The use of artificial intelligence (AI) technology in the hiring process has been a trendy topic over the past year, and if your company hasn’t jumped on the bandwagon, you’ll be left in the dust when it comes to engaging and communicating with top talent.
A new survey, released by Clutch—a business-to-business (B2B) ratings and reviews firm—captures how AI, texting, social media, and other communication channels impact hiring practices. The survey also provides essential information for companies as they explore new ways to use technology in recruitment.
Clutch surveyed 507 people who started a new job within the past 6 months to discover how technology impacts the way jobseekers communicate with companies.
Does AI Improve Recruitment?
Clutch finds that AI’s level of usefulness depends on how companies choose to apply it. Experts warn that AI can reinforce existing biases when it’s used to evaluate résumés and cover letters.
For example, AI can replicate a company’s tendency to hire candidates of a certain gender or educational background. Experts, however, believe AI can be beneficial if companies use the technology for skill-based testing instead of screening candidates’ race, gender, or backgrounds.
“Job seekers aren’t entirely wrong to distrust AI,” says Michelle Delgado, Content Developer and Marketer for Clutch. “In October 2018, Reuters reported that Amazon discontinued use of its AI recruiting tool when it realized the tool displayed bias against women who applied to work at the company.”
Delgado adds, “Companies must provide data that trains a new AI system. Amazon’s AI recruiting tool initially relied on resumes of employees who were hired over the past decade. Because this pool of hires skewed male, the company inadvertently taught its AI that male applicants were preferable. If an application came from a women’s college or contained keywords such as ‘women’s chess captain,’ the AI docked points.”
Chatbots Are Gaining Popularity Among Jobseekers and Candidates
AI can also supplement communication between companies and candidates. Currently, only 3% of applicants communicate with companies via AI-supported chatbots, but experts see potential for growth. Chatbots provide two key values to recruiters:
- Customer Service: Unlike human workers, chatbots can be available to answer questions and provide assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Screening Candidates: Chatbots can collect candidates’ responses to screening questions, gathering information that recruiters can review before reaching out to candidates.
Although chatbots might initially seem less personal, some believe that people are more willing to talk to a chatbot in some cases. Chatbots can also provide quick responses outside of normal business hours. So, if chatbots are being used after hours, how are candidates and jobseekers communicating during normal business hours? The answer: text messaging.
More Jobseekers Are Texting Companies During the Recruiting Process
AI technology isn’t just limited to chatbots and computer programs screening candidates’ résumés and cover letters; it’s also made up of everyday technology we use in and out of the workplace, such as text messaging. The Clutch survey finds that nearly 25% of jobseekers have texted a company representative during the interview process. For candidates and companies alike, texting provides an opportunity to touch base in between formal steps in the recruitment process.
However, phone calls and e-mails are still essential to hiring. Clutch finds that three-quarters of recent hires connected with companies via phone calls (74%) and e-mail (73%) during the hiring process, while text messaging (24%), social media (16%), and video calls (11%) were also being utilized by recruiters.
While phone calls and e-mails are essential, recruiters are starting to see the value in text messaging candidates. Delgado says that companies can use texting to keep candidates “warm,” meaning recruiters provide frequent updates that keep candidates engaged and enthusiastic about the possibility of a job offer. And texting also allows recruiters to keep in touch with candidates about future opportunities.
However, experts advise that communicating via text messaging should remain professional, no matter how easy it is to get sucked up in the “texting environment” of acronyms and emoji. Candidates and recruiters should keep these basic “don’ts” in mind when using text messaging for communication:
- Don’t use text messaging for making first contact.
- Don’t use text messaging as a creative way to get a company’s attention.
- Don’t use text messaging to replace phone or in-person interviews.
Social Media Presence Becoming Increasingly More Important
If your company doesn’t have a social media presence, you’re losing out on top talent. As the Clutch survey finds, for jobseekers, a company’s social media presence offers both insight into what life at the company might be like as well as an opportunity to connect.
So, what social media channels are employers using to broadcast their brand? Clutch finds that more than 70% of companies today maintain a presence on social media, with Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube being the three most popular channels. While LinkedIn isn’t cited as a main channel, Clutch speculates that it is likely the source for 16% of respondents who say they prefer to communicate via social media channels.
As with text messaging, companies and candidates who use social media should still uphold professional communication standards, despite the intimate and casual communication style that is common on social media.
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