The Future of Digital Job Recruitment

by Claudia Besser


Nowadays when applying for a job at a large company like McKinsey, some steps of your recruitment process might already be carried out digitally. A very common use of the Internet in job application procedures are digital interviews in which applicants film themselves answering the questions that are presented to them. These digital parts of recruitment are mainly trying to save costs and time for the company by replacing the human resources that played the role of the interviewers before. But from time to time, technology might not only be the answer for higher efficiency but also for selecting just the right person required for a certain job.

Many people are already used to digital procedures in job recruitments. It is normal to send a résumé directly to the human resources department by mail and to fill in an online application on the company’s website. But what if the next step, the interview, which is the epitome of face-to-face interaction, is performed by a robot? What if technology enables a candidate’s online data to verify their skills instead of a résumé?

Mya Systems is a company that uses artificial intelligence to evaluate candidates right after they apply. A chatbot named Mya will ask the applicant questions like “Can you work in the evenings?” or “How soon can you start?”. If the candidate meets the requirements, Mya will schedule an interview. The founder of Mya Systems had the idea after applying for about 40 jobs after graduating university and only hearing back from 2 of them. Hook argues that it is about the flood of résumés:

“Recruiters are struggling to handle much higher volumes of curriculum vitaes than ever before. It is partly because people are changing jobs more often and partly because the internet has made it so much easier for applicants to apply to a lot of jobs at once.”

McKinsey, one of the world’s leading consulting companies, is also using an innovative form of recruitment.  Instead of evaluating CVs and later inviting applicants to come by for an Interview or Multiple Choice Test, they tested a digital, scenario-based assessment to figure out if the applicants meet the requirements. They work with Imbellus, a team of data scientists and engineers, that develop digital assessments to ensure a candidates potential of solving problems. Instead of a multiple choice test that only gives you the information whether the answer is right, scenario-based assessments show how the applicants think:


“(…) it can not only help determine whether a candidate is creative but also provide an understanding of a deeper subset of skills. How does this person absorb information? Is he or she an idea generator? Does he take an unusual approach to situations?”


But to what extent is technology going to be able to replace human recruiters? Hook believes that there are some qualities a machine or a robot can’t judge sufficiently:


“It will be difficult for machines to replicate the live interview, read a candidate’s body language, or judge their personality or their values. But more rote tasks are already being handled by algorithms.”


Nevertheless, it seems there are technologies already in use, which can analyze social skills or other behavioral characteristics. An example is HireVue. A software that uses artificial intelligence to determine word choice, tone and facial movements of applicants. It is already being used by companies like Unilever or Goldman Sachs.
In the future things are definitely going to change for job recruitment. The more technology-based it gets, the less biases are going to happen during recruitment procedures, like remembering candidates more or less positively depending on time of day and energy level of the recruiter. However, there is a risk that human resources will be replaced by artificial intelligence which could lead to more scepticism about the whole development.