Hard to Smart: How to Transition from Recruiting Automation to Talent Intelligence

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A large barrier to AI acceptance in the talent acquisition world is the confusion between the capabilities of automation and AI.

The benefits of AI sound like extreme hype if it’s understood as mere automation. Automation tools, which are widely used in the industry today, allow talent acquisition teams to do more of what they already do, but more quickly, serving a similar purpose as hiring more junior recruiters.
In contrast, AI solutions, which are just hitting the HR tech marketplace, help talent professionals make better, more informