AI in recruitment:

A call to responsible employers

Our Adecco Global Workforce of the Future 2023 report reveals that workers trust AI to connect them with opportunities, but believe only humans can see their true potential.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is set to become an integral part of the recruitment industry, but in what form? Our research reveals that workers worldwide believe the technology’s real potential lies in making recruitment more efficient and finding valuable opportunities. At the interview stage, however, they’d still rather speak to a human recruiter.

Adecco’s Global Workforce of the Future 2023 report surveyed 30,000 workers, including over 12,000 agency workers, in 23 countries. While the majority of respondents said they trust the use of AI in recruitment in a broad sense, the extent of that trust depends on the task performed by AI.

Almost two thirds (64%) of workers have some or complete trust in AI to match them to open roles, but that number dips sharply when it comes to judging an interview performance. That may explain why the same proportion of workers – 64% – value the human expertise of a recruiter to see potential in them beyond their skills and previous work experience.

These findings are a call to action for responsible employers to build inclusive, safe and supportive workplaces that use AI for the benefit of workers, companies and employees alike.

Download the Global Workforce of the Future 2023 Report – Chapter II AI in recruitment:

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AI as a tool, not a replacement

Our report clearly shows that AI is most trusted when it comes to matching candidates to open roles, selecting job opportunities for candidates and creating accurate job descriptions.

However, in other areas workers are less likely to trust AI’s capabilities: in deciding which candidates advance to interview; in judging an interview performance and in evaluating the relevance of non-traditional work experience. In fact, 24% of workers have minimal or no trust in AI to assess their interview performance. When asked why, 42% said they doubted AI’s ability to pick up on non-verbal cues. Another 32% shared that they did not understand how AI would recognise them as a good candidate.

This suggests that workers see the potential of AI as a tool to connect candidates with opportunities, and that they trust recruiters to use it as such. But it also suggests that the industry is not yet at a stage where AI is trusted to take on the more intricate aspects of recruitment that rely on judgement. In other words, uniquely human skills most certainly remain a cornerstone of good recruitment.

Gaps to close

The Global Workforce of the Future report also highlights marked differences amongst workers when it comes to trust in AI. Those with lower levels of education, for example, are more worried that AI will not accurately value their skills and experience. Overall, more than half (57%) of respondents do trust AI to complete this task well, but that number falls to only 39% among secondary school educated workers. This is in sharp contrast to university-educated workers, 65% of whom do trust AI in this regard.

Overall, only 14% of workers globally said they worried AI would discriminate against them. But that number rises to 23% in Switzerland and dips as low as 8% in Finland, suggesting that geography also impacts trust levels amongst workers.

Download the Global Workforce of the Future 2023 Report – Chapter II AI in recruitment:

Download PDF

What’s next for responsible employers?

Responsible employers must build inclusive, safe and supportive workplaces where workers can operate with trust. Here are three ways to do just that:

1. Invest in AI in the recruitment process to increase efficiency, but be transparent with candidates about where and how AI is used, to build trust.
2. Ensure that every candidate has access to technology used, and feels comfortable and confident using it.
3. Hiring shouldn’t be based on skills and experience alone. To assess people’s full potential, engage human recruiters over AI solutions.

For more information and a deeper dive into the results, please visit the Adecco Global Workforce of the Future 2023 report.