With the rise of automation in recruiting, hardly a year goes by without someone pointing out that AI is about to replace recruiters.

While it’s true that AI is becoming a bigger part of recruiting, it’s far from replacing skilled recruiters and the relationships they can build with candidates.

The Promise of AI and Recruitment Automation

We should take a second here to explain the difference between bots and AI. Bots are mostly used to interact with candidates, usually through instant messaging. AI is the driving force behind bots and recruiting automation in general. It helps bots form better questions and answers by collecting and analyzing candidate data.

The move towards automation has great potential to make life easier for recruiters, especially considering that the most time-consuming part of a recruiter’s job is collecting information and screening potential candidates. These kinds of repetitive and time-consuming tasks are exactly the thing AI excels at. Bots can crawl websites and social media platforms looking for prospective hires, while AI based on machine learning can screen applicants for any number of parameters.

On the other hand, this has led a number of hiring experts to voice concerns over AI replacing them in the near future. And it’s true that AI and bots are becoming more and more sophisticated. However, the future doesn’t need to be a dystopia. The best results will come from recruiters and AI working together.

Skilled Recruiters are Immune to Automation

While automation technology is making strides in streamlining process-driven work, it's unlikely to ever be able to replace the empathy and expert judgment of an experienced recruiter.

With so much information collected by AI, a human touch is now more essential than ever. Skilled recruiters can pick up on the nuances in word choice and facial expressions, something other humans can have trouble with, let alone AI. There’s also the fact that candidates simply prefer to communicate with other human beings. Companies that tried to automate the entire hiring process through AI found that this negatively impacted the candidate experience. The candidates found the process simply too scripted.

How Recruiters Can Leverage Bots

If we bear in mind that the best way to move forward with AI recruiting is to have AI and recruiters working together, what can hiring experts do to get the most out of automation?

Sourcing and Screening

As we mentioned above, AI recruiting has the potential to take the most time-consuming tasks and save recruiters time and effort. Aside from communicating with candidates, many AI recruiting tools are now also able to crawl social networks like LinkedIn. The wealth of data platforms like these hold can be invaluable in proactively looking for talent to fit job openings.

AI can then parse and analyze this data, looking for candidates with the best skillset and those most likely to fit in the company culture. The results are then sent to recruiters, who can now reach out to these candidates and expect much higher response rates.

Candidate Engagement

Collecting and screening candidate data is only part of the work. Once you have a list of prospective hires, it’s time to engage with them. AI is used to automate conversations with candidates through text, email, or your website. This way, you make sure you don’t miss any of the qualified candidates.

AI recruiting can also help with the administrative side of things, answering candidate questions and scheduling interviews for the most promising hires.

Finally, even when the recruiter chooses the right person for the job, AI recruiting can help keep in touch with all the other applicants. This way, you’re building a talent pool that you can tap into the next time you have an open position. This kind of long-term engagement also helps improve the overall candidate experience. After all, even if they don’t get hired, every candidate can be a potential brand ambassador.

Interviews

As we mentioned, AI is able to take over interview scheduling, making sure recruiters can get in touch with candidates anywhere and at any time. Bots can even stand in for recruiters at certain stages of the interview, asking basic questions and analyzing and grading answers. AI recruitment can also help recruiters craft the best possible interview questions by collecting data on the candidate’s personality. Armed with this knowledge, recruiters can now truly focus on interacting with candidates.

Another area where AI can prove useful is crafting job offers. Once the perfect candidate is found, bots can analyze previous communication and help determine the best employee value proposition.

Every candidate will have different goals and plans on how they can impact your company and help it grow. AI recruitment can make sure these goals are supported by your organization, by offering them a personalized compensation and benefits proposition.

Onboarding

Finally, AI recruitment can help streamline and improve onboarding. Due to the fact it’s automated, AI-backed onboarding will be available at all times. It will also be able to answer basic questions and provide training tailored to the role the new hire is filling.

Focusing on Soft Skills and Candidate Experience

Considering all of the above, it’s easy to see AI recruiting will become commonplace in the years to come. There are two specific steps recruiters can take to prepare and make the most out of this fact.

The first one is to become familiar with what AI recruiting is and what it has to offer. They need to find out what sort of recruitment software solutions their company is already using and how AI can be integrated into existing workflows. Mastering this technology will make recruiters prepared for the future.

Second, they should focus on honing the soft skills AI recruiting won’t be able to replace. Empathy, emotional intelligence, and expert decision making are still key skills in a recruiter’s arsenal.

While some might fear that AI recruiting is going to make their jobs obsolete, quite the opposite is true. In the future, the best hiring results will come from recruiters working hand in hand with AI and leveraging all the benefits it can bring.