A recent hiring technology survey shows that AI’s impact is sustaining.
By Eric Sydell
Advanced hiring technology has played an extraordinary role over the last few years in helping organizations across industries adapt, innovate, and remain competitive in their talent acquisition efforts. And the talent acquisition (TA) technology tide shows no sign of ebbing in a labor market marked by candidate scarcity, skills gaps, and heightened candidate expectations.
According to a recent study Modern Hire conducted with Aptitude Research, 73% of companies have increased their TA tech investments in 2022 and 70% plan to continue investing in recruiting and hiring technology even as a recession looms.
Shifting Hiring Priorities with Shifting Trends
As TA technology adoption accelerates, the industry has seen a large shift in buying behaviors with quality of hire becoming the number one priority for investment decisions. Although efficiency is still critical for companies looking to alleviate hiring team stress and to decrease the time to fill positions, nearly three-fourths (70%) of survey respondents said quality of hire was the top driver for interview technology adoption over this past year. With trends like The Great Resignation and quiet quitting causing organizations to quickly figure out the best way to attract and retain good talent in an uncertain economy, this shift isn’t surprising.
Interestingly, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I)—a key driver in technology decisions two years ago—falls below quality, efficiency, and candidate experience as a TA tech priority, the survey found. The amplified focus on DE&I from 2020 to 2021 was almost certainly attributable to heightened societal attention to race-based issues both in the U.S. and abroad.
Regardless of the reasons for DE&I’s dip in the latest survey results, reducing hiring bias remains a hot topic in recruiting and a keen focus of employers and regulators worldwide, particularly as AI and science-based hiring enter the mainstream and are scrutinized for their potential to introduce new sources of bias into the hiring process.
Hiring Teams Will Benefit from More AI Education
Despite the widening adoption of AI in hiring, 44% of respondents said the number one reason companies hesitate to invest in the technology is because they do not know enough about it. And nearly half of TA leaders in the survey (46%) are unclear on when they should be using AI to support their TA efforts.
These findings can be related to common myths that were also cited in the study, including “AI introduces bias.” But if used correctly, AI can help reduce bias. Before investing, however, organizations should ensure the solutions they are considering offer visibility into the algorithms and methodologies used to reduce bias.
Another myth commonly referenced is how “AI can hurt the candidate experience,” but according to the study, only 9% of respondents still believe this to be true. Most TA professionals said candidates would prefer AI in hiring as opposed to a recruiter who has no time to respond or a hiring manager who acts on bias.
For organizations to truly capitalize on AI’s ability to accelerate hiring and remove the proverbial guesswork involved, more education is needed so that HR pros can better understand the range of ways organizations can use AI in hiring and how to responsibly achieve results.
This education should include gaining greater awareness of the quantifiable benefits of good AI, the consequences of bad AI, and the ability to speak knowledgeably to candidates about how AI is used in the hiring process. While the survey showed that job candidates displayed a willingness—and sometimes a preference— for AI in the process, it’s vital that companies are transparent in its usage and can cite data that backs up its effectiveness.
Not All AI is the Same
When properly implemented and validated for fairness, AI and advanced selection science offer powerful tools for improving both organizational diversity and identifying best-fit hires. In a recent aggregate analysis across five different industries and using objective selection techniques, Modern Hire’s intelligent pre-hire assessments dramatically improved new hire diversity. For example, in the retail service industry, Modern Hire’s virtual job tryouts saw the percentage of white hires decline 12.9% while increasing 27.6% for Hispanics, 41% for Blacks, and 40.4% for Asians, while improving other key hiring metrics, as well.
As hiring priorities and needs understandably change and evolve, recruiters should be mindful to stay current and select TA technology that is proven to perform across all measures of success.
Eric Sydell is executive vice president of innovation for Modern Hire.