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A Guide to AI for Recruiters: How it Works and Why You’ll Love it

Recruiters don’t have it easy. The pressure to find and hire high-quality candidates—and to do it fast—is ever present as our economy continues to shift unpredictably. With recruiting teams downsized and an overwhelming number of applicants for any given role, artificial intelligence (AI) is emerging as a welcome technology to help ease these and other common challenges.  

Ahead, we’ll break down the basics of AI in recruiting. You’ll learn how AI recruiting technology is changing the role of the recruiter, how it’s used in the recruiting process, and how you’ll become a better recruiter because of it.  

What is AI recruiting?

AI recruiting is the process of recruiters using AI tools that simplify or automate repetitive tasks to improve their quality of work and reduce bias. AI is used to support nearly every step of the recruitment cycle to find highly qualified candidates in less time. AI recruiting tools are built to keep recruiters moving more efficiently throughout their day and help them make smarter decisions. 

The path to advisor: How AI is modernizing the recruiter’s role 

Recruiting is often labeled as an “old school” industry, saddled with manual processes that are time-consuming and, quite honestly, not-so-fun. Tasks like individually reviewing high volumes of resumes and finding talent by digging across various online platforms—paired with unsuccessful outreach—simply swallow hours throughout the week. Recruiters are left depleted of time they could otherwise spend strategizing, building candidate relationships, and forming strong partnerships with hiring managers.  

This is where AI technology excels at supporting the recruiter role. AI lets recruiters step out of the role of task-taker and position themselves instead as a talent advisor—someone who is seen as a trusted partner for an organization’s hiring needs.  

As AI recruitment tools become more prevalent in a recruiter’s daily life to manage less meaningful tasks, you’re left with more time to strengthen your role in your organization.  

You’ll have the space to:  

  • Get to know candidates more closely. 

  • Make smarter recommendations (with help from AI-powered data tools) 

  • Advise on hiring decisions as a trusted partner  

AI gives recruiters the opportunity to increase their value to an organization’s bottom line. When you harness the benefits of AI, you can shift from a role that’s solely “in the weeds” to one that specializes in truly understanding what your organization needs to hire and retain high-quality talent.  

Will AI replace recruiters?

No, AI is not going to replace you. While AI will replace some of the time-consuming work you do day to day, this doesn’t mean your role as a recruiter is obsolete. You will always be needed as the human connection between candidates and hiring managers. Think of AI as the technology that helps the human side of recruiting surface front and center.  

Let's get rid of the fear of AI. Talent acquisition is and will remain a people profession. AI can't match humans in understanding nuances and what matters most to each person, but it can free up time for us to deepen important relationships.

And while AI is smart technology, it’s not always accurate. Recruiters are needed to review AI-collected data and outputs for accuracy, make modifications to outputs when those inaccuracies happen, and be the driver of any final decisions. 

How AI recruiting works: Applications in the recruiting process 

At a high level, AI helps recruiters reach two main goals more efficiently: finding the most qualified candidates for any given role and finding these candidates quickly. It’s exhausting to consistently meet these two criteria manually, but AI significantly eases the grind of the process.  

AI can be integrated across your entire talent acquisition tech stack as features built into applicant tracking systems (ATS), add-on software that connects to your ATS, or as standalone tools.  

A few common areas where recruiting AI can be incorporated include:  

Boolean searching 

Boolean search in recruitment can not only be tricky to master, but it can slow you down when you’re just trying to get a search up and running. AI tools can expedite the process by creating initial searches that you can refine—a huge plus for recruiters who may be new to the job. For example, you could enter a job title in an AI recruiting search tool, and machine learning algorithms will suggest additional criteria to add to your search, such as job titles, required skills, and preferred skills.  

Sourcing passive candidates 

How much time do you spend every day simply looking for candidates? AI recruiting can remove hours from the external sourcing process by bringing candidates into a single, searchable platform. AI recruiting search engines pull data across the web to analyze candidates across criteria, such as job experience, skills, credentials, and professional certifications, bringing you only the most qualified candidates to review. 

Recruiting diverse candidates 

Candidates don't typically list their diversity status online. AI recruiting platforms like SeekOut have diversity filters that use machine learning classifiers to pull attributes found on candidate profiles to make a best guess of the diversity status of each candidate.  

SeekOut's diversity filters allow you to find talent from historically underrepresented groups with a single click.

E-book: How AI Can Support DEI Hiring


Reviewing applicants 

Reviewing application after application can feel like a waste of precious time when you keep coming across ones that don’t even meet the basic qualifications for the role. AI serves as a supporting set of eyes that focuses on objective criteria and qualifications while avoiding unintentional bias against historically underrepresented groups. You’ll only spend time reviewing resumes that match your job requirements so you can send a list of well-qualified candidates to your hiring manager faster.  

Sourcing specialized talent 

Finding specialized talent for hard-to-fill roles is a constant struggle for recruiters. AI search engines can play detective for you by crawling multiple online sources, including public profiles, GitHub, research papers and patents, company alumni, government clearances, healthcare licenses, candidates in your ATS, and more.  

For example, trying to source cleared candidates for a project can be a challenge because candidates don’t often advertise their clearance levels. AI can save you hours of manual searching by bringing potential matches to you using algorithms that infer candidate clearance levels based on experience.  

Candidate outreach  

When reaching out to a potential candidate, crafting a personalized and attention-grabbing message is crucial to increase the chances of receiving a reply. Generative AI tools can do some of this work for you up front.  

For example, when you’re ready to reach out to someone, SeekOut Assist will create a drafted personalized message to your candidate, pulling relevant information from their profile and the job description you entered. You can review the message, adjust for voice and tone, and add your own touches before sending.  

Hiring internally 

Hiring internal talent has countless benefits, like faster onboarding and increased retention. Recruiting teams, however, can’t confidently match employees with opportunities because they don’t have the data to understand the individual’s evolving skillsets and career interests. Some AI talent management platforms can offer a complete picture of an existing employee base, including experience from previous roles. AI can generate the most comprehensive employee profiles by pulling data from external sources, your HR tech stack, and other internal systems without employees having to fill anything out themselves.  

Data into talent pools 

Becoming a talent advisor to your organization requires having the right data to inform the strategies you and your hiring managers build together. AI recruiting tools can synthesize data to understand existing talent pools, your competitors’ workforce, and how your organization stacks up. As a talent advisor, you need to be armed with the right data to build precise strategies and help set realistic expectations around unattainable talent.  

Common AI recruiting tools used today  

Sourcing platforms   

AI sourcing platforms scan the internet to bring talent into one place. Machine learning algorithms process mass amounts of data to bring you the most qualified candidates based on your criteria, saving you hours of time. Some of these platforms have built-in features that let you directly engage with candidates. Others offer data insights into talent pools, your pipeline, and the diversity landscape.  

Writing tools   

AI-powered writing tools are a great way to write job descriptions and outreach messages faster. Some tools help recruiting teams detect biases in their writing and promote inclusive language in real time. Non-recruiting focused tools like ChatGPT can serve as a starting point for your writing, where you provide specific directives about your goal (i.e., write a 200-word email to a candidate about a role at [company]), and you can refine the output to further personalize and add personality.  

Learn How: 10 ChatGPT Prompts for Recruiters



Conversational chatbots can answer common questions from candidates and even guide them to apply for a role that matches their interests.   

Video interviewing platforms  

AI-powered interviewing tools can analyze a candidate's recorded interview to help you determine a match and provide transcripts and highlights of the conversation to help you review candidates faster.  

Talent management platforms  

Talent management platforms give you deep insights into your employees to promote internal mobility and upskilling. With AI and machine learning, some platforms can understand an employee’s talents, what they’ve done in past roles, and what they want to accomplish in their careers. This data enables hiring managers and talent teams to offer intelligent recommendations and opportunities to employees and explain why a recommended role or skill is a good match. 

Heads up: Potential challenges with AI recruiting 

Any challenges that arise with AI recruiting will depend on how the technology is used as well as the practices of the companies that are building these tools (e.g., how the company collects their data, whether their data is reliable, etc.). That’s why responsible AI adoption should be shared among both users of the technology and creators alike.   

Here are several ways AI recruiting could pose challenges for recruiting teams:  

AI recruiting can introduce bias into your hiring process   

AI can help reduce bias, but it can also learn bias if your AI recruiting platform’s data isn’t properly vetted and continuously monitored. For example, Bloomberg asked ChatGPT to rank a batch of fake resumes to measure the bias of the algorithm and how it could affect hiring discrimination:

“When asked to rank those resumes 1,000 times, GPT 3.5...favored names from some demographics more often than others, to an extent that would fail benchmarks used to assess job discrimination against protected groups.” 

ChatGPT isn’t a recruiting platform, and this example was fabricated for the experiment, but it does highlight a few possible downsides to over-reliance on AI tools when making hiring decisions. If the recruiter isn’t trained to identify biases (including their own), they could follow the AI’s suggestions blindly. And the quality of an algorithm will only be as good as the data it's learning from. In the case of ChatGPT, it’s aggregating information from sources all over the internet, which we can assume are not all free of bias.  

When choosing vendors for your tech stack, consider choosing tools that have had rigorous third-party evaluations to ensure their systems aren’t introducing bias.    

Risking data confidentiality 

Data confidentiality should be a concern as newer AI tools hit the market. Data leaks happen, and it’s essential to ensure that the technology you’re using is built to keep your information safe.   

Take the public version of ChatGPT, for example. It stores every prompt and response that users input so that it can improve its model. A data breach can create significant issues if you enter any sensitive information about your organization.   

Suggested reading: 5 Myths About AI and Recruiting (and the Truths Behind Them) 

When working with AI recruiting vendors, it’s also worth knowing where the data itself is being processed. Ensure the vendor is only processing data in countries and environments that match your organization's security requirements.   

Staying up to date with emerging compliance laws 

Over the last few years, lawmakers have been moving quickly to place legislation around how AI is being used for talent acquisition. As more AI hiring laws go into effect, now is the time for your organization to create policy around how AI is used to hire candidates and ensure that third-party AI tools you use comply with these laws.  

Evaluating AI in recruitment tools 

If you're interested in starting or expanding your AI recruiting efforts, there are plenty of questions you’ll want to consider asking each vendor to protect your organization from liability and maintain quality in your recruiting efforts.  

What to ask

Why to ask it

How is the vendor staying compliant?

Lawmakers are hyperfocused on how AI is being used in hiring and employment. Prioritize understanding how every vendor you want to work with is staying compliant with new and existing state laws. 

What data is being used to train the system?

Ask questions about the technology behind the tool and how the vendor gathers its data. For example: How are they monitoring and auditing their data and algorithms to prevent bias and false outcomes?

Does the AI explain its decisions?

If the system is making a recommendation to you, does the system show you how it got there? You’ll want this transparency to help you stay in control of final decision-making.

What does the vendor’s responsible AI program look like?

A responsible AI pledge helps demonstrate that the vendor has thought deeply about how the technology they are building impacts candidates and your job as a recruiter.  The vendor needs to have a governance system for its use of AI systems.

Has the vendor validated its AI systems?

External assessment is important to ensure there is no unintentional and harmful bias. Consider asking for any audit or materials related to bias assessment.

Beyond ensuring the vendor you work with is legally and ethically sound, ask questions about how the technology will change your recruiting processes for the better and ask for specific use cases. 

Try AI recruiting with SeekOut  

Interested in experiencing how AI can be integrated into your recruiting workflow? See it in action by requesting a SeekOut demo or learn more about why SeekOut is the right platform for your entire talent strategy

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Ready to take your talent optimization strategy to the next level? Request a demo to learn how SeekOut can help you recruit hard-to-find and diverse talent.

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