Artificial intelligence (AI) is radically reshaping the future of business, and the potential for HR is dramatic. Even before the launch of ChatGPT a year ago, talent acquisition leaders were starting to implement AI into their hiring processes. And now with generative AI becoming increasingly more powerful, dozens of AI-powered recruiting tools are hitting the market.
An astounding 80% of global HR professionals believe AI will help them with their work over the next five years. Accordingly, the global AI recruitment market is expected to reach $890 million by 2028.
As AI rapidly makes its way into the HR world, there are still many unknowns, and understandably there’s a lot of apprehension. Yet I believe the way to approach AI is to embrace it. The question we should all be asking isn’t what will AI do to me, but what can it do for me. In other words, how can AI make me a more effective employee and leader? AI is a powerful tool that requires upskilling, and that means navigating both its pros and cons
AI is an HR game changer
So what’s the promise of AI? And what perils do talent leaders need to consider?
Let’s start with the benefits. Simply put, AI is a game changer. It can dramatically improve the hiring process by lowering the time and cost of hiring candidates, by reducing hiring bias, by enhancing communication with candidates, and by making it easier to identify high-quality talent. By incorporating AI into the hiring process, talent acquisition leaders can reduce the time required to sift through large numbers of applications. They can quickly analyze vast amounts of candidate data to identify the best candidates for specific roles. They can rapidly generate job descriptions and personalized messages. And they can more efficiently schedule, conduct, and evaluate interviews.
The role of AI isn’t limited to the hiring process. AI-driven tools are also addressing HR pain points when it comes to employee onboarding, development, and retention. For example, some companies are using AI to speed the onboarding process—from AI software that automatically verifies employment documentation to chatbots that answer employee questions. Organizations are also using AI to develop and retain employees. By providing employees with personalized learning and development opportunities and by matching existing employees with relevant positions as they come open, AI is helping companies lower turnover.
A powerful tool for talent management
In fact, companies that have incorporated AI are seeing significant improvements in the hiring process. For example, the global telecommunications company Tata Communications is embracing AI to help it recruit more candidates from underrepresented groups. Using an AI-powered tool, Tata has been able to locate a greater number of diverse candidates, increasing the number of female hires by 19%.
Likewise, the global cosmetics manufacturer L’Oreal, which receives about 1 million applications every year, is using a chatbot to answer routine candidate inquiries and check information such as visa requirements. Candidates that make it to the next round experience other AI software that scores their answers to interview questions. In one case, L’Oreal recruiters saved 200 hours hiring 80 interns from a pool of 12,000 candidates.
On the talent development side, the British telecom company Vodafone is creating an AI-powered “full learning experience platform” that helps employees pinpoint the roles they aspire to and the gaps they need to fill to get there.
Similarly, the global services company Arvato Bertelsmann, is using an AI-powered tool to improve employee retention. By analyzing data from employee exit interviews to identify why employees were leaving, the company was able to reduce unwanted employee turnover by 63% over a three-month period.
Learning to navigate the risks
While AI offers myriad benefits, it’s critical to avoid the potential perils. One risk is that AI can increase bias, rather than reduce it. AI systems are only as good as the datasets they’re trained on, and these datasets can be outdated or reflect historical biases. Amazon learned this the hard way when it discovered its computer models were trained to underrate female applicants based on patterns in resumes the company received over a 10-year-period, the majority of which came from men.
AI can also depersonalize the hiring experience, making it seem robotic. How many of us have experienced the frustration of interacting with chatbots that don’t answer our questions when we just want to talk to a real human being? While chatbots might be good at answering rote questions, they frequently fall short when responding to complex or nuanced questions. And in general, there’s no substitute for human interaction, especially when hiring executive-level candidates. Similarly, AI-generated messages can depersonalize communication, making emails sound formulaic and standardized.
In addition, AI can introduce machine-generated errors, leading talent leaders to misinterpret data or take the wrong factors into account when making candidate decisions. And it can be unreliable at considering nuanced information such as a candidate’s cultural fit, which can lead to the wrong hiring decisions. Limitations such as these may eventually lead talent leaders to mistrust the results, which in itself is a risk.
Keeping the “human” in human resources
When incorporating AI into the hiring process, a deliberate approach is key. Implementing AI isn’t as simple as plug-and-play. Organizations should choose tools built on scientifically-validated sources and implement them in a way that retains human oversight. Once AI-powered recruiting tools are purchased, HR staff should be trained to use them. They should make sure AI algorithms avoid bias, refrain from using AI tools to collect personal information, and learn the situations in which AI can and cannot enhance the recruiting process. Organizations should be transparent with candidates about how they’re putting AI to use. And they should be prepared to adapt their policies as AI regulations evolve.
Perhaps most critically, AI should be seen as a tool that augments—not replaces—human talent leaders. Humans need to review AI-generated communications before they’re sent to candidates. They need to oversee video interviews. They need to be the ultimate deciders who evaluate AI-based assessments. And they should solicit feedback to make sure their AI-powered platforms are truly improving, rather than harming, the candidate experience.
As AI continues to disrupt recruiting, those who learn to navigate its pros and cons will stay ahead of the curve. There’s no question that AI will revolutionize the HR industry as we know it. The challenge is to make it work for us.
Here are 10 AI-Powered Tools Disrupting Talent Management
GoHire – Online hiring software that simplifies the entire hiring process, from finding candidates to the final offer.
Eightfold – An AI talent platform to hire talent and develop people to their full potential.
Fetcher – Highly specialized AI Sourcing & Outreach Tool
Harver – A suite of automated solutions designed to help organizations engage, hire, and grow the right talent in a fast and unbiased way
HireVue – An automated hiring platform offering structured video interviews, skill assessments, job search assistants, and more.
Jobvite – Talent acquisition suite that delivers predictable outcomes, creates exceptional experiences, and increases recruiting capacity at scale.
Loxo – AI-powered talent intelligence platform designed to simplify workflows, cut costs, and radically improve performance.
Manatal – SMB-friendly AI-powered Applicant Tracking System (ATS).
Oorwin – AI-powered talent intelligence for intelligent sourcing, hiring, onboarding, and development of top talent.
Talview – Generative AI-powered hiring platform that helps with screening, video interviewing, online assessments, and analytics and insights.