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The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
The employee recruitment process is not only a means to screen and select potential employees, but is also a means for potential employees to get to know a company and find out if they’d be a good fit for a company.
Recruitment is the process of attracting and selecting qualified people for various roles in an organization. For every organization, the process starts from analyzing and identifying the need for manpower, whether it would be for a new role because of a business expansion, or for a replacement of someone who has resigned from an existing job. The job recruiter would then make use of various tools and platforms to announce the vacancy and encourage individuals to apply for the job.
Sourcing and screening
Back in the late 1940s to the 1980s, companies would rely heavily on advertising jobs through publishing them on the classified ads section of the newspaper, sending out flyers, or even doing cold calls- a meticulous process where recruiters would dial via telephone to reach out to working individuals and ask if they would like to explore their career opportunities. Applicants on the other hand would spend the bulk of their days browsing through these newspaper ads, mailing, or doing walk-in applications to organizations just to submit their resumes. These practices were time-consuming for both the recruiter and applicant since recruiters would then be burdened with the task to review every printed application but shortlist only a handful of the best-qualified candidates for interview. It was only in the late 1990s when companies started harnessing the possibilities of the internet by posting their job vacancies online, thus allowing recruitment processes to gradually evolve over the next few years.
Nowadays, recruiters can do their work more efficiently with the help of job sites that make use of AI or Artificial Intelligence which in simple terms are programs that mimic human intellect. These programs are installed in computers to carry out numerous tasks from storing and categorizing vast quantities of information, to administering and computing exam results. For recruiters, this allows them to sort applicants according to the job they are applying for, their years of experience, and even assess them through online aptitude and personality tests, saving them valuable time during the interview process where they can instead focus on questions such as an applicant’s previous work experiences.
Job sites often include features such as calendar invites that automatically inform applicants via email or text message on the details of their interview schedule as well as updates on the status of their application. They can even allow recruiters to do a Boolean or “resume search” where they would simply enter a set of keywords related to the position they are hiring for and the search engine would generate potential profiles for them to contact for their job vacancies.
In the past when a company has already selected an applicant to hire, the applications of those not selected for the job would either be discarded or kept in their “active pool” which was usually just a large filing cabinet that would store their resumes until such time that they would need to source for applicants for new vacancies. Nowadays, recruiters are more efficient at going through their pool of candidates since they can simply regain access to those resumes stored in their online databases and easily keep in touch with applicants for their job requirements. Companies can also include their career portal on their website that would easily allow applicants to upload their resumes for the job postings displayed.
Because of AI, recruiters can easily track other relevant information such as where else applicants saw their vacancies if they make use of more than one hiring source, how many views each of their job postings gain over weeks, or even track the average number of days it takes for the applicants to process their pre-employment requirements before undergoing their onboarding. This data allows them to assess if they need to make changes to their current recruitment processes to ensure they serve the job vacancies efficiently.
Often done to validate an applicant’s educational, employment history, or criminal background, background checks can also be simplified with AI by engaging in services with organizations that specialize in comprehensive background checks. Companies such as Checkr and Pre Employ can electronically adjudicate results based on a company’s requirements while ensuring that the applicant’s personal information isn’t compromised in the process.
Onboarding, training, and offboarding
Once a person is hired, the recruiter or talent acquisition team then tracks and assists the employee throughout their stages of employment often by using software tailor-fit to their type of industry. This enables them to check employee attendance, integrate their payroll administration, give the employee access to training on their e-learning portals as well as monitor their performance to evaluate them for future promotions.
In some organizations, recruiters would also be given the responsibility to assist an employee until their resignation or offboarding which includes conducting an exit interview to gain honest feedback about the company, their processes and ultimately determine areas for improvement. This process can now be done digitally through ai-powered online survey platforms that former employees can access even through the use of their smartphones. Because this is done online, this eliminates the need to manually record responses and even efficiently generate other relevant information such as trends in resignation. This data allows recruiters to come up with strategies to either attract new or retain current employees in the organization.
Recruitment has indeed come a long way from where it started, but there is still a long way to go in terms of fully using AI in the recruitment process. The human element is still needed to read body language, although there are technologies that can detect behavior subtleties, human reasoning, empathy, and understanding context are not easy to replicate.