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AI in hiring is putting off candidates

While many employers are turning to AI to create a more streamlined recruitment process they risk coming across as impersonal to candidates

Three quarters (73%) of people said that a completely automated hiring process would give them a negative perception of a business and its overall brand, according to research from Carmichael Fisher.

The impact of artificial intelligence within the recruitment industry: Defining a new way of recruiting report surveyed 132 people who were employed, unemployed or students to find out which parts of the recruitment process frustrated candidates and how technology could improve it.

Researchers found that AI could be making hiring approaches too restrictive. While AI can be highly effective at streamlining recruitment, good candidates could be eliminated from the process if their CV does not contain the correct key words, they suggested.

The research also found that video interviewing is unpopular among candidates.

One in five respondents (20%) said they disliked video interviews, while 90% stated they would favour human interaction over a robot.

Overall, the research indicated that the traditional recruitment process still needs to change, with 84% of candidates saying that current procedures are ineffective.

When asked if they would join an organisation if it was slow to respond to them about an application, over half (51%) suggested it would depend on the company and over a quarter (27%) said they wouldn’t. Seventy-one per cent said they had previously applied to a job and not heard back.

Commenting on the findings, James Wright, technology consultant from Carmichael Fisher, said that AI feels impersonal to many candidates.

“The use of AI in the preliminary stages of recruitment is useful to analyse the market and to assist with areas of potential human error such as unconscious bias," he said.

“However, once you have a candidate shortlist, the process becomes intrinsically human and interactive. One of the most common words we found used in the study, when asking participants about using AI for the whole hiring process was ‘impersonal’."

He added that this could be positive news for recruiters, as it shows a clear need for human interaction.

“The role of a recruiter is entirely based on consolidating solid and trustworthy relationships with candidates, getting to know them and their wants and desires," he said.

"While the future of HR and hiring certainly will welcome AI to take over those more administrative tasks, the role of the human recruiter isn’t going anywhere yet.”