Artificial intelligence is becoming more common in the workplace. We’re using it to better communicate with colleagues, manage our workdays, and streamline the hiring process. However, there’s a fine line between using AI as a complementary tool and letting it run the show. Here’s how to use AI more effectively:
Using AI the Right Way: How to Streamline Resume Review
One candidate recently told me about a disappointing job application experience. His background and skills matched the company’s job posting, and he felt he would be an ideal fit for their culture and growth plans. He researched the company, studied their job description, and prepared a thoughtful resume tailored to the position– only to receive a generic rejection email 15 minutes later.
This generic response turned the candidate off from the company. Their website touted strong values and a commitment to personally caring about customers and employees. But sending such a generic response said otherwise, and in all likelihood, an over-reliance on AI to screen resumes cost this company a great potential hire.
I get it: when hundreds of candidates apply to an open position, it’s simply not practical to go through every single applicant. This is where AI can help with an initial filter. For example, when I review resumes, I use AI to divide applicants into groups, such as an A-Team, B-Team, and C-Team.
Within those groups, we can send more tailored messaging to candidates. The A-Team will be the people we’re moving forward with, so we can express interest and schedule an interview. The C-Team isn’t the right fit for now, but because AI has grouped them appropriately, I can share feedback directly from client to candidate. This personal touch shows respect and gives the candidate solid feedback as they continue their job search. The B-Team are applicants who could go either way. I might send a few follow-up questions to help make a decision. From there, the candidates move into another group.
Google Alerts and LinkedIn profile recommendations are also helpful for expanding the candidate pool if your company is less well-known. Candidates are more likely to apply to positions at companies they’re familiar with. As a recruiter, I’m often introducing candidates to a company they haven’t heard about. The algorithm of these platforms lays a strong foundation for candidates and companies alike.
AI tools like these are improving and can certainly make it easier for your company to gather a broad group of applicants and start the initial candidate screening process. But once this initial stage is complete, shift to a more personalized approach.
When the Keyword Isn’t There: Why a Human Touch is Still Critical
Remember the candidate who received the form rejection letter even though he had all the right experiences and skills? Here’s what may have happened: the company likely used AI to filter resumes based on specific keywords. If the applicant’s resume couldn’t be read properly due to a formatting issue or was missing a desired keyword, it went straight to the rejection pile– without anyone from HR ever giving it a second glance.
Making a decision about an applicant based solely on AI means you could be missing out on great candidates, simply because your system doesn’t identify the right keyword. Worse, the system might be including unqualified candidates who add extra keywords simply to get through the filters– further wasting your team’s time.
We don’t need to abandon AI altogether, though. Think of it as one tool in your HR team’s toolbelt rather than the only tool. Another important tool is training recruiters and HR teams to review a presorted resume quickly and effectively.
How to Properly Read a Resume
When I’m reviewing a resume, I’m not looking at the person for that specific job. I’m seeing if they have a marketable background that meshes with my skill set so we can work well together.
More often than not, I’ve had candidates turn into clients down the line simply because something on their resume caught my eye and I’ve had a conversation with them about it. They remember how they were treated, got consistent updates that weren’t automated, and then they’ll come back and ask for help when their team is growing– even if I never personally placed them at a job.
I also like to ask candidates about their history and their goals. If they line up with what I’ve got, that’s great. If not, we’ve still had a productive conversation, and this information may be useful for a future position.
AI doesn’t have to take the “human” out of human resources. Instead of letting AI filter out a potential good fit, train your team to use it properly.