Revolutionizing Recruitment: How AI Is Transforming Talent Acquisition

June 11, 2024

The future of hiring is here. Find out how AI will reshape recruitment processes — and how to make it a value driver for your organization.

We’re at the point of no return with artificial intelligence (AI). It’s already infiltrated its way into our entire lives, from the food delivery app that recommends you a trendy new sushi spot to cars, home appliances, and, yes: even robot bees

The field of recruiting is no exception to the revolution. AI-driven talent tools already make the hiring process more efficient, and critically, more human. 

According to a 2023 joint study by Harvard Business Review and Paradox, 91% of key decision makers believe implementing AI in hiring processes is necessary for future business success. 

But implementing AI tools into your recruiting process and knowing how to drive value from them are two very different things. 

In this article, we’ll explore how AI is reshaping recruiting, how you can apply it to your own processes, and some key considerations as you make the leap.

Key Takeaways

  • AI recruiting has the potential to drive huge efficiency, speed, and quality improvements across the hiring process — as long as it’s used alongside human input.
  • Implementing AI successfully in the hiring process requires recruitment teams to build guidelines that standardize its use across the entire function.
  • Proactive transparency about how and where AI is used in the hiring process will drive better understanding and higher levels of trust among candidates.

How AI Is Changing the Recruiting Process

Putting AI and hiring in the same sentence should feel like a work of dystopian fiction (and if it is, it’s one we’d definitely want to read). But as the technology continues to evolve, its impact on the recruitment process is far more positive than anything out of I, Robot would have you believe — because it’s already driving wide-scale improvements to recruiters’ efficiency, speed, and hiring outcomes.

With AI, recruiters have the power to analyze vast amounts of candidate data in minutes, make more informed decisions, and critically, win over talent in a challenging market. 

We’ve moved from combing LinkedIn to automated candidate sourcing in seconds, and manual resume screening to natural language processing (NLP) to match skills to role requirements.

These early positive outcomes are especially critical given the current context for business. Shifts to remote or hybrid cultures have changed the way companies source and retain talent. 

AI can be a powerful solution that bridges gaps in team capacity, budget, and resources by helping talent teams make better predictive decisions with fluctuating needs in mind, win over highly competitive talent quicker, and tighten up efficiency gaps leading to long hiring cycles.

Learn More: AI in HR: From Efficiency to Employee Engagement

Benefits of Using AI for Recruiting

When done well, implementing AI-enabled technology in the recruiting process can offer the following benefits for teams:

Improve Team Efficiency and Productivity

Forty-four percent of working hours in the U.S. are in scope for automation or augmentation (supporting human decision-making with technology), according to a 2024 report by Accenture.

Outsourcing almost 50% of your working hours to a computer could sound a little alarming. But in practice, it can be liberating. With AI, recruiters can offload manual, repetitive tasks like data input and managing candidate communication. The net result? Huge time savings that free them up to engage candidates.

Enhance Candidate Engagement and Experience

Poor communication is still the biggest hallmark of a bad candidate experience. But in a 2023 study on job applicants’ perceptions of AI in the hiring process, 70% of participants highlighted its ability to speed up response times was a huge win. 

Recruiters can use AI to build email templates, automate email sequences, and provide out-of-hours touchpoints to scale recruitment teams’ candidate nurturing efforts without adding to workload.

How to Improve the Candidate Experience

Don’t let a lackluster candidate experience hold your company back. Download our guide now to revolutionize your recruiting game and attract (and retain) the best of the best.

Optimize Quality of Hire

In a time when organizations globally are optimizing for high performance, a bad hire isn’t just time lost, it could threaten your bottom line.

Using predictive analytics to identify the common qualities among your top performers could give you a head start in the talent race.

Improve Time-to-Hire and Talent Competitiveness

Time-to-hire is at an all-time high according to 2023 research from the Josh Bersin Company, which showed an increase from 43 to 44 days within just one year. Improving on this metric is possible when recruitment teams implement AI successfully. 

Enhance Strategic Power

In an unstable market, predictive analytics means talent acquisition teams can get more strategic about future hiring needs. 

Use AI to increase your talent intelligence by layering workforce and macroeconomic data over company hiring data, helping you manage fluctuating needs and tailor recruitment according to changing market conditions.

Learn More: Strategic Workforce Planning: Laying the Groundwork

How Can You Apply AI in Your Recruiting Workflow?

AI’s potential in the hiring process can feel simultaneously expansive and a bit overwhelming. The best place to start applying it isn’t by investing in lots of new tech. It’s by identifying the right challenges and use cases across your current process. 

Check out these example challenges and use cases for inspiration:



Screening candidate resumes is becoming a challenge at scale.

Implement NLP to match skills and competencies to the job description and identify best-fit candidates more quickly.

Candidates from marginalized groups are less likely to apply for roles.

Use a machine learning model to analyze job postings for biased language that may be discouraging marginalized candidates from applying.

Ghosting rates are up from qualified candidates.

Implement predictive analytics to understand candidate behavior and pinpoint which hiring stage is causing issues. 

Nurturing candidates via email is time-consuming.

Create and personalize candidate email nurturing sequences using generative AI.

Candidates are waiting a long time to schedule in interviews with hiring managers.

