Screening candidates is the most time-consuming task recruiters face. While AI can be used to speed up the recruitment process, is it best practice in the long run? Or does the personal touch win out?
Screening candidates – the insurmountable task
Recruiters are facing intense volumes of work. Monster found that 93% of employers are doing some form of hiring in 2022, up from 82% in 2021. Unfilled vacancies in the UK have reached an all-time high, hitting 1.3 million in the three months to May 2022.
The most time-consuming aspect of the recruitment cycle is screening. It takes around 20% of the entire process, with a hiring decision taking, on average, about 23 hours of screening time. That’s a significant amount of time and money being spent on just one step of the process.
This is a recognised concern amongst TA and HR teams across the UK. When Ideal undertook a survey they found that more than half (52%) of recruitment leaders say the most challenging aspect of recruitment is screening candidates from a large pool of applicants.
Is AI the answer?
There is a huge demand for AI recruitment software – and that demand is growing. Analysts predict that the market for AI in recruitment will grow at a rate of nearly 7% until 2025.
Why is it so desirable? Well, one of the biggest factors is that it saves time. AI is being integrated into many areas of talent acquisition including sourcing, screening and even interviewing.
For example, Unilever uses AI technology to analyse the language, facial expression and body language of graduate candidates being video interviewed. While L’Oreal uses a chatbot called Mya to screen potential clients. It asks candidates factual questions to determine whether their profile matches their role requirements.
We’ve already seen that screening is the biggest challenge for many recruiters in hiring.
Automating this part of the process is appealing – particularly when recruiting large numbers of employees, or when screening large volumes of candidates.
AI screening tools quickly gather information from applications. That could be through AI-informed CV reading, behavioural and skills assessments, and predictive performance. Some organisations use a chatbot to answer candidate FAQs about the application process or the benefits package on offer. Using AI to automate the hiring process can make it faster, less expensive and easier to manage.
Or can it?
Speed isn’t everything
Yes, AI can be time-saving. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it will help find the right candidates. AI will only look at skill sets, not at cultural fits. And at the end of the day, it’s the people and the teams they create that make a business.
Added to that, we humans have cottoned onto the bots. Most AI software uses keyword matching to screen CVs and this has become common knowledge. Savvy candidates have learnt to keyword stuff in order to make the cut.
That means AI can kick up false positives – putting candidates through who aren’t actually the best qualified. And it can also screen out good candidates, who are well-qualified but haven’t reached keyword filters (possibly in part from not trying to cheat the bots).
On top of that, people want to stand out as individuals in the recruitment process. A fully automated screening process doesn’t allow for this, preventing candidates (particularly in creative roles) from conveying the very qualities that might make them the best fit.
According to Forbes: “AI won’t do well measuring the strength of the soft skills human recruiters most need to assess to determine if someone is a good long-term fit for a role”.
So while AI might save you time in the short term, it might not help you find the right candidate in the longer term. This is where costs can stack – because failed recruitment drives are expensive. The Recruitment & Employment Confederation states: “a poor hire at mid-manager level with a salary of £42,000 can cost a business more than £132,000 due to the accumulation of costs relating to training and productivity”.
Recruiter on Demand – the human touch
It’s time to return to using people. AI can’t build strong relationships with candidates. It’s authentic, genuine (and well, human) relationships that get the best – and right – candidates into a role. Which in the long term offers the best value for money.
Working with us is cost-effective. As well as filling 94% of the roles we work on, you only pay for us when you need us. Our on-demand, embedded TA resource is a cost-effective way to strengthen your internal TA team, as and when you need us.
We have an impressive track record with 98% client satisfaction and 98% candidate satisfaction.
How do we do that? We build positive, constructive relationships – with clients as well as candidates. We easily fit into your in-house teams and will live and breathe your company values and culture.
Just take it from Kirsty Lowe at Oracle Cerner:
“The team members were fantastic, bubbly personalities who fit into our team. Everybody was extremely friendly and great to work with. I always felt I could be very honest and upfront and that feedback would be taken on board, so it’s a very open relationship.”
And you can’t say that about a chatbot.