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How AI Will Change Recruitment

How AI Will Change Recruitment

By Fay Capstick

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is never far from the news, generating good and bad headlines. Worst case scenario: humanity will be taken over by an evil AI which decides our existence is no longer required. Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking have both made headlines with their concerns over where our future might be heading. But before you start thinking of Terminator-style scenarios, it’s all likely to be far quicker and less dramatic. Best case scenario: AI fixes all of our problems, from climate change to cancer, and works with us rather than against us.

The reality, as with all things, is likely to be the grey area in the middle, at least for the foreseeable future. No huge excitement one way or the other (this is probably a good thing), but small advances that will make things subtly simpler. For example, the way your phone camera-roll now automatically puts people into albums using facial recognition. This is the friendly face of AI; the scary side is facial recognition for crime prevention. Think Minority Report.

Recruitment is one area where AI could have a massive impact, using virtual recruiters with an AI driven process from initial application all the way to a final interview, when a human would (hopefully) be involved. It isn’t hard to imagine software sorting through CVs, reading them for required key skills and qualifications, and automatically rejecting those who fail. It would then proceed to create a longlist of candidates to be issued with a set of computer-given, and assessed, personality and competence tests. It could be envisioned that the only time a human is needed is to undertake the final interview, and even then, with sufficient AI development, this could be potentially done by machine. In a recent development that might show the direction that AI is heading in, academics are pushing for AI to be credited as the inventor of two new patents, which under existing laws must be credited to humans (1).

The ONS predicts that 1.5 million jobs will be lost to automation (2), a figure based on current jobs that it suggests could be done by AI in future. Before we all panic, I would argue that we need to embrace AI as an industry, as it’s obvious that this is the direction that things are already heading in. If we are lucky, AI could take away some of the legwork from recruiting, freeing up staff to concentrate on the important tasks of interacting and building relationships with clients and candidates.

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  1. AI system 'should be recognised as inventor' https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-49191645
  2. Automation could replace 1.5 million jobs, says ONS https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-47691078