Automate screening assessments and allow candidates to self-schedule interviews to eliminate calendar bottlenecks.

Ultimately, your focus when identifying potential AI use cases should be on driving better efficiency or hiring outcomes. You’re augmenting the human part of hiring, not eliminating it.

4 Best Practices When Using AI in Recruiting

When implementing AI, go in with a clear idea of what you want to achieve to help you decide where and how to apply AI, define effective metrics of success, and solve your key pain points in the most effective way.

Here are four best practices.

1. Use AI to Augment Human Decision-Making, not Replace It

Humans come pre-packaged with a whole bunch of biases. In the hiring process, studies have shown these biases can impact not only who gets the job, but who makes it into the interview room in the first place. 

But here’s where things get sticky: AI was created by humans, which means it’s also biased. Amazon found this out too late when it unintentionally discriminated against women by training an algorithm based on the data from a male-dominated workforce.

When implementing AI into the hiring process, recruitment teams must be mindful that while it can be used to support decision-making. Humans must be involved and have the final say on who gets hired. 

2. Build AI Policies and Guidelines to Standardize Usage

As a technology, AI is still in its infancy. While government bodies including the EU and New York City have tried to legislate how AI can be used in the recruitment process, the lack of clarity and agreement on how to apply  is making some organizations wary of implementing AI into their own hiring process.

Recruitment teams can get ahead by establishing a set of AI guidelines that define how, when, and why AI is used in the hiring process — and critically, when it isn’t used. For example, at Paylocity, we’ve created our own AI ethics statement

Creating a foundational policy before you implement AI into standard processes can provide the essential guardrails for the whole team.

3. Identify Where AI Can Make the Biggest Impact

Integrating AI successfully into your hiring process hinges on knowing exactly where you can implement it to greatest effect. 

Doing a quick recon of how other organizations are using AI can be great for inspiration. But remember: Your needs will be dependent on your organization size, hiring strategy, team size and capability, and the tools in your existing stack. 

Map out your end-to-end hiring process to identify the challenges and opportunities unique to your organization. Use the following questions as a guide:

  • What are our biggest challenges or pain points as a team? 
  • What are our current goals as a recruiting function? How might these change in the future?
  • How is our team feeling about tasks, processes, and overall capacity?
  • How are these challenges impacting core key performance indicators (KPIs) like candidate experience, offer acceptance rate, time-to-hire, or quality of hire?
  • Do we have any skills gaps that'd impede the successful adoption of any AI tooling?
  • How can AI integrate into our existing tech stack?

4. Be Transparent About How and Where You’re Using AI

By and large, candidates are still leery about AI in the hiring process. 2022 research from the Pew Research Center found 66% of respondents would avoid applying to a job where AI was used to make hiring decisions, while 41% were opposed to it being used to review job applications. 

Earning candidates’ trust that you’re using AI responsibly and fairly depends on being upfront about how and where it’s used. Instead of waiting to be quizzed on how you’re using AI, provide this information proactively on your careers website, or as part of the application itself. 

Outline the tools you’re using, what they measure, where they appear in the process, and how the data will factor into your decision-making. 

Will AI Replace Recruiters?

AI’s ability to screen resumes, assess candidates, and even passably mimic a human in a video interviewing context has led to a few ethical — and existential — questions for the future of the talent function. Namely, are we at risk of an AI talent takeover?

We’re in the “no” camp on this one. In the future of hiring, humans will always be critical to the process, because AI has one tiny little deficit: It isn’t human. 

AI can’t parse the nuances of speech or decode human behavior. It can’t make decisions like a human. And if you’ve ever had a chat with ChatGPT, you’ll learn that it’s not even that good of a conversationalist. 

In a nutshell: AI isn’t coming to steal recruiters’ jobs — it’s just here to lighten the load, and help recruiters engage with candidates better on a human level. 

When wielded effectively and balanced for bias, AI can handle tasks like manual data entry, sourcing candidate profiles, and matching skills against job descriptions. But it can’t replace the connection or decision-making that make hiring a job for humans, not computers.

Learn More: Two HR Technology Trends for 2024: From AI to EX

The Future of Recruitment: Balancing Human Input With AI Integration

AI has huge potential to innovate the entire end-to-end recruitment process. But doing this effectively means HR must identify where integrating AI could help them optimize for key hiring outcomes. 

And more importantly, organizations must also think more broadly about integrating AI within human-led processes, rather than rebuilding processes to factor the human out.

Getting the tech right is a critical part of this approach. With Paylocity’s all-in-one HR and Payroll software, it’s easy to automate hiring processes, amplify outreach, showcase your culture, and build stronger candidate connections. 

Leverage our platform’s integrated Recruiting features to:

  • Save time using AI Assist for job descriptions, templates, and custom workflows.
  • Track all candidates' information and communication in a single record within Paylocity.
  • Foster inclusivity and minimize bias by masking resumes and sharing preferred names.

Want to find out more? Request a demo today!


Keep Your Workforce Ready 

Finding the right talent for your team can be challenging in today’s market. But with the right tools, it doesn’t have to be a strain on your internal resources as well. Our recruiting platform streamlines the process, bringing you an intuitive way to search for and engage with top candidates. With communication methods like texting and video, and data that helps you track progress, attracting and winning has never been easier.