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Why Do Australians Rely on AI Recruiters for Jobs?

A recent article from the Guardian evaluated Australia’s AI-based recruitment processes.

A recent article from the Guardian evaluated Australia’s AI-based recruitment processes.
Creator: jittawit.21 | Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

SYDNEY, AU – In Australia, AI is gradually becoming a vital part of the recruitment process. Jobseekers in Australia are increasingly encountering AI-powered recruitment tools that are changing the dynamics of the hiring process.


Researchers have identified over 250 commercial AI recruitment tools in use across the country. About one in three Australian organizations reported using AI in the recruitment process last year, aiming to efficiently manage vast amounts of candidate information and align individuals with job requirements.


AI's Role in Australian Recruitment


Employers are turning to AI to streamline tasks like resume screening and preliminary interviews. John Shields, a professor at the University of Sydney Business School, highlights that AI helps mitigate the challenges and costs associated with hiring the wrong candidate.


Sue Williamson, an associate professor at UNSW, points out that traditional recruiting methods are often outdated, time-consuming, and may not always result in the best candidate for the job. AI offers a solution to expedite the administrative processes and vet potential candidates, such as assessing resumes and conducting video interviews.


However, the widespread use of AI in recruitment has raised concerns. Recent research indicates that AI-assisted job applications can perpetuate biases against women and cultural minorities. AI's opaque nature also leads to a lack of transparency in the recruitment process, leaving candidates unaware of how they will be evaluated, which can indirectly discriminate against certain groups of job seekers.


Concerns Over AI Recruiters


The impact of AI on job seekers is significant. Anisa, a jobseeker who applied for hundreds of jobs, experienced the emotional and physical toll of AI screening. She noted the process's repetitive nature and the often "brutal" rejections, causing frustration and resentment. Job searches typically last around five months, and the resultant resentment can lead to "job search depression," characterized by increased procrastination and mental health issues.


AI-powered recruitment methods can further exacerbate the problem. Some candidates are required to undergo AI-assisted video interviews or complete extensive online tasks before progressing to a face-to-face interview. This process is often criticized for its impersonality and lack of interaction with human recruiters.


John Shields acknowledges that cognitive ability tests are not new, but the use of AI to analyze candidate-generated online videos represents a shift. It can profile and rank candidates based on qualities or attributes the AI platform identifies as desirable or undesirable. While some job seekers feel that the process should be more two-sided, experts argue that when used correctly, AI can benefit both employees and employers.


The key for job seekers, according to Shields, is to align with employer expectations and present concise, precise, and accurate resumes and cover letters. Furthermore, maintaining a positive online presence is crucial, as employers may scrutinize candidates' digital footprints. Shields advises against having anything in your online profile that could raise questions about your integrity, behavior, or political views.


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