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The Role of AI in Recruiting

Written by

Jasmine Williams

Reviewed by

VidCruiter Editorial Team

Last Modified

May 10, 2024
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Artificial intelligence (AI) in recruiting is the act of using AI tools during the recruitment and hiring process. AI tools are computer systems like generative AI, large language models (LLM), and natural language processing (NLP) that can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence. They can learn from data, recognize patterns, make decisions, and solve problems. As an HR tool, AI can help automate repetitive tasks and scale and maintain candidate communication.

What is AI for Recruiting?

AI recruiting is applying artificial intelligence and machine learning systems to recruiting. The acronym AI is a short-hand for various technologies, including generative AI, machine learning (ML) algorithms, natural language processing (NLP), large language models, text-to-image and text-to-video models, speech recognition and generation, and predictive analytics. 

Currently, recruiters use AI for various tasks, such as developing job descriptions, sourcing talent, creating and scoring assessments, screening applicants, and communicating with candidates. 

Exploring Different Types of AI Systems and How Some Organizations Use Them in Recruitment

Important Consideration for Using AI in Recruiting

The European Union (EU), Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the Canadian government all monitor the use of AI tools in employment selection and classify it as a high-risk activity that may adversely impact protected groups. Employers should exercise caution and due diligence when using AI-assisted recruiting functions to prevent discrimination, ensure fairness, and maintain legal compliance.

How Organizations Are Using AI in Recruitment

Generative AI

This technology can create new content, like images, text, or even music, based on patterns it learns from existing data. It can be used to create job descriptions, emails, or even chatbot responses.

Machine Learning (ML) algorithms

These programs can learn from data, recognize patterns, and make decisions without being explicitly programmed for every scenario. For example, they can sift through large volumes of resumes and applications to identify top candidates based on predefined criteria. However, exercise caution when using AI for screening as it could potentially filter out qualified applicants or perpetuate implicit biases.

Natural Language Processing (NLP)

NLP helps computers understand text, speech, and even emotions in language. You can use it to analyze resumes, cover letters, and candidate communications to extract relevant insights but be careful, as the output from these systems can be unreliable or inaccurate.

Large Language Models

These advanced AI systems are trained on vast amounts of text data to understand context and generate coherent responses. Use them to craft compelling job postings or automate routine communication tasks, like scheduling interviews and sending follow-up emails.

Text-to-Image and Text-to-Video Models

These AI systems use algorithms to turn text descriptions into visual content. Can be used to make visually appealing job advertisements, company culture videos, or virtual workplace tours. It should be noted that many regulatory bodies closely monitor AI use in employment-seeking materials.

Speech Recognition and Generation

Speech recognition technology allows computers to understand and transcribe spoken language. Speech generation, on the other hand, enables computers to produce human-like speech from text, which you can use to personalize candidate communications.

Predictive Analytics

This involves using data, statistical algorithms, and machine learning techniques to predict future outcomes. It helps businesses make informed decisions by forecasting trends and behaviors based on historical data, like the likelihood of candidate success and retention.

The Benefits of AI in Recruiting

As more recruitment and HR professionals leverage AI technology, here are a few reported benefits and applications.

Benefits of AI in recruiting

Source Candidates

According to a 2023 ManpowerGroup report, almost four in five employers find it hard to find talent. AI recruiting can make sourcing candidates much easier, as it can automatically rank applicants based on how closely their qualifications match those of successful candidates, considering factors like education, skills, achievements, and interests in their resumes.

Automate Time-Consuming Tasks

AI can handle many time-consuming and repetitive tasks that can take up much of a recruiter’s time, like interview scheduling. Outsourcing these tasks to AI means less hassle for recruiters and more time for strategic work like engaging candidates or making decisions. 

Reduce Costs

AI can automate repetitive administrative tasks such as organizing interview processes or collecting survey responses. This reduces the time and effort human recruiters spend doing these tasks manually, allowing organizations to effectively deploy their resources.

