The rise of AI in recruitment and within work is well documented. The pandemic has only accelerated the use of AI and now the upcoming "bounce back", with the relaxing of national lockdowns, seems to be maintaining that pace.

But is this too much too soon?

AI definitely brings a lot of benefits to the recruitment world. Candidate matching, Application screening and sifting, Augmented Writing (emails, job descriptions etc), chatbots, and more. There is a tangible cost saving for the use of AI. You need less resource, less "humans".

Ideal, a Talent Intelligence provide, states that Manually screening resumes is still the most time-consuming part of recruiting, especially when 75% to 88% of the resumes received for a role are unqualified. Screening resumes and shortlisting candidates to interview is estimated to take 23 hours of a recruiter’s time for a single hire.  

So AI and automation makes sense to help reduce this time consuming but necessary task. However, we are letting an algorithm make a decision over whether an application or CV is suitable for a role. Is this right? Does it take into account the nuances and links that a good recruiter can make?

And this is where the grey area is.

As you read the article from Personnel today, you see that there are more and more concerns, especially legally, around the use of AI. There are more and more reports, stories and studies coming out where AI has not worked correctly, been biased and has actually caused more work that it has saved. Just recently Uber was heavily criticized for using AI to wrongly deny gig workers the use if its app, a problem that was indirectly causing racism because the facial identity software used by the AI was not accurate when it came to dark-skinned faces. Read the article here: LINK

My colleague Simon Davies wrote about a recent study that saw bias being applied by AI in interviews just simply by changing your appearance. Read his article here, I highly recommend it: Bias-free AI?

We've seen that technology really does improve the recruitment process. Just think of how a simple ATS removes a lot of the administration burden. But like the ATS, AI needs some strong governance and laws being brought in. Just to manage it.

Do we really want AI making life changing decisions, be it hiring people or firing people? This is unchartered waters we're entering and we need to tread carefully.

It does seem that we really are sprinting ahead with the deployment of AI solutions, not just in recruitment, but everywhere else. AI has certainly helped with automation, and I for one am glad that it is enhancing the solutions that we are delivering into my clients. But these are well managed and use human oversight to ensure their integrity. There's lots of examples where AI has not had the envisaged success.

Yes, there are benefits, but maybe we should be going into a brisk walk rather than a run!