Is It Time to Let Artificial Intelligence Improve Recruiting?

Can human resources leaders use Artificial Intelligence (AI) platforms to manage recruiting in the same way marketing executives use Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems to find, nurture and win over new clients?

We have heard the hype about AI.  Now we are learning more about its capabilities to be a game changer in recruiting.

While the empirical evidence to demonstrate the effectiveness and return on investment of AI platforms may be years away, today there are AI platforms that can find and match external candidates to your jobs in seconds as opposed to a week-long search on job boards and LinkedIn. Furthermore, these platforms claim to be much better at matching current candidates and employees to a company’s open jobs than most applicant tracking systems. They may also help reduce unconscious bias while recruiting.

Executives at IBM and founders of ThisWay Global believe the time has come to leverage AI technology to save companies both time and money while also reaching the best candidates before the competition.

Whether your recruiting is low or high volume, I believe it is time to try it.

ThisWay Global Founder and CEO Angela Hood says that after three years of research, and a second round of funding her firm, launched from IdeaSpace – University of Cambridge, England, now has dozens of clients in nearly as many countries.

How recruiting works at ThisWay Global

After recruiters upload the job description into ThisWay Global’s cloud-based web application, its AI immediately kicks in to suggest refinements to the job description based on their machine learning. After the job description is finalized and reviewed by the recruiter, the recruiter presses a button and in less than one second ThisWay reveals a ranked and scored list of qualified candidates. Recruiters can easily transfer this list into existing applicant tracking systems and CRM platforms, without integration.

Recruiters can adjust the required competencies along the way, allowing them to create their own signature AI so the technology learns their specific way of sourcing and recruiting. Each company is provided a “passport” they use to track their jobs and the progress of candidates through the application process. As the interview process unfolds, the recruiter can ask questions and provide notes for greater and easier machine learning. ThisWay’s Global system can also administer screening tests and assessments as requested by the recruiter or employer.  The AI creates a personalized algorithm for each job and the recruiter to augment the recruiter’s intelligence over time. This is known as “augmented intelligence”.

Companies can also upload performance history by job classifications to allow ThisWay Global’s AI to define the competencies of its most successful performers and include these competencies on the job. Angela also points out that most applicant tracking systems (ATS) are not capable of matching internal talent to new job opportunities in that company. ThisWay capability unlocks extraordinary value for staffing agencies, RPOs and recruiters at large organizations. This is an excellent use for AI.

ThisWay Global began engaging with “beta” customers this summer. Angela says that recruiters can get started with one-time job posting for as little as $399 and receive up to 25 qualified candidate matches. Startups and small firms with low volume recruiting often use this feature. Most of their initial Beta clients were filling about 10 jobs a month. However, their new product release has attracted large volume staffing, RPO and recruiters that are filling more than 1,500 jobs per month. ThisWay Global has pricing packages for 10, 25 and 50 jobs per month and Enterprise level volume pricing specials for 100 – 5,000 jobs per month.  While stories of anecdotal success and higher returns of investment exist from their beta clients, it will be a few years before they will be able to conduct empirical analysis on retention with longitudinal results.

Angela believes that AI will be able to improve upon “The Big Five” personality texting architecture with better, current, and unbiased data to further improve predictions of job performance and success on the job.

What IBM has to say

Amber Grewal, Vice President of IBM Global Talent Acquisition, believes that the use of Artificial Intelligence will greatly improve recruiting, the predictive analytics for recruiting, business outcomes, and reduce biased decision-making in hiring decisions. Amber was speaking at FPL Partners “Automating Tomorrow’s Workforce Panel” at Dolby Laboratories in San Francisco on Nov. 9th, 2017.

Amber explained that Watson learns, understands, reasons, and makes decisions to augment the professional it serves and to drive better outcomes. It is not to replace the professional. She maintains that 80% of the data that helps companies is their internal data. External data is currently too poorly connected to be of much help. IBM uses Watson to fundamentally change how they recruit. It is no longer based on which department has an open requisition, or how many. Watson analyzes recruiting outcomes to recommend recruiting priorities based on IBM business needs. Watson can recommend to an IBM business which jobs to fill first, and where HR should prioritize recruiting activity. With Watson, IBM has reduced recruiting cycle time from 125 to 45 days.

Watson is also used as a candidate assistant. Candidates that apply for jobs at IBM start an engagement with Watson which walks them through the application process including pulling in a candidate’s LinkedIn profile. It then matches the profile to open IBM jobs (based on a Watson developed success profile). Watson offers a personalized experience to candidates. It provides information to candidates about IBM’s culture and environment. They have found that 86% of candidates use Watson over their own search of IBM jobs. 96% looked at Watson’s recommendations. The number of IBM job applicants have increased by 35%. IBM has also seen an increase in the diversity of their clients. Amber believes that Watson also has reduced unconscious bias.

Watson is also used to answer new hire questions during onboarding.  And IBM is beginning to use Watson as part of its talent management strategy. Watson delivers talent alerts to managers about giving feedback or providing recognition to employees.

Amber believes that the power of AI’s augmented intelligence will “up-skill” the HR and recruiting function, and relieve recruiters of the many current tedious duties of job candidate search.

Have you tried an AI platform for recruiting? Are you considering it? What has been your experience? Join the discussion.

Victor Assad is the CEO of Victor Assad Strategic Human Resources Consulting and is a Managing Partner of InnovationOne. He consults and provides “hands on” support for innovation, global talent strategies, developing agile leaders and teams, and other strategic initiatives. Questions? Please email Victor at Visit for valuable free reports. For innovation visit


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