Written by Nathan Hewitt

Ai is only as good as the experts behind it

Ai ethics in recruitment | Sapia Ai recruitment software
There has been some negative media attention lately surrounding the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the recruitment space with warnings ranging from the fact that AI produces a shallow candidate pool to more serious things like amplification of bias.
There are many instances of AI being used in a way that has harmful outcomes, but it is important to clarify that this is about how AI is being implemented and not an issue with the use of AI itself.

When AI is used appropriately, responsibly, and following regulatory guidelines it is an incredibly powerful tool that can create fair outcomes for candidates who are selected without bias – in a way that no other tool at our disposal can.
This is why we think it’s worthwhile that more people better understand AI and some of the differences in the way it is used and implemented.

There is no unified Ai

Most media articles refer to AI as if it represents a singular master algorithm and fail to identify how varied the implementations of it are. Almost all AI we have today falls into the category of “narrow AI”, in other words algorithms, mostly machine learning, built to solve a specific problem. E.g. classify sentiment, detect spam, label images, parse resumes. These purpose built AI are highly dependent on the nature of the underlying training data and the expertise of the developers in making the right assumptions and tests of validity of their models. When built in the right way and used responsibly, AI has the ability to empower humans. This is why at we have made various conscious design choices and adhered to a framework called FAIR™ that tests for bias, validity, explainability and inclusivity of our AI based tools.

Text over video

The biggest cause for alarm is when AI is applied to analysing video, which can lead to irrelevant inputs like clothing, background, and lighting being used as predictors of personality and job-fit. Video and speech patterns also make it nearly impossible to remove demographic information like race and gender as inputs.

Additionally, analyzing facial expressions is problematic, especially when evaluating certain candidates like those with Autism Spectrum Disorder or other forms of neurodiversity.

This is why does not, and will not, use AI scoring for video interviews or even voice transcriptions from videos or audio given the word error rate introduced in transcribing speech. Instead, we opt for text – which we implement in a friendly no pressure environment that feels like you are texting a friend.

It’s worth noting that no data other than the answers given by the candidate are used in the ‘fit score’ calculation – that is, we never use demographic data, social media, CV or resume data (which also contain demographic signals, even when de-identified), or behavioral metrics such as time to complete.

Even a candidate’s raw text itself contains gender and ethnicity signals that can introduce bias, if not mitigated. This is why we only use feature scores (e.g., personality, behavioral competencies, and communication skills) derived according to a clearly defined rubric in our scoring algorithms, which our extensive research shows contain significantly less gender and ethnicity information than raw text.

Aim to uncover hidden talent while measuring potential

Another common concern is that AI will result in more uniformity rather than diversity in the workforce as algorithms narrow the pool in order to search out an employer’s ideal candidate. There are several things worth noting here.

First, identifying what the ideal candidate is – that is, what knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics are important for success in the role – is what a job analysis is for and should, legally, be what your selection tool is designed to measure.

This is also not specific to AI, as all selection systems are designed to identify which candidates have a profile of traits and characteristics that indicate they will likely be successful in the role. This doesn’t automatically mean that every hire is going to be exactly the same, though. When you focus on the traits and characteristics that will set someone up to be successful, considering potential more than background or pedigree, you’re more likely to uncover hidden talent and hire more successful people from a broader, more diverse range.

Relying solely on past data to build your model also runs the risk of introducing historical data biases. This is actually why it is so important to consider the ideal candidate profile and use that to inform your scoring model. We strongly believe in keeping the human in the loop, which is why our scoring models are centred around the human-determined (via job analysis) ideal candidate profile and then optimized to ensure all bias constraints (e.g., 4/5ths rule and effect sizes) are met.

Using this approach, Sapia has helped clients achieve their DEI goals and increase their diversity hires, including impressive statistics like hiring 3x more ethnic minorities, 1.5x more women, and 2x more LGBTQ+ candidates in just 3 months.

Keep Ai processes transparent

Lastly, it’s worth acknowledging that there is often a “black box” mystery of how AI recruitment tools work. People don’t trust what they don’t understand. While we don’t expect everyone to be an expert in AI or Natural Language Processing, we do strongly believe in building trust through transparency and work hard to make sure that our models are easily understood and open to scrutiny. From third-party audits to detailed model cards to in-depth dashboarding and reporting, we aim to maximize transparency, explainability, and fairness.

