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Is automated screening for resume justified?

I got worried while writing my latest article. The article was about AI-based bots being used in the recruitment process. The report had unearthed that recruitment firms and big companies like Ola and Accenture are using bots to sift through resumes and even conduct the preliminary assessment of the candidates.

Using technology to make recruitment easier has been done since decades. That is why job searching and listing websites like Monster and Naukri use your information to get in touch with firms who are looking for you. This meant they used the keywords in common to make the connection. This process is innocuous as it is useful, but my concern is that it has been taken further.

These AI based bots are smart but are they as smart as humans in doing this task. For example if I am a deserving candidate and I am unaware of the keyword game, I might be eliminated from the competition. Now companies are using it because it is cheaper and time saving but what if it is not as effective as an HR manager?

My question here is that is automated screening for resume justified?
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Nov 4, 2017
Initial screening can definitely be done using computers and AI. As a matter of fact, almost 90% of the applications that we receive get rejected just with a 3-5 second look.

...and it works. A neatly written resume is forward to the next round for consideration. The logic is simple - if the candidate hasn't invested time in applying you can be sure of his/her attitude towards work.

In fact, after conducting hundreds of interviews, I can form an opinion about the candidate in the first minute itself. I can even predict the outcome of the interview.

AI, by the way, is reality. It's going to be hard for us to excel in the world dominated by machines.
Tilak Marupilla
Tilak Marupilla • Nov 4, 2017
Well, Most of the times, it is inevitable that a person aspiring for a job, will have those desired skills and get matched by the keywords. But, It couldn't be the way to select solely, from their contributions to open source.

As a matter of fact, some core technologies don't have great open source, for it to search and decide.
A lot of things in our modern world is now getting automated and so this is expected. AI is the future and what I feel these companies are doing a great job to task the initial screening over the AI. While this is certainly debatable that they might not be as smart as a human HR but again there are a lot of positives too in these process. First as mentioned, the companies can cut costs, second, there will be a uniformity in the selection process. Humans tend to be biased at sometimes, maybe due to internal or external factors, but this does affect the selection process. With AI, the companies can rule this out.
But again there will be people who can always fool a computer system. I read somewhere a case of how a candidate fooled one company's keyword-based screening by putting keywords on his resume in the white colored font (thus making them invisible to human eye). So, he was called in for the interview, though he didn't possess the requisite skills. Like this, maybe people might find some way to fool the AI screener too! So companies need to take care of these as well.
Is automated screening for resume justified? - My opinion is maybe the answer lies in the fact that why the companies are opting for it and how AI actually works?
Suppose a bunch of HR and recruiting officers are shortlisting the profile of a candidate from a pool of applications. Now suppose the same thing is done by the AI-based system. Will there be any difference? - According to my understanding, the answer is no.
Artificial Intelligence or AI-based software have to go through specific processes to acquire the trait, one of them is called 'Learning'. In that, a system learns the necessary traits by going through various data sets which will be nothing different than that HR's are looking for. @Dipankar Ganguly said about the bias issue. But even the same bias will still persist in the system. Because the AI-based system has learned the shortlisting process based on the bias outcomes of the recruiters. Bias can never be removed from a system. For example, recently MIT researchers stated that their AI based facial recognition system has been undermined by biases. The reason is most of the datasets which have been used in the learning phase of their system belonged to people with white skin texture who are more abundant and the system reflected a bias when it tried to recognize people with dark skin tone or different texture.
So, bias will always be there in a system. It is equivalent to making a perpetual machine.
However, the only difference and also the advantage between the two shortlisting process is the time. The process which involves AI requires lesser time than a bunch of managers doing the same thing. I guess it adds to the advantage of a candidate because the outcome is well quick and evident.
So, if I am a candidate and my resume is going through a screening process by an AI-based system, I will be more than happy!
Anoop Kumar
Anoop Kumar • Nov 4, 2017
Actually most of HR/First Screening people from companies are too dumb to understand if candidate is suitable or not.
Following two examples are real and not made up

HR : Have you worked on RESTful?
Candidate: Yes.
HR: Have you worked on WebServices also?
Candidate: 😕😕😕😕😕
HR: Have you worked on J2EE and Spring famework?
Candidate: Yes.
HR: Have you worked on Core Java?
Candidate: 😲😲😲

So, Yeah, AI can go better job than this.

To be specific, First screening of resume is really small AI work to do, just like above strip.
Ankita Katdare
Ankita Katdare • Nov 18, 2017
The sad truth is that students and freshers in India are still not waking up to the advent of AI and advancement in robotics. At CrazyEngineers, we still receive tons of plain-text resumes that are not only awful to read, but lack proper English sentence construction and are FAR from a proper layout. As @Kaustubh Katdare said above, not more than 5-10 seconds are required for even a human to reject a resume. It's my appeal to all of the students and freshers reading this - Give your resume as much importance as you would to your personality of you desperately want that job. With due diligence, format your resume properly to highlight all your skills.

We started a paid service to help engineers with upgrading their resume such that it stands a chance to impress a prospective employer.

Take a look at it here: Resume Upgrade | Resume Upgrade Service
[Prototype] • Nov 26, 2017
The humans that does the initial screening are no better. I'd trust the AI to be more thorough than the so called "recruiters". Last week I got a call if I am interested in job change. When I inquired about the profile, it was totally off. But the recruiter was stubborn. She wanted me to take a look at the job description none the less. I had to explain her both the job profile and their responsibilities and yet she didn't get a word. In the end, I had to agree to see the description and revert her email telling that I am not interested in pursuing this opportunity. This was one of my many experiences.

Introducing AI bots could actually prove to be beneficial. The necessity arises because you've to find a needle in a haystack. The recruiters are blindly downloading resumes out of which may be 1 or 2 are relevant. And then they themselves are buried under the stack calling everyone who are not even relevant. Soon if AI is left with this task, I believe they won't download the irrelevant looking resumes at the first place. This will be actually the initial screening.

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