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Shoeleather Journalism in the Digital Age

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in the Digital Age

RecruitBot: A Digital Free Press report on AI and the HR recruitment process

photo of RecruitBot CEO Jeremy Schiff
RecruitBot CEO Jeremy Schiff, above, tells the Arizona Digital Free Press a human-in-the-loop is a critical piece to keep ethical considerations at the forefront of new technologies. (File Photos/
1ON1 with RecruitBot CEO Jeremy Schiff on AI and digital recruitment solutions
By Terrance Thornton | Digital Free Press

As all things artificial intelligence continues to encapsulate doing business in the Digital Age, one emerging talking point is how automated algorithms can impact the human resources role at American companies.

When it comes to ethical considerations, there must be a human-in-the-loop when companies both small and large are considering adding AI protocols to the recruiting process — that’s according to Jeremy Schiff CEO and founder of RecruitBot.

“While AI is a useful tool that can make recruiting more efficient, it will always require actual humans to develop, train, and determine how and when to apply it effectively and fairly,” he told the Arizona Digital Free Press. “Just a few years ago, Amazon famously scrapped an AI-powered recruiting tool because it began showing bias against female candidates. It took human intelligence to know there was a problem – and take steps to remedy it.”

The San Francisco-based company, RecruitBot, is at the leading edge of instituting AI protocols to established human resources practices.

“It is humans who have to program AI’s algorithms to focus entirely on reviewing a candidate’s specific qualifications and talents and rank thousands of resumes instantly,” Mr. Schiff said. “In fact, RecruitBot pointedly ignores all surface demographic characteristics in its evaluations to minimize systematic discrimination and reduce unconscious bias.”

No matter and what part of the loop humans interact, Mr. Schiff contends AI integration into antiquated HR software will inevitably change the recuriting process across multiple industries.

“There’s no question that technology will fundamentally impact how recruiters and other talent professionals spend their workdays,” he said.

“Since AI, machine learning and automation can eliminate or reduce repetitive, laborious tasks like reviewing resumes and manually personalizing emails, people have more time to spend on aspects of their jobs where they can really add value – in ways that only humans can – interacting with candidates, synthesizing what’s most compelling about a specific position and tying it to the candidate’s needs and wants, facilitating an effective interview process.”

1ON1 with RecruitBot CEO Jeremy Schiff on AI and digital recruitment solutions

To better understand the future of artificial intelligence in the digital recruiting practice, the Digital Free Press reached out to Mr. Schiff. This is what he had to say:

*What are your thoughts on the future of AI in HR?

The advances we’ve seen over the last year with AI are not only genuinely staggering and transformative, but also accelerating. That said, the power of these technologies is in the continued complementary nature of humans and technology together. Those who embrace these technologies are going to have huge advantages relative to those who don’t (much like other transformative technologies like the internet), but the notion that humans will be replaced by AI in the next couple of years isn’t happening any time soon.

*What are some of the challenges and opportunities that AI presents for HR?

These days technology and software providers want everyone to know that they’ve incorporated AI, machine learning, and automation into their platforms. But if you’re on the buyer’s side of the equation, it’s important to dig a bit deeper and investigate these claims.

Ask vendors how the technology works behind the scenes, and be wary if they won’t divulge details because their software is “proprietary.” At RecruitBot, we want you to understand what’s happening. The system is reverse-engineering what’s most relevant about candidates for a specific position based on prior decisions; which works by assigning weights to different attributes and updating those weights based on your decisions – and we can explain that to you in simple terms.

We also recommend questioning vendors about their approach to understanding and mitigating biases that can make the recruiting process less fair and equitable. We take precise measures to address this problem, with the understanding that while data-driven approaches can’t eliminate bias entirely, they have the potential to do it better than humans.

We hear you have just been funded, what exactly are you bringing to market that is proprietary?

The recent $8.2 million investment round is a clear vote of confidence from top-tier investors (and company builders) that we’re working on a big, transformative problem. RecruitBot’s proprietary machine learning algorithms reverse engineer the candidates you are looking for that are similar to those you’ve reviewed. This allows HR professionals to find candidates that are great for their roles, but only good for other companies. Targeting these types of candidates is what empowers companies to hire the best people for their roles. This allows recruiters to review 5X fewer candidates to find those that are relevant.

*Some of the challenges of using AI in recruiting include the potential for bias and the need to have a strong understanding of AI in order to use it effectively. Additionally, AI can be expensive to implement, and it may not be the right solution for every small business. Having said that, what are some of the benefits of using AI in recruiting?

We are in agreement that understanding AI can be complicated and expensive to implement. That’s why we exist. To address the complexity and make the application “just work” for the candidate. Think about how Google is incredibly sophisticated under the surface, but the user just has a search box… same idea.

By using AI & machine learning to better target candidates, coupled all with scalable personalized outreach in a single tool, it can drive a transformative level of value for a talent organization, whether it be in-house or an agency to recruit great talent and save immeasurable time for HR staff.

The current way that people recruit is like a funnel: find candidates, reach out, interview, hire, then start again from scratch. By leveraging AI and machine learning, we can build a recruiting flywheel, recruiting processes that build momentum over time and make hiring candidates for similar roles faster and easier. Having a hard time targeting? Rely on machine learning to find similar candidates. Unsure what messaging will get candidates to respond? Use drip-campaign automation and analytics to message with the confidence that the right fit candidates will respond.

*What are some of the skills that HR professionals need to develop in order to work effectively with AI?

The role of a recruiter will be very different in five years than it is today. Before it was about knowing which eight sites to go to, and how to search them, to go and find the right people to engage with them. As tools like RecruitBot streamline this process, the focus will move to other areas like facilitating better calibration, finding the most compelling messaging to engage candidates, running better interviews, etc.

Most AI tools are powerful because they’re easy to use. When was the last time someone asked how to use Facebook or TikTok? It’s more about learning to do their job differently as their processes and day to day tasks will change with the incorporation of AI. For instance, RecruitBot provides a user-friendly approach to effectively using AI in their recruiting efforts with a single product that offers a candidate database, outreach tool, and recruiting CRM.

Recruiters, recruiting agencies, hiring managers, and founders can use our platform to find ideal candidates with help from machine learning, working in close collaboration with anyone on their hiring team. Then, they can harness our outreach tools to auto-personalize messages, follow up with prospects automatically, and ensure that emails actually reach their intended destinations. And finally, they can leverage our in-depth analytics to ensure that their messaging and tactics evolve along with the market.

Continuing this example, all the data is centralized for you, as is finding contact information. So how a recruiter calibrates with a hiring manager to determine the job requirements, and how they can express that effectively to find ideal candidates is the yin-and-yang of how recruiter and AI will work together. This is a very different skill set.

What are some of the ways that AI can be used to improve the overall HR function?

AI’s impact will be threefold:

  1. Helping improve the quality of candidates that are interviewed,
  2. Removing repetition allowing recruiters to focus on the most high-impact tasks, and
  3. Reducing the time to make key hires.

More hours per day can be utilized to reach out to high-quality candidates, getting to know talent, and working to fully understand hiring managers’ unique needs. HR professionals can focus on crafting compelling messaging, unearthing outside-the-box talent, developing initiatives that promote diversity, and sharing best practices across their organizations.

The more they dedicate their time and energy to these higher-value pursuits and projects, the more their employers and clients will fully appreciate their contributions – and their salaries and job security will continue to grow as a result.

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