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News Article

AI: The Future of Recruiting?

By Miriam Bello | Thu, 10/14/2021 - 13:05

You can watch the video of this panel here.

AI allows recruiters to better leverage their application systems, hire more efficiently, shortlist more accurately and screen resumes with more fairness, agree experts. This tool is increasingly necessary after the disruptions caused by the Great Resignation.

In this new working era, “attraction and recruitment have become our largest challenges,” said Jordi Ciuro, Partner and Vice President of Recruiting of Bain & Company. “We can see these challenges in the US market, which is seeing a 4-million-worker shortage derived from changes in the consumer market.” Under these circumstances, hiring processes must innovate in line with the evolution of the workplace, said Ciuro.

Talent management, acquisition and demand are now centered in finding more specialized talent with certain competencies such as soft skills, according to Selene Diez, CEO & Founder of Forte Innovation Consulting. “Digitization, customer centricity and how we strengthen and create better conditions for our human talent became the priorities for HRs areas.”

In the new working era, AI will play a leading role because it is one of the five trends that has transformed the world during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Diez. “AI has demonstrated the capacity to transform interaction in all aspects of our life. At least 50 percent of employees are immersed in everyday tools that capture their data.” Employees are more optimistic about working with AI, said Diez. For recruiters, AI and machine learning enable recognition patterns, catalogs behaviors and even evaluates the employees’ reasons for leaving the company, which is one of the most common problems companies face.

“Companies need to hire the best talent as quickly as possible,” said Pol Morral, Co-founder & CEO of LaPieza.io. In Mexico, hiring processes are still very manual because recruiters receive CVs from different platforms and review them one by one. “Mexico has less than 5 percent companies using data services for candidate management. As a result, companies take an average of 40 days to hire,” says Morral.

As AI grows, some are concerned that it might replace humans in the workplace but this concern is unfounded, explained Morral. “Human intervention will continue to be very important, especially during the final stages of recruiting because recruiters are the ones who decide if the selected candidates share the same vision as the company. This reinforces the technological decision with the personal one.”

AI also breaks barriers by allowing companies to hire employees from virtually anywhere, said Maria Fernanda Miretti, Global Talent Acquisition & DO of Multiplica. “AI will allow us to reach more allies abroad, not just locally. It also helps re-find talent within the same organizations, based on new skills.”

Recruiters needs and expectations have changed but so have the expectations from workers. Monica French, Head of New Business Hispanic America of LinkedIn Talent Solutions describes these times as “the age of the employee; they make the rules and they have certainly changed all parameters.” These changes include diversity in the workplace and the remote work modality. “Companies are responsible for making their company attractive to outside talent,” said French.

Companies need to change outdated hiring practices. “We cannot longer base solely on experience, education institutes or acquaintances. That has been left behind. Companies are now basing hiring decisions on present and future potential,” said French. The candidate must also be adaptable: “they have to get used to selling themselves and highlighting their skills to position themselves better in this working environment,” said Miretti.

A key priority when integrating AI in the recruitment process is ensuring that the algorithm is properly trained to avoid biases, said French. European Commission released a series of recommendations to companies regarding this type training and urged companies to introduce representative data to reduce biases. “This algorithm must also be supervised by humans to guarantee objectivity without bias,” said Ciuro. Avoiding legal and ethical implications of AI in hiring is difficult, he warned, so companies must be aware of the presence of potential biases.

To avoid this problem, Morral urged companies to always adapt to each market and country. “There are several things that one cannot ask or look for depending on the region. For example, salary history and how much employees currently earn,” Morral said. Novel AI algorithms can also find a person’s criminal records in seconds, which is also a violation of law and personal privacy. “It is important to always be aware that AI is ahead of people and even governments but is up to us to decide for what we want to use these tools,” said Morral.

Regulation will also have to cope with these accelerated changes. “When regulations arrive, companies have to take steps back and revise their processes to identify what can be limited, what should be regulated and what practices should be left behind,” said Diez.

The final responsibility falls on the human element because technology is just a tool. While AI has imperfections, it “is up to us to limit them. The use of AI will reduce errors that we would not be able to reduce on our own,” says French. One of the major differences that AI can make is reducing hiring mistakes that cost companies large figures, inhibit project advancement and sink progress, she added.

AI will allow employers to identify the skills the company will need in the future and be prepared, said Miretti. Moreover, AI’s prediction skills could fundamentally change the job hiring process. “I expect the recruitment system to reverse. We will no longer publish jobs; instead, we will know who can do the job and contact them,” said Miretti. In the future, CVs could also be left behind due to their distractive elements such as picture, name, age and race, “Creating a portfolio to see precise skills is more targeted.”

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst