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Level Up Your Hiring: 5 AI Candidate Screening Methods to Add to Your Toolkit

In this article

Matthijs Metzemaekers
Co-founder, Carv
A visionary tech entrepreneur with over a decade of experience.

AI is transforming the way recruiting teams identify, screen, and assess potential hires. However, it might not be in the way you think.

So, I want to take a few minutes to walk you through some use cases of AI in screening that you probably haven't heard of yet.

Equipped with this information, you can decide whether you want to add such capabilities to your toolkit to streamline your screening process and ultimately help you find the best candidates for your team.

How AI works in candidate screening

At a high level, AI is transforming recruitment by automating tasks, analyzing data, and facilitating communication across various channels.

This is possible thanks to gen AI’s capabilities of working with unstructured data.

Unlike regular automation technology, AI recruitment tools can:

  • Understand and interpret the nuances of human language,
  • Learn and adapt over time, and
  • Make data-driven recommendations based on what works best.

Here’s a bit more context.

AI recruitment tools powered by Natural Language Processing (NLP) can analyze phone calls, interviews, resumes, cover letters, and even social media profiles that are full of unstructured text, to extract key information and structure it for further use.

For example, artificial intelligence can parse text, audio, and video data sources, and extract key information like skills, experience, and qualifications, even if they're not presented in a standardized format.

This allows AI to go beyond simple keyword matching and truly understand the candidate's potential.

Moreover, unlike regular automation tools that need to follow pre-defined rules, AI can learn and adapt based on the data it processes. Thus, instead of coding rules and building complicated workflows, you can simply tell an AI assistant what type of candidate you’re looking for, and let it do its magic.

As it screens more and more candidates, AI can become better at identifying patterns and predicting which qualities are most indicative of success in a particular role. This continuous learning allows AI to refine its screening process over time.

Next to these capabilities, AI software employing machine learning algorithms can analyze vast amounts of candidate data and job requirements to identify the best possible matches.

It can then provide recruiters with ranked lists of candidates and even recommend specific interview questions based on the candidate's profile. This data-driven approach helps recruiters make more informed decisions throughout the screening process.

By leveraging these capabilities, AI recruitment tools go beyond simple automation, offering a more intelligent and adaptable approach to candidate screening.

So now let’s look at the main types of applications of AI in screening.

Main applications of AI in the screening process

Now that you understand why AI is a game-changer for talent acquisition teams, let’s look at the main applications of AI in the screening process.

1. Automating initial interactions

AI can be used in various forms for automating the initial interactions with candidates, but also with clients, in case of agency recruitment.

For example, AI-powered chatbots or virtual avatars can handle time-consuming tasks such as initial phone screens or video interviews. These AI tools can ask pre-defined questions based on your job requirements and assess candidate responses against set criteria.

This approach automates the initial pre-screening and qualification stage, freeing up your time for in-depth interviews with promising candidates.

2. Analyzing candidate data

Another application is the use of AI to analyze resumes, cover letters, and job applications. As said, AI can extract key skills, experience, and qualifications, matching them against your job description. This helps identify candidates who meet the essential criteria for the role.

But it doesn’t stop at the data in your ATS or talent pool.

AI technology can also be plugged into social media platforms like LinkedIn to screen candidate profiles and find potential candidates with relevant skills and experience. It can assess their online activity and content to gauge their fit for your company culture.

3. Facilitating communication

And third, AI can analyze your Applicant Tracking System or talent pool databases to identify qualified candidates based on pre-set criteria. It can then automatically reach out to these candidates through the ATS or messaging apps, initiating conversations and inviting them to apply.

AI systems can manage the full conversation with candidates, regardless of the format - written text, video calls, or phone calls.

AI chatbots can answer basic questions, schedule interviews, and even joke with your candidates, creating a more engaging and efficient screening process.

Overall, AI can fully streamline the candidate screening process by taking over and automating all your repetitive admin tasks. This allows you to focus on what you do best - evaluating talent, conducting in-depth interviews, and making informed hiring decisions.

All right, these are the main buckets when it comes to applying AI to the screening process. But what about the actual, practical use cases?

Let’s dive in.

Methods of AI candidate screening

As shown, AI can transform your candidate screening process by automating interactions across various channels.

Here are some of the AI screening methods that are gaining traction rapidly:

  • Phone screens ran by AI assistants,
  • Virtual interviews with AI avatars,
  • AI screening via instant messaging like WhatsApp or website chatbots,
  • Messaging on social media platforms like LinkedIn,
  • Reach out to candidates via your ATS,
  • Sourcing and screening in a database, such as a talent pool or a candidate database.

Let’s look at each of these methods in more detail.

Phone screens ran by AI assistants

One of the most impactful and innovative applications of artificial intelligence in the recruitment process is employing AI assistant for conducting real-time phone screens.

Might sound impossible, but we’re already doing it at Carv - and seeing good traction with it.

AI assistants trained on your own data sets and tone of voice can conduct initial screening interviews with job seekers, helping you shortlist only the right candidates and speed up your selection process.

Of course, what exactly the AI workmate asks candidates will vary from one company to the other, but in general, AI recruitment software can be pre-programmed to conduct all types of interviews.

For pre-screening via phone calls, for example, you can tell your AI assistant to ask candidates about their work experience, hard or soft skills needed for the role, but also to reply to FAQs regarding the work schedule or role.

By handing over this admin to AI screening tools, you can focus on deeper conversations with only suitable candidates.

Virtual interviews with AI avatars

Similarly to AI-driven phone screens, you can make use of AI avatars to conduct your virtual interviews.

This method might sound scary, but it’s already used by companies especially in high-volume recruitment, for roles like store clerks, call center agents, and so on.

