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Will AI replace the specialist recruiter?

Posted: 31 Mar 2022

Will AI replace the specialist recruiter?

Despite the hype, the artificial intelligence tools used in recruitment are often clunky. Our Principal Consultant Stephen Daly discusses AI and if they really can replace the specialist recruiter.

The chances are if you applied for a job online in the last few years, you may have encountered artificial intelligence tools. Typically, these tools aim to do things like speed up the process of reviewing applications, particularly where there are high volumes of applications for certain types of roles. You may have come across game-based candidate assessments or had your speech and behaviour patterns analysed in a video interview. But how effective are these tools, and will they eventually replace specialist recruiters?

Conversational AI in recruitment

One of the most common AI tools currently in use is conversational AI or chatbots. This tries to communicate like a human by recognising text or speech and responding appropriately. In the hiring process, it can be used for certain types of administrative tasks such as scheduling interviews or filtering out candidates who don’t meet the criteria for the role in question. Where it may be less successful is when it is used to try to build a relationship with candidates, for example by answering candidates’ questions.

“As anyone who has tried to have a meaningful conversation with a chatbot will tell you, more often than not it’s a frustrating experience. Unless the chatbot directs your enquiry to a human who can answer your questions, chances are that it will damage your impression of a company,” says Eolas Recruitment’s Principal Consultant Stephen Daly.

Bias when using AI in the hiring process

Another problem with using artificial intelligence in recruitment is the fact that AI is not immune from bias. This can have potentially serious repercussions for candidates and employers, says Stephen.

A CNBC story, which explains how AI cannot remove risks of bias in the hiring process, quotes Meredith Whittaker, co-founder of the AI Now Institute at New York University, and founder of Google’s Open Research group, who said:

“In the case of systems meant to automate candidate search and hiring, we need to ask ourselves: What assumptions about worth, ability and potential do these systems reflect and reproduce? Who was at the table when these assumptions were encoded?”

“The bias problem in AI isn’t unique in the IT sector, it’s a universal concern,” says Stephen.

At the time of writing, a quick Google search on “artificial intelligence bias” which returned 62,200,000 results in less than a minute suggests he’s right!

Legal and ethical issues

Legal and ethical issues are another concern when it comes to using artificial intelligence in recruitment.

“Candidates can lose out on career opportunities while employers can be sued if there is evidence that their hiring process discriminated against candidates on grounds like gender or race,” explains Stephen.

There are also concerns about privacy, says Stephen, citing a recent HBR article which discusses these concerns.

In the article, authors Ben Dattner, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Richard Buchband, and Lucinda Schettle, point out that AI tools put “unprecedented power in the hands of organisations to pursue data-based human capital decisions”.

“Many of these tools have emerged as technological innovations, rather than from scientifically derived methods or research programs. As a result, it is not always clear what they assess, whether their underlying hypotheses are valid, or why they may be expected to predict job candidates’ performance,” the HBR article authors add.

In January 2021, PredictiveHire, an Australian technology company that has pioneered transparent AI-assisted hiring solutions, announced the global release of a framework to educate HR executives in assessing AI technology for use in their organisations. The framework aims “to begin conversations around transparency in HR technology against an explosion of AI solutions in the sector,” according to their press release.

“The absence of any form of accreditation of vendors, and the fact that regulation is light years behind tech innovation, has meant a lack of collaboration among vendors to champion AI ethics in the sector, something PredictiveHire hopes to help change,” the press release stated.

Will AI replace recruiters?

While there are clearly opportunities for technologies like AI and predictive analytics to enhance the hiring process for some types of roles, it seems unlikely that advanced technologies will replace specialist recruiters any time soon in sectors where there is strong demand for scarce technical skills.

Even at entry level, where the hiring process often begins at graduate events, candidates value the insights of recruiters. Research by the UK Institute of Student Employers found that jobseekers want to understand how the recruitment process works, what it is like to work in an organisation and what opportunities will open up for them over time.

“Recruitment is about two people developing an understanding of each other’s ambition and requirements. Trying to get a computer to do this in any kind of meaningful way is still science fiction,” says Stephen.

“It’s literally light years away.”

Building relationships

With a track record supporting companies and placing candidates in IT roles for more than 20 years, the Eolas Recruitment team have helped a lot of people move from entry level roles right up to management team level.

