How AI will reshape the role of the recruiter
Recruiting is one of the most difficult and undervalued jobs in the company. It requires a diverse set of skills that few people possess in equal measure. Recruiters are researchers, marketers, salespeople, experience specialists, and data scientists. No other job in the organization requires expertise across the full range of a candidate lifecycle at the level of a recruiter.
With the adoption of AI into the recruiting cycle, we will finally have a way to right this wrong. By leveraging AI for key parts of the recruiting process, recruiters will have more time to do what only a human can do!
In fact, a recent HR.com survey of talent leaders found that 53% expect personalization to be the primary benefit of AI in recruiting, followed by analysis at 45%. (Download the full report: Future of AI, Automation, and Recruitment Technologies, HR.com)
5 Competencies Required for Recruitment Today
Let’s dig into the core competencies of a recruiter today and where AI will enhance and assist.
1. Expert talent researcher
Recruiters are expected to be expert researchers.
They know how to uncover the truth on any resume. They’ve got research sites bookmarked, and spend lots of time checking sources: company valuations, press releases, growth stats, patents, publications, code certifications…
But it can take years to build up this arsenal of resources. And when a recruiter leaves a talent team, they often take their tools with them. So how can AI be used to uplevel the research skills of the whole team?
By doing what AI does best: analyzing data at scale.
AI has 24/7 capacity to analyze hundreds of thousands of data sources and trillions of data points to find patterns and insights. GenAI gives recruiters a way to ask questions of data without being a data scientist.
When choosing a talent platform, consider the data sources, how the platform analyzes and verifies the data, and then how easily the data can be used by recruiters in their daily activities.
Findem uses factual 3D data derived from people and company data over time. A skill or expertise on a social profile is validated automatically across additional sources. For example, a candidate lists Python as a skill. They have Github code contributions for Python.
For example, a candidate lists Python as a skill. They have Github code contributions for Python. A recruiter can connect those 2 data points and identify this as a verified skill for one person. AI can scale that across millions of data points.
“You cannot buy that data anywhere else. I feel much more confident about who it is that I’m targeting. And I have the contact data to reach them. Based on my experience to date, I trust the data," said Tori Madonick.
2. Employer marketer
Recruiters have to be expert marketers to attract and nurture talent through the funnel.
They draft the job descriptions and ads that attract the right talent. But not everyone’s an expert in the company brand and persuasive prose.
Job descriptions that are too vague generate a high volume of unqualified candidates to sort through. Jobs that are too specific may keep the desired candidates from applying. Disqualifying hundreds of candidates results in a poor candidate experience. A lack of candidates has an impact on the business.
Recruiters are also marketers when they craft emails to attract candidates, nurture them through the recruiting process, and let them down gently when it’s not the right time. This takes a tremendous amount of time. As talent teams automate campaigns and respond to the high volume of applicants the volume of email required grows exponentially.
The next wave of recruiting platforms will bring these two functions together: outreach automation and content generation. Even better, the AI will track responses and recommend changes to improve response rates and targeting. Recruiters will learn how to use AI for content creation and automation to their advantage.
Finally, recruiters market talent to hiring managers and internal teams. That means pitching candidates by email or in phone conversations. Wouldn’t it be great to generate a script that highlights why this person is a match from an evidence-based, data-driven approach?
3. Sales executive
This is the part of the process where the recruiter really has to shine. When you find the talent that fits the role and fits the team, it is the recruiter who makes the case. As my friend Brett Coin says, “you’re selling them a career at your company.”
A great recruiter makes a candidate feel special and valued. They help them understand what a career at the company will be like. They also assess whether or not this person will thrive in the company culture. A recruiter helps a candidate answer the question, “Do I have what it takes?” with confidence.
Tori Madonick, associate director senior and niche hiring at Eikon Therapeutics, puts it this way:
“What AI is missing and will always miss is that human to human interaction. When you’re trying to pull someone from a job where they’re happy and not considering other opportunities, that requires a human touch. That warmth, that personability is what will separate recruiting work from the work of the AI.”
