Using AI In Recruiting To Identify Unconventional Candidates

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February 3, 2019

RecruitBot’s guiding technological principle is that filtering resumes is best done via machine learning. In other words, unlike most every other program designed to expedite the resume-filtering portion of the hiring process, RecruitBot doesn’t use keyword searches, but relies instead on proprietary (and much more effective) machine learning algorithms.

We believe that there are very good reasons for our decision—potential candidates often stuff their resumes with buzzwords, effectively neutralizing the filtering aspects of a keyword search, for example. But more importantly, in relying primarily on keyword searching to triage resumes, recruiting teams can often set their companies on a path to insularity, since that process encourages setting up search parameters that generate the same pool of candidates, time after time. They end up searching for people of the same education, professional rank, and work experience of the people already employed at their company, because that’s what they know to value.

And because they’ve been incentivized to focus only on a particular type of candidate, recruiters are either unable or unwilling to seek out non-traditional candidates. Unable, because they aren’t used to thinking outside the box, and unwilling, because they’re afraid to take a chance on an unknown quantity.

But because RecruitBot uses machine learning algorithms to sort through resumes, it can easily find qualified candidates outside of a company’s specific industry that might fall through the cracks of a traditional resume filter that focuses only on keywords. And because it’s just a collection of algorithms, RecruitBot isn’t afraid to recommend candidates that might not be carbon copies of past employees.


And that brings up an obvious question: what are the benefits to bringing in candidates from outside your industry? We’ve thought a lot about this, so here are a few of our answers:

  • As we touched on in our first blog post, diversity in all its forms leads to a fresh approach to problem solving and inspires innovation. While that entry focused narrowly on gender and racial diversity, injecting fresh blood into the company in the form of experiential and educational diversity will achieve similar positive outcomes, such as a diversity of ideas and a workforce more able to innovate through creative approaches to problem solving.
  • A willingness to hire outside your industry obviously widens your talent pool, leading to a higher likelihood of finding a broader and more diverse set of candidates. It also improves your odds of finding an all-star candidate.
  • It’s often cheaper to hire outside of your industry. A competitor’s star employee might be paid above-market rates to keep him or her happy, so hiring that person away might be prohibitively expensive. Or, perhaps it’s difficult to target people at competitors within your industry because they’ve all signed non-compete clauses; that’s not a problem if you’re looking outside your industry.

In any event, an endless cycling of employees within an industry just leads to the repetition and recycling of the same stale ideas; it doesn’t incubate innovation or provide solutions to problems that your industry might not have anticipated. By hiring outside of your industry, you can break that cycle and help set your company on a path to long-term stability and growth.

But don’t take our word for it; many huge companies, such as IBM and General Motors, have enjoyed high levels of success by hiring CEOs outside of their industry. If it worked for them, it will probably work for you, too.

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