If you are planning to apply for a job in 2021 or later, chances are that not a human but an Artificial Intelligence-driven algorithm will be shortlisting your resume by ranking it against set skills and parameters. The procedure of sorting job applications and calling shortlisted candidates for the subsequent round is being automated by more and more companies by the day, say experts. The use of technology in the HR domain is not new but its adoption has seen exponential expansion during the pandemic.
“In India, more than 90 per cent of resume level matchmaking happens using keywords and traditional calling methods. Jobseekers expect a recruiter to reach out to them explaining about the company and why this role suits them. Recruitment in India is nuts and bolts. Unless someone reaches out to the aspirant, the recruitment cycle does not end,” said Saran Balasundaram, founder and CEO, Han Digital.
However, the trend is changing now. “Now, companies are using AI-based hackathon platforms more for proactive hiring and creating a talent pipeline. Such AI tools are embedded with assessment layers on top of the matchmaking layer. New age AI tools contribute to having background verification with few BGV parameters in a click before the offer is being committed,” he added.
Most HR firms claim to have recorded an uptick in companies willing to make the tedious task of shortlisting CVs to run by AI-driven algorithms during the pandemic. Earlier, the practice was followed by limited high-tech firms but as more and more firms have adopted the online mode of working during the pandemic, experts believe this is going to be the new norm.
Pandemic push to automation
While some say that it would eliminate biases caused by human interference, others believe that holistic shortlisting of applications considering the social and economic background of a candidate might not be possible when a machine is running the processes.
HCL says using AI tools in HR is not new but its usage has expanded during the pandemic. The tech giant too uses AI and Natural Language Processing (NLP) based tool for screening of resumes. The tool analyses each resume based on-demand attributes, score, and stacks rank resumes for recruiters’ phone screening and further processing. “This is the new normal for the recruiting industry wherein a combination of technology and human effort is helping companies to recruit faster and better, thus fundamentally changing the role of recruiter from mere resume pusher to true talent advisor,” a spokesperson from HCL told indianexpress.com.
“The pandemic as we know accelerated the adoption of technology across industries and functions. Before the pandemic, most organisations were averse to leaving hiring decisions through virtual systems, but this has become commonplace in the new normal. Headhunting, screening, and identifying suitable candidates using technology has various salient features such as collaborative nature and its preponderance to data-driven analysis. Such features enable hiring managers and recruiters in finding the right candidate efficiently. This is likely to continue going into 2021 and beyond with a fine balance of face-to-face hiring gradually,” said Neeti Sharma, Senior Vice President, TeamLease Services.
Eliminate biases or overlook holistic assessments?
The job of the tool is to hire the right candidate for the role at hand in the fastest and most efficient manner, but it not necessarily a holistic assessment, claims Yogita Tulsiani, MD and co-founder, iXceed Solutions. However, the tools remove any kind of bias and helps to improve diversity and inclusion, she adds.
“It is an automated process, thus personalised flavour does not come in the hiring process. It will be a very mechanical, algorithm-based screening, which might discount the soft skills of the candidates. In India, the data volumes are very high, so another challenge is for the tool to run with such a high data and generate high accuracy,” she said.
To reach a middle ground, many suggest automating only the top processes in recruitment to avoid shrinking of the initial pipeline and expanding the review process to more applicants.
“The automated hiring process certainly does not consider the economic and socially backward background of people and never shows any bias, which does not mean it can’t do a holistic assessment. The AI-enabled application sorting process is less subject to bias and more capable of promoting equality. It screens and sorts the candidates on the basis of their skills, knowledge, profile, experience, qualification. which has won our trust on AI-based systems to render evaluations and decisions in everything — from screening to onboarding, to assessing to verifying backgrounds, and much more,” said Ramya Chatterjee, CEO, Cybernetyx. “For a holistic assessment, it is always good to work in a combination of humans and technology,” he added.