Gary Walker, interviewIA Head of Product and Innovation Nov 5, 2021 12:41:24 PM 10 min read

How AI Recruiting Software Is Damaging Your Talent Acquisition

While automating the talent acquisition process is an exciting trend, not all tools can do it equally well. No matter how promising it may appear, some AI recruiting software does more harm than good.

17% of organizations use AI-based tools for HR functions, and another 30% will do so by 2022 (Gartner)

Artificial intelligence helps HR teams streamline their hiring activities. However, heavy reliance on AI-based tools without the ML (machine learning) component could damage your talent acquisition.

Let's take a closer look at how AI recruiting software may be hurting your hiring process and how ML can help.

What Is AI Recruiting Software?

AI stands for artificial intelligence. In HR, it involves delegating certain tasks to software. Usually, these tasks are manual, repetitive, and time-consuming. When software handles these activities, the HR department gains valuable time to focus on its core functions.

For example, a program can scan thousands of resumes looking for common keywords and phrases, thus helping with the initial stage of candidate selection (however, in this post-pandemic work environment with "The Great Resignation" or "The Great Reshuffle", this use of AI has become very problematic. Read more below.)

AI recruiting software can help automate high-volume recurring tasks such as:

  • Scanning CVs
  • Creating online career pages for attracting suitable candidates
  • Posting job listings
  • Rediscovering candidates
  • Scoring interviews
  • Answering questions (via a recruiting chatbot)

AI has become an integral part of the hiring process for the majority of companies. It can save your organization time and money while improving the candidate experience. However, all these benefits come with unavoidable drawbacks.

Cons of AI Recruiting Software

While many companies are implementing AI recruiting software, not all of them understand the possible disadvantages of these tools.

1. Absence of Empathy

When it comes to recruiting, the human touch is vital to making the right decision. While AI can sometimes reduce bias, it may also miss important aspects of a potential candidate that can’t be recognized through technology alone. Reducing candidate search to keyword parsing could cause you to overlook top talent.

While you can rely on software to complete simple manual tasks, decision-making should still be up to a human expert.

Human interviewers can consider body language and facial expressions during the hiring process, which help evaluate the candidate's suitability. This is something even the most sophisticated software can't do.

2. Imperfect Integration

Not all AI recruiting software can integrate seamlessly with your existing HR tools. Instead of taking a load off your HR team, the new software could make its job harder.

If your HR specialists need to repeatedly enter information into several tools, compare results, and analyze numerous sets of data, using such software is counterproductive.

The lack of seamless integration reduces the ROI of AI recruiting software and raises employee dissatisfaction. Additionally, it could lead to human error.

3. Inability to Learn

Unlike software with Machine Learning (ML) capability, AI-based recruiting tools can't learn from the data it works with or make predictions. While it can be a highly useful assistant when doing repetitive manual tasks, AI can't go further than whatever it's initially programmed to do. Eventually, the organization will need to invest in an ML-based tool to streamline the recruitment process even further.

4. Overlooked Talent

Keyword parsing in CVs or analyzing candidates' behavior during a video interview helps HR managers make hiring decisions. However, a mechanical approach to talent selection could cause you to overlook top talent.

For example, the software could find a person with the right skill set only to miss that their salary requirement is higher than the company could meet. Or the tool may reject the person with the right skills only because they don't have sufficient experience.

5. Hiring Bias

While many companies turn to AI-based tools to reduce bias, they could end up increasing it. The software may repeatedly choose candidates of a certain age, gender, or even alma mater.

It turns out that algorithms used by AI recruiting software aren't always neutral. They follow the same patterns as humans do. For example, the program Amazon used between 2014 and 2017 to find perfect candidates was rejecting CVs with the word "women" and the names of women's colleges.

To avoid this problem, it's important to make sure your recruiting software doesn't mimic human bias.

What Are Other Options?

AI recruiting software comes with numerous benefits, and completely eliminating it from the hiring strategy could hurt your organization. However, it’s not an end-all be-all solution either. Another option to consider is machine learning or intelligence amplification.

Machine learning algorithms are more advanced than basic artificial intelligence. Besides mimicking human behavior, ML learns from experience to adapt to the needs and requirements of an organization.

For example, ML-based software can learn from mistakes. If it rejects a good candidate once, and your HR department catches the problem, the software will not repeat the same mistake again.

ML-based recruiting tools can:

  • Reduce bias — since they learn from experience, these programs don't mimic human bias that stems from using old databases.
  • Improve integration — ML tools are specifically built to integrate with other HR programs.
  • Make predictions — machine learning software can help you make predictions about certain candidates joining or not joining your workforce, thus reducing recruitment costs.

All the above elements can improve your hiring process tremendously while saving time for your HR team. For many companies, ML-based tools help maximize successful hires and prevent unnecessary expenses.

Improving Your Talent Acquisition with Machine Learning

While artificial intelligence can streamline your hiring process, it comes with a few downsides. To take full advantage of AI recruiting software without the common disadvantages, consider implementing ML-based tools. They give you the same functionality as basic AI recruiting software but provide additional skills and functions that help ensure successful hiring.

interviewIA's ML-powered interview platform gives you access to the combination of AI and ML-based hiring tools. You can take advantage of all ML-related benefits while automating manual aspects of the recruitment process. For more information, please contact us at any convenient time.


Gary Walker, interviewIA Head of Product and Innovation

As VP, Product & Innovation Gary leads interviewIA's product's direction to create excellent data-driven customer results in alignment with the company’s lessons learned and core beliefs. He is passionate about materializing these beliefs through the use of groundbreaking methodologies, leading-edge neuroscience, AI, and software technology. Gary is the visionary every organization needs. As a leader, he challenges the status quo, empowers innovation, and is unrelenting in his pursuit to build best-in-class technology. Gary expertly navigates the delivery of quality products today and building the technology of tomorrow.