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April 2, 2024, 10:04 p.m.

Indeed introduces AI to automate recruiting with 'Smart Sourcing' tool - Fortune

Job-seekers are facing more challenges in today's market, experiencing longer hiring processes and less chance of getting a callback since the post-pandemic Great Resignation. As large employers aim to cut costs, even executives and middle managers are not insulated. However, with a booming economy and strong consumer demand, companies cannot avoid hiring humans to meet this increased demand. Recognizing this, Indeed, the largest job-searching site, is utilizing AI to simplify the hiring process. "Typically, it takes over 50 days to hire for a role, " stated Rajatish Mukherjee, Executive Vice President and Head of Indeed's employer-facing division. He unveiled the company's latest offering, which utilizes AI for various tasks such as candidate filtering and writing outreach messages. Mukherjee expressed, "Manually searching and scrolling through a list of applicants is a thing of the past. " The system, referred to as "Smart Sourcing, " identifies active job-seekers, presents potential matches for job postings, generates a list of highlights demonstrating why a candidate is a good fit, drafts outreach messages, and automates scheduling processes. Employers can opt to pay between $1, 150 and $3, 840 annually for Smart Sourcing, with the lower figure being for occasional hiring. In test runs, employers reportedly save six hours a week with this tool. Mukherjee shares his personal experience, saying, "Writing a compelling message to a potential candidate used to take me around 45 minutes to an hour, because I really want them to respond. " This technology arrives at a crucial time as recruiters, responsible for sourcing and hiring new employees, are also being cut at an alarming rate. Last year, Google laid off hundreds of recruiting employees, and Amazon has let go of numerous contract recruiters. The job cuts at Meta in 2022 disproportionately impacted the recruiting and business divisions. Even Indeed itself cut 2, 200 workers last year. Indeed also offers a solution for job-seekers.

They provide an AI tool that generates a captivating work-history summary for candidates while improving options to apply with a single click. According to Indeed, 300 million job candidates on its platform have agreed to be included in the Smart Sourcing AI tool, making them visible to companies. Yet, the effectiveness of this tool remains to be seen. Mukherjee claims the tool has the potential to reduce hiring bias by focusing on candidates' skills rather than criteria like college degrees. He reassures that Indeed has a "responsible AI" team committed to eliminating bias from the process. However, various studies have revealed AI's ability to amplify human bias instead of eradicating it. Certain AI tools that analyze body language or expressions can yield nonsensical results unrelated to job performance. Comprehensive screening tools can also overlook qualified candidates altogether. In February, the BBC reported examples of job seekers being rejected due to seemingly undesirable hobbies (like softball instead of baseball) or because of their birthdate implying they are too old. Some cities and states are taking steps to regulate AI in the hiring process. Illinois allows job seekers to opt out of biometric evaluation tools, while New York requires employers using AI decision tools to ensure they are bias-free and allow potential hires to opt out. Nonetheless, consumer advocates argue that these laws are weak and poorly enforced.

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