Improve Time to Hire

AI can automate and streamline many time-consuming tasks, which can speed up the hiring process and reduce your time-to-hire. Plus, since AI can process more data in less time, it can provide more detailed information on candidates, helping you make better decisions and fill roles faster. 

Screen Candidates

Some organizations use AI to screen job candidates, which can significantly speed up hiring processes but carries certain risks. The EEOC has indicated that employers could face liability if their AI tools, including software and algorithms, lead to unjust hiring outcomes. Specifically, if these technologies fail to adequately address requests for reasonable accommodations in the hiring process, or if they intentionally or unintentionally exclude applicants with disabilities who are capable of performing the job with reasonable accommodations.

Increase Personalization

While it may seem counter-intuitive, you can use AI to send tailored messages based on the candidate’s interests, skills, and stage in the hiring process. AI can also analyze data from previous interactions and candidate profiles to craft messages that resonate with each individual to create a better candidate experience.

Mitigate the Impact of Human Bias

AI recruiting can potentially help mitigate hiring biases by spotting opportunities for organizations to foster fairer and more inclusive hiring practices. For example, an AI tool could review interview questions for potential bias and suggest fairer and more objective options. 

Increase Diversity

An AI recruiting tool could review job postings and candidate communications for biased or exclusive language that could discourage particular groups from applying and suggest more inclusive and impactful alternatives. They could also uncover candidates that recruiters may overlook due to health issues, employment gaps, lack of formal education, or non-traditional backgrounds. This approach widens the candidate pool and potentially increases workplace diversity.

Could AI close the gender gap in STEM?

A 2023 University of Melbourne study found that using AI in recruitment almost doubled the number of women assessed to be among the top 10 percent of performers, which means using it would likely result in companies hiring more women for similar types of tech roles.

The Challenges of AI Recruiting

AI tools have many potential benefits. Still, if used incorrectly or recklessly, the negative impacts on your organization and society could be severe. Here are a few of the most serious challenges of AI in recruiting.

Challenges of AI recruiting

Perpetuate Biases

Despite claims of being bias-free, AI models are trained on human-selected data, which will always have some degree of bias. As a result, AI can perpetuate these biases and make discriminatory decisions or choices irrelevant to the role-related criteria. For example, Amazon shelved plans to use an AI hiring tool in 2018 after it showed prejudice against female applicants. There’s also a risk of discrimination against candidates with disabilities, as AI tools may not adequately assess candidates with speech impediments or physical limitations. 

Filters Out Qualified Candidates

A 2022 study found that job descriptions filled with unnecessary criteria can cause AI ranking systems to overlook qualified candidates. AI may down-rank or filter out candidates for reasons that would not impact performance, such as career gaps or lack of a university degree. In other biased instances, AI analyzing video appearances flagged individuals for wearing glasses or headscarves, and vocal analysis tools have shown biases against regional accents. 

Inaccurate Information

Whether you are using real or synthetic training data for an AI model, it’s nearly impossible to ensure that it is free of bias, which could result in inaccurate output. Algorithm errors could also lead to AI tools providing incorrect information or basing decisions on irrelevant criteria. Lastly, these tools might misinterpret data or miss important contexts that human recruiters would catch. 

These mistakes could have serious repercussions as more companies use AI tools in selection processes. For example, a candidate who gets unfairly filtered out based on an arbitrary decision might not just lose out on one job but get shut out from the workforce entirely. AI tools could also expose organizations to legal action if candidates can prove discriminatory or unfair treatment.  

Privacy Concerns

Protecting data from unauthorized access or misuse and getting informed consent from candidates regarding collecting, storing, and using personal data by AI tools are big challenges for recruiters. Ensuring transparency with candidates, compliance with privacy regulations, and prioritizing data security throughout the recruitment process is essential. 

