How using AI in recruitment can give you a talent edge

As the race for talent heats up, smart companies are turning to tech to help them hire the most qualified candidates in the shortest amount of time

In today’s candidate-short recruitment landscape, HR executives are struggling to find exceptional employees, and at the rate of growth and speed they need.

Research by SHRM finds that 59% of HR professionals believe candidates who apply for their jobs are missing the basic skills set required to perform the role, while 84% believe there is a general shortage of skills among the candidates.

Add to this the fact that many employers take months to finalise the recruitment process, from application to screening, and you have a recipe for recruitment disaster, especially given the red-hot jobs market – and when the candidate is the wrong fit.

As the race for talent continues apace, and companies look to gain a competitive edge in an economy ripe for recession, forward-thinking talent specialists are increasingly turning to AI and chatbot technologies to facilitate more intelligent hiring, ensuring that only the most appropriate candidates make it to the short list, and the process is fast and precise.

How AI works to improve hiring accuracy and speed

Artificial intelligence has been helping HR departments streamline and improve the hiring process for some years now, providing tools to help businesses identify candidates with the right skills accurately at scale, and streamline the process to ensure speedy hires.

These AI recruiting tools use automation like chatbots and automated messaging to eliminate many of the menial tasks involved in what is traditionally a resource and time-intensive process, slashing the time it takes to recruit employees.

Arguably more important, they use AI to ensure distribution of job ads to the right types of candidates on the right types of sites, and when applicants respond, AI guides the system to make better matches. The tools can interpret myriad candidate data to help recruiters make sense of it and enable them to see candidates in the context of the roles they have applied for.

How AI-powered platform impress.ai is aiding accuracy and speed

Singapore-headquartered recruitment automation solution impress.ai is one company doing just that. Its AI-powered platform helps companies identify talent with the most appropriate skills, streamlining the hiring process and cutting the time to shortlist by 90%.

Its candidate evaluations are based on competency frameworks built by Organisational Psychologists, while its technical skills assessment solutions are in partnership with professional assessment organisations. The platform taps conversational chatbots to evaluate job candidates via a series of assessments and assign an overall metric value to each candidate.

“Using virtual recruitment chatbots is one way to overcome the main problem in the recruiting funnel, which is the high rate of good candidates dropping out in the early stages,” says CEO Sudhanshu Ahuja.

With a regional presence in Australia, India, and Indonesia, and the USA, impress.ai has served more than 50 enterprises since its inception in 2017, among them DBS Bank, Singtel, ADB, Panasonic, Accenture, and CapitaLand, along with Government agencies, educational institutions and one of Asia’s largest utility providers; and has recently partnered with Aon to help the professional services firm’s global clients make better-informed talent decisions while saving time and money.

CapitaLand – slashing hiring process from 3 months to 16 hours

CapitaLand, which hires top talent Asia-wide as it continues its rapid growth, has always manually screened, and assessed the high volume of candidate applications it receives for its sought-after Graduate Development Programme – a resource-intensive and long-drawn-out application-to-shortlist process that used to take up to three months.

Since leveraging impress.ai’s platform to centralise and automate its multi-stage assessment process, the Asian real estate giant has reduced the average time taken by a candidate to complete the entire process from 3 months to 16 hours and 24 minutes.

impress.ai enables us to screen and recruit top talents with speed and scale, keeping candidates engaged throughout a multistage process, and ultimately, increasing hiring accuracy,” says Angeline Oh, Head, Group Human Resources at CapitaLand.

HireVue and hireEZ help businesses to hire faster, fairer and more precisely

HireVue is another AI-powered recruitment automation platform helping companies to hire faster, more accurately, and in a fair way. Like impress.ai, its conversation AI hiring assistant tackles the issue of candidate dropout ensuring that HR professionals don’t lose a single qualified candidate to the “dreaded applicant and email blackholes” by keeping candidates engaged with text-based pre-screening and scheduling.  

The platform, whose clients read like a who’s who of the corporate elite – think Dow Jones, Unilever, Amazon, Kraft Heinz, bp and Microsoft – promises a 90% decrease in time to hire, 131% return on investment, and 16% increase in new hire diversity.

Oil giant bp uses HireVue to assess fit, allowing its recruiters to look beyond the CV to find the most accurate fit, while Amazon EMEA, which saved more than 68,000 recruiter hours in 2021 by using HireVue’s platform, found that time given back to the recruiter was an important benefit. By using the platform, 43% of the time taken for traditional interviewing was reduced via automation and efficiency.

“We’re in a position where a lot of our candidates are being sought after by multiple organisations at the same time,” says Laura Juan Arroyo. “When there’s a negative response to any of our hiring processes, a lack of speed is often referenced as one of the top frustrations, so speed in itself is something that drives the candidates experience and which we really focus on. Those organisations that can move the fastest will have longer to engage with a candidate while they’re making a decision.”

Similarly, award-winning outbound recruiting platform hireEZ, whose roster of clients includes Deloitte, Visa, Ceridian and Wayfair, among others, uses AI to sort and rank, at speed, best-fit talent on the open web so recruiters don’t have to spend hours scrolling through irrelevant candidate profiles. 

The platform utilises AI-powered search filters to find “five times more qualified leads with specific sourcing criteria for past and current job titles, companies, diversity and industry expertise”.

And if the testimonials are anything to go by, it seems to be working. When Danny Cahill, President of Hobson Associates, one of the largest privately held search firms in the US, runs the same search on hireEZ as LinkedIn, he gets “25% more potential candidates”. While Deanna O’Connell, President at woman and veteran-owned RedKite Recruiting, has seen some of her company hireEZ campaigns reach 100%, a far cry from their response rate on LinkedIn, which never surpassed 22%.

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