What are the merits and demerits of using AI for recruitment and hiring

By Navneet Singh|6th Apr 2020
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has revolutionised several industries, and HR is no different. Several companies are now using AI-led products for hiring and recruitment. But how good are these innovations?
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Technology is meant to ease the human workload and Artificial Intelligence (AI) was developed on similar lines. As much as it saves time working on multiple Herculean processes simultaneously, it requires considerable time investment by humans to evolve themselves at par with this technology.


ai in hr

The more we start embracing nouveau technology, the more cognisant we become of its limitations and uses. AI is widely being implemented for recruitments nowadays, making it a hot topic for discussion over its iconic features. Let us at first view the greater good it is doing in transforming the hiring landscape.

Sequentially narrows-down search

Chatbots can be asked skill-related questions to gather structured information. The data is arranged in a sequential order, which makes its retrieval or processing easier. For example, you may ask the chatbot questions regarding basic skills and experience. Based on this, only those candidates who perfectly meet the eligibility criteria can be called upon for an interview. By optimising the existing recruitment funnel, it saves the time spent during the early stages of the recruitment.

Talent rules, no discrimination

It has been observed that no matter how experienced a recruiter is, biases based on gender, looks, age, ethnicity tend to influence hiring-decisions to an extent. AI does not have any feelings and does not judge people on their physical characteristics. This helps a firm in getting forward with a purely merit or skill-based hiring, eliminating any chance of discrimination.

Protects personal identity against misuse

Data anonymisation is a significant aspect of AI. It eliminates personally identifiable information from the datasets while maintaining its integrity.

Candidate engagement

Occasionally, firms have found that candidates take up jobs at other companies due to lack of updates or feedback from the positions they are waiting to hear back from.


Chatbots and virtual assistants provide a channel to the candidate to interact by sending across a simple text message or through Facebook Messenger that allows candidates to receive updates concerning their application and which stage of recruitment they are on. This enhances engagement making a potential candidate less likely to switch to the other organisations during the hiring process.

Results are simplified, so is recruiter’s work

Data can be found, merged, and analysed in a matter of seconds. This gives the recruiter more time to focus on the other aspects of the candidate such as work environment, company culture, and so on. This saves a considerable amount of money on your budget making it less demanding and your work more realistic.



However, as the use of technology increases, it also exposes many flaws and limitations. And, these are the areas that need attention to reap greater benefits of AI when it comes to hiring.

Can't evaluate human-traits

AI cannot identify humane signals such as personality, personal interest, character, work ethics or other personality characteristics of the candidate. Based on this, AI can only assess skills by identifying certain keywords while completely ignoring other prized traits of an aspirant. Hence, it is difficult for AI-based screening systems to assess the cultural fit of an individual for an organisation.

Can be blinded by keywords and formats

AI is too dependent on keywords and phrases to look for the desirability of a candidate. Those who are familiar with AI’s functionality, know how to outsmart the technology by using specific words and appearing themselves look fit for the roles they aren't.


On the other hand, a deserving candidate might be only rejected simply for using a different font, bullet or a layout that are unrecognisable by an AI system. Accuracy and reliability issues do not truly represent a pool of eligible candidates.

Unfit for small firms

Economic quotient makes AI more suitable for recruitment teams of corporate biggies. Its efficacy can be optimally utilised for organisations that function on a massive scale and invite a huge number of applications for a single opening. Rigorous training required for the hiring purposes makes AI an unnecessary add-on for SMEs.

High-maintenance investment

AI is a relatively new concept. A lot of advancements and upgradations are required to fix the loopholes that this technology encounters from time-to-time. AI experiences a lot of technical errors apart from poor speech comprehension.

Effective implementation of the technology for HR purposes requires professionals able to improve AI’s skill set, and not every company is willing to do that. Upkeeping with such a highly trained staff needs investment in both time and budget aspects, which not all organisations can accommodate.

May expose crucial data

Due to a lack of legislation on the issues around AI and the risk of data, many organisations are apprehensive of using the technology. AI’s potential to collect data and human inadequacy in dealing with the consequences of AI errors are other disadvantages of AI in recruitment.


AI’s inevitable nature has taken over our lives for good. More and more companies are welcoming the highly advanced technology with open arms. However, optimising AI based on the aforementioned aspects can manifold its potential in the recruitment process.


(Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta)

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)