Artificial Intelligence (AI) and recruitment in modern leadership

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and technology plays an increasing part in recruiting modern leaders. While these technologies can support recruitment, AI cannot replace human intuition.

As recruiters we use search tools and recruitment databases to source candidates and market opportunities for all our clients. We use social and professional networking tools, direct messaging and emails. It’s important to appreciate the great value these offer but it’s also important not to rely on these tools.

AI uses smart search filters (advanced algorithms) that identify talent in specific industries. They create tailored short-lists of potential candidates with specialisms, which save time.

Does AI undermine human relationships?

Relying on these digital mechanisms as an initial point of interaction is efficient. But if we want to build human relationships, we need a clear understanding of an individual’s background. We need to understand their motivation, leadership style and personality traits. We have to move beyond digital means.

Over-reliance on direct messaging and email which is on the trend. It makes it too easy to forget the importance of human interaction in assessing culture fit.

“…online tools provide only a surface-level analysis and fail to provide assessment beyond basic recommendations. Until technology can master the nuance of language, culture and prejudice, the recruitment process will continue to require a ‘human touch'”.

Article from Talat Yaqoob, Director of Equate Scotland – Women in Science Engineering & Technology

AI has limitations. Finding leaders, is only as good as the information available and the algorithms and search methods deployed. If someone’s online profile or CV doesn’t reflect their experience then it is harder to identify them. People with the best profiles will feature, instead of those with the relevant experience. This is a missed opportunity for individuals and employers alike.

More employers are using AI and technology to reduce bias. But they might be unaware that bias is implicit in the people who create these tools. You can train a human to be aware of their bias and adapt their practice, yet technology will struggle with this. Algorithms do what they are taught, and prejudices and unethical biases can integrate themselves. This could be unintentional or otherwise.

“…Amazon developed an algorithm to inform recruitment decisions and was using historical data from the past 10 years, a time period in which men dominated the technology industry. As a result, Amazon found its algorithm discriminated against female applicants”

Article from Rumman Chowdhury, Global Lead for Responsible AI at Accenture

AI and technology can help us make decisions free from assumptions and biases. They are just aids and should be balanced by using our own human judgement and expertise.

It is our responsibility to ensure we are making better decisions when we appoint modern and diverse leaders.


Are your senior leaders equipped to minimise such bias and maximise better outcomes and transform leadership? Feel free to contact me at any time.

James Hunt | 07711 405444 | – Head of Membership & Development, Executive Search & Selection