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Artificial Intelligence and Recruiting: The Future Is Already Here

Human resource managers are already seeing evidence of artificial intelligence (AI) becoming a regular part of HR, as common functions become fully or partially automated. So finds a recent survey from CareerBuilder, a provider of human capital solutions.

Among the functions surveyed, more than half pertain to recruiting.

HR and AI

Currently, only 13 percent of HR managers see evidence of AI in HR, but 55 percent say that within five years AI will be common.

While the majority of HR managers say the thought of AI in HR does not make them nervous, more than one-third (35 percent) say it does. Still, only 7 percent of HR managers say they think a robot could do their job.

“There are certain aspects of HR that are transactional in nature, such as how we capture candidate and employee information and maintain those records and reports. Automation is key in finding efficiencies in those processes,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer for CareerBuilder, in releasing survey findings. “What robots and AI can’t replace, however, is the human element of HR that shapes the company culture, provides an environment for employees built on IQ and EQ, works hand in hand with company leaders to meet business goals, and ensures employees have the training and support to thrive. You need living, dynamic people who can navigate the ‘gray’ to do that, not robots that can quickly work through black and white.”

Time for Strategic Thinking

HR managers who do not fully automate say they lose an average of 14 hours per week manually completing tasks that could be automated; more than one-fourth (28 percent) waste 20 hours or more; and slightly more than 1 in 10 (11 percent) spend 30 hours or more.

This is time that could be better spent elsewhere.

“We always say, ‘I wish I had more time to plan, to think, to keep up on new trends, to strategize.’ To have 14 hours back in a week, the majority of that would be well spent planning for the future instead of reacting to the present,” Haefner said. “Time would also be spent connecting with the business, with employees. That may mean catch-ups with company leaders, educating yourself on the company’s products/services, learning the industry, and networking outside the walls of your office.”

Lack of Automation

The survey finds that just as automation has advantages, lack of automation can have a negative ripple effect on a business. HR managers who do not fully automate say manual processes have led to:

  • Lower productivity: 41 percent
  • More errors: 40 percent
  • Higher costs: 35 percent
  • Poor candidate experience: 18 percent
  • Poor employee experience: 17 percent
  • Less engagement: 17 percent
  • Poor hiring manager experience: 11 percent

Automate This

Which HR and recruiting functions have potential for automation?

Here is a breakdown of the HR functions that HR managers say are currently fully automated, partially automated or not automated at all.

HR Function Fully Automated Partially Automated Not Automated
Payroll 50 percent 42 percent 7 percent
Background checks/drug testing 39 percent 35 percent 21 percent
Applicant tracking 38 percent 35 percent 21 percent
Benefits administration 34 percent 49 percent 13 percent
Distributing job postings to different websites 30 percent 36 percent 28 percent
Compliance 25 percent 45 percent 27 percent
Performance management 24 percent 38 percent 33 percent
Sourcing job candidates 20 percent 47 percent 25 percent
Predictive assessments 20 percent 24 percent 25 percent
Training/learning 18 percent 47 percent 28 percent
Employee referrals 16 percent 29 percent 45 percent
Onboarding 15 percent 56 percent 26 percent

Harris Polls, on behalf of CareerBuilder, surveyed 231 human resource managers across industries and company sizes in the private sector.