Lack of Transparency

Researchers often describe emerging AI tools as a “black box” due to their lack of transparency. Most users do not understand how AI algorithms work and why they make certain choices and many companies do not want to disclose the tools they use. At the same time, AI software providers do not want to discuss the inner workings of their algorithms due to intellectual property concerns. 

Vendors often do not know exactly how their models are making decisions. AI systems can hallucinate facts or base decisions on irrelevant proxies without vendors knowing or being able to control them. These factors lead to a lack of transparency, which means job candidates have limited insight into how companies use AI to evaluate and track them.

Feels Impersonal 

While AI tools like chatbots save time, they can also make the hiring process feel less personal for both hiring managers and candidates. As a result, hiring managers might feel more disconnected from the process. 

Additionally, AI’s generic messages may not fully address candidates’ queries or concerns, leading to a potentially frustrating candidate experience. If you have ever called a customer service line and gotten annoyed because you had to rephrase your question multiple times or got stuck in a conversational loop, then you know how painful an inhuman communication experience can be.

Innovations in AI Recruiting

As AI technology rapidly advances, more recruitment software companies are incorporating it into their products. Here are a few recent innovations in AI and recruiting.

Innovations in AI recruiting

AI-Powered Search

LinkedIn's new AI-assisted recruiting tool, Recruiter 2024, leverages generative AI to help recruiters craft better search strings to generate stronger candidate lists. Similar to searches with ChatGPT, recruiters can use more conversational language to narrow down their search criteria. The tool will also provide suggestions outside of what recruiters might think they are looking for, broadening their scope of potential candidates.

AI-Assisted Messaging

The FoundIt platform recently unveiled a new outreach feature that leverages generative AI to help recruiters draft and send personalized candidate emails at scale. According to FoundIt, 100 companies have experienced an 80% increase in recruiter productivity, a 350% reduction in recruitment costs, and a 200% increase in candidate response rates.

LinkedIn’s Recruiter 2024 will also have AI-assisted messaging, enabling recruiters to draft highly personalized InMails in one click. According to the platform, recruiters experience a 40% increase in InMail acceptance rates when they personalize candidate outreach.

AI Avatars 

Tengai, a Swedish candidate screening software company, recently rolled out an interactive AI avatar recruiting assistant that can pre-screen applicants. It uses Natural Language Understanding (NLU) to create a human-like, two-way conversation. The avatar also mimics human behavior like nodding, blinking, and listening, and it can understand different accents.

This kind of technology may help save you time, but you need to be careful if you are thinking about using AI platforms for hiring decisions. According to new EEOC guidelines, companies may be held liable for any discriminatory results attributed to using third-party AI tools.

How Organizations Are Leveraging AI in Recruiting

While AI companies continue to launch new AI-powered features, a few notable organizations already use AI in their hiring and recruitment processes. It is important to note that future legislation may alter how these organizations operate these tools and processes.

How organizations are leveraging AI in recruiting

UK Armed Forces

UK army recruiters are using artificial intelligence to speed up hiring. According to Capita, the company managing the UK Armed Forces recruitment, application documents can be up to 100 pages long and take up to an hour to evaluate manually.

“Face-to-face contact and engagement with serving personnel will always be at the heart of Army recruitment, but there are parts of the process which have become quicker, simpler, and more effective through the use of artificial intelligence technology,” said a Capita spokesperson. “We are deploying these tools to streamline recruitment, get people into basic training faster, and help prevent candidates from dropping out.”


Despite its past controversies, a 2021 internal Amazon document revealed that the company has been developing an Automated Applicant Evaluation system to determine which job applicants possess the most potential for success. The software searches for matches between the applicants’ résumés compared to current Amazon workers in the same role. Candidates that the AI tool identifies will then be fast-tracked for interviews. 


According to Nathalie Scardino, Salesforce’s interim chief people officer, the company uses AI to review applications and shortlist candidates. “Last year, we got more than 2 million job applications, so it’s helping us identify top talent that we may have missed otherwise,” Scardino said in an interview with Forbes. 