We believe a fairer future can only be achieved when AI is used responsibly. AI is not the enemy, rather it’s the experience and motivation behind those promoting it that can make the difference between what is good AI and what is harmful AI.


Here’s where to start with improving your employer brand

In this jobs market, the secret to success is not necessarily a huge job ad budget or a top-range salary and perks package. You don’t even need to be the biggest, or the best known – many are the top-notch candidates that have been ghosted by the world’s most sought-after companies.

How to improve your employer brand | employer brand software
If you want to improve your employer brand, a mix of consistency, technology, and marketing nous is required.

You do, however, have to invest in employer brand. Most of us know this, of course, but few companies have made the appropriate investment in long-term brand building. It’s a marketing play, fundamentally, and it’s difficult to do right, but the benefits can be huge for your business.

Why should you care about employer branding?

It’s your best long-term approach to recruiting. If you give every candidate a caring, consistent, and memorable experience, you will dramatically increase your fill rate AND your talent network. People talk about good experiences – in fact, according to our own data, a single good experience while applying for a job makes candidates 77% more likely to recommend you as an employer of choice.

The good news is, too, that the impact of an employer brand can be easily measured, according to Dr John Sullivan: By the number of job applications you receive each year. Now, don’t confuse this point with the opening sentence of this post – there’s a difference between a company’s brand and its employer brand. You might be a Fortune 100 company with a household name, but if your job application process is terrible, people will know you and remember you for that. 

(And, if you’re not careful, a poor employer brand will end up affecting your wider brand.)

Where do you start with improving employer branding?

Your employer brand touches everything. You have seconds to introduce yourself to candidates, show off your best features, and get them to apply. That doesn’t mean, however, that you need to throw everything out and start again. Start with some easy wins, and then take a wider focus to include things like your technology and feedback processes.

Stodgy artwork, pixelated logos, spelling errors, outdated information, broken links… these will break your recruitment strategy before it has had the chance to work. So start here.

Employer brand audit checklist

Channel Items
Website Is our ‘About us’ section up to date?
Do we have a ‘careers’ or hiring information page?
Do both sections, along with the rest of our website, adequately reflect our values?
Social media platforms Is our ‘About us’ section up to date?
Do we include correct contact information, including to our website?
Does our imagery and content reflect our brand values?
Are our job postings attractive and adequately promoted on the page?
Recruiting portals (Seek, Indeed) Is all of our information up to date?
Are our visual branding touchpoints (logo, header/banner images) of sufficient quality?
Is all of our information up to date?
Third-party recommendation apps (e.g. Glassdoor, What is the average star/quality rating of our reviews (mostly negative, positive, mostly positive)?
Have we made an effort to visibly address customer/employee feedback on the platform?


It’s important to note that the branding and visual appeal of your organization is not primarily your responsibility – maintaining it is a team effort. But portals and third-party apps are often overlooked over time, as a brand develops and organization information changes. It’s never a bad idea to champion the task of regular housekeeping, and get your best marketing minds to help.

Improving employer brand with technology

With our Ai Smart Interviewer on your team, you’ll give every single candidate an engaging, empowering experience with your brand, boosting its value from the moment they click ‘apply’.

You can have offers out to the best candidates in just 24 hours. This is an incredible value proposition for candidates who are applying for 5, 10, maybe even 20 jobs at a time and usually don’t expect to hear anything back.

Here’s how it works:

  • Every candidate interviews with our Ai over chat (and in return, gets personalised insights and tips – another tick for your employer brand and EVP)
  • Shortlisted candidates auto-progress to a non-Ai Video Interview (which, candidates rate 9/10)
  • Hiring managers review the video responses and pick the best with the help of our Talent Insights profile.

Our customers have cracked the candidate experience code, enjoying application completion rates in excess of 80%, and candidate satisfaction scores of more than 90%. Everyone gets an interview, and no one is ghosted.

Remember: There’s no space in this market to be slow.

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Four ways recruitment automation is giving candidates a more human experience

To find out how to improve candidate experience using Recruitment Automation, we also have a great eBook on candidate experience.

New insights from Aptitude Research suggest recruitment automation can play a much greater role in talent acquisition than just improving efficiency for hiring managers, it can also make the interview process more human for candidates.

