AI Speeds IT Team Hiring

Can AI help your organization find top IT job candidates quickly and easily? A growing number of hiring experts are convinced it can.

John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author

July 8, 2024

5 Min Read
Human Resource Manager finds new people to join an organization or support a cause. The man uses AI hologram.
Narupon Promvichai via Alamy Stock Photo

Skilled IT talent is in high demand. The challenge facing employers is finding qualified job candidates lurking within an almost bottomless pool of applicants. AI can help by pinpointing and identifying top professionals within minutes. 

AI streamlines the talent acquisition process by screening resumes to identify candidates who meet specific criteria, says Ron Delfine, director of career services at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College, in an email interview. "AI can analyze a candidate's skills, experience, and education, matching those qualifications with job requirements." Advanced AI tools can also retrieve additional information about a candidate by tapping into public profiles and portfolios, offering a more comprehensive view of their competencies. 

By examining data from resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and other relevant sources, such as GitHub repositories, an algorithm employing natural language processing can infer an applicant's specific skills and corresponding proficiency levels, says Nick van der Meulen, a research scientist at MIT Center for Information Systems Research, via email. "In the context of IT, an algorithm might look for mentions of programming languages, experience using certain software applications, or involvement in IT-related projects." 

Related:Advances in AI Will Reshape IT Jobs

Speed and Accuracy 

AI can handle large volumes of applications quickly and accurately, freeing recruiters to focus their efforts on engaging with potential qualified candidates, Delfine says. "Properly trained AI algorithms can also reduce unconscious bias in the hiring process by consistently applying the same evaluation criteria to all applicants." Additionally, by identifying success patterns in both current and past employees, AI can help predict the best candidates for specific roles. 

We receive millions of applications every year, says Ezequiel Ruiz, vice president of talent acquisition at software development firm BairesDev. "AI enables us to process this large number of applications without missing any amazingly talented candidates." He notes in an email interview that the company's proprietary AI tools are designed to help minimize human biases by focusing on data-driven assessments. "This means that candidates are evaluated based on their actual qualifications and potential, rather than being influenced by factors such as gender, race, or age," Ruiz states. 

Van der Meulen says his organization's research has revealed AI's ability to effectively infer skills proficiency by analyzing diverse data sources. Applying this approach to applicant vetting, AI can provide a detailed assessment of key technical abilities, as well as soft skills. 

Related:IT Careers: Does Skills-Based Hiring Really Work?

Van der Meulen notes that AI speeds and/or improves IT hiring in four basic ways: 

  1. Data-driven decision making. AI effectively infers skills proficiency by analyzing multiple data sources. By applying this approach to applicant vetting, AI can provide a detailed assessment of key capabilities. 

  2. Efficiency/Scalability. By automating the analysis of resumes and digital profiles, AI speeds candidate evaluations. Improved efficiency saves time, allowing recruiters to focus on other important tasks, such as interviewing selected candidates. 

  3. Consistency. AI can handle large volumes of candidate data consistently, ensuring that all applicants are evaluated using the same criteria. This is especially useful for large established organizations with many vacancies and candidates. 

  4. Bias reduction. By inferring skills with AI, organizations can reduce -- although not entirely eliminate -- human bias in hiring. AI evaluates candidates solely on their skills and experiences rather than on subjective criteria, supporting a fairer and more inclusive recruitment process. 

Getting Started 

As with any recruiting process, it's important to begin by clearly identifying the skills and qualifications required. "Choose the AI tools or platforms that align with your needs, ensuring they are flexible and adaptable, Delfine advises. "You may need to partner with experts to refine the system based on your industry and organizational needs." He adds that an AI expert may also be needed to train the AI algorithm with relevant data. "In addition, a pilot phase is probably a good idea to test the process before a wider rollout." 

Related:The IT Jobs AI Could Replace and the Ones It Could Create

It's important to set specific, measurable goals, Ruiz says. "From there, develop or invest in AI tools that can parse large data sets and provide insights based on your criteria," he suggests. "Training your HR team to work alongside AI tools, understanding their functionality and limitations, is also vital." 

Avoid over-relying on algorithms to the exclusion of human judgment, Delfine warns. "Algorithms can overlook unique but valuable experiences not easily captured in standard criteria," he says. "Also ensure that data used for training does not reflect historical biases, which can lead to discriminatory screening." 

Human Input Required 

AI is not a replacement for human judgment, Ruiz says. "Our AI tools provide us with valuable insights and recommendations, but it's our HR team's expertise and understanding of the company's needs that ultimately guide our hiring decisions," he notes. "This balanced approach has been key to our success in building innovative teams that drive our projects forward." 

About the Author(s)

John Edwards

Technology Journalist & Author

John Edwards is a veteran business technology journalist. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and numerous business and technology publications, including Computerworld, CFO Magazine, IBM Data Management Magazine, RFID Journal, and Electronic Design. He has also written columns for The Economist's Business Intelligence Unit and PricewaterhouseCoopers' Communications Direct. John has authored several books on business technology topics. His work began appearing online as early as 1983. Throughout the 1980s and 90s, he wrote daily news and feature articles for both the CompuServe and Prodigy online services. His "Behind the Screens" commentaries made him the world's first known professional blogger.

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