Korn Ferry Global Survey: Artificial Intelligence (AI) Reshaping the Role of the Recruiter


- Majority Feel AI Helps Source More Qualified Candidates and Roles are Filled in a More Timely Manner -

- Nearly Two-Thirds Believe AI Has Forever Changed Recruiting -

EDITOR’S NOTE: Survey results at bottom of release, click here for infographic

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 18, 2018 — Once feared as making the role of the recruiter impersonal and robotic, Artificial Intelligence (AI) today gives recruiters the information they need to source and hire higher-quality professionals. Those are the findings of a global Korn Ferry (NYSE:KFY) survey of nearly 800 talent acquisition professionals.

Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of respondents say AI has changed the way recruiting is done in their organization, with 69 percent saying using AI as a sourcing tool garners higher-quality candidates.

When asked to compare the quality of candidates today to 5 years ago, when AI was still in its infancy, 59 percent said candidates are more qualified today, and 51 percent said roles are filled in a more timely manner.

According to the survey, talent acquisition professionals are welcoming AI as a tool. Nearly half (48 percent) say big data and AI are making their roles easier, with 40 percent saying the top way it helps is providing valuable insights, and 27 percent saying it has freed up their time.

“AI helps us dramatically enhance outcomes by finding patterns and relationships to better understand what a successful person looks in a particular position,” said Jacob Zabkowicz, Korn Ferry vice president and general manager, RPO, North America. “For example, in a search for a global automotive maker, we discovered that in one country there was a significant movement of executives from the luxury goods sector to the automotive sector – a relationship that wouldn’t have been obvious without AI.”

Of the 14 percent of respondents who say AI has made their jobs more difficult, the majority say they have too much data and they don’t know what to do with it.

“Data for data’s sake is not a solution for smart talent acquisition practices,” said Franz Gilbert, Korn Ferry vice president of Product Innovation. “Recruiters need to refine their skill sets and work with the right kind of AI tools that will provide them with critical information such as compensation analysis and supply/demand reports on particular job categories in specific regions. We use AI to provide hiring managers with tangible insights, not simply industry rules of thumb or anecdotal stories about similar searches.”

To further solidify AI’s role in recruiting, the vast majority (83 percent) of respondents say they have at least some understanding of how AI can impact the recruiting process, and 87 percent say they are excited about working with AI even more in the future.

About the Survey

Korn Ferry surveyed 770 talent acquisition professionals from across the globe in November and December 2017.

Survey results

To what extent would you agree with this comment: Compared to 5 years ago, more roles are filled in a timely manner

Strongly Agree   14 percent
Agree somewhat   37 percent
Neither agree or disagree   28 percent
Disagree somewhat   17 percent
Strongly disagree   3 percent

How has Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) impacted your role?

It has made my job much easier   10 percent
It has made my job somewhat easier   38 percent
It has not made an impact   20 percent
It has made my job somewhat more difficult   12 percent
It has made my job much more difficult   2 percent
We don’t use big data/AI   25 percent

What is the top reason Big Data and AI is making your job easier?

It has freed up more of my time   27 percent
It provides valuable insight for my work   40 percent
It has allowed me to make better decisions   12 percent
It has meant that my team can focus more on the human aspect of the business   21 percent

What is the top reason Big Data and AI is making your job more difficult?

It has meant my job is no longer relevant   0 percent
It has given me too much data that I don’t know what to with it   53 percent
It has meant that my team has become smaller   6 percent
I feel that big data/AI takes away the human element   41 percent

Has Big Data and AI changed the way recruiting is done in your organization?

Yes to a great extent   13 percent
Yes to some extent   50 percent
No to some extent   22 percent
No to a great extent   3 percent
We don’t use big data/AI   12 percent

Do you believe using Big Data and AI to source candidates garners more qualified candidates?

Yes to a great extent   18 percent
Yes to some extent   51 percent
Neither agree nor disagree   21 percent
No to some extent   8 percent
No to a great extent   2 percent

Compared to 5 years ago, has the quality of candidates improved?

Yes they are much better   14 percent
They are somewhat better   45 percent
They are the same   31 percent
They are somewhat worse   9 percent
They are much worse   1 percent

What is your understanding of how Big Data and AI can help in the recruiting process?

A great understanding   17 percent
Some understanding   66 percent
Little understanding   16 percent
No understanding   1 percent

Are you afraid of the impact AI will have on your job?

Yes   15 percent
No  85 percent

Do you think AI will replace your job?

Yes   11 percent
No   89 percent

Are you excited about the prospect of working with AI More?

Yes   87 percent
No   13 percent

About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is a global organizational consulting firm. We help companies design their organization – the structure, the roles and responsibilities, as well as how they compensate, develop and motivate their people. As importantly, we help organizations select and hire the talent they need to execute their strategy. Our approximately 7,000 colleagues serve clients in more than 50 countries.

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