The research shows that when you shift the focus from an employer-driven view to a candidate-first view, then it is possible to reduce bias in hiring and improve the overall human element of talent acquisition.

For most companies, the value of automation is perceived through the recruiter and hiring manager experience, with the benefits to the candidate often ignored. However, recruitment automation has to be about more than simply moving candidates through the process quickly to have any significant benefit to a company.

When you focus on the impact and experience of the candidate, the benefits to both recruiters and candidates can significantly improve through recruitment automation.  This approach has given rise to a movement called humanistic automation technology.

But humanistic automation sounds like an oxymoron right? Is it even possible?

The Aptitude Research showed not only is this possible, but that when Ai is used this way, it creates personal connection at scale, and works to reduce bias, something no other technology or even human-centred solution can deliver.

So, how exactly does it do this?

Here are four main areas of talent acquisition that candidate-focussed recruitment automation improves on,and how it achieves this:

1. Connection

There have been some slight improvements in building connections through the hiring process recently, but only 50% of companies have a single point of contact for communication, which results in candidates feeling engaged or valued through the process.

Recruitment automation with a candidate-focus means that communication is personalised for high-engagement with the ability for the conversation to adapt to what it learns about a candidate almost immediately.

As a candidate finding out that you are not successful is tough, and worse, most companies just ghost those they don’t wish to move ahead with. Automation can ensure that every candidate is engaged and cared for even when they are not moving forward in the process – and that doesn’t mean a standard rejection email. Ai can deliver highly personalised communication that builds connection even for those unsuccessful in their application.

2. Inclusivity

Although some companies have made efforts to remove bias from resumes, companies still have a lot of work to do on inclusion. For starters, many are relying on training programs, which have shown to be largely ineffective in delivering long-term change.

It’s true that recruitment automation can amplify bias, but automation that works to reduce bias is continually testing against biases in the system and has been shown to be effective in reducing the impact of bias in hiring decisions. Somethings humans cannot do (we’re inherently biased, whether we like it or not).

When you have the right data input gathered through blind screening and blind interviews – that don’t rely on CV data – then you can help companies achieve an equal and fair experience to all candidates.

Want to remove bias from recruitment and not just talk about it?

Download the Inclusive Hiring e-Book here

Inclusive hiring is not limited to gender and race. Companies need a broader view of diversity, equity, and inclusion that includes individuals with disabilities and neurodiversity. This requires the right digital tools and technology to ensure that candidates have a positive experience. In many cases, chat and text are more inclusive over video or even phone screening and interviews for these candidates.

3. Feedback

Most companies see feedback as a risky area and something they have no ability to do in a fair and timely manner. Essentially this is a lost opportunity for learning and development.

When you see feedback as a value proposition of an employer brand, its power in transforming your TA strategy becomes clear. Recruitment automation allows companies to deliver personalized feedback building trust and strengthening your employer brand.

Personalized feedback with tangible action items, means that candidates feel empowered even if they are rejected. Technology can help to deliver these action items in a human way, that even humans are not able to do at scale or even very well.

These insights are only made possible through natural language processing and machine learning that work in the background to reveal important information about the candidate. When a candidate feels like they are ‘seen’ that can be a transformational moment in their career paths.

Only recruitment automation can deliver individual feedback to everyone who takes time to do a job interview.

4. Trust

In an era of growing awareness around the privacy of data, only 1 in 4   candidates trust the data being will be used to drive hiring decisions. As companies look at recruitment automation through a candidate-centric lens, they must consider both the quality of the data they use and how to build trust between employers and candidates.

The biggest mistake that most companies make is using the wrong data. Resume data is not necessarily an indicator of performance or quality of hire.

Ethical Ai is something that hiring managers need to understand and use to evaluate providers. Providers using ethical Ai operate transparently,  are backed by explanations, describe their methodology, and frequently publish their data.

Aptitude Research found that when data is transparent, it increases the trust in talent acquisition leaders, hiring managers, and senior leaders. With data transparency, 84% of talent acquisition leaders stated that they trust the data, and 78% of senior leaders trust the data.

Talent acquisition transformation has accelerated the demand for recruitment automation.

55% of companies are increasing their investment in recruitment automation this year. These companies recognise that automation can improve efficiency, lift the administrative burden, reduce costs, and enable data-driven decisions.

