The future of AI in the recruitment industry
Many companies struggle to find the right candidates. For certain jobs, there just aren’t enough qualified people out there, and it seems to be difficult to find good candidates unless they are actively looking for a new job. Some companies may also have difficulty appealing to the right audience with their vacancies and some vacancies might not be easy to find online. It also proves to be a challenge not to exclude certain candidates, despite the good intentions recruiters have.
In the ongoing battle for talent, artificial intelligence (AI) plays an important role. More and more companies discover that AI can make the recruitment process smarter and more efficient. But what are the benefits of implementing AI in the recruitment industry? And how exactly does it work? We are happy to tell you more and give you some insights on how AI can be used to find the best candidates.
AI in the recruitment industry
There are various ways in which you can use AI in the recruitment industry.
To select the right candidate
You can use AI to predict if a candidate would be a good fit for the job you are offering. For this, you need the data of candidates, and as a company, you must determine which data you select. Based on this data, an algorithm tries to calculate which factors are predictors of success for the job you are offering and which candidates score well on those factors, making them suitable candidates for the job.
To find candidates who are not actively looking for a new job
AI analyses data sources like LinkedIn to find out how long potential candidates have worked at their current job, when they were last promoted, and how well the company they work for is doing. Based on this information, you get a list of candidates who are most likely to be interested in a job at your company, after which you can actively approach them.
For writing better vacancies
AI is also a very good tool for improving the content of your job vacancies, so you get more responses. You use an algorithm to write vacancies that appeal to the right audience, do not contain unnecessary or confusing jargon and do not exclude certain audiences, such as people with low literacy or candidates of a certain gender. In addition, AI helps you write vacancies that are easier to find on Google, so they reach more candidates.
Four advantages of AI in the recruitment industry
There are several benefits of using AI in the recruitment process:
It contributes to the productivity of the recruitment department
Writing content for vacancies, recruiting candidates, selecting candidates and job interviews; these tasks all ask a lot of your time. And there is so much more to do in a recruitment department. AI can take a lot of work off your hands. It takes less time to write vacancies, as does recruiting and screening candidates. You will receive more valuable responses to the vacancies you post and you will know more quickly whether a candidate has what it takes or not. This increases the productivity of the department and leaves more time for other important activities.
It increases diversity within the organisation
Many companies want a diverse workforce but find this difficult to achieve. AI can help increase the diversity and inclusiveness of your organisation. It all starts with the vacancies. Without realising it, many vacancies exclude certain groups of people. Think of people with low literacy and people of a certain gender. Algorithms can analyse whether vacancies appeal to all audiences. Even during the selection of candidates, it sometimes proves difficult for recruiters to assess candidates objectively and without prejudice. That human prejudice, which recruiters certainly do not purposely have, can be drastically reduced with the help of AI. When recruiters assess candidates based on data, emotions no longer have an influence.
A better match between the candidate and the organisation
AI can identify factors for success for a certain position and use that to screen candidates. By analysing data on candidates, AI can determine which candidates score well on those factors and will therefore be a good fit for the job. You determine the success factors based on current, successful employees. Candidates who have the same characteristics are likely to perform just as well in the same position. The better candidates score on these factors, the better the match between the candidate and your organisation.
More value from available data
By using AI, there are more options for screening candidates. You can analyse more data on the candidate than the information provided by the candidate. Nowadays, you can find a lot about your candidates online. Just think of social media, such as LinkedIn profiles. There is a wealth of extra data on each candidate that you can analyse. This gives you even more information to determine whether that person is a good fit or not.
AI is the future
At Textmetrics, we believe that more and more companies understand that AI can make their recruitment process smarter and more efficient. And that a future without AI in the recruitment industry is actually unthinkable. That’s why we offer AI-driven tools that help you write vacancies that appeal to the right audience and don’t exclude groups of people.
Are you ready to implement AI in your recruitment department? Textmetrics is here to help! Get in touch to find out more.
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Everything you need to know
Computers don’t speak languages the way humans do. They communicate in machine code or machine language, while we speak English, Dutch, French or some other human language. Most of us don’t understand the millions of zeros and ones computers communicate in. And in turn, computers don’t understand human language unless they are programmed to do so. That’s where natural language processing (NLP) comes in.
What is natural language processing?
Natural language processing is a form of artificial intelligence (AI) that gives computers the ability to read, understand and interpret human language. It helps computers measure sentiment and determine which parts of human language are important. For computers, this is an extremely difficult thing to do because of the large amount of unstructured data, the lack of formal rules and the absence of real-world context or intent.
