Understanding the complex future of artificial intelligence and it’s impact on talent acquisition.

AI – or artificial intelligence – is the new buzzword in the human capital industry that has every company leader asking themselves the same question: “Is artificial intelligence going to replace my recruiter?” While we cannot disagree that technologies are rapidly advancing and inevitably will impact the way we do business, fully replacing the human element of talent acquisition seems highly unlikely.

The goal of artificial intelligence in talent acquisition today is to support and help eliminate the administrative aspects of recruitment. These tasks include qualifying and screening candidates, answering candidate’s questions about benefits or company culture, and assisting in scheduling. For organizations with a high volume of inbound applicants, AI assistance could significantly alleviate administrative burdens placed on recruiters and hiring managers.

Ideal, a talent acquisition technology company, reported that over half of talent acquisition leaders say the most difficult part of their job is screening the right candidates from a large applicant pool. To understand the impact AI could have on larger organizations, consider the volume of Google applicants… Google, a globally known employer with a desired employer brand and enviable culture, estimates over two million applicants per year. The ability to automate even some of the process for these two million applicants would greatly alleviate the responsibilities of Google’s talent team.

However, there are aspects of recruiting that artificial intelligence may never be able to address. AI tools can complete functions that have distinct inputs and outputs, but they cannot address the emotional intelligence, empathy and intricacies of human behavior that recruiters do to navigate candidate relationships. While AI tools may only examine keywords and patterns, recruiters will always have the ability to interpret resumes beyond keywords to gain an understanding of a candidate’s transferable skills, motivators and potential. Additionally, AI does not tackle the process of passive candidate outreach. AI solutions are focused on high-volume applicant organizations and do not seem to suit the needs of smaller organizations with more conservative hiring plans.

Although the future of AI and talent acquisition looks exciting and fruitful, we should focus more on the use of AI as support for talent acquisition strategies instead of replacements. If your talent strategy aligns with the use cases of AI then implementation may help increase efficiencies within your processes; however, as of today, no one is turning a cold shoulder to their recruiter.