AI-Based Resume Screening: Do You Actually Need It?

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From recruiters’ point of view, hiring specialists manually is a consistent routine. In the face of significant competition for qualified personnel, they have to spend a lot of time on monotonous work. 

Despite limited resources, it is necessary to reach as large an audience as possible and find suitable personnel. It takes days and months to look at identical resumes and weeks to call those who somehow fit. 

Recruiters spend 13 hours a week  looking for a candidate for just one vacancy. Not to mention that 52% of hiring professionals say that finding and selecting candidates is the most challenging part of the process. Although the search conversion is low, they must try to maintain objectivity and adequately compare those with whom they spoke today with those who came for an interview a few weeks ago.

Implementing AI elements aims to eliminate routine, reduce search time, and help maintain objectivity from start to finish.

What Is AI in Resume Screening? 

Using a wide range of machine learning algorithms and tools, AI detects all the patterns and non-obvious relationships and provides a list of the most relevant candidates to recruiters. 

The main advantage of AI is that its algorithms do not rely on intuition and analyze millions of information indicators in a matter of seconds, dividing them into different categories.

AI is constantly self-learning and optimizing solutions, given many different criteria. Therefore, the recruiter receives a list of candidates who are exactly the right company for all characteristics.

How Do Resume Screening Tools Work? 

Resume screening tools use machine learning algorithms to analyze information in PDF or Word files. Resume review tools generally fall into three categories:

  • Based on keywords: Artificial intelligence checks the resume’s keywords, phrases, and templates to distribute candidates.
  • Based on grammar: When using lists of predefined grammar rules, machine learning algorithms break down the words and phrases in summary to clearly understand each sentence.
  • Based on statistics: by analyzing the information, in summary, numerical models recognize addresses, time frames, and the meanings of specific words.

Statistical tools are the most advanced way to validate resumes. Hiring managers set specific search criteria for each category to ensure the qualification indicators are correctly set to find the right candidate.

Critical Challenges of Resume Screening That Need to Be Solved 

Resume screening is one of the main parts of automating recruiting processes. This process involves evaluating candidate information such as education, skills, experience, and interests to see if the candidate is a good fit for a particular position.

Reviewing resumes occurs after the publication of a job vacancy and before the interview stage. This process is quite complex and time-consuming are three main problems associated with reviewing resumes:

1. Number of Responses

Studies show  that recruiters receive, on average, about 250 applications for one general vacancy. Candidate screening is a relatively tedious and time-consuming recruiting process, and recruiters may likely make mistakes, leave out information, or filter out suitable candidates based on unconscious bias.

2. Hiring Quality

Here, the value that a new candidate could add to the company, in the long run, is implied. Hiring quality is considered one of the most important criteria and demonstrates the value of the recruiting department to the organization.

There are special tools for pre-screening the qualifications of candidates. They can help recruiters but will not necessarily ensure the person’s future success. But how do you ensure that a new candidate will benefit the company at the selection stage?

3. Speed

Various recruiting software types, including resume checking tools, makes it possible to hire the best candidates quickly. Considering that one vacancy generates about 250 applications, the verification process can take up to 23 hours . The process will be too slow if a recruiter has multiple open positions.

Advantages of AI-Powered Screening Tools

Although recruiters can check resumes manually, this is not an easy task. That’s why many companies use AI-based resume screening tools specifically designed to boost a job and determine if it’s the right candidate for the position. 

Here are the essential benefits of using such tools:

  • Saving time. Using AI to validate resumes saves recruiters time and increases the chances of successful hiring. Resumes are scanned for the key parameters or qualities and relevance. You only need to review the summary, which saves time.
  • Data automation. AI for resume validation helps automate the organization of hiring data. It tracks and stores important information such as application forms, resumes, and employment-related documentation, thereby processing a database of applicants.
  • Improved candidates’ quality. Many of the applications received in response to a job posting are outdated. They contain incorrect key parameters corresponding to the skill set as stated in the job description. Recruiters can save time processing hundreds of applications from unqualified applicants with resume discovery.
  • Improved candidates’ experience. AI for resume validation could make the process more efficient by facilitating communication between candidates and employers. A candidate’s extensive expertise matters when recruiting highly qualified employees. The point is that candidates may decide to leave if they don’t hear from the company’s hiring team — organization of processes based on possible options for obtaining information about the interaction and next steps.
  • Reduced prejudice. Unconscious bias can influence our decisions even if we don’t realize it. For example, a recruiter may unconsciously prefer men to women or people of a broad race or ethnicity. A large-scale workforce is essential to innovation for a company’s success. Removing unconscious biases must be a top priority to be entitled to fair treatment for all applicants. An automatic resume checker can help you find it.

Potential Risks and Concerns

While automating the selection process would save recruiters tons of time, it would be fair to say that the tools have no downsides. But still, there are risks when checking resumes with the help of AI:

  • Ignoring good results. The validation tool processed the resume with specific rules, but it can consider high requirements due to the hardness of words, qualifications, and certificates. For example, a person may be disqualified from applying for a job if they do not use the required words in their resume despite having the required skills. This can lead to losing employees who might be a perfect fit for a company.
  • Technical problems. If a resume is not formatted correctly, resume validation tools cannot scan it properly. This may be the risk that suitable candidates may be missed, resulting in the loss of opportunities for the company.

Tips for Using AI in Screening

Nevertheless, AI screening tools’ advantages make them more attractive for businesses worldwide. Having decided to give it a shot for your company, keep in mind the following simple tips to minimize the possible risks.

Tip 1: Understand how the software you are about to buy works.

 It appears essential for you to understand based on what principles and models artificial intelligence analyzes data, learns, determines meaningful patterns, and makes decisions. Otherwise, the whole might fail or end with undesired outcomes due to mistakes made at the initial stages.  

Tip 2: Be very careful with the data you give to the software.

Although AIIA-based tools learn every time they do the job, the quality of their knowledge depends on the initial data they receive. Remember that its quality and volume are critical to future results.

Tip 3: Make sure the developer company is aware of the issues of bias and is working on it.

Removing human cognitive biases is one of the biggest challenges in the hiring process. The benefits of implementing AI algorithms seem pretty effective in this respect. However, the competency of a tool in reducing bias also largely depends on its developer, not only the data it is fed with.

Tip 4: Assess potential ethical risks.

Identifying the main issues in the field of personal data collection, protection, and potential impact on the reputation and employer brand that your company may face when using new solutions is one of the critical tasks to assure the process will work well and be beneficial for the company.

And, of course, tune your recruiting process so you have a good understanding of exactly how the new tools should complement and improve the work of your recruiters. Otherwise, it can cause additional challenges to your hiring team. 

Optimizing Your Talent Acquisition Process

Although full automation is impossible in the intellectual fields of activity, machines can effectively remove part of the routine work from a person. One such area is recruitment. When deciding to move to a new company, a conversation with its representatives and future colleagues will not be replaced by any robot.

However, it can effectively find candidates that match the job description by analyzing available online information and ranking applicants’ profiles. As a result, those most suitable for a particular job will get to the interview.


Tania Doshko is a content creator at WikiJob


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By Tania Doshko