In recent years, AI has evolved rapidly, and with that, NLP got more sophisticated, too. Many of us already use NLP daily without realizing it. You’ve probably used at least one of the following tools:
- Spell checker.
- Spam filters.
- Voice text messaging.
Five basic NLP tasks
As we mentioned before, human language is extremely complex and diverse. That’s why natural language processing includes many techniques to interpret it, ranging from statistical and machine learning methods to rules-based and algorithmic approaches. There are five basic NLP tasks that you might recognize from school.
Part of speech tagging
One of the tasks of NLP is speech tagging. For every sentence, the part of speech for each word is determined. Part of speech is a category of words that have similar grammatical properties. For example, the word book is a noun in the sentence the book on the table, but it’s a verb in the sentence to book a flight. And a word like set can even be a noun, verb or an adjective.
There is a large number of words that can serve as multiple parts of speech, which makes it challenging for a machine to assign them the correct tags.
Lemmatization concerns removing inflectional endings only and reducing a word to its base form, which is also known as a “lemma”. Past tenses are changed into present and synonyms are unified. For example, the past tense ran is changed to run and the synonym best is unified into good.
Lemmatization uses a different approach than stemming to reach the root form of a word. For example, the lemma of caring is care, not car as it is with stemming.
The tokenization task cuts a text into smaller pieces called tokens. This process segments a chunk of continuous text into separate sentences and words, while at the same time removing certain characters, like punctuation. For example, this sentence split up into smaller tokens would look like this:
For example this sentence split up into smaller tokens would look like this
That pretty much looks the same, right? That’s because languages like English often separate words with a blank space, but not all languages do. In those languages, tokenization is a significant undertaking that requires deep knowledge of the vocabulary.
In English, too, blank spaces may break up words that actually should be considered one token. Think of city names like Los Angeles or San Francisco or the phrase “New York-based”.
Disambiguation is a task that has to do with the meaning of the words we use in human language. Some words have more than one meaning, and while reading, we select the meaning that makes the most sense in the given context. For example, the word bat can refer to the animal that flies around at night or the wooden or metal club that is used in baseball. And a bank can be a place where you go to open a current account or a piece of land alongside a body of water where you go fishing.
Humans communicate based on meaning and context. Semantics help computers identify the structure of sentences and the most relevant elements of a text in order to understand the topic that is being discussed. For example, if a text contains words like election, democrat and republican or budget, taxes and inflation, the computer understands that the topics discussed are American politics and economics.
Examples of natural language processing in practice
In recent years, because of the availability of big data, powerful computing and enhanced algorithms, natural language processing has been rapidly advancing and transforming businesses. It’s now widely used across an array of industries. We have listed some interesting examples below:
- NLP is widely used in the translation industry. Many localization companies use machine translation to help their translators work more efficiently. When the text is already largely translated by machine, it saves them valuable time and the number of words they can translate daily increases.
- Search engines use natural language processing to come up with relevant search results based on similar search behavior or user intent. By using NLP, the average person finds what they’re looking for.
- NLP is also used for email filters. The spam filter has been around for quite some time now, but Gmail’s email classification is one of the newer NLP applications. Based on the content of the emails that come in, Gmail now also recognizes to which of the three categories (primary, social or promotions) the emails belong. This helps users determine which emails are important and need a quick response, and which emails they probably want to delete.
- We also see the use of natural language processing in healthcare. It can be used for streamlining patient information or for apps that convert sign language into text. The latter enables deaf people to communicate with people who don’t know how to use sign language.
- NLP is even being used in the aircraft maintenance industry. It helps mechanics find useful information from aircraft manuals that have hundreds of pages, and it helps find meaning in the descriptions of problems reported by pilots or others working in the industry.
Ways we use NLP at Textmetrics
What the examples above show is that there are numerous ways that NLP can improve how your company operates. That’s because human interaction is the driving force of most businesses. When you’re not too familiar with AI and NLP, though, it can be quite challenging to do it right. And having employees manually analyze all of the content that your company produces is almost impossible.
At Textmetrics, we offer a number of tools that use natural language processing to help organizations analyze their content and provide suggestions for improvements.
- A spell checker enables everyone in your organization to create grammatically correct and error-free content.
- A tool to determine the language level of the content you’ve created. This is based on the European Language Framework.
- A tool to flag words that are gender-biased, providing suggestions and possible replacements based on the target audience you’re creating the content for.
- An algorithm-based program based on the needs of your organization to help you standardize your communication according to your corporate identity.
