AI vs. Human: Striking the balance in the recruitment process

Recently, the recruitment landscape has undergone a significant transformation with the integration of Artificial Intelligence technologies. From screening candidates to enhancing decision-making processes. I recently posted a poll on LinkedIn, asking my connections what their thoughts were of AI in the recruitment process. The results were as follows:

All for it: 12%

Bit of tech, bit of human: 65%

Humans all the way: 23%


I was very interested in these results and do agree with the most popular opinion being a mixture of tech and human. You may also agree once you have read this blog. I will be discussing the benefits and challenges associated with AI in recruitment, exploring how this emerging technology is reshaping the hiring landscape.




Optimise the candidate screening process

One of the most significant areas of using AI in recruitment is its ability to streamline and optimise the candidate screening process. AI-powered algorithms can quickly analyse CVs, job applications, and online profiles, filtering through large volumes of data in a fraction of the time it would take for humans to do. This can allow HR professionals to focus their efforts on engaging with the most qualified candidates and therefore increasing efficiency and reducing time-to-hire.


Mitigating unconscious biases

This has been a concern for a while in recruitment, as it could potentially lead to unfair practices and a lack of diversity. AI systems can help mitigate these biases by employing objective criteria and standardised assessments to evaluate candidates. By focusing solely on skills, qualifications, and relevant experience, AI in recruitment minimises the impact of subjective biases, leading to a more fair and inclusive selection process.


Extracting valuable insights

AI algorithms can also process lots of data and extract valuable insights to support decision-making. This can enable recruiters to make more informed decisions based on data-backed predictions and trends. It can analyse historical hiring data, identify patterns, identify successful candidates’ profiles, and predict candidate performance. This empowers organisations to make strategic talent decisions.


Providing instant responses

In regard to the candidate’s experience, it is thought that AI can improve this as it can provide automated chatbots and virtual assistants that can provide instant responses to candidate inquiries, schedule interviews, and provide updates. This ensures candidates receive prompt feedback and remain engaged throughout the hiring journey and therefore leaving a positive impression of the organisation.





From this, we can see that AI can bring a number of benefits to recruitment, but it is also crucial to address the potential challenges and ethical considerations.


Amplify bias

Despite the potential for AI to reduce biases, it can also inadvertently amplify them. AI systems are trained on historical data, which may already contain underlying biases. If these are not identified and addressed, the algorithms may inadvertently perpetuate and reinforce discriminatory patterns leading to biased hiring decisions.


Transparency in AI decision making process is also essential, as candidates have the right to understand how their applications are evaluated.


Lack of contextual understanding

Whilst the algorithms can process large volumes of data, they can lack the ability to fully comprehend nuanced human characteristics and context. CVs and online profiles do provide valuable information, but they may not demonstrate the whole picture of the candidates’ capabilities, potential or fit within a culture. This can only be assessed through human interaction.


Limited adaptability

The systems typically operate based on pre-defined rules and algorithms. Meaning they can handle routing tasks efficiently; they may struggle to adapt to unforeseen circumstances or unconventional profiles. For example, candidates who have non-traditional career paths, unique skills sets, or those who have taken career breaks may be overlooked.


Ethical and legal concerns

The use of AI does also raise some ethical and legal concerns that must be carefully addressed. Issues such as privacy, data protection, consent, and transparency require thorough consideration.


Loss of human connection

Whilst AI can automate various aspects of the recruitment process, it risks diminishing the human connection that is essential for building relationships and understanding a candidate’s motivations, aspirations, and potential. Personal interaction between candidates and recruiters allows for meaningful conversations, clarifications, and the ability to assess intangible qualities that AI systems may not capture.


AI has undoubtedly brought significant advancements to the recruitment process, but as you can see here, it has its downfalls. Organisations must actively mitigate biases, be aware of limitations of AI algorithms, and strike a balance between the efficiencies AI provides and the irreplaceable value of human judgement and connection. By combing the strengths of AI with human expertise, organisations can optimise their recruitment processes while ensuring fairness, inclusivity, and effective talent acquisition.

Posted by: Phoebe Walden