Big companies making big steps towards AI-enabled hiring

Transformation in AI-based recruitment offers a chance to enhance the hiring process for both employers and applicants

Recruiters spend an excessive amount of time searching for ideal candidates. It’s a time-consuming, tedious process of sifting through numerous résumés to identify the right person for a role. 

It takes time and skill to write compelling job descriptions that pique job seekers' interest and comply with new salary disclosure regulations and other requirements. However, hiring managers want to employ the most fitting candidates as quickly as possible with the required skills. 

However, a common complaint from job seekers is the prolonged nature of the hiring process. Leveraging AI to find the most suitable candidates will undoubtedly enhance the overall experience for all parties engaged in the process, but as with any new technology advancement, it does come with potential risks.

AI should be used as a tool, not a permanent solution

Experts have warned that while introducing AI into the hiring processes could address certain issues, it should not be expected to entirely revolutionise the way companies bring in new employees. Presently, only 12% of hiring professionals use AI in their recruitment and talent management processes, as per the 2023 Hiring Benchmark Report by Criteria, a software and talent success company. 

Currently, AI is being used in the hiring and recruitment process to develop job descriptions, source talent, create and score assessments, screen new applicants, communicate with candidates and train new employees, Criteria’s Hiring Benchmark report states. Tools such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google’s Bard, recruiting chatbots and proprietary solutions help to facilitate this.

The significance of the hiring process, which is influenced by legal, cultural, and business implications, must innovate with caution. Introducing AI or neglecting to address bias in the talent acquisition process has consequences. As businesses adopt AI in the hiring process, they must maintain the trust that these processes are working as they should.

Shaping the AI-enabled hiring policy

Over the last few years, Amazon has developed AI and ML tools that are aimed at assisting job seekers at every stage of the hiring journey. These tools can help prospective candidates find the most relevant role to apply for from the beginning of their search, as well as engaging and assess candidates while promoting fairness and equity in the hiring process, all while adhering to legal requirements.

However, around ten years ago, Amazon made an attempt to automate the hiring process but got rid of the project due to the tool “was not rating candidates for software developer jobs and other technical posts in a gender-neutral way,” according to a 2018 Reuters report.

Given that hiring is a critical process with legal, cultural, and business implications, any introduction of AI should be done carefully to avoid bias in the talent acquisition pipeline. While organisations wait for the expansion of legal regulations like New York City's AI bias law, the Centre for Industry Self-Regulation (CISR), a nonprofit foundation under BBB National Programs, has published a set of principles and protocols for ensuring trustworthy AI in hiring and recruiting. 

Eric Reicin, President and CEO of BBB National Programs says: “When AI tools are well designed, deployed, and monitored properly, the technology has the potential to mitigate discrimination and bias on a broader scale.”

In partnership with businesses such as Amazon, Unilever, Koch Industries, and Microsoft, these principles address transparency, fairness, non-discrimination, technological robustness, safety, governance and responsibility when employing AI in recruitment. Companies implementing AI in hiring must earn and maintain trust in the effectiveness of these processes.

Although the evolution in AI recruitment presents a huge opportunity to improve the hiring experience for both employers and job seekers, it is of utmost importance that ethical and legal standards are upheld throughout the process. 

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