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The First Word: Are AI and chatbots revolutionising the recruitment scene in Singapore?

Singapore has become a gateway for businesses into the Southeast Asian region for many looking to expand their businesses. The city-state has not only emerged as one of the top hirers in the region, but a growing number of multinational companies have also begun setting up their Asia-Pacific headquarters on its shores. It is certainly a country to watch. 

The latest report by the Ministry of Manpower showed that in the first quarter of 2023, the number of job vacancies has dipped, yet there are 228 vacancies available for every 100 unemployed persons in Singapore. To nobody’s surprise, glaring disparity underscores the critical challenge that most HR professionals face — talent acquisition. Finding and retaining suitable candidates among the large pool of applicants has proven to be an arduous process for HR professionals, and has plagued the industry for the longest time. As Singapore rebounds from the pandemic crash and moves into an increasingly digital era, it becomes imperative to look into the ways that new technologies can ease the recruitment process.

Digitising recruitment processes 

Singapore’s government has taken a proactive approach to the technological revolution by allocating S$200 million towards enhancing digital capabilities. Implementing digital solution plans, expansive digital ventures and an accelerated professional training regimen has propelled the digital transformation of enterprises. As Singapore’s digital revolution accelerates, embracing new technologies has become critical for businesses to stay competitive. 

AI has also been increasingly integrated into HR processes, recent findings have shown that 96% of HR professionals believe that AI plays a pivotal role in enhancing talent acquisition and retention, by predicting employee success. This, however, creates a capability vacuum for many organisations that require additional support to effectively leverage new technology in order to recruit talent. This sparked a growing demand for third-party platforms that offer technological solutions for companies to maximise the benefits of AI and stay afloat in the competitive landscape. Instead of following the traditional approach where HR recruiters are required to craft job descriptions manually or to sift through thousands of resumes to identify highly relevant applicants, companies are now looking for a solution that effectively streamlines these traditional approaches for a more effective recruitment process that saves both time and effort. 

Optimising recruitment with AI 

The iterative design of AI is constantly evolving, and human resource strategies are moving in tandem. Around 67% of HR professionals believe that AI holds the potential to positively impact the recruitment process, by freeing up the recruiter’s time, offering valuable insights, and ultimately, making the recruiter’s job easier. The advent of AI-powered talent recommendations helps employers connect with relevant talents, without having to manually sift through applications. Their robust algorithms have the capability to analyse resumes in an instant to connect recruiters to promising job-seekers and conduct simulated interviews to shortlist worthy candidates. AI will not only automate the process but also produce more accurate and targeted results. By using extensive and rigorous data and systemic analysis, AI-generated matches are rooted in rationality and logic, providing more objective insight into who will excel in your organisation.

AI-powered platforms are revolutionising the job-seeking process as well. Instead of manually crafting a resume, job-seekers will only need to fill up a simple form and the model will automatically generate an online resume by distilling the important information into optimised keywords, increasing their probability of finding a suitable job. The AI model also recommends positions that align with their preferences and experience, narrowing down the number of positions that applicants have to comb through to find the perfect match. The duplex/bi-directional chat function also allows hopeful applicants to contact recruiters and vice versa, for greater exposure to a wide range of opportunities. 

Apart from recruitment, AI models can add value to the job posting process by crafting smart job descriptions and quick responses to keep up with the high volume of job applicants. AI-generated texts often pick up on key points intuitively upon the provision of basic data, thereby expediting the process and increasing clickability.  For instance, we have witnessed some of our partners increase the chances of compatibility between recruiters and candidates after incorporating Bossjob’s built-in AI tools that offer a seamless user experience for both job-seekers and employers. 

Navigating information asymmetry

While online job portals offer an array of benefits, it is important to understand and acknowledge their limitations. A common issue HR professionals face is that AI models, and even HR teams, can overlook details when hiring, resulting in a discrepancy of information between recruiters and candidates — this is often referred to as information asymmetry, or “hidden information”.

Our findings indicate that direct communication serves as an effective approach to combat information asymmetry, which is why many resort to face-to-face interviews to ensure alignment between job seekers and recruiters. HR professionals can attest that interviews can be time-consuming and disappointing, especially after finding out that the candidate is unsuitable at the end of the day. In order to streamline this process, Bossjob has embedded a chatbot model within the app to facilitate direct communication between candidates and recruiters. This aims to enhance transparency, thereby enhancing efficiency and suitability before advancing to the interview stage. 

The future is AI

With Singapore’s economy picking up traction, the employment outlook for the next three months remains positive. 64.8% of businesses in Singapore have said they plan to hire more workers, and employment sentiment has remained buoyant in the first quarter of 2023. It is a tight race among companies to capture the cream of the crop and secure suitable talent. In a time of fierce competition, turning towards AI-powered platforms like Bossjob would give you a huge edge when it comes to finding the right candidates.


 

About the authorkiathow

Bossjob’s Co-founder and COO, Kiat How Quak graduated from the University of London, worked with online travel platform Skyscanner, brought a mom-and-pop laundry business online with its transport fleet and chain outlets, has 12 years of financial and management experience

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Chief of Staff Asia