“What we’ve learned from that is that we have become really good at listening to candidates and understanding their career development plans so we are able to steer them to the right opportunities at the right time,” says Stephen.

“That’s something AI really can’t match. Many of the AI tools currently used in the hiring process are clunky and dysfunctional and more likely to put applicants off a company than get them excited about a future with a prospective employer. AI will never replace human interaction.”

Specialist recruiters

As candidates progress their career, building a sound relationship with a specialist IT recruiter is key, particularly when moving into senior roles.

“The best recruiters need to be good relationship builders and managers,” says Eolas Recruitment Managing Director Vincent Flynn, who is proud of the fact that Eolas Recruitment’s senior recruiters Peter Kirby and Stephen Daly have been working with him since he started the business in 2000.

“They are fantastic professionals who have a deep understanding and knowledge of the IT sector. Their experience and expertise are what makes us stand out from our competitors. It’s a huge advantage having such a mature team in place.”

For candidates, the benefit of working with a specialist recruiter like Eolas Recruitment is that they have a finger on the pulse of the IT sector.

“We often know about upcoming opportunities before they are advertised because of the relationships that we have built up with our client companies over time. Then there is the practical support we provide to help candidates tailor their applications whether that’s updating their Tech CV or preparing for an interview presentation. We also assist with salary and benefits negotiation and we provide feedback to unsuccessful candidates to help them prepare for the next opportunity that comes along. Companies and candidates really value these services and the support that they get from our team. You can see that reflected in the online reviews of Eolas Recruitment,” says Stephen.

To keep abreast of current opportunities in the IT sector, bookmark the Eolas Recruitment home page and check out our videos to learn more about how we work with companies and candidates. As always, our recruiters would be pleased to hear from you if you have questions about specific opportunities or are seeking to source candidates for IT roles. Contact us for details.

