI as a major part of that solution.

The company in particular used an AI scheduling tool to manage interviews. The result was that 88 percent of its interviews were scheduled within 24 hours of being requested, leading to an 85 percent reduction in the time taken to schedule an interview overall.


The future of AI in talent acquisition

It would be foolish to assume that AI is a panacea for talent acquisition, becoming a one-size-fits-all approach to recruitment. There are a number of issues that have not so far been addressed, such as the overall depersonalisation of the hiring process and the effects that could have on candidate experience.

Another example is bias. Despite AI having the potential to reduce bias massively, it can also replicate the biases of its programmers and users. An oversimplified example is that it could recognise that CEOs are more likely to be male (and called David) than female, so could incorporate that into its criteria. These issues can be programmed around, but are important to be aware of.

However, there is no denying that AI has the potential to be extremely useful and disruptive in the world of recruitment. The technology has been used to completely revolutionise the hiring process in some cases, and with responsible use it could make talent acquisition more effective than ever.

There is significant hope that AI can reshape talent acquisition. At Allen Recruitment, we’ve been leading the way on AI for years, with our revolutionary tech letting us easily find the best-suited candidates for our clients quickly, effectively and without bias. Get in touch to find out more.



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