By Annene

The AI Arms Race Creating Challenges for Hiring (Part 2)

The AI Arms Race Leads to Challenges in Hiring (Part 2)

As applicants and hiring managers grapple with overrun applicant funnels that now dominate the hiring process, there is a renewed emphasis on networking.

Companies are swamped with applications, partly because many job seekers are using ChatGPT and automated bots to send out numerous résumés or taking shortcuts like LinkedIn’s “easy apply” button. As well, human-resources professionals note that many cover letters sound strikingly similar, as if generated by the same AI.

We have candidates in our network at Madison Wells indicating that they have stopped applying for jobs online and instead started reaching out to former colleagues and peers in the industry about potential openings.

The challenge in this market is that employer applicant funnels are overrun, and as a result, it creates a bottleneck for both the candidate and the hiring manager(s). For example, we have candidates reporting that they are frustrated when they click “submit” and don’t receive a response—or even when they do, there is a large gap in time between interview steps, and ultimately the interview(s) lead to nowhere.

Fewer Applicants, Higher Quality

There was an article recently in the WSJ about these issues, and it cited Lindsay Broveleit, a vice president at the Minneapolis marketing agency Matato, who chose not to post a job listing online for a midlevel role this spring. She worried that listing the position on LinkedIn or the company’s website would attract a large number of low-quality applications, and she was concerned about the accuracy of AI-enhanced applications.

“A couple of years ago, I would have absolutely pursued more public-facing digital channels,” she says. “Not now. We don’t want that many applicants. We want good ones.”

The shift in recruitment strategies reflects a growing concern among employers about the quality of applications received through traditional online job postings. Here’s a deeper look into this trend:

Quality Over Quantity:

  • Companies are increasingly placing value on the quality of applications versus the quantity. Instead of wading through a large number of potentially unqualified applicants, the preference is to proactively target qualified profiles and ignore the overrun applicant funnel.

Concerns About AI-Enhanced Applications:

  • Employers are skeptical about the authenticity of AI-enhanced applications. Tools like ChatGPT can generate polished résumés and cover letters, but they may not accurately reflect a candidate’s true abilities and experience. This raises concerns about the validity of the information presented, making it harder for employers to discern genuine talent.

Targeted Recruitment Approaches:

  • Companies are adopting more targeted recruitment strategies. Instead of broadly posting job openings online, they are using referrals, internal networks, and industry-specific job boards. This approach ensures that the applicants are more likely to have the relevant skills and experience required for the job.

Referral Programs:

  • Organizations are placing a renewed emphasis employee referral programs. Employees are encouraged to refer qualified candidates from their professional networks in the hope of promoting higher-quality interviews. 

Networking and Industry Events:

  • Attending industry events, conferences, and job fairs also allows companies to connect directly with potential candidates. This face-to-face interaction can provide better insights into a candidate’s personality, communication skills, and cultural fit, which are often difficult to gauge from online applications.

A final thought on this, and this might read like a shameless plug, but leveraging recruitment agencies like Madison Wells that are dedicated to your industry, that know who to target, how to engage, can be invaluable. We network daily and have a true pulse on your industry, the market, motivating factors for candidates, and can ensure a seamless hiring process and experience for both employer and candidate. Contact us if you would like to learn more about we can help.