AI in IT Recruitment and Tech Trends

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In this entry, we have the pleasure of hosting Gabriel Bogdan, a seasoned recruitment consultant with extensive experience across various sectors, including IT and technology recruitment. Today’s discussion centers around the evolving role of AI in the IT recruitment landscape, offering invaluable insights for professionals navigating this space.

Interviewer: Welcome. We have a very special guest with us today, and our discussion will center on the integration of AI in IT recruitment and its influence on tech trends within this field. Could you share a bit about yourself and your expertise in relation to AI in IT recruitment?

Gabriel Bogdan: Hello, everyone, my name is Gabriel Bogdan. I’m a seasoned professional in recruitment consulting, with a successful background in the staffing and recruiting industry. Presently, I work for a gaming outsourcing company, overseeing their recruitment processes across Europe. My expertise spans commercial logistics, construction, and IT recruitment, with a current focus on tech recruitment. I have significant experience with markets in Europe and the Caribbean, working with major entities like Amazon, the National Health Service, Farfetch, and GXO.

Interviewer: Today, we’re exploring the impactful role of AI in IT recruitment. Could you provide an overview of how AI is currently utilized in this process within the IT sector?

Gabriel Bogdan: Okay, so look, AI has already been on our plates for a while now and, any performing company that wants to stay competitive basically needs to embrace the change. Now, as you can see, I’m saying “needs to” because I think that, if you’re wanting performance today, you need to embrace the whole change now, specifically from a recruitment perspective.

I personally prefer to use AI and AI integration in general in repetitive tasks. Something like what I could have done manually, basically in a couple of hours, I can now do just in a couple of minutes with AI, for example, in our specific case, I’m currently getting requisitions like 50-100 people for an order. And obviously, it’s quite time-consuming to follow up with each of them.

And you need to do that because you want to keep your strong employer branding. So for example, AI sends those rejection emails and personalizes them basically on each individual based on their CVs. But I would say that we’re not at the point in which we can exclude the human touch over there. So we can still rely on human skills for that.

But basically, for most automations, even booking interviews, for example, you can use AI, you can sync it with Outlook, you can sync it with most of the ATS that hiring or recruitment agencies are using. Embracing AI in IT recruitment processes is not just an option but a necessity for enhancing performance.

Interviewer: Maintaining the human element seems crucial. How important is it to balance AI and human interaction in IT recruitment?

Gabriel Bogdan: The human aspect is critical. AI can’t fully understand or anticipate how candidates might perceive questions, emphasizing the importance of maintaining the human touch in recruitment. While AI enhances productivity, it cannot replace the nuanced understanding and empathy humans bring to the process. And while AI is miles ahead of what we could do in regards to productivity, the human touch is still paramount over there. For starters, AI can read your CV, but cannot judge a situation as a human being can.

We work with people, we work with different emotions that we need basically to manage even throughout the interview process. Maybe the candidate is going through a rough time, maybe it wasn’t his best day. I think that a human can still see the potential in a candidate while AI can just turn it into an algorithm, right? It wouldn’t cut the emotion, and that would be unfair for the candidates.

Interviewer: Regarding Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), what other advantages does AI integration offer in IT recruitment?

Gabriel Bogdan: I would say, the main benefit would be the fact that it ties all the tools that we’re using. Some people use Google Meet, for example, some people use Microsoft Teams. Some people just use the basic Outlook, and they do most of their tasks from them. When it comes to ATS‘s, the integration bit actually helps you with interviews. It helps you to match candidates. For example, in my specific case, I’ve been working a lot with different time zones.

So, the AI integration actually matches the time slots. Just from a couple of seconds. It basically can see the free slots, the most feasible slots. So, in regards to AI and ATS, if most candidates don’t use the specific keywords as they’re screening their CVs, the ATSs could miss the essential bits. You might have a star candidate, but because he didn’t write the CV in a specific manner, that can be skipped by AI.