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I would highly recommend Eolas Recruitment. It was Very quick response to my application and they kept me up to date with every stage of the process. I am just about to start a great new role thanks to their fantastic services. I wanted to thank STEPHEN DALY and CAOIMHE CRONIN for all the support and encouragement. 😇
Sasikala R
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Great working with this agency, I landed a great opportunity with them, they do everything with people looking to change like me, Special thanks to Luke P for going beyond to help in any he could.
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19:47 02 Feb 23
My fresh experience with eolas recruitment was excellent and amazing, Peter Kirby and Caoimhe Cronin was really supportive and professional, guided me through the entire interview process and supported me every moment before and after the interview. I am very grateful to eolas as my recruiting agency. Thank you for the great service you offered.Lijumol Shaji
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It was a wonderful experience throughout the recruitment process. Luke Prendergast dealt and assisted me with every step in a very professional manner.
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I'm currently contracting through Eolas and I couldn't recommend them enough. Everything from interviews through to supporting on boarding has been very efficient. I've dealt primarily with Stephen Daly for recruitment, he's a gentleman, very competent and always available for questions. Also Berilyn Teeling my accounts contact is very friendly and professional.One stand out feature is the communication between agents in Eolas. When you take the time to reply with feedback to one of the Eolas agents about a proposed role that isn't for you, you'll be contacted about a position that suits you if one arises!
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It was an amazing experience with Eolas recruitment team.Caoimhe Cronin was very helpful all the way through the recruitment process. I would say it was one of the best HR experiences I have with Caoimhe.Thank you for all your help and support.
aitham vinay
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Excellent experience going through the recruitment process with Eolas Recruitment as a job seeker. Alan was superb in keeping me up to date and preparing me for the various interview rounds. I can highly recommend.
Thomas O'Brien
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14:04 09 Jan 23
My experience with Eolas was great. It was a pleasure dealing with Alan Kane. He was extremely professional and helpful throughout the process.He kept me up to date with my progress after the interview. I would higly recommend Alan and Eolas team.
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14:10 03 Jan 23
Alan and Peter were great at onboarding me through the process. They helped to give me whatever resources and understanding I needed in order to settle my nerves at every step of the way and I couldn't be more grateful for their help! Highly recommend.
Tadhg Deeney
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14:50 24 Dec 22
I was with Caroline on securing a position with a tech company.The job specification on the position was clear. I was also able to get a salary range the position offered and not "competitive salary" answer.The company I applied for was a bit slow at getting back. Eolas followed up with what the delay was and kept me up to date with what was happening.Got interviews: YesGot Job Specs: YesGot Salary Range: YesGot Position: YesThomas
Tom Walsh
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16:22 08 Dec 22
I had a great experience working with Peter Kirby and Caoimhe Cronin at Eolas. They are very professional and very communicative. I received supports and adviceseach step through the whole process. I would highly recommend Eolas. Thanks a million!
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18:50 22 Nov 22
From the initial discussion about my role through, the vetting, onboarding and right through to the invoicing and payment process the experience with Eolas has been first rate. Luke helped me highlight the items on the CV that the client was looking for and Stephen gave me solid advice about how to invoice in Euros from a UK company. Stephen advised me to open a euro account. Advice which I initially ignored...at my cost...the Royal Bank of Scotland creamed 4.6% of my first invoice! Next time I will listen to the voice of experience.
Tony Hasler
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08:51 18 Nov 22
I had an incredible experience with Eolas and Peter Kirby. I was prepped for my interview and received regular updates throughout the process. By far, the best experience I’ve had with a recruiter and would thoroughly recommend.
Liane Mulvaney
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18:56 25 Oct 22
I would highly recommend Eolas recruitment. Have been placed in a couple of roles during my career and have always found the team to be very competent, honest and efficient.
Finbar Pimlott
Finbar Pimlott
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Fantastic support received from Sean Prendergast. He went above and beyond to match my experience and interest to the role and company, gave me great preparation for the interview and kept me fully informed every step of the way. He was professional and personable, and I would highly recommend his services.
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15:19 21 Oct 22
One of the best recruitment companies in Ireland. Alan from Eolas helped me right from day 1 of my process and is even catching up with me after getting an offer letter. A big thanks to Eolas and Alan for their commitment in getting candidates the right job in top companies.
Dheeraj Shetty
Dheeraj Shetty
16:49 20 Oct 22
My experience with Eolas was a fantastic one It was a pleasure dealing with Peter Kirby who was very professional. Throughout the interview process his advice and guidance proved to be extremely helpful. I received help preparing for my interview. I was thoroughly informed about what the interview was going to be like. I was also kept up to date with my progress after the interview. The turnaround time was phenomenal! I recommend the Eolas team to anyone searching for a new position.
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Peter Kirby from Eolas Recruitment has been a great help throughout the hiring process. He had contacted me for a potential opportunity and assisted me right from interview preparation to the offer confirmation. He was a great help for seamless communication with the company and clarified all my doubts in the timely fashion.
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12:56 06 Oct 22
My recent experience with Eolas was excellent and refreshing. Nicola is a total professional and guided me through the interview process ensuring I was well prepared, following up after each stage and providing useful insight and tips. Best recruiter I have dealt with hands down.
Declan Cox
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07:28 28 Sep 22
it was a pleasure engage a new Job with Eolas Recruitment, Nicola Byrne assisted me a quite accurate. she did her job in transparent mode for me. the communication was fluid between both ways. Eolas is highly recommended.
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22:00 27 Sep 22
Stephen is a dedicated, professional and efficient consultant. He provided exceptional support throughout the recruitmemt process.Thank you Stephen for an effortless process in acquiring my current contract. It has been a great experience.
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18:47 26 Sep 22
My experience with Eolas Recruitment was absolutely excellent. I dealt with Caoimhe for the whole process and she couldn’t have been more helpful and supportive if she tried, from start to finish she was there to help me with whatever I needed be it tips or answering questions I was confused about or even keeping in contact with the employer for me, we regularly spoke on the phone where she made the whole process smooth and easy and I can not thank her enough for everything she has done for me. 12/10 service.
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Great experience working with Eolas. Pete was very professional and efficient from the first application until the final offer.
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I've had a great experience with Eolas and with their staff who are always keeping me informed and giving me professional advice. Specifically, Stephen Daly, who has always been kind and very patient with me as I started out on my new recruitment journey.
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The guys at Eolas are really professional and the recruitment process is one of the smoothest and most communicative I’ve ever experienced. Caoimhe, Alan and Peter made landing a great role feel like a walk in the park. I definitely recommend!
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Eolas supported well during my recruitment journey.
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Very impressed with the people I’ve come across during the recruitment process! It was a great experience and I reckon Eolas Recruitment is undoubtedly one of the best agencies out there.
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