The company is also using AI to source talent within the organization by analyzing its current workforce and identifying potential internal candidates who could be a fit for open positions. 


Microsoft, along with companies like Amazon, Unilever, and Koch Industries, recently worked with the Center for Industry Self-Regulation (CISR) to publish a set of principles for trustworthy AI in hiring and recruiting. 

The principles cover topics like transparency, fairness, non-discrimination, technical robustness, safety, governance, and accountability for AI in recruiting. ​​They also outline protocols for certifying and holding AI vendors accountable, not just the employers using their services.

How AI Will Change the Role of the Recruiter

While the rise of AI has led to fears of the technology ‘taking over jobs’ and replacing human talent, it’s more likely that the technology will have a supporting role, allowing recruiters to reprioritize certain activities.

How will AI change the role of the recruiter

More Focus on Relationship Building and Candidate Engagement 

Since AI tools can eliminate many day-to-day repetitive tasks, as well as time-consuming analytical tasks like processing large data sets, recruiters will have more time to focus on tasks that require human attention, like connecting with potential candidates, building relationships, decision-making, and optimizing the hiring experience and candidate journey as a whole. 

Resumes and Cover Letters May Become Less Relevant

Since job seekers can use generative AI to compose and enhance their resumes and cover letters, these written materials will likely become less relevant evaluation tools. Instead, recruiters may turn to a candidate’s social media presence, LinkedIn profile, interviews, or skill assessments to better understand their role-related skills, knowledge, and abilities.

Are resumes going extinct?

According to a 2024 Canva survey, 71% of respondents say that purely text-based résumés will be obsolete in five years.

Resumes and cover letters may come less relevant

More Creative, Abstract, and Demanding Assessments

Some large organizations test job seekers’ qualities through AI-powered soft skills and personality assessments, which use data-driven behavioral insights to match candidates to open roles. Like with any selection tool, organizations may be held liable for any unjust outcomes attributed to this type of use.  

Additionally, recruiters may need to get more creative with their technical skill testing, perhaps leveraging more visual, audio, or video-based mediums or timed assessments that candidates can’t easily compete with AI tools. 

Is AI the Next Step for Your Recruiting Strategy?

There is no denying that AI is a game-changer for recruiting. From writing job descriptions to automating tasks to maintaining close candidate communications, AI can complete tasks that used to take recruiters hours in mere minutes or seconds.

These advancements can be equally exciting and nerve-wracking for recruiters, but remember to think of AI as a recruiting assistant, not a replacement. It’s a tool designed to make your life easier, free up more of your time for critical engagement and decision-making tasks, and get the right people in the right roles in a much more efficient, organized, and personal way.

Is AI the next step for your recruiting strategy?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Responsible AI for Recruitment?

Responsible AI should be transparent, inclusive, and compliant with employment laws and regulations while prioritizing data privacy and security. More specifically, to use AI responsibly is to use it in a supportive role. We recommend using it to generate content, scale candidate communications, drive automation, and analyze processes — as long as a human is reviewing the output to ensure accuracy. We caution against using it as a primary decision-making tool (i.e., screening, filtering, or evaluating candidates) because of the potential harm caused by inaccuracy.

Is AI Replacing HR?

AI is not replacing HR — it’s augmenting it. AI can make HR professionals and recruiters more efficient and productive by eliminating time-consuming and repetitive tasks like writing job descriptions, candidate outreach, and data analysis. However, striking a balance between AI efficiency and human judgment is key.

What Percentage of Companies Use AI in Recruitment?

According to a 2023 ISE Student Recruitment Survey, nearly a third (28%) of employers are now using AI as part of their hiring, a significant increase from 9% in 2022. A Mercer report found that 55% of human resource leaders in the US use predictive algorithms to support hiring.