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Using AI to improve recruitment and the job-seeker experience

Recruitment is challenging. Finding the right person for the job is expensive and CVs do not always show the most realistic and complete view of a person’s skills, capabilities and achievements.

As technology advances, recruiters and companies are looking into ways to improve the efficiency and the value that is provided to job-seekers.

Using AI to improve recruitment is increasingly being seen as the answer to do this.

In older times, looking for a job would mean buying a newspaper and read through job posts, circling the interesting options; then printing your CV, writing a letter of motivation and sending it through the post with the hope that it will get within the deadline. And you would repeat this process over again to fill in several applications at the same time.

That meant several piles of paper accumulating in the recruiter’s desk, hoping to go through all of them in time and without missing any relevant information.

Then this improved with online job posts and web applications, making the job-seekers search a little bit better but also widening it in a way that might also become overwhelming. Not to say, this made the recruiter’s job even tougher: The number of applicants to review increased substantially. Add conscious and unconscious bias, checking qualifications, comparing which of the listed skills and experience is more fit to the available role, and you get quite a lot of inefficiency in the whole process.

And from the job-seeker point of view, is not the best experience, either. Just to give you an idea, if you search for “Retail Jobs UK” in Google, you will get about 361,000,000 results. Many of these might be for roles you are not interested in, or you are not qualified for, or from employers, you wouldn’t consider or they could even be scams. And most of all there are too many options!

How to use AI to improve recruitment

With the ever-increasing data available about candidates and employees, some innovative AI companies are taking on the challenge of helping improve talent acquisition efficiency and effectiveness.

Artificial Intelligence algorithms can be trained to predict which are the most relevant jobs for each person, by pulling out the most crucial data from job descriptions and resumes and then select the search results that are relevant and fraud-free.

Recruiters, on another hand, would normally take a quick glance at a CV for around 30 seconds up till 1 minute on a first filter. Using AI instead allows to analyse millions of CVs and assimilate patterns that would make that specific candidate fit for a specific role.

That is why AI is appearing more and more in talent and recruitment spaces. For instance, according to Sigmar & EY 2018 Talent Leaders Pulse survey, some of the top priorities for HR in 2018 are:

  1. Retaining talent
  2. Attracting key talent
  3. GDPR
  4. Increasing employee engagement and enrichment
  5. Leadership development succession planning
  6. Developing key skills and competencies through more agile learning
  7. Exploring the use of artificial intelligence, automation and robotics
  8. Better use of people analytics to drive talent decision-making

Let’s put an example in MArketing. If you were looking for a learning digital marketing student, using AI would help you identify:

  • Patterns on types of schools they attended,
  • kind of experience they had,
  • and how these make them more fitted for the role you are looking for.

Then, the recruitment professional and the job-seeker can focus in the human relationship and the soft skills, and even increase the levels of service (to training services, providing feedback to the candidates, etc). This would leave to the machines the low-level tasks such as reviewing and double-checking, scheduling and even generating evaluation tasks, that could be automated using AI technology.

With each recruiting process, there is a substantial amount of data created, but it isn’t being captured for future reference for the company.

Furthermore, think on the value the candidate could get: More feedback, more accurate jobs (even more ambitious, opening new possibilities), providing better information for decision makers, and even ruling out unconscious discriminatory factors from talent selection.

Using AI to improve recruitment would also mean being able to target passive job seekers. This would mean to consider a different type of role or an upgrade that might gather your attention. And this means extra service for the recruitment agencies.

SureCert creates an AI network in Northern Ireland

On this line, from the 1st of April, SureCert is leading the collaborative network in Artificial Intelligence. Our network includes partners like Ulster University, AWS, Microsoft, and the Northern Ireland Department of Economy.

Artificial Intelligence is a huge area of growth in a wide range of industries, with estimates suggesting that AI could add £232bn to the UK economy by 2030. The aim of our network on AI is to do a scoping study to examine the capability present in Northern Ireland and to identify the areas in which NI companies can achieve a sustainable competitive advantage in this space. Clearly, SureCert will look at it from the labour market point of view and how this can be beneficial both for the recruitment industry and the Education bodies.

The full list of partners of the AI network are:

Member companies

SureCert – Recruitment and Labour Market platform
Analytics Engines – Data Analytics
City Radar – Tourism and Travel analytics & Smart Cities promotions
Big Motive – UX and Design
Irp Commerce – Retail
Sentireal – Medical and healthcare training
AdoreBoard – Social Media Analytics
Yedup – Finance Analytics
Brainwave Bank – Cognitive Health
Algorithmic Automation – Data Analytics
Exploristics – Data Analytics
Axial 3D – Healthcare
Clinisent – Healthcare
Performance Active – Software Development and Cyber Security
OCO Global – Market Consultancy
See.Sense – Intelligent Lighting

Academic Institutions

Ulster University
Queens University Belfast

Other stakeholders

Digital Catapult
Department for the Economy
Invest NI