This report focuses on a new look at automation through the eyes of the candidate

After all, automation is more than moving candidates through a process quickly. It should also enable companies to communicate in a meaningful and inclusive way and build trust between candidates and employers.

Download the full report here.

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Recruitment Software

Whether it’s a revolution or evolution, technology touches our lives in ways that few could even imagine just a few years ago. There are few, if any, industries that have not been transformed by the digital age.

With the rise of new technologies and automation, there were some that feared the robot apocalypse was upon us. Who needs actual people when machines, algorithms, software and programs can do the job faster, smarter and more cost-effectively?

In the recruitment and HR industries, as job boards, social networking and websites like LinkedIn began their relentless rise, many believed that the human touch was about to stripped from an industry that only exists for human capital.

Of course, the very opposite is true. While there’s no denying some roles and industries have changed forever, advancing technology means new industries are emerging, new roles are being created and new skills are being sought by candidates and employers alike.

In the hiring industry, recruitment software is here to stay. This article explains how it can be working hard for you and providing a seamless and rewarding experience for your team, your clients and for every candidate.

The technology landscape in recruitment and HR

In this article we’re specifically looking at recruitment software and exploring its role and impact in the hiring process. Before we do, it’s important to understand its context and connection to the technology that can support the complete employee lifecycle. This extends from talent acquisition right through to the ongoing management and development of people through HR teams. The recruitment strategy and candidate management technology pipeline covers:

  1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – tools use to manage and analyse interactions with past, current and potential candidates. It enables a proactive and ‘always on’ hiring strategy, by tagging, categorising and growing deep talent pools.
  2. Applicant Tracking System (ATS) – an online platform that simplifies and streamlines the entire recruitment process from sourcing to selection. We’ll explore ATS in this article.
  3. Vendor Management System (VMS) – tools used by specialist recruiters and companies to manage the end-end process of contingent labour – freelancers, contractors, sub-contractors, statements of work (SOW)
  4. Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) – the core people system underpinning an organisation’s HR department with capabilities that may cover: onboarding, human capital, leave management, learning, recruitment, performance management and feedback, payroll and benefits.
  5. Learning Management System (LMS) – Learning and development is critical for organisations to evolve workforce skills and knowledge to meet skills gaps and evolving technologies. These tools administer, track, report and deliver
    e-learning, training and development programs


So what is recruitment software?

Recruiting software is not one thing. It’s an umbrella term for different tools that address different stages of the recruitment process. From creating job requisitions and conducting candidate screening to scheduling interviews and even sending out job offers, recruitment software can automate every step of the hiring process.

Generally, most types of recruitment software can be categorised into four categories and will address some or all of these key functions of the recruitment process:

  • Sourcing – this is all about identifying, finding and attracting potential candidates.
  • Engagement – how recruiters, candidates and organsations stay connected throughout the hiring process. It’s about nurturing relationships.
  • Selection – a range of tools and technologies to help accelerate the process of identifying candidates with the best or appropriate qualifications from the pool of applicants
  • Hiring – software tools that can be used to manage and coordinate the practicalities and processes of hiring and even onboarding candidates

Just as there are many types of recruitment agencies, there are many types of recruiting software and every solution will look different. Some recruitment agencies may also manage work placements so their recruiting software technology stack may include a Vendor management System as described above.

An agency placing technology professionals into permanent positions will have very different sourcing, database and engagement needs than an agency working to high volume briefs for customer-facing service roles. An agency retained for search and recruitment at the highest executive levels will have different needs again.


Why do you need recruitment software?

It’s rare to find anyone in the recruitment business that hasn’t begun to automate at least some of the hiring process. Job seekers – and not just those tech-savvy millennials – have been quick to embrace and engage with mobile apps, social media, job boards and more to find their next job. However, there are still many organisations relying on outdated and labour-intensive recruitment methods.

