AI in Recruitment: Key Takeaways from the APSCo Outsource Executive Lunch

Author: Nétive VMS

Last month, Nétive VMS proudly sponsored the APSCo Outsource Executive Lunch at the luxurious Blake Room at the Ivy, London. This exclusive event brought together twenty key business leaders from the outsourcing world. The highlight of the lunch was an insightful presentation by Chris Neddermeijer, Founder and Chief Product Officer at Nétive VMS, on the transformative role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in recruitment.

Since the lunch, we’ve had some time to reflect on the key points and discussions from the event, including some key takeaways.

Rapid Evolution and Challenges in Talent Access

To begin, Chris Neddermeijer addressed the rapid changes in talent access over recent years, highlighting the various challenges that organisations face in this incredibly dynamic landscape. The ever-evolving nature of recruitment demands innovative solutions, and AI has emerged as a powerful tool to meet these challenges head-on.

Adoption and Impact of AI in Recruitment

CURRENT AND FUTURE ADOPTION RATES

Some important stats:

  • Current Use: 24% of organisations are already leveraging AI in their recruitment processes (SHRM survey).
  • Future Plans: 56% of organisations plan to adopt AI in the near future (SHRM survey).
  • Perceived Impact: 67% of recruiters believe AI will significantly impact their jobs within five years (LinkedIn study).
TRANSFORMATIVE EFFECTS OF AI

Chris highlighted that AI is not just a buzzword; it is already actively transforming recruitment processes by:

  • Improving efficiency
  • Addressing issues like bias and diversity in hiring practices.

Embracing a “Feed Forward” Mindset

Chris introduced the concept of “feed forward,” a method focused on continuous improvement and future-oriented thinking. It’s a concept that was met with great enthusiasm in the room. This mindset is crucial for organisations aiming to leverage AI effectively. Key aspects include:

  • Aligned, ambitious teams working towards common goals.
  • Using AI to inspire and decide on improvements for the future.

The Role of Innovation

Innovation is key to continuous improvement. Chris emphasised that combining ambition with the right mindset and tools, such as AI, can unlock limitless potential when it comes to recruitment. However, he cautioned against using tools simply for their own sake; they must serve a clear purpose and help achieve specific goals.

Chris Neddermeijer presents to the APSCo Outsource members

AI’s Contribution and Limitations

ENHANCING EFFICIENCY

AI can significantly streamline recruitment by handling mundane and menial tasks, especially in large volumes, such as screening candidates. This efficiency was widely welcomed as it reduces human effort and enhances productivity.

THE HUMAN ELEMENT

However, one of the biggest discussion points in the room was around the limitations of AI, particularly in hiring stages where a personal touch is still required:

  • Crucial Stages: At critical interview or offer stages, the human element is irreplaceable. AI’s role is to assist, not replace, human interaction.
  • Cultural and Team Fit: Ensuring a candidate’s cultural and team fit remains a task for human recruiters. AI can provide valuable data and shortlist candidates, but the final decision relies on human judgement and traditional relationship-building.

Ethical Considerations and Continuous Improvement

Chris urged attendees to consider the ethical implications of AI in recruitment. He advocated for a balanced approach that leverages AI for continuous improvement while recognising its limitations. The goal is to optimise hiring processes without losing the essential human touch that defines successful recruitment.

Mixed Reactions and Future Outlook

Chris’ presentation generally gained universal approval from the attendees in the room, although mixed reactions were certainly felt around the extent of AI’s involvement at final recruitment stages. Many in the room embraced the “feed forward” mindset and the continuous improvement philosophy, others expressed some concerns about the extent of AI’s role. The thought-provoking nature of the discussion ensured that the key points resonated with everyone present.

Final Thoughts

As Chris concluded: “You don’t need to see the top of the stairs when you take the first two to three steps, but you do need to go up.” This reflects the journey of integrating AI into recruitment – taking incremental steps towards optimisation and improvement and beginning on that journey, step by step.

In summary, the APSCo Outsource Executive Lunch highlighted the transformative potential of AI in recruitment while emphasising the need for a balanced, ethical approach. By adopting a “feed forward” mindset and focusing on continuous improvement, hiring firms can truly harness AI to enhance their recruitment processes, and ultimately achieve better outcomes to driving future business success.

You can download the full AI in Recruitment slide deck below.

The luxurious Blake Room at the Ivy