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Five Key Questions About AI's Impact on Recruiting

Over the last few months, we’ve talked with numerous companies of all sizes about their 2019 recruiting strategies and how they’re thinking about Artificial Intelligence (AI). AI is on everyone’s mind, but the industry is early in the process of figuring out how to best implement it across the recruiting function. Like any new transformational technology, there is a lot of speculation around it’s true impact. To help provide some clarity, we’ve highlighted the five most frequently asked questions from those conversations, and provided our perspective based on the last seven months of executing AI-driven recruiting for our clients.

1. How is Artificial Intelligence changing the recruiting function?

Recruiting is, and will continue to be, a mission critical function for companies of all sizes. It isn’t going anywhere. However, this very manually-oriented, time-consuming and expensive process is being disrupted and revolutionized by Artificial Intelligence, which is starting to play a massive role in making the recruiting process more predictive, efficient, and cost-effective.

According to, Artificial intelligence is fast establishing itself as a game-changer in the recruiting process, enabling organizations to more readily find and hire just the right candidate for the job1.

One of the biggest benefits of the advancements in AI and machine learning in recruiting is the improvement in efficiency. Using known data about the role and the business, AI removes massive inefficiencies from the recruiting process. Repetitive tasks can be condensed from weeks to minutes, allowing employees to allocate more time to higher value tasks.

Being able to crunch data in real-time allows recruiting teams to be more strategic by creating forecasts of time and level of effort required to hit hiring timelines. This allows recruiters to spend time on higher value activities like personalization, relationship building, and candidate nurturing.

Costs savings are derived through increased productivity per recruiter, less reliance on staffing firms, and other lower ROI-based spend.

In LinkedIn’s recently released Global Recruiting Trends 2018 survey, it identifies AI as one of the four trends that will shape the future of recruiting. Companies who move first will have a significant advantage over their competitors in the war for talent.

2. What are the requirements to implement an AI and data-driven system?

LinkedIn’s 2018 survey outlined the areas where AI will have the biggest impact on recruiting. These include repetitive tasks like candidate sourcing, resume collection/parsing and nurture marketing2. Recruiting teams should start applying AI to these activities, as they will provide the biggest positive impact to the process and fastest ROI.

In a recent blog post, we outlined the keys to getting started with AI. The actual requirements to get started using AI are very minimal. Three key steps to get underway:

  1. Gather the targeting parameters. A tool like Upsider leverages information you already have available, such as job requirements and metrics about the role. This includes the information hiring managers and recruiters are tracking on a regular basis. For example, for technical hires, data scientist, 10+ years experience, salary range $x-y, target hire date, etc.; or in a sales role, revenue goals, average order value, close rates, territory, and resulting comp package. Collect those metrics about the role and overall company business objectives.
  2. Run the facts about the role and business through the AI engine, which will analyze hundreds of variables across millions of companies. The AI engine will immediately identify the total pool of candidates who align with the role metrics. With the pool of candidates identified, recruiters can select any number of prospects with whom to start the engagement process with.
  3. Execute outreach nurture messaging to connect with candidates, delivering relevant messages at the right time as they consider new career opportunities. Sell the role, highlight how the job will further career goals, eliminate objections. Deliver messages across email and social channels.

3. In light of the buzz around AI replacing jobs, how do I get my team to embrace AI tools?

It’s safe to say that recruiters may not love the tedious process of sourcing candidates, asking their hiring manager for the dreaded “list of companies” to target, or searching resume databases for days and weeks to find a list of reasonable candidates.

AI eliminates these manual tasks and allows the recruiter to spend their time on strategic activities like creating a more relevant outreach program, executing high-value candidate nurturing, doing deeper research on candidate background, and increasing their bandwidth to take on more roles. AI drives massive productivity gains.

We have experienced the productivity gains first hand. During our development process building the Upsider platform, we worked with a few dozen clients in full-service recruiting engagements. Most of these relationships started before the platform was ready for testing, so our recruiters transitioned from traditional recruiting tactics to AI automation. Once they began the AI assisted recruiting process, they immediately became 5x more productive. We detailed the process in a recent blog post.

AI won’t replace recruiting jobs. It will make those jobs better, eliminating the monotonous aspects, freeing up the recruiter to work on the more rewarding facets of the role – helping the hiring manager find great candidates (quickly) and assisting the best of those candidates to take new roles that help their careers. A win-win (and win for the recruiter).

4. How will AI impact my relationship with hiring managers?

We spent a lot of time with hiring managers while building the Upsider product. One of the biggest complaints we heard from their perspective: “Recruiting is like a black box. We submit our requirements, it goes dark, and then we get asked to review interested candidates. If there isn’t enough candidate flow, we typically do not know why, and we don’t hear much feedback from the recruiter during the process.”

AI and a data-driven platform can have a significant impact on this recruiter/hiring manager relationship. Because AI can analyze millions of candidates across hundreds of variables, it arms recruiting teams with deep data insights to impact the search, from requirements development through the recruiting process.

Once this recruiting process is underway, the AI system returns predictable conversion rates and timelines, enabling recruiters to communicate to hiring managers the number of candidates available for outreach, as well as the expected follow-on conversion rates: how many responses expected, number of screening calls that will be made, the size of the qualified candidate pool, and finally — the hire, and as important, how long that role will take to fill. Being able to present the required candidate pool size and the “projected role fill date” is an effective way to manage expectations.

This results in better predictability and accurate forecasts for candidate fulfillment, which is critical for managing the recruiter/hiring manager relationship. The black box is eliminated. Clearly, AI will have a major positive impact on this critical relationship.

5. How is ROI measured with AI-based tools?

AI introduces tools that make the recruiting process significantly more efficient. Recruiters become more impactful, productive, and strategic, allowing them to spend time on higher value activities like personalization, relationship building, and candidate nurturing.  Costs savings are derived through increased productivity per recruiter, less reliance on broad based candidate acquisition spending, and other lower ROI-based spend. AI’s impact can be tangibly measured throughout the recruiting process.

Key performance indicators include:

Find out more about AI and Recruiting

If you’re interested in learning more about how other companies are taking advantage of AI in their recruiting process, and learn how you can use AI, you can easily contact us and/or schedule a demo at


  1. Note. From “How AI is revolutionizing recruiting and hiring,” posted by CIO | September 1, 2017
  2. Note. From “2018 Global Recruiting Trends” posted by LinkedIn Talent Solutions | January, 2018