Recruiting software has been developed and continues to evolve to address the universal challenges and experiences of recruiters the world over:

  1. Time – Filling any role could take weeks or months, much of it spent reviewing and screening CVs and candidates, communicating with candidates and hirers, scheduling and coordinating interviews, making job offers and more. Recruiting software can help automate these processes and give you back your time to concentrate on higher value tasks.
  2. Costs – As much an issue for recruiters as it is for the businesses engaging them, traditional manual and paper-based processes can be expensive. Recruiting software can dramatically lower costs to hire, repaying technology investment quickly.
  3. Hard work – Any recruiter will tell you there are simply not enough hours in the day (or dollars in the budget) to stick with traditional labour-intensive, manual processes, especially in high volume recruitment briefs. Is there really anyone who will manually read and screen the CVs of 5,000 applicants?
  4. Free the people – For most hiring and talent acquisition teams, human resources are stretched thin already. Recruiting software can give your people more time to deliver a positive experience for every candidate.
  5. Skills shortages – In the history of work, there has always been and always will be industries and times when it’s challenging to find appropriately skilled candidates. Recruiting software can help recruiters find more candidates, with the right skills to fill roles sooner.



What does recruitment software do?

The hiring process has many steps. From promoting job opportunities to screening CVs, tracking candidates to making job offers, there are many pressure points.  The process can be costly and time-consuming and if things go sideways, you’re not just burning hours and dollars, you could be burning candidates too by making poor hiring decisions.

Automated recruiting software can do all the heavy lifting for you. It organises all the tools and all the data in one place to provide end-to-end functionality through the complete recruitment process. Simplifying and enhancing that process ensures a better experience for everyone –  recruiters, hirers, HR departments… and job candidates alike.

By streamlining process, recruiting software can help you significantly reduce hiring costs and fill roles faster.


What are the benefits of recruitment software?

Here’s how your organisation can benefit from recruitment software:

  • Automation – It’s not about software doing your job, it’s about software helping you to do your job better. From managing client databases to scheduling interviews, automation of many daily tasks can give you back time to focus on higher value briefs and enhancing the candidate and client experience.
  • Hire better, faster ­ – Through the one platform,  recruiting software can help improve hiring metrics including time to hire, cost per hire, employee retention, turnover rate and quality of hire. An easy, pain-free application process means more candidates are likely to apply for your jobs.
  • Finding, attracting and cultivating candidates – Candidates are the fuel in the engine of the recruitment business. Most recruiting software solutions will include capabilities to implement a CRM system to build deep talent tools of ‘ready to go’ prospective candidates.

A CRM platform may stand alone or integrate with an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) that can streamline the entire recruitment process. At its simplest, an ATS is a data-driven system that eliminates the paper chase of traditional recruiting. There are fewer opportunities for data-entry errors and as data is digitised and can even be stored in the cloud, say goodbye to physical files and unwieldy paper charts.

Every ATS is different, but most will include integration with online job boards, careers pages and resumé databases, automated hiring workflows, communication capabilities and reporting tools.

  • Evaluating candidates – As reading and screening CVs and job applications can be the most time-consuming part of any recruiter’s job, this is one of the areas that many recruiters prioritise for automation. Driven by artificial intelligence and powered by machine learning, Ai recruitment tools are used for 3 key functions in the hiring process: sourcing, screening and interviewing of candidates.

Ai tools can use text, voice and even video to automate part or all of the evaluation and interviewing process. Making the recruitment process up to 90% faster, it’s especially useful for high volume recruitment briefs such as frontline retail or customer service roles.

  • Support diversity goals – Ai-enabled interviewing and screening can help reduce the effects of unconscious bias – the inherently human prejudices, personal preferences, beliefs and world-views that shape our assessment of others. Our biases can easily have a negative impact on candidates and mean you’re potentially missing out on the best candidates for the job. It can also mean employers are missing the opportunity to cultivate workplace diversity and all the benefits it delivers.

PredictiveHire’s Ai recruiting tool is a text-based, mobile-first interview offering blind-screening at its best, with no gender, age or ethnicity revealed.  Candidates rate the experience highly and appreciate personal feedback and coaching tips.

  • Reporting and insight – Most recruitment software solutions will provide easy, extensive and accurate reporting so you can gain valuable insights into candidates, trends, costs of recruiting and more.

Good reporting and centralised information can also enhance communications and collaboration between all stakeholders in the hiring process – candidates, recruiters, hiring teams and employers.



Ready to continue your exploration of recruitment software and the benefits it can bring to your business? Find out more about PredictiveHire’s Ai-powered recruitment tool and how we can support your recruitment needs today.

You can try out PredictiveHire’s FirstInterview right now, or leave us your details to get a personalised demo








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