Part III: The Future of Candidate Experience and AI

By Chris Hoyt (he/him) posted 09-15-2023 10:32 AM



The ideal candidate experience in a post-pandemic world with AI advancements includes seamless digital processes, real-time updates, and personalized interactions.

  • Companies providing a familiar and efficient experience will attract top talent.
  • AI can improve candidate experience by providing timely feedback and reducing application to hire times.
  • The perfect candidate experience includes hybrid work options, well-being programs, and a focus on diversity and innovation.
  • Generative AI can create positive interactions and engagement with job seekers, even if they were not initially successful.

The post-COVID era has been a hotbed for innovation, especially in the realm of talent acquisition. As we continue to explore the topic of Candidate Experience, we cover several aspects of AI's current and potential role in transforming the recruitment process, alongside the benefits and drawbacks for job seekers and employers.

Why can't looking for a job be as personal as online shopping?

Today's candidates are looking for a recruitment experience that mirrors the ease and convenience of online shopping found in platforms such as Amazon or Carvana. As talent acquisition expert @Aaron Kraljev puts it, "In this new normal, candidates want an Amazon-like experience with real-time updates on their applications. Companies offering this will be magnets for top talent." AI is a pivotal tool for customizing the candidate journey, agrees Nicole Brown, Quarterra Group's VP of HR, "AI in recruitment delivers real-time updates and personalized touchpoints, making the candidate feel valued."

@Anthony Reynolds, CEO of HireVue, shares a compelling vision for using AI to connect talent with opportunity. He imagines a world where candidates are matched to jobs they're most qualified for, even if they're unaware of it. Through AI-driven assessments that evaluate competencies, potential, and skills, candidates can go from "Hi to Hired" in 24 hours. Reynolds says, "We want organizations to understand a candidate's capabilities, not just their experience."

That understanding is one that benefits both employers and candidates, creating an environment where every candidate feels compelled to return and engage more deeply, as noted by Global TA Leader from Sydney, Australia, @Brad Cook. Cook goes on to share that while existing systems may struggle with effective communication, the long-term benefits of cultivating an engaged talent pool are worth the effort, "The key is to treat candidates in a way that keeps them coming back, even if they weren't successful initially."

In a survey of our panelists, nearly 90% agreed that AI could significantly improve various aspects of the candidate experience—from streamlining the hiring process to enhancing personalization and even promoting diversity and inclusion. Digital HR expert Barry Flack sees the upside as substantial, citing benefits like more accurate job matching, faster engagement, and unbiased selection processes.

AI has power but will never have true connection 

Several of our panelists discussed the impact AI could have on delivering the ideal candidate experience should it be allowed to span the entire employee lifecycle, from seamless recruitment and digital onboarding to flexible interview scheduling and reduced paperwork. There was some time dedicated to discussing experiences and benefits that are not AI-driven such as the importance of hybrid work options, comprehensive wellness programs, and the idea that organizations adapting quickly and offering more holistic and thought-out employee experiences will be the long-term employers of choice in highly competitive industries.

@John Wilson, CEO at WilsonHCG, reminds us of what he sees as a common misconception: that AI will completely replace recruiters. "It's alarming to see some companies falling into this trap and I often challenge decision-makers with a simple task. I ask them to talk directly with employees and ask them if they would have accepted their job offer solely based on a conversation with a robot. The answer is almost always a resounding, "no." While AI can bring efficiency and automation to the hiring process, Wilson reminds us that it's crucial to remember that candidates still value human interaction and connection while keeping in mind that the long-term risks associated with an AI-centric candidate experience could be far more significant than most realize.

@Maya Huber, PhD, and Co-Founder and CEO at TaTiO, adds a further note of caution pointing out that beyond challenging the traditional resume, AI in recruitment raises concerns about data biases and its limitations in assessing human traits like emotional intelligence, creativity, and critical thinking. Huber says, "These concerns are part of a growing discourse in the HR community."

Here at CareerXroads we're actively working to make sure AI is both ethical and transparent in the talent acquisition landscape. We've teamed up with close to 30 top players in the HR Tech sector to lay down foundational ethical guidelines for AI (and claims of AI) within recruitment. This joint initiative aims to establish universal standards that champion transparency, fairness, and accountability in AI-driven talent acquisition and AI-assisted hiring efforts. Through this new and evolving ethical framework, we're committed to ensuring that AI not only makes hiring more efficient but also maintains the utmost levels of integrity and inclusivity.

There's no doubt that AI has the potential to revolutionize the candidate experience in a post-pandemic world, offering efficiency, customization, and inclusivity. Nonetheless, integrating AI should be done in harmony with human expertise and experience in mind. The road ahead is exciting as we watch AI redefine recruitment in this new era.

This in-depth series continues with another headline and full report on the current and potential impact that AI has on the candidate experience. Stay updated by connecting with the CXR community on LinkedIn and subscribing to our CareerXroads community blog found at where we address every aspect of talent acquisition and collaborate directly with the leaders from around the world who are part of the conversations that are driving change.

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