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"AI can be a solution" - Interview with José Kadlec (Recruitment Academy)

2024-02-14

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What do you see as the biggest challenge for 2024?

After a bumpy 2023 recruitment needs to prepare to be even more efficient and sharp. It might be the end of over hiring. AI can be a solution how to fine-tune a cost effective and result effective recruitment engine.

What should a recruiter focus on in 2024?

The obvious answer might be AI as we are coming from 2023 where this topic was really hyped into 2024 which should be about AI implementation into the daily practice of a recruiter. We see how AI features are being implemented into apps and software suites we as recruiters normally use. Sometimes we don’t even know that that button or function is doing something based on AI. One example might be automatic notes from interviews (and intake meetings) which should come mainstream in 2024. The reason for that is also that you don’t have to use specialized tools such as Metaview.ai but you can use a premium MS Teams feature called “Intelligent recap” to reach practically the same result.

Another topic which is still strong among companies as we also see it with the demand for our training is the topic of personal branding – how to leverage the personal brand of company employees for the more efficient recruitment. It also has a connection with AI. Not just on the level that AI can be heavily used for content creation, improvement of your LinkedIn profile but mainly that personal brand might be one of the things which can distinguish you from robots.

What do you think about AI?

Many things. Where to start. At the beginning of my speeches, I was usually predicting which technology is coming. With most of them I can say we can use them right now in sufficient quality. One example can be face & voice cloning with HeyGen Instant Avatar which we are going to use of creating of a digital twin of our recruiters in our ATS. These digital avatars are going to create and send videos to our candidates in various parts of the recruitment process on autopilot. All with the real faces and voices of our real recruitment and talent sourcing employees.

Is it taking away the recruiters' work?

Not so fast. The recruitment process is really complex process covering the creation of JD, to talent sourcing, candidate matching, interviewing, decision about the candidate and finally onboarding. Our strategy is to slice and dice the recruitment process. The very first thing we automated with AI was the information about candidate which is sent to a hiring manager after a recruiter interview a candidate. That’s a typical language operation for a LLM (Large Language Model) such as GPT, Claude, LLaMA, PaLM and their implementation such as ChatGPT, Google Bard, MS Copilot or Poe.com. A recruiter just select what should be used for the candidate summary such as a CV, LinkedIn profile and the interview notes. With one click you have immediate summary. When you have let’s say 6 candidates a week, we are saving hours per week of a recruiter. And that’s just a little feature.

The question is when we stop calling a recruiter a recruiter. I mean if we substitute interviewing and candidate matching by AI, does it still make sense to call you as a recruiter?

Where can AI add value in recruitment selection?

We can say that in every step of the recruitment process we can find a possibility to implement AI to at least some extent. That’s exactly what I describe in my latest book HR ROBO SAPIENS: Decoding Artificial Intelligence for Modern Recruitment and HR Marketing. It can create, edit or clone a JD. It can prepare keywords for the LinkedIn searching. I can suggest a recruitment strategy. It can prepare interviewing questions and make automatic notes. Etc.

What is your opinion, should AI be allowed to write reviews on candidates?

As I stated before, we do that but it cannot be generalized. It depends what exactly we think with the “review on candidate”. What we do is that a recruiter will make notes which includes the review of the candidate and AI will just rephrase this into a more suitable output. So, it means that we don’t want AI to make any judgements at all. AI just work with the language without using its opinions.

I wouldn’t simply ask AI for a review in a candidate with YES or NO answer. I would prompt something like “Give me 3 reasons why this candidate is or is not fitting this particular job role”. That can give me some view which I didn’t see myself and that view can impact my final review. The reason why I wouldn’t let the decision on AI now is that we usually take into consideration way more data than just CV, LinkedIn profile, interview notes. We have other inputs such as non-verbal inputs – body language for instance. Or communication between interviews. This is possible to implement into AI as well by principle but it is a complex solution where you have to collect a lot of data such as past interviews and all meta data around that.

How real is the fear of candidates cheating in the selection process with AI?

It’s a logical worry. As well as students use it for their bachelor thesis for instance, people will use it for selection processes. It can have more layers. One can be in a way how to prepare e.g. my CV so it will be the chosen one.

The second more sophisticated might be that candidates can run for instance voice-enable ChatGPT alongside with the interview. The recruiter asks a question which is automatically put by voice as a prompt into ChatGPT and the candidate is just reading the answers. Maybe you ask that you would notice that the candidate is not looking into a web camera. You’re wrong because they are apps which can simulate that you look into a camera but you don’t – it’s the apps used instead of a teleprompter.

Even higher level might be a live deepfake. There are people who make interview tests and code exercises for other people. The same principle will be here. Let’s say an experienced software engineer will be on the video call with the physical appearance with voice cloned of the real candidate. You cannot recognize the difference – it’s already possible.

What ethical issues arise regarding the use of AI either on the candidate or recruiter side?

I think it’s more about what standard we as people are going to allow. Is it unethical that AI will be choosing the candidates who will get an offer and what offer? That’s debatable. At the end of the day it might be more fair that a selection by humans. The new European AI Act tries to tackle on some of the usage of AI in a work place which should be valid by 2026.

  • José Kadlec, Author of the new book HR ROBO SAPIENS

Thank you for the anwers José Kadlec, the Trainer, Keynote Speaker, Author and Founding CEO of Recruitment Academy!