An older man sits at a table in the front room of a deli. The man has white hair and a graying beard and he wears a dark blue button-up shirt. He has one hand on the keyboard of a laptop and the other held to his chin in deep thought. Next to the laptop is an open binder filled with pages of text. Behind the man are glass-fronted display cases filled with slices of deli meat and a glass-fronted refrigerator filled with wheels of cheese.
The hiring process includes many time-consuming and repetitive tasks. Using AI to automate those tasks allows you to focus on considering the strongest candidates. — Getty Images/Maskot

Artificial intelligence might not seem like a natural fit for recruiting and hiring new employees. Can a machine really determine who is right to join your team, interact with customers, and grow your business?

However, recruiting and hiring processes involve many repetitive, time-consuming tasks that AI can easily automate. Artificial intelligence can help in three specific areas:

  • Sourcing: Allowing recruiters find and connect with talent faster.
  • Screening: Helping hiring managers identify and select the best applicants quickly.
  • Interviewing: Taking on the logistics of scheduling interviews to save time.

And, with the right guardrails, AI can help limit biases in the hiring process and ensure you find the right new hire to go the distance with your small business. Here are a few ways to integrate artificial intelligence into your hiring process to find the best employees.

Source candidates for your open roles

Imagine you are looking to hire a new manager. You know exactly what you are looking for in a new hire, but few of the resumes you have received seem to be a good fit. What do you do?

Many small businesses do not have access to a database of candidates to choose from when their initial job notice gets little traffic. As a result, they may search for candidates online themselves or take a chance on someone who is not right for the job. Both of these options can be time-consuming and a waste of resources.

AI can source the right candidate for an open position. AI tools like Workable and Ideal can scan job sites to find candidates who meet the specific criteria of your job posting. Ideal uses AI that has been trained on previous hiring decisions from other companies. This means that even if your business does not have a large dataset of past hiring decisions to help the AI learn what you are looking for, it can still use the experience of other, similar companies to help you find the right candidate.

[Read more: 4 Effective Ways Small Businesses Can Leverage AI]

If you’re not ready to use AI as a screening tool, start by integrating it for the routine tasks of scheduling, reaching out, and sourcing possible candidates.

Perform more accurate, faster screening

Traditional ways of narrowing down a field of candidates, such resume screening, phone interviews and reference checks, are both time-consuming and poor ways of predicting performance.

“The stats are staggering: as much as 80% of employee turnover results from bad hires, from processes that don’t predict job performance,” wrote Stacie Garland, Director of Assessment Solutions at Vervoe.

AI can help automate aspects of the screening process. Chatbots, for instance, can schedule and, in some instances, even host job interviews (like Impress AI). AI can also administer skill assessments, a more effective way to match candidates with open positions by measuring current knowledge and ability. Other tools can provide resume parsing to help you screen out spam or candidates that don’t match the position description.

Reduce bias in your hiring process

Skill assessments are said to be one of the best ways to level the playing field for all candidates. These assessments offer a way for candidates to show they can do the job before they’re hired, regardless of their educational background or job history. AI helps recruiters by scoring these tests instantly, making it feasible for small businesses to implement a skills assessment without adding resources.

Of course, there are famous examples where AI has actually made hiring bias worse (like at Amazon). “The flaw in these tools isn’t the technology—it’s the data being used to feed the algorithms. Matching candidates based on the information on their resume doesn’t lead to any different result than if a human recruiter ranked candidates manually,” wrote Vervoe.

If you’re not ready to use AI as a screening tool, start by integrating it for the routine tasks of scheduling, reaching out, and sourcing possible candidates. There are dozens of AI hiring tools on the market, so start small and add new features as your business grows.

[Read more: How AI Is Transforming HR With More Sophisticated, Less Biased Recruiting]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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