In such roles, recruiters and hiring managers generally have to go through a lot of applications, as the volume of applications is high. Given that these roles don’t usually require special qualifications, an AI agent can perfectly handle the interviews, removing human bias and ensuring you get the right amount of top candidates for the role.

AI avatars can conduct standardized video interviews, assessing candidates based on pre-defined parameters, or can take over unstructured interviews, although this is less recommended. Recruitment AI is still in its infancy, so it’s best to keep a level of control and not give the artificial intelligence full freedom yet.

But regardless of the interview format you choose, this approach saves time and allows for wider screening reach.

AI resume screening with outreach via messaging apps

Next to phone screens and virtual AI interviews, you can also make use of AI for resume screening and outreach via messaging apps.

Unlike a regular ATS, an AI resume screening solution doesn’t need a candidate’s CV to be in a strict format. As mentioned, AI can work with unstructured data, so by opting for AI-powered screening software, you can ensure more candidates make it through the screening filter.

Once going through applicants’ resumes, AI chatbots can manage initial interactions with candidates through platforms like WhatsApp. These AI recruiters can screen candidates through text-based communication, allowing for a more efficient screening process.

Of course, the communication will follow the regular structure of a screening call, with AI referring to the job posting the candidate applied to, and enquiring about their availability and interest in the role.

All the applicant answers can be gathered in an AI recruitment software like Carv, for the hiring team to go over if needed.

Alternatively, AI can automatically populate your ATS, if you prefer to use your applicant tracking system as your main source of truth. This is the beauty and the power of AI - it can do all this admin for you, 24/7, without getting tired.

Targeted outreach through your ATS

Another use case of AI in screening is reaching out to passive candidates in your ATS or talent pool.

These platforms tend to be goldmines of potential hires, but oftentimes candidates remain buried in the system because the recruiting team doesn’t have time to go through all the available profiles, or because the data isn’t clean enough or is outdated.

Luckily, AI algorithms can analyze vast data sets in minutes - so they can scan your entire ATS or talent pool, find suitable candidates, and reach out to the qualified candidates through whichever method you prefer.

For example, you can opt for personalized outreach emails, if you don’t want to completely remove the human touch from your recruiting process, or the already mentioned text message or phone screening call.

Of course, in case of personalized emails, the AI would be writing the texts for you, based on the candidate profiles or other information available - previous interviews, screening calls, and social media profiles.

By now, it should be obvious just how much time AI can save you, reducing the time-to-hire without sacrificing the quality of hire.

But we’re not done yet. There’s one more application I’d like to discuss, so let’s quickly look at the last use case.

Screening in talent pools, databases, or social media

As briefly mentioned, AI can unlock the hidden potential within your existing talent pool or candidate databases. It can search through these databases to discover candidates whose skills and experience align with your current needs.

By analyzing pre-set criteria, AI can shortlist and recommend these database candidates, saving you time and effort in identifying potential talent.

But the nicest part here is that AI can not just engage candidates to see if they’re interested. It can also work for you to get them interested in the available roles - quite a game-changer for those hard-to-fill roles that stay open forever!

AI is smart enough to make guesses about a candidate’s preferences based on information like their social media activity, writing style, tone of voice during phone calls, and so on.

Carv's AI, for example, can reach out to passive candidates and sell them the job, or can work with what we call procrastinators to move them to a stage where they’re ready to take the next step in their career.

This is a very nice use case of AI, not just for hiring teams, but also for candidates themselves - some personal attention during the hiring process is always welcome!

Next to this, AI can leverage platforms like LinkedIn to connect with potential candidates. By analyzing profiles and activity, AI can identify individuals with the right skillsets and experience. This allows you to send targeted messages through LinkedIn, initiating conversations with qualified candidates.

Benefits of AI screening

All right, it’s clear that AI screening offers a plethora of advantages that can significantly enhance your recruitment process. Just to sum it up, here are the main benefits of adopting AI in your screening process.

Increased efficiency

By handling the initial screening legwork, AI frees recruiters up for core recruitment tasks. This allows you to focus your expertise on in-depth candidate evaluation, insightful interview selection, and building strong relationships with top talent.

Reduced bias

Unconscious bias based on demographics like gender or age can hinder your ability to identify the best fit for the role. AI screening levels the playing field by focusing on objective criteria like skills, experience, and qualifications as outlined in the job description. This ensures a fairer chance for all qualified candidates and promotes a more diverse and inclusive talent pool.

Improved candidate experience

Candidates appreciate a streamlined and efficient application process. AI screening helps achieve this by facilitating faster response times. Automated communication and scheduling tools ensure candidates get timely updates and can easily navigate the initial stages. This positive experience enhances your employer brand and attracts top talent.

Wider talent pool

AI's ability to analyze vast amounts of data opens doors to a broader pool of qualified candidates. It can scour your ATS, talent pools, and even social media platforms to identify individuals with relevant skills and experience who might not have traditionally applied. This wider net allows you to discover hidden gems and build a more robust talent pipeline.

Enhanced decision-making

AI doesn't just screen candidates; it provides valuable insights to inform your decisions. By analyzing candidate data and job requirements, AI can recommend the best matches and even suggest interview questions for specific profiles. This data-driven approach equips you to make more informed decisions throughout the hiring process, leading to better quality hires.

Overall, AI screening acts as a powerful ally for modern recruiters. It streamlines processes, reduces bias, improves candidate experience, expands talent reach, and empowers better hiring decisions.

Over to you

AI is no longer a futuristic concept in recruitment; it's a powerful tool with real-world applications.

However, our belief at Carv is that AI shouldn't replace your human expertise. This is why Carv’s AI is best used to take over your admin and free up your time, so you can focus on what you do best - building strong relationships and making informed hiring decisions.

Ready to take the leap? Book a demo below to see how Carv can help you screen candidates more efficiently.

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