April 24, 2024

Recruiting 4.0: How to Get Past the Electronic Guard

Written by Frederike Czerlinski — Contributor

In today's job market, traditional recruitment methods are getting a major makeover. The rise of artificial intelligence (AI), algorithms, and bots are a game changer for both employers and applicants. While the era of Recruiting 4.0 implies efficiency and convenience for employers, it also holds some challenges for job seekers.

Opportunities of Recruiting 4.0

Recruiting 4.0 stands for digitally supported recruiting. For companies keeping up with the times and making use of the advancements in artificial intelligence, the days of reading thousands of application forms are over. AI and automation are becoming integral parts of recruiting processes. For instance, applicant tracking systems (ATS) automatically scan resumes, saving large companies in particular a lot of time and money. Taking it a step further, AI-powered interviews can be used to assess a candidate’s suitability. Incorporating chatbots into the recruitment process streamlines the handling of frequently asked questions both pre- and post-employment, resulting in improved candidate satisfaction and relieving recruiters. Technologies like those are transforming the stages of today’s recruitment.

Major Concerns of AI in Recruiting

According to a study by the Society for Human Resource Management, approximately one out of four American businesses use AI in HR, namely for hiring and recruiting. The increasing usage of AI in this field is partially seen critically, as it ultimately influences peoples’ careers.

AI is known to be dependent on its training data, therefore it is not protected from biases. While using AI for scanning resumes, companies need to guarantee that the systems are built to be fair. Applicants must be treated equally and protected from discrimination through data analysis, and certain privacy and security requirements must be observed when handling sensitive employee data.

In New York for example, there is the law NYC 144 that forces enterprises to have automated employment decision tools (AEDTs) examined for racial and gender biases through third parties. The results will be disclosed and might incur penalties up to $1,500 per infringement.

Another aspect is that it can be difficult for recruiters to understand why applicants were excluded because AI algorithms rarely provide a justification for their decision. In some cases, recruiters don’t check whether the decision is correct.

In recent news, the story of Anthea Mairoudhiou, a makeup artist working for MAC cosmetics attracted attention. Due to organizational changes, there was an employee surplus, so the cosmetics company decided to do another round of interviews, conducted by Hire Vue, with no human was involved. Despite her expertise, high record of sales and low sick leave, she wasn’t asked relevant questions. As a result, she, and several of her collogues lost their jobs, because the AI decided so.

There's no denying that incorporating AI into recruiting processes offers certain benefits for HR departments and introduce efficiencies into company operations. It can significantly save recruiters time and resources, allowing them to focus on more important tasks. Nevertheless, AI should be used in a controlled manner, and decisions should be transparent and traceable by recruiters.


Helpful Tips for Applicants

As technology continues to change the hiring process, it is critical to be prepared to face both opportunities and problems that come along with the advances. While AI can assist recruiters in identifying the most suitable candidates, applicants must be aware of the new rules to play by to avoid being directly rejected. Here are some ways to enhance the chances of success:

  • Research: Before applying for a job, research the company to understand its values, culture, and mission as well as the requirements for the job and the application. Remember, employers may also research you. It's not unusual for companies to use AI to analyze candidates' social media presence. Given that we all leave digital footprints, it's advisable to review your social media profiles to ensure a professional image.

  • Optimize Your Resume: Ensure your resume adheres to specified formats. In case of doubt use a common font and avoid overly complex layouts, as well as abbreviation to maximize its readability. Tailor your application to the job description by using relevant keywords, increasing the likelihood of recognition by ATS algorithms.

  • Dealing with AI Interviews: In case you are confronted with AI interviews, practice to answer common interview questions, while answering in a clear manner and speaking naturally. Afterwards it can be helpful to follow up with the actual recruiter to reiterate your interest in the position. 


AI-supported application processes are used more and more in human resources departments, with approximately 40 percent adoption observed internationally. New developments due to the digitalization are reshaping application processes. From algorithmic analysis of body language to immediate rejections by AI, these advancements can be concerning for applicants. However, AI can automate routine procedures such as resume screening, allowing recruiters to dedicate more time to strategic issues. While AI improves productivity, human recruiters remain essential for relationship-building and the final understanding and judgement in personnel selection. After all, applicants can apply the mentioned tips to bypass the AI gatekeeper. 

Frederike Czerlinski is a research scholar with the HFTP Middle East Research Center and student at the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management in Dubai, UAE.


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