4. User experience manager
To me, experience is one of the most important factors in hiring today. I prefer to broaden this beyond just the candidate experience. We should care about the hiring manager experience, the onboarding experience, the separation experience, and, yes, the recruiter’s experience.
Just as 53% of talent leaders see personalization as the biggest benefit to AI, 50% cite depersonalization as the top concern. When everything is automated at scale, will candidates feel seen and valued?
Consider where automation has most infiltrated our lives today – virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa, a Google search, a Netflix recommendation, Amazon logistics. AI and automation give us seamless experiences that enrich our lives. We will increasingly see this streamlining of the candidate and hiring experience.
With the scale of inbound applications, sorting between relevant and not ready candidates must be automated. One of the benefits to automation will also be to address the burnout recruiters feel. When 98% of applicants are not qualified, it is incredibly stressful and demoralizing. Being able to focus on the 2% who are really great will dramatically improve the recruiter’s experience!
Once a candidate engages with the company, they should be nurtured, not forgotten. For the top candidates, you still need a person to support them through the interview process and then into the company or with a graceful exit.
I expect to see a hybrid of automation and highly personalized interactions. The key here is to choose an automation platform that has controls and guardrails. AI should not be making decisions on your behalf, but providing you with the guidance to make better decisions faster and then scale your success. Having technology with appropriate controls and customizations will be key to creating a seamless experience.
5. Data scientist
Most talent teams use a mix of disjointed and disconnected recruiting tools. They often find themselves collecting data in hand calculated spreadsheets. That means a lot of data wrangling to get a true picture of what’s working and what’s not.
If you’re running a talent team, it takes time and effort to uncover which channels are delivering the most hires, how your teams are performing, and to calculate the true cost of a hire. In fact, 63% of talent leaders seek to improve analytics and tracking (2nd only to candidate experience).
AI is all about analysis at scale, and generative AI makes it possible to query the data like never before. Talent platforms that bring together multiple functions and create a trusted source of data are a recruiter’s best friend. In the future, recruiters will be data storytellers without having to be data scientists.
Benefits of AI in recruiting
With AI to automate much of the research, analytics, marketing and experience, recruiters will have time to focus on the sales aspects of the job. They will have time to get to know talent and develop people internally and externally.
The benefits of recruiting automation highlight the personal and human over the machine.
Always on recruiting
Recruiters will start the week with engaged candidates. Your AI-powered recruiting platform will work 365 days a year, 24 hours a day and never get sick, grow tired, or leave the company. You will be able to maintain a continuous flow of ready talent and a top notch employer brand.
Identify and reduce bias
Unconscious bias means that humans often make decisions based on prejudice and assumptions that they are not even aware of. We can train people and support change, but human bias is hard to detect. Human bias is not consistent or repetitive.
AI and machine learning use sample data to train the model, and that data can result in bias. However, bias in machines is easier to detect and solve for. At this stage in the development of AI, there should always be a “human in the loop” to respond to detected bias and adjust appropriately.
Know the universe of talent
The greatest benefit of talent data analysis at scale is to know the universe of talent that’s right for your company. Recruiters start with known candidates. Then they can sell them on the role, the team, and the company. I hope we can eliminate intake meetings, calibration meetings, event job descriptions, and focus on people.
Where AI will assist in recruiting
The best recruiters have a combination of IQ and EQ competencies that are almost impossible to find and even harder to train for. But even the best recruiters have limits.
What’s so exciting about AI, is that it can level up the IQ parts of the job for everyone. With AI, many of the IQ parts of the job can become automated so recruiters can focus on making the human connection.
GenAI should encourage every recruiter to challenge themselves to understand it better. They will have to embrace AI and add it to their tool belt. It will make them more effective and efficient within their job.
It’s time to ask, what part of the job requires a human being?