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AI and candidate experience: 49.6% say it’s a mixed bag

Workable's AI in Hiring & Work survey finds that 49.6% of hiring teams experience a mixed reaction from candidates when they use AI in the hiring process. This is an excerpt from our AI in Hiring and Work survey report, based on responses from 950 hiring managers in the US and UK. Visit here to download the report in full.

Keith MacKenzie
Keith MacKenzie

Passionate about human resources, employment, and business management, and an expert at sharing that expertise.

The Impact of AI on Candidate Experience - 1458x814

Hiring team members are not the only beneficiaries of – or more accurately, not the only ones impacted by – AI use in the hiring process. In other words, AI isn’t only useful for those who do the hiring. There are those who hire, and there are those who are hired.

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Because the focus of hiring and recruitment is ultimately to get job applicants – and ideally, the perfect hire – it makes sense to ask hiring team members what the experience has been like for candidates when AI is used in hiring.

So, we asked that specific question in our AI in Hiring and Work survey: “How do candidates generally respond to the use of AI in your hiring process?”.

Two out of five respondents (38.7%) say they’ve received mostly positive feedback from candidates in regards to AI in hiring. That sounds pretty good, except that half (49.2%) also say they’ve received mixed feedback from applicants in the hiring process.

AI in hiring – the positive CX

Let’s look at the positives first: it likely stems from better communication – even automated information and updates are better than nothing at all. Candidates like to know what’s going on with their application. For instance, AI chatbots can make a huge difference.

Also, the automation capabilities of AI in the hiring process mean that the hiring process can be sped up. That’s always a nice experience for candidates, who are accustomed to long waits between updates and stages in the process. We’ve seen complaints on Reddit about that.

AI in hiring – the negative CX

What about the negatives? We can presume that it’s about the non-human approach. You know how annoying it can be to “press one for XYZ” and “press two for ZYX” when trying to get through to a human being in customer support. Candidates are no different.

Also, there’s a perceived danger in allowing “robots” to make decisions for you – candidates are understandably skeptical about that. Being transparent about this from the get-go will be crucial to set expectations and maintain a positive experience for candidates.

The industry lens

When looking at the different industries, Construction leads in terms of positive feedback (53.3%, a full 14.6 points higher than the baseline), while Manufacturing lags in that same area (33.8%).

Retail, on the other hand, has twice as many respondents receiving mostly negative feedback compared with the baseline (10.5% vs. 5.3%) while just 2% of Healthcare respondents say the same.

Frequently asked questions

New report: AI in hiring and the workplace

Nearly a thousand hiring managers in the US and UK shared how they're using AI in hiring and in work. We now have a survey report with the findings.

Download your report now!

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