AI is the Future of Recruiting: Positively Manage Your Applicants' Concerns

A tech employee reads about AI-recruiting best practices on her computer at her desk.

There's a Discrepancy Between How Hirers and Hirees View AI Adoption

HR professionals and workplace leaders overwhelmingly have favorable views of AI-assisted recruiting. 88% of worldwide businesses have already been using AI in some capacity for HR purposes, with 62% believing AI can help them find better candidates. The 2024 State of People Strategy Report found that “HR leaders view AI as a tool, not a threat,” but that doesn’t necessarily reflect how job seekers view what feels like a current AI takeover.

There is a Lack of Information Among Job Seekers About AI Recruiting 

Pew Research Center found two-thirds of American workers say they wouldn’t want to apply for a job if they knew AI was used during the hiring process. We were initially surprised when we read that stat since 

  • 50% of American workers already use AI in some capacity in the workforce. 
  • 9 out of 10 companies are investing in AI.
  • The bulk of U.S. workers want AI to help them work smarter. Gartner reports that 70% of employees actively want AI solutions to help them with mistake reduction, problem-solving, information discovery, and process simplification. 

However, digging deeper into the Pew data shows that what 70% of job seekers oppose is AI making any final hiring decisions. That makes sense. AI isn’t infallible and can’t yet do context or emotion well. No one wants AI to take over hiring completely. 

AI taking over hiring completely—or making huge strategic decisions for a company in any capacity—has never been the intent. However, it makes sense that those not in the HR or HR tech realms might not fully understand that stance, which the Pew data we’ve been reviewing further backs up. The public remains relatively unaware of AI’s use in hiring. Only 7% of Americans have heard a lot about how AI is used in the hiring process, 39% have heard at least something, but 61% know virtually nothing about AI-assisted hiring. 

The fears around new technological advances almost always come down to the fear of the unknown. In this case, those fears are exacerbated because searching for a job is already such a stressful experience. Additionally—and unfortunately—enough companies don’t provide a candidate-centric recruiting experience to begin with, which has led to understandable frustrations and suspicion among job seekers about job searches in general. 

Organizations utilizing AI have a great opportunity here to educate job seekers about the realities of AI hiring and, in doing so, provide the sort of candidate-centric hiring experience that high-quality candidates seek. 

As pioneers in AI-hiring tools and practices, we wanted to write a piece helping you help job seekers better understand the realities of AI recruiting.

AI-Recruiting Best Practices 

Have a Strategy Around AI Use

According to a 2023 study, only 31% of business leaders who had invested in AI saw a return on investment. The conclusion we drew from that stat wasn’t that AI isn’t effective, but that these businesses didn’t have a strategy and just assumed the AI would work wonders for them without any human input. 

It is crucial to know what you want AI to help facilitate in your hiring process, how to use the tools you choose, and what you expect them to do for your business and customers. 

For example, when we decided to implement AI tools into our platform, we had clear goals: 

  • We developed our AI-Enabled Job Descriptions because our clients were, on average, spending over an hour writing job descriptions. This tool saves them time and helps those challenged by writing these important hiring tools. 
  • We built AI-Assisted Resume Screening to help save the time it takes hirers to comb through sometimes thousands of resumes. Providing hiring stakeholders with summaries allows them to spend more time digging deeper into best-fit candidates. 

Taking the time to think over the “why” of your AI use gives you the tools to communicate with clients and job seekers exactly how AI is assisting you and them. 

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Educate, Educate, Educate

This is the most important thing you can do when it comes to ensuring job seekers understand how AI can help them.

You want people excited about applying to your jobs. Pew found that 43% of those who’ve heard a lot about using AI in the hiring process support its use in reviewing applications, compared with 37% who’ve heard a little and 21% who’ve heard nothing at all. 

How can you educate job seekers in a way that feels organic, not preachy, or worse…propaganda-ish? 