I think that this is actually the main issue, why AI shouldn’t be in charge, but it should be used as a tool, let’s say. Of course, once you establish the best prompt or the best path for the AI, it can really do wonders even at this point.

Interviewer: Looking at IT recruitment and tech trends, what technologies do you believe are shaping the IT recruitment landscape right now?

Gabriel Bogdan: The nerd in me basically is saying that the singularity is coming and Skynet is already sending its terminators over us. But, coming back with our feet on the ground, I would say that AI now has an extent to basically a variety of products and applications. It starts from video games, it goes all the way up to life support and medical usage. Following the same logic, AI can only upgrade the recruitment game through automation.

We’re still far away from robots taking our jobs, but we’re in a situation in which we can basically link all this knowledge.I think that the trends, especially with what the pandemic lately has made the whole of humanity go through, I think that AI is the next step, to working in the modern world. We’re getting a massive influx of new-collar workers, which is a new term now for people that don’t actually have the university degree but have the technical knowledge to work with it.

And specifically, these new types of workers are currently on the forefront of AI. If we’re looking all around the world, even in sales, networking, blockchain, AI is taking the lead. And of course, the recruitment world is not any different from it.

Interviewer: Beyond recruitment, what role do you think AI plays in the onboarding process?

Gabriel Bogdan: Well, yes, of course, AI can help standardize the whole process. You’re still going to have a need for the human factor with the onboarding bit. For example, if you have, for example, a foreign candidate and this candidate has a different right-to-work document, from a compliance perspective, AI can handle the basic documents, but for example, if it’s a letter of urgency, AI will not be able to pick up that as a valid right-to-work document. So, I think that in the onboarding process, AI is going to speed everything up.

And look, at the end of the day, it can generate the offer itself. As long as you input the right details, it can also generate a contract. So naturally, the onboarding process will be improved because of it. And as mentioned earlier on, we’re not in the stage in which it can take over, but these small tweaks actually increase productivity. It’s the future.

Interviewer: How do you ensure your recruitment strategies remain adaptable to evolving trends and technologies?

Gabriel Bogdan: In my specific case, I’m lucky to have quite a flexible management team, so they’re quite open to my development and my education. But as a person, I like to read a lot. Look, I’m a nerd inside, right? I’m a geek. I like to read a lot about the markets.

I like to be on top of the wave when the new technology comes through. I’m looking at the general market trends, the global tendencies that are growing through it, and LinkedIn would be my best ally in this. It’s actually the best platform if you want to connect directly with the stars in your industry. I also like to follow industry publications articles a lot.

The recent Python course I followed, proved a useful one. It’s actually helped me with interviews because I could actually use a specific scenario for it. So I’d say that just staying in the loop, and just being open to embracing change.

Interviewer: I’m glad to hear that. Do you have maybe an example of how yourself or your company incorporated AI?

Gabriel Bogdan: So, yes, as a global company, basically when something changes, it changes throughout the company. Recently, we’re begun to work with our local biggest job platform, integrating our ATS with their systems to simplify the application process. We also use AI for scheduling interviews and sending follow-up communications, enhancing efficiency and candidate engagement.

Interviewer: Any advice for newcomers to the industry or your peers regarding AI in IT recruitment?

Gabriel Bogdan: The shift between traditional recruitment and modern recruitment has already happened, right? We’re not doing that pen-to-paper recruitment anymore. So, one piece of advice would be to remember that we’re human.

A lot of people tend to forget the fact that, well, the H from HR stands for Human. I think we need to remember and remind ourselves why we took on this job, why we joined this industry, and remember that our motivation is actually coming from inside and our motivation needs to come from the candidate’s success.

I think during these times when we’re seeing layoffs in most of the tech companies, I think these are difficult times for the candidates. But what they need to remember is their worth. This is just a speed bump. Basically, it’s going to pass and better times are coming. Just keep pushing and keep being flexible and adapt to change.

Interviewer: Thank you very much for your insights!

Gabriel Bogdan: Thank you as well for the time!

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