Are you curious to know more about these tools, or do you want to find out if they could be of use in your organization? Please let us know. Textmetrics is here to help!
When you’re browsing the web or developing a website, you probably don’t realize that there are groups of people who struggle with the accessibility of digital information on a daily basis. Among these are people with a physical disability, photosensitive seizures, and cognitive disabilities. You could also think of older people with a growing visual or hearing impairment. To make sure that these people can access digital information just as well as all other users can, a number of guidelines have been prepared. These guidelines are known as the WCAG, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
Four important principles of the WCAG
The guidelines of the WCAG are based on the following four principles:
People should be able to use and experience the website with the senses that they have available. Some web users may have difficulties with one or more of their senses. Therefore, they might need assistive technology to browse your website.
Means to make your website perceivable:
- Use textual alternatives for non-textual content.
- Provide a transcript for audio and video content.
- Add subtitles to videos
People should be able to use and find the content on the website, regardless of the way they use your website. Some users might have motor difficulties and use their keyboard to navigate, while others who have a sight impairment will often use a keyboard instead of a mouse.
Means to make your website operable:
- Ensure good keyboard-only navigation.
- Avoid setting time limits for users.
- Use descriptive links so people know where they lead to.
People should be able to understand the software and your website, and they should understand how the website works. Your website can only be perceivable and operable if it’s understandable. So make sure your website functions in a way that everyone can understand.
Means to make your website understandable:
- Give the software the ability to decide on the language of the page.
- Make sure the content is readable and understandable.
- Make sure that forms have visible and meaningful labels.
The content on your website should enable reliable interpretation by a wide range of user agents. It should run on third-party technology (like web browsers) that people can rely on. This way you avoid the risk that users relying on technology cannot correctly access your website.
Means to make your website robust:
- Use error-free code.
- Ensure maximum compatibility with current and future browsers.
- Make sure that third-party technologies understand what each function is for.
Accessibility is important for all users
Accessibility is not only crucial for users with a disability of some sort. Other users, or we should say ALL users, benefit from a website that is accessible. If your website and web content live up to the principles we mentioned above, then the overall user experience and satisfaction of users will improve. Some features that were once designed for users with a specific disability are now often used by others as well. Situations you could think of are:
- You want to watch a video but you’re in a room with a lot of noise and there is no way that you’re ever going to hear what the people in the video are saying. In that scenario, you are grateful that the video is subtitled, so you can watch it anyway.
- Or you’re working from home and the weather is just lovely so you decide to work outside for a little while, but the sun is so bright that it’s harder to see what’s on your screen. Then it’s good to know that the contrast of the colors on the website are enhanced so the content is easier to read.
Why accessibility is important for your company
There are a number of reasons why accessibility is important for your company. We have outlined the most important reasons below:
- You don’t want to exclude anyone.
It should be the company’s top priority to make sure that its website is accessible to as many people as possible. Why should you exclude people when it’s not that difficult to implement the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines? Accessibility is key to reaching your entire target group. The bigger your audience, the more traffic and conversions your website will generate.
- Your market reach will increase.
The market of people with disabilities and the aging population is large and keeps on growing. In the Netherlands, for example, an estimated 25% of the population has some form of disability. If you make sure that your web content is accessible and well-received by ALL users, you can extend your market reach. Especially across different devices and in a variety of situations.
- Greater customer satisfaction.
Usability and customer satisfaction go hand in hand. Updating your website design according to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, also improves its usability. That’s because web accessibility is also beneficial in these situations:
- When people browse your website on devices like mobile phones, smartwatches, and other devices with small screens.
- When people suffer temporary disabilities, like a broken arm or lost glasses.
- When people browse your website in challenging situations, like bright, glaring sunlight.
- When people browse your website using a slow internet connection.
How Textmetrics can help you with the accessibility of your web content
At Textmetrics, we have a number of tools that can help you improve the accessibility of your website and web content. First of all, you can use one of our tools to scan a web page or crawl your entire website for elements that do not comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. For instance, our tool flags elements where the contrast of the colors is not up to par, where text scaling or zooming is not available, or where there is no text alternative for an image. Once you know what the issues are and how your website can be improved, it’s easy to implement the necessary changes.
This is important in order to reach your entire target group and to adhere to your company’s Inclusion and Diversity Policy. Recruitment departments often struggle with inclusion when it comes to job openings. Our tool can help recruiters write job ads that appeal to everyone. Together with our Gender Scan, which lets you know if your content has a more male or female tone of voice, Textmetrics facilitates a giant leap forward when it comes to inclusion.
For more information on how to use our Accessibility feature, check out this article.