Showcase AI-Generated Job Seeker Benefits 

Our new AI-Assisted Resume Screening combs through an applicant’s resume and summarizes it for hiring stakeholders. Considering that the average human resource team spends only 7 seconds skimming a resume, this actually is more candidate-centric, delivering stakeholders a summary without fluff that they can really evaluate and use when deciding who to talk with. 

“While many job seekers fear that technology doesn’t spend enough time screening their resumes, the reality is that for years, people weren’t spending enough time looking at each resume either,” says HiringThing HR Strategic Business Partner, Becca Noland, “One person looking at thousands of resumes with no technological assistance and a million other tasks to do, isn’t going to give them the time they deserve either. I’m so excited for the AI-Assisted Resume Screening to deliver me summaries of the resumes we receive so that I can dedicate the time job seekers deserve to determine who I call for interviews.”

As Noland says, with this tool, hiring stakeholders will actually be able to spend more time looking at candidates’ accomplishments. It’s the antithesis of many’s fears, that computers don’t even read most resumes.  

Be Transparent

Be upfront about exactly how and why you’re using AI hiring on your job post or career page The best recruiting experiences already do this to some degree, spelling out what the process will look like so candidates know what they’re in for. Spell out what parts AI will assist with, and explain why you’re doing so, to assure job seekers they aren’t being overlooked by AI, but rather that AI is helping you be more objective, spend more time on interviews, and NOT make final hiring decisions. 

According to Slack's Future of Work study, 80% of today’s workers want insights into how decisions are made at their organization, and 87% of today’s job seekers want transparency in their future workplace. 

How do you reach job seekers with all this transparent education? Create some content! In addition to adding how you’re using AI in your job descriptions, you can also create an AI-hiring case study, or include specific instances of how AI assistance is strengthening your recruiting on your career page. 

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Showcase How AI-Assisted Recruiting Can Still Be People-Centric

Telling/educating is good, but showing is really putting your money where your mouth is. 

Since there is a fear that humans are being taken out of the hiring process, make yours as human as possible. 

  • On your job page or posting, list a person (bonus points if you can feature a photo) applicants can address their cover letter to and let them know who the person is that will be reaching out to them. 
  • In your initial screening calls, let job seekers know what people they’ll be talking to at what stages of the hiring process. 
  • Create hiring case studies or employee success stories that further give human faces to your process. 
  • If you’re automating communication, craft these in a way that feels more like a meaningful interaction than a form letter. 

“When we write marketing emails, we send them from a person at our company that those who receive them could look up and verify,” says HiringThing Director of Marketing Joanna Campa. “It’s marketing 101. People respond best to people. Do the same for your recruiting efforts.” 

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We Chose to Call Our AI Features AI-Assisted for a Reason

As with any new technological advances, it could be easy for artificial intelligence to have too big a hand in some very important decisions. While AI is often faster, more accurate, and less biased than people, it’s not intuitive, emotionally, or culturally sensitive and can’t always digest context the way people can. 

Keeping this in mind, we’ve been approaching AI as a collaborator and assistant, not a replacement for humans. We’ve purposely named all of our new AI solutions “AI-Assisted” or “AI-Enabled” instead of other verbs. Take, for example, our AI-Enabled Job Descriptions. We’d toyed around with calling them AI-Generated Job Descriptions, which technically is true since we’re utilizing the content-generation technology made famous by ChatGPT. However, that doesn’t properly encapsulate how we view the feature, which is not AI fully creating a job post but assisting people in doing so because once a post is generated, best practices are for people to still look it over and ensure there aren’t any mistakes and that it adheres to the brand voice.  We took a similar approach to our new AI-Assisted Resume Screening.

About HiringThing

HiringThing is a modern recruiting and employee onboarding platform as a service that creates seamless talent experiences. Our white label solutions and open API enable technology and service providers to offer hiring and onboarding to their clients. Approachable and adaptable, the platform empowers anyone, anywhere to build their dream team.

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