Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Recruiting the Old-fashioned Way Is Over: Time to Move Ahead

Oct 08, 2019

Do you remember the times when recruiters were sitting behind a desk as close as possible to the fax machine, buried behind piles of yet-to-be-seen CVs? A day where your phone was constantly attached to your ear was considered to be a great one. I’ve been in the recruitment industry for over 25 years and I’ve seen it all.


When you look at recruiters today, the first thing you’ll notice is that not much has changed. Hard copies and pens are out of the picture thanks to the modern ATS software, but recruiters still need to endure through CV assessing, endless calls, and email exchanges in order to shortlist applicants. The key message here is that most of the industry is still taking the CV-centered approach to recruitment. The old pains remain.


Recruiting old school is still a time-consuming process, prone to frequent rejection, error and inefficiencies. In most cases, it still involves a team of decision makers, a candidate and a recruiter acting as intermediary chasing feedback, coordinating meetings and making sure all parties involved maintain interest. Recruiters are also trying their best to suppress any bias they may have towards candidates they are working with in order to best service them and present them to the right institutions.


Although recruitment has evolved over the past several decades, the struggle to remove disorganization and faulty processes from the traditional recruitment yet remain. Five years ago, the recruiters were predicting that 10 years from that point all of these tedious tasks will be executed by the artificial intelligence-powered computer programs. It is now evident that they were mistaken! Redefining the workplace and recruitment in general accelerated the changes coming and pushed the digital agenda much higher on industry’s priority list. The initial projects experimenting with the AI in the recruitment business were conceived about that time. Today, this landscape is quite crowded with several companies inspiring a full-blooded revolution in the industry.


What started as a series of AI-powered chatbots evolved into corporations offering powerful computational algorithms that can analyze a wide array of different data collections and types for the purpose of curating, shortlisting and selecting the outstanding talent. This algorithm-assisted selection relies heavily on data collected over time (in some cases years-long span of user inputs) and ensures that the candidate coming out at the end of the process is a 100% match for clients’ queries. In this setup, technology is playing a key role in background screening and computing the right choices, however, not without the very prominent limitations. It is very unlikely that the machine will be able to replicate the instinct and the ‘gut feeling’ of a living and breathing person. Moreover, this algorithm also needs to account for cultural variables when making a choice, adding a layer of complexity.


Even though the traditional recruitment methods are still most widely utilized by agents and companies, as my title suggests, the time has come to move forward. While artificial intelligence cannot exactly kill recruiting or replace human capabilities, it will evolve to a level that will render most of the traditional recruiting practices obsolete. Exciting times!