It’s 2020.

Long gone are the days when artificial intelligence(AI) was a figment of Hollywood’s imagination. Think pieces about whether AI is the future have slowed to a trickle, and fears of robots taking our jobs have begun to subside. 

Artificial intelligence is part of our new reality.

For talent acquisition pros, that means now is the time to decide if your recruitment process could benefit from AI recruiting software. But before you go down that rabbit hole, here’s a quick primer on the state of artificial intelligence for recruiting and human resources teams:

What’s the difference between artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning?

Let’s start with the basics. When it comes to modern technology, buzzwords like AI, machine learning and deep learning are thrown around frequently — but what do they actually mean? Here are a few common definitions:

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence is the overarching science of making intelligent machines, especially intelligent computer programs. AI machines carry out tasks that require the same characteristics of human intelligence, including decision-making, visual and speech recognition and language translation.

Machine learning

Machine learning is a subset of AI, and is one method of achieving achieving artificial intelligence. Through complex algorithms, machine learning uses predictive analytics to make determinations, find patterns or trigger actions based on large data sets. Over time, rather than requiring software coders to create specific software instructions to carry out a task, these algorithms learn from their data to continuously improve their capabilities and performance.

Deep learning

Deep learning is a method of machine learning that takes advantage of neural networks — computing systems designed to function like the human brain — to simulate human decision-making. Many popular examples of AI have been achieved through deep learning, including Google Maps’ StreetView.

How are companies using AI in recruiting? 

For many organizations, AI solutions already play a role in improving the recruitment process by speeding up common human resources functions like candidate sourcing, resume screening, interview scheduling, recruitment marketing and more. 


Many primary recruitment tasks involve sifting through large sets of data, like resumes, candidate profiles and vast amounts of information stored in an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). Utilizing this data, AI recruiting solutions can help recruiters match candidates to jobs through sophisticated algorithms that make sourcing a more intelligent process. 


AI makes it easier to narrow down a short list of candidates with resume screening and filtering functionality, candidate evaluation forms, and more. And once you’ve identified a few great candidates, recruitment CRM software helps keep top talent engaged throughout the hiring process. 


AI will also help recruiters save time on lengthy, repetitive tasks like interview scheduling. According to recent research, recruiters are spending 2/3 of their overall hiring time on the interview process, and 67% of respondents say it takes between 30 minutes – 2 hours to schedule a single interview. AI automation allows recruiters to set meetings instantly with tools that eliminate back-and-forth emails or rescheduled meetings.

Interview scheduling software eliminates hours of wasted time and improves recruitment operations so that human resources teams can focus on providing a stronger candidate experience and becoming a bigger strategic business partner. 

How else can AI recruitment software improve your hiring process?

Candidate rediscovery

As recruiters, we’ve all had candidates that aren’t quite the right fit for an immediate role, but might make a great future hire. Rather than starting from scratch every time a new role opens up, artificial intelligence can filter through your existing talent pool to find candidates with the right skills and background. Bonus: these job seekers have already expressed an interest in your company, and know your employer brand well — saving you a few steps in the recruitment marketing process.  

Diversity hiring

According to our 2019 Diversity Recruiting Job Seeker Survey, 83% of job seekers indicate that workplace diversity is an important factor in their decision to accept a new role. Leading employers are rising to meet candidate expectations with new diversity recruiting strategies that address gaps within their own organizations and in the global workforce at large. Many companies are now using AI to eliminate unconscious bias during the resume screening process, while reviewing candidate evaluations, and more. 

While great progress has been made, there’s still lots of work to be done when it comes to fine-tuning diversity-focused AI software. Companies like Amazon have faced backlash for using recruitment tools that have shown a bias against women, and many scholars have noted AI’s shortcomings when it comes to learning human bias.

Automated “human” connections

It might seem impersonal, but Meghan Biro at Talent Culture points to autonomous candidate interactions as having a positive impact on the overall candidate experience. In an interview for Talent Culture’s #WorkTrends podcast, she spoke with Ben Eubanks, author of the forthcoming book “Artificial Intelligence for HR,” about chatbots making candidates feel like they’re being listened to:

“Candidates seem to be appreciative of any chance to break through the often-opaque job-search process and have a chance to have their voices heard — even if it’s by a piece of software… Candidates often go through a dialogue with a bot about their desired positions, submit their resume, then say ‘thank you’ before signing off.”

Facial analysis

Video interviewing software has increasingly become a popular option for recruiting teams with high-volume or global hiring needs, and some companies have begun to experiment with facial expression analysis. This technology analyzes body language during interviews to assess mood, energy, and personality traits.

While an exciting advance in technology, many are still wary of facial analysis, as it may still not be sophisticated enough to eliminate bias or advance the best candidate for the role. Like AI diversity recruiting software, there’s still some work to be done, but it will be interesting to keep an eye on this trend in 2020. 

Candidate profile augmentation

AI recruiting software is now able to build more robust candidate profiles by scouring the web for alternate sources of data that go far beyond the resume. Adding social media profiles, third-party publications, search engine results and more can give recruiters a more holistic view of any given candidate.

Artificial intelligence is meant to augment human intelligence. If talent acquisition teams can harness its full potential, then increased efficiency and a stronger candidate pool is just the tip of the iceberg. 

What AI trends are you most looking forward to watching this year? Let us know by sharing your thoughts on social media using #RecruitmentYearinReview.