Putting AI in its Place' Artificial Intelligence Should Be Part of the Recruiting Process, But it Can't Replace the Human Touch


EDITOR’S NOTE: Survey results at bottom of release. Click here for infographic.

LOS ANGELES, June 28, 2018 ­—  As big data and artificial intelligence (AI) continue to transform the recruiting industry, a new survey by Korn Ferry (NYSE:KFY) shows that professionals have less trust in AI than in human recruiters.

While nearly three quarters of those surveyed (72 percent) said AI should be used during the recruitment process, more than two-thirds (68 percent) said it wouldn’t be fair if AI alone chose who should be interviewed without the input of a human recruiter.

In addition, nearly half (41 percent) said they feel uncomfortable dealing with AI instead of a human recruiter as part of the process, and 76 percent said they trust AI less than a person to guide the job search process.

“AI, when coupled with machine learning, is an incredibly strong tool in the journey to source and select the most qualified candidates, but it’s just that, a ‘tool,’” said Matt Heckler, general manager, Global Client Platform Solutions, Korn Ferry. “The best recruiters use big data and AI to free time by automating tasks such as sourcing. This gives the recruiter more time to focus on what matters: creating and filling roles that help organizations fulfill their strategic agenda.”

The top benefit of working with a recruiter, according to the survey, is the ability to build strong relationships. While 90 percent of respondents said technology cannot replace the human interaction required to recruit effectively, respondents did cite benefits of using AI in the recruiting process. When asked what they value most from AI being used in recruiting, 30 percent said it makes the process go faster; and a quarter believe it helps take bias out of the equation.

“As AI continues to become part of our everyday lives, we can expect to see an increase in the adoption and integration of this emerging technology to help talent acquisition professionals be even more efficient and effective,” continued Heckler. “From freeing up time for strategic thought and relationship building to helping talent acquisition professionals better understand their markets, the intelligent use of technology provides an exciting path for the recruiter of the future.”

About the survey

The survey of 431 professionals across a wide range of industries took place in late May 2018. (note: due to rounding figures may not equal 100 percent).

Do you think Artificial Intelligence (AI) should be used during the recruitment process?

Yes                                                                                                                  72 percent

No                                                                                                                   28 percent

When you do know it’s an Artificial Intelligence (AI) recruiter vs. a human recruiter in the recruitment process, how comfortable do you feel in dealing with it?

Very comfortable                                                                                             15 percent

Somewhat comfortable                                                                                   44 percent

Somewhat uncomfortable                                                                               28 percent

Very uncomfortable                                                                                        13 percent

In the initial stages of the recruitment process (e.g. discussing your interest in a potential role) can you tell when you’re not dealing with a human in recruitment situations?

Yes, it is always obvious with chatbots                                                          25 percent

Yes, I think so                                                                                                58 percent

No, I don’t think so                                                                                          16 percent

No, definitely not                                                                                               1 percent

Would you think it fair for an Artificial Intelligence (AI) recruiter to judge your resume instead of a human, determining whether you are interviewed or not?

Yes, it would be fair                                                                                        32 percent

No, it would not be fair                                                                                    68 percent

Would you trust an Artificial Intelligence (AI) recruiter more or less than a human recruiter when it comes to finding you a job?

I would trust an AI recruiter a lot more than a human recruiter                       4 percent

I would trust an AI recruiter somewhat more than a human recruiter            20 percent

I would trust an AI recruiter somewhat less than a human recruiter             48 percent

I would trust an AI recruiter a lot less than a human recruiter                       28 percent

To what extent do you agree with the following statement: “Technology cannot replace the human interaction required to recruit effectively.”

Strongly agree                                                                                                43 percent

Agree                                                                                                              47 percent

Disagree                                                                                                           8 percent

Strongly disagree                                                                                             2 percent

To what extent do you agree with the following statement: “Recruitment needs major change through the adoption of new technology.”

Strongly agree                                                                                                21 percent

Agree                                                                                                              58 percent

Disagree                                                                                                          19 percent

Strongly disagree                                                                                              2 percent

Is there a point in the recruitment process where you would prefer to stop dealing with an Artificial Intelligence (AI) recruiter and start dealing with a human?                                             

I would prefer to deal with a human recruiter throughout the entire process 23 percent

After initial contact, I would prefer to deal with a human recruiter                  52 percent

From an interview onwards, I would prefer to deal with a human recruiter   23 percent

When negotiating my package, I would prefer to deal with a human               3 percent

Do you think Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems in recruitment work?                        

Yes, automated recruitment works all the time                                                2 percent

Yes, automated recruitment works most of the time                                      35 percent

No, I don’t think automated recruitment works most of the time                   52 percent

No, I don’t think automated recruitment works all of the time                        11 percent

What would you value most from dealing with human recruiters                     

I can build a personal relationship with them                                                 28 percent

I feel I can trust a human                                                                                11 percent

I believe they care about the job they’re doing                                              17 percent

They are more subjective when selecting candidates                                   22 percent

They really know what I want from a role                                                       21 percent

What would you value most from dealing with Artificial Intelligence (AI) recruiters

I believe they’re unbiased and more fair                                                        25 percent

I believe they are more efficient than human recruiters                                 22 percent

A better candidate experience                                                                         7 percent

A faster recruitment process                                                                          30 percent

I believe they are more accurate in finding job opps that work for me          17 percent

Have you seen the impact Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems can have on the speed of recruitment process yet?

Yes                                                                                                                  26 percent

No                                                                                                                   74 percent

Have you seen the impact Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems can have on the quality of recruitment process yet?

Yes                                                                                                                  17 percent

No                                                                                                                   83 percent

Are you concerned about the impact that Artificial Intelligence (AI) has on the recruitment process and the way you interact with recruiters?

Yes                                                                                                                  66 percent

No                                                                                                                   34 percent

Does the use of  Artificial Intelligence (AI) during the recruitment process impact the reputation of an employer?

Yes, it has a positive impact                                                                           23 percent

Yes, it has a negative impact                                                                         35 percent

No, it has no impact                                                                                        42 percent


About Korn Ferry

Korn Ferry is a global organizational consulting firm. We help clients synchronize strategy and talent to drive superior performance. We work with organizations to design their structures, roles, and responsibilities. We help them hire the right people to bring their strategy to life. And we advise them on how to reward, develop, and motivate their people.

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