Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Facilitating Potential Hire Discovery

Posted by Marbenz Antonio on March 8, 2023

Top 18 Artificial Intelligence (AI) Applications in 2023 | Simplilearn

By leveraging artificial intelligence, recruiters and hiring managers can expedite the talent acquisition process and efficiently identify qualified candidates. However, there are potential drawbacks to relying heavily on chatbot automation during this process.

Southwest Airlines lacked a reliable system to measure the effectiveness of their email and website-based recruitment campaigns prior to integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into their candidate sourcing strategy. Additionally, the company was unable to retain the information of individuals who had visited their job listings page but left before a suitable job was available.

Using an Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered recruitment platform developed by tech company Phenom, Southwest Airlines now maintains a readily available pool of potential candidates that can be tapped for job openings as they arise. As stated by Kelby Tansey, the Manager for Recruitment Marketing at Southwest Airlines, the company now possesses a ‘warm pipeline of candidates.

According to Tansey, Southwest Airlines can now proactively approach “passive” job seekers who previously visited their site but were unable to locate a suitable job opening at the time.

“We’ll drive them into certain pipelines within the Phenom platform so we can capture their resume, their skills, and note some of those candidates and then let them know when the job opens up,” Tansey said.

Southwest Airlines is part of an increasing trend of companies adopting Artificial Intelligence or AI-driven solutions to streamline the recruitment process. These tools aid in identifying suitable candidates, coordinating interview schedules, and ultimately minimizing the time required for hiring managers and recruiters to fulfill these responsibilities.

Recent studies indicate that approximately 35% to 45% of companies are projected to implement AI-powered recruitment software and services for candidate screening and interviewing in the current year.

phenom soutwest airline graphic
Southwest Airlines’ recruitment site is powered by Phenom’s AI software.

According to a survey conducted by online job recruitment service Modern Hire, nearly 75% of organizations increased their investment in talent acquisition technology in 2022, and 70% intend to continue doing so in the current year, even in the event of a recession.

Betsy Summers, a Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, noted an uptick in client inquiries related to Artificial Intelligence or AI-based recruitment platforms.

“It has touched a nerve in the HR and recruiting world, promising to fix problems and frustrations that have been plaguing those teams — hard to decipher competency models, job descriptions that are vague or biased, increasing talent competition,” Summers said.

Summers is receiving inquiries about recruitment platforms that extend beyond the scope of talent acquisition. These queries include the implementation of “skills-as-a-service” technology, which could have significant implications for workforce planning, development, work allocation, and retention strategies within organizations.

“It could be a game changer,” Summers said.

A growing number of Artificial Intelligence (AI) based options

Phenom’s SaaS-based Intelligent Talent Experience platform is among the prominent Artificial Intelligence powered recruitment solutions, alongside other leading providers such as Eightfold, Beamery, and Seekout. These platforms utilize skills inference and candidate-job matching capabilities. Noteworthy vendors also include Clovers (following its acquisition of Talvista), HireVue, Pymetrics (recently acquired by Harver), and iCIMS, as per Forrester Research.

Forrester Principal Analyst Betsy Summers stated that AI-powered recruitment platforms are capable of discovering “more diverse talent pools” and providing a more precise approach to candidate qualification by matching skills instead of relying on a job title match or other indicators.

Talent acquisition platforms have various use cases, including efficiency-driven functions such as scheduling interviews, managing the application process, providing support to recruiters, and managing applicant pipelines. Other platforms emphasize bias mitigation by modifying language in job descriptions and communication with candidates to foster inclusivity. Certain platforms also incorporate remote video capabilities that automate initial interviews.

phenom graphic 1

As an illustration, HireVue’s software for candidate interviews utilizes a natural language bot to conduct interviews and generate transcripts for recruiters and hiring managers. The platform incorporates a video feature that records the interview, allowing candidates to prepare for each question for 30 seconds and answer for up to three minutes. The video is subsequently sent to the hiring manager for viewing.

Talent acquisition software frequently uses “fit scoring,” a methodology that employs certain metrics to match a job candidate’s credentials with a particular position.

Saving time at SASR Workforce Solutions

According to Bradley Cooper, the Director of IT at SASR Workforce Solutions, each recruiter at his company is accountable for hiring a minimum of 360 individuals every year for different clients. In October 2021, SASR implemented Phenom’s platform, which instantly generated improvements such as automated matching of candidates to job openings even before the recruiter contacted the applicant.

