Recruitment should be a fast and user-friendly experience for candidates. If they encounter obstacles or if things aren’t clear to them during the recruitment process, they tend to give up. Employers who are best at recruiting will attract more talent. How can we make smart use of AI in the recruitment process? And what is AI less useful for?
We invited Stefaan Van Weverberghe from the employer marketing bureau Theme to have coffee with us. He emphasised that recruiting companies need to sort out the basics first: they need a job site that performs well. Van Weverberghe: “It is important that a job site offers a real experience, where candidates can actively engage in dialogue as well as merely finding information. Certain companies still have a long way to go with that. For example, they don’t have their own job site yet, or their site is integrated into the corporate site, which might not yet be responsive. Others are taking the first steps towards a real candidate experience site, and that is what everyone will be doing in the future.”
A smart bot reacts to the candidate
A well-known example of artificial intelligence (AI) is the use of a chatbot. That kind of bot can also be a great tool for recruitment. Van Weverberghe explains: “A chatbot integrated into the job site can answer very specific questions so that a candidate doesn’t need to go looking for the FAQ section of a site. At the same time, chatbots teach themselves what candidates are looking for based on their browsing behaviour, so that they can proactively offer customised information. A chatbot is particularly important in the orientation phase of looking for a job.”
AI also benefits employee experience
AI is most useful in recruitment when searching for candidates, screening, informing and activating them. But can this technology also come in handy later in the process? According to Van Weverberghe, “a chatbot can be useful for employees as well as candidates. Instead of having to go and look up all the questions on the intranet or ask the HR department, they can get a quick answer from a chatbot. That frees up HR to focus on other things.”
Selection by AI: don’t forget the human aspect
Artificial intelligence techniques may make it easy to screen and select candidates on the basis of a CV and skills. “But there is an inherent risk in that”, says Van Weverberghe. As he explains, “it is perfectly possible that a candidate has all the required skills. The question is whether they will fit in with the organisation as a person. That’s why personal contact and an intuitive evaluation are necessary: the human factor.”
A second risk is that good candidates might be overlooked if we leave the selection up to AI. Why is that? “High-quality candidates might not yet have certain skills at present, but they would be able to acquire them easily”, Van Weverberghe points out. “That is an important factor if the number of good candidates is very low, which is often the case today.”
Conclusion: Using AI for recruitment only makes sense if the entire recruitment process is well thought through, simple, efficient and user friendly.
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