Recruitment Insights

Navigating the new era: How will AI impact the recruitment industry?

December 11, 2023
Navigating the new era: How will AI impact the recruitment industry?

Like many other industries, recruitment is seeing a significant shift toward AI-driven solutions. Bullhorn’s survey of 50 recruitment agencies found that 54% plan to leverage AI within a year. The graph below shows the areas where agencies plan to use it, with talent sourcing and generative AI among the top priorities, rather than using it simply to automate processes.

What will the impact be on human recruiters and the industry as more agencies adopt these tools?

Data-driven insights to support hiring

Data-driven insights to support hiring

AI in recruitment analyses large datasets to identify ideal candidates. Algorithms examine resumes, employment histories, and social media profiles to find individuals whose skills and experiences match job requirements. This approach can improve the quality of candidates sourced and speed up the recruitment process.

Human biases, whether conscious or unconscious, often impact the hiring process. Influenced by their experiences and societal norms, recruiters may inadvertently favour candidates based on gender, ethnicity, or age. AI in recruitment contributes to removing biases by analysing and recommending candidates based solely on their skills.

AI can also support recruiters by using predictive analytics to suggest a candidate’s fit and success. For example, it uses historical data to compare current hires against new candidates by considering factors like job tenure and cultural fit, which supports informed hiring decisions. AI can identify successful candidate traits and refine screening criteria to improve candidate selection.

Spending more time building relationships with candidates

Generative AI streamlines recruitment by automating tasks like creating job descriptions and initial candidate screenings. It uses natural language processing to craft effective job descriptions and draft responses to candidates.

AI in recruitment automates tasks like sorting applications and scheduling interviews, freeing recruiters to focus on candidate engagement during the hiring process. This shift allows for deeper interactions, helping recruiters understand candidates’ aspirations and potential organisational fit.

Even as AI begins to find a place in recruitment, it will not be capable of replacing human connections. Recruiters’ empathetic engagement, understanding of soft skills, and cultural fit must complement AI’s efficiency.

Rather than use AI to replace recruiters, we will likely see recruiters use AI to draft job ads and responses to candidates. When recruiters use AI to manage administrative tasks, they can invest more time in cultivating relationships with clients and candidates. People who receive quick responses about their progress as an applicant will feel more satisfied with the process and be more likely to engage with your agency in the future.

Balancing human intervention with AI

Perhaps the most pertinent point to note about using AI in recruitment is that people must monitor AI output and question everything it does. As Greg Savage noted in a blog, tools like ChatGPT can make significant errors and should not be unquestioningly trusted.

While AI handles data analysis and identifies patterns, human recruiters add contextual understanding and emotional intelligence. This blend enables data-driven candidate selection without removing the human element necessary to gauge someone’s cultural fit.

Balancing AI and human intervention leverages the strengths of both: AI provides accurate data processing, and people offer critical thinking and ethical judgment. This approach ensures an inclusive and effective recruitment process.

Ethical considerations and AI in recruitment

34% of respondents in Deloitte’s 2020 Global Human Capital Trends survey cited the rapid adoption of AI as a reason to become concerned with ethics in the workplace. As a recruitment agency, you must maintain data privacy and ethical considerations when processing candidate data. The same considerations must also be taken under consideration when leveraging AI.

Using AI in recruitment raises ethical issues, especially concerning bias and data privacy. AI using past data in predictive analytics might unintentionally reflect biases when screening potential candidates, so recruiting agencies will need to understand and be mindful of this factor.

Protecting candidate data privacy is also crucial, requiring adherence to data protection laws. Recruiting agencies should develop guidelines and best practices to integrate AI ethically. These include transparent AI use in evaluations, maintaining human oversight in AI-driven decisions, and training staff on ethical AI use.

Transparency, fairness, and accountability are essential in ethical AI integration. Recruitment agencies should communicate the role of AI to candidates, ensure equal treatment, and hold responsibility for AI-driven decisions.


AI enables recruitment agencies to improve efficiency, data-driven decision-making and candidate analysis. AI processes use historical datasets to predict trends and improve candidate selection. Simultaneously, generative AI capabilities help recruiters write job ads and respond to candidates faster so they can focus on building relationships.

While AI promises to deliver many efficiencies, it also comes with ethical considerations. For this reason, recruiters must take a balanced approach and continuously monitor AI’s outputs and suggestions. In addition, AI usage must meet ethical standards like bias prevention and data privacy. Recruiters who remain transparent over AI’s usage and promote fairness can build an ethical and candidate-centred hiring process using these tools.

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