“When you work at our volume, you need tools to help get the candidates to you in a timely manner,” Cooper said. “As soon as a job opportunity is available, we can make it known to the candidate, and that goes out to the job board Phenom has. Before that, it just wasn’t a good recruiter or candidate experience.”

sasr career site peak hours
An overview of when SASR sees the most traffic on its career site, which enables the staffing firm to use its dynamic and static list to create and deliver marketing campaigns during peak interaction times.

Phenom’s software starts building a profile of job applicants as soon as they begin the application process, and if they match an SASR client’s job opening, the platform immediately presents them to a recruiter for an interview, offer, and onboarding process. If the candidate is not ready to accept the offer yet, Phenom’s software places them in a future candidate “talent community” or queue, enabling SASR to contact them for future opportunities.

SASR Workforce Solutions utilizes Phenom Hosted Apply, a platform that offers a seamless candidate experience, allowing them to go from learning about a job to applying for it, all without leaving the career site. The Hosted Apply solution utilizes API integrations that Phenom has made with third-party applicant tracking systems (ATS), eliminating the need for candidates to be redirected to a separate ATS application process.

According to Cooper, Phenom’s platform creates both a dynamic and static list of prospective candidates. The dynamic list includes candidates who are constantly being added or removed as they secure employment, while the static list is a consistent roster of workers who may be considered for seasonal or part-time positions. Cooper noted that these lists could be used to develop recruiting campaigns as well.

“Over time, as we add more candidates to the list, the AI will recognize the like candidates with the same skills and locations for opportunities, so that allows us to see the best fit upfront,” Cooper said. “The really cool part about having a dynamic list is it allows you to target them for a specific opportunity, or if we do a specific campaign, we can curate that messaging to them through email or SMS to hit the correct touchpoints.”

sasr kpi
This is a KPI roll-up providing visibility on SASR’s Job Seeker interviews. It’s important that interviews happen quickly, as job seekers tend to lose interest if an interview is not scheduled within a few days of application.

Automated recruiting can save money

Investing in an automated recruiting platform can result in significant returns on investment. According to a study sponsored by Phenom and conducted by Forrester, the platform can generate a return of 449% over a three-year period, with a payback period of less than six months. This translates to savings and other benefits worth over $24 million.

On average, the study found that recruiting platforms were able to save hiring managers and recruiters 11 hours per week. In addition, the software resulted in an increase in the number of hires and a decrease in costs associated with new-hire onboarding, training, and time to productivity.

Southwest Airlines’ job recruiters were able to save 40% of their time by utilizing Phenom’s analytics tools for candidate sourcing, automating scheduling, and conducting video interviews.

“After we went live with Phenom’s career site refresh in September, we saw a 25% increase in website engagement. That means more candidates are visiting more [job] pages,” Tansey said. “From a hiring perspective, we’re able to capture all candidate data in one place, follow up on leads, keep them nurtured and warm, and drive them to apply.”

“If we were driving only leads to jobs only open now, we wouldn’t be able to get the full value out of what we could do from an evergreen strategy…,” Tansey said. “We’re even able to engage at the campus level with kids who may be pursuing careers and keep them warm and bring them into our pipelines.”

Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help uncover soft skills

Talent acquisition services also offer the capability to identify a candidate’s “soft skills”, such as their aptitude for learning, teamwork, creativity, and empathy.

Paradox, an Artificial Intelligence company, provides a bot software called “Olivia” that automates the hiring process for companies like McDonald’s, Speedway, Lowe’s, and American Eagle. In addition, Paradox acquired Traitify, whose software evaluates a candidate’s openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism based on a brief 10-minute test featuring image-based prompts to which the candidate responds by selecting “me” or “not me”.

Recruiting platforms often utilize chatbots to interact with job seekers and inquire about their interests and skills. Based on this information, the chatbots can recommend suitable open positions for which the candidates are best qualified to apply.

Phenom’s chatbot offers various markets, such as engineering, marketing, sales, data science, and machine learning, for job seekers to explore. Following that, the chatbot inquires about the candidate’s willingness to relocate, as well as their specific experience and years of experience. After the questions are answered, the chatbot displays available positions for the candidate to apply for.

phenom chatbot image
Phenom’s chatbot in action.


The use of Artificial Intelligence in talent acquisition services has opened up new possibilities for employers to discover potential hires with greater efficiency and accuracy. The various tools and features offered by AI-powered recruiting platforms, including chatbots, automated scheduling, video interviews, and candidate evaluation through soft skill assessments, have proven to be effective in saving time and costs, increasing the number of successful hires, and improving the overall hiring experience for both recruiters and candidates. As technology continues to advance, we can expect to see further innovations in this field, providing more benefits to employers and job seekers alike.

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