Once a futuristic concept, AI has become a reality that is being used in personal and professional lives. Understanding its true impact on the recruitment industry is crucial. This knowledge can be a source of empowerment for candidates, granting them greater control over their application process. They can now prepare and present their skills and experiences, showcasing their authentic selves, with or without the use of AI. This understanding can also help alleviate any anxiety they may have about the role of AI in the recruitment process, fostering a sense of confidence and control.   

So, what is AI? Artificial intelligence (AI) is a system that can perform complex tasks, such as reasoning, making decisions, and solving problems. In recruitment, AI systems are used to analyse large amounts of data and try to find patterns. Using these patterns, they will make predictions about future states. Platforms such as GPT-4 can be more innovative by composing songs and screenplays and understanding user writing styles. The possibilities with AI in recruitment are endless, but with large amounts of creativity comes a price.    

AI is a powerful tool for recruitment. It can be a helping hand, assisting in sourcing, screening candidates, and analysing CVs and job applications. For instance, platforms like ChatGPT are widely used in the industry. These digital platforms have the potential to streamline the recruitment process, providing HR professionals with a more effective way of finding suitable candidates. It’s said that 43% of Human resources professionals already use AI to make their jobs easier, specifically in the hiring process. If you use the tool correctly, recruiters can save time and effort. 

While the benefits of AI in the recruitment landscape are undeniable, it’s crucial to recognise its limitations. AI is prone to errors, including generating inaccurate information. This is particularly evident when reviewing applications influenced by AI, such as cover letters and CVs. The human touch, so essential for recruiters, is often removed. This underscores the value and importance of HR professionals and recruiters in the hiring process. 

In a fully automated recruitment process with AI, candidates could miss the opportunity to personally engage with consultants. This could hinder building relationships, a crucial aspect of the hiring process. By emphasising this, candidates can understand the importance of personal engagement and relationship-building, making them feel more aware and invested in the process and, thus, more likely to succeed.  

Candidates are being removed from reality and have started to rely on AI in different recruiting stages, like interviews. In October 2023, a TikTok video went viral, showcasing a candidate using an AI tool during their interview. They propped up their smartphone next to their laptop. When the interviewer asked questions, the AI tool would generate the ‘perfect’ answer for the candidate. The person appeared scripted during the video, and there was a lack of personality as they were preoccupied with reading a screen. While this could be helpful when preparing for an interview, it shouldn’t be the new way of conducting interviews. It will make it more challenging for the hiring manager to know the real you and could potentially lead to a lack of authenticity in the hiring process. 

In this example, the interview was conducted online; if the candidate were to attend a secondary interview in person without AI, would their answers be the same? Would they meet the requirements and expectations of the hiring manager? This is where AI blurs the lines from being a helpful tool and making candidates rely on the process. Without AI, would the candidate be able to perform a task once the tool has been removed? Because of this, recruitment agencies and employers should undoubtedly continue to place high value on face-to-face interviews; this way, they can rely on the candidate and take their answers at face value. It’s important when applying to a vacancy to remember that AI is a tool, not a replacement for your unique skills and experiences. Employers will begin to become savvier to the AI enhanced application/interview, so we will likely see rejections if it is suspected your application is not your own work. 

Artificial Intelligence is perceived as a one-stop solution, especially in recruiting, but there is a time and place to use the tool correctly. At RHL Recruitment, we use a more personal touch, which may be deemed ‘traditional’. But we invest a lot of time in finding the right candidate for the right job. We use innovative technology where necessary, but when it comes to building relationships with candidates and clients, we pride ourselves on the human approach and speaking to people.    

AI is not quite there when assessing career motivations and aspirations or in reading body language and showing empathy, but I’m sure it will come soon. At RHL we will take a more human approach, therefore you won’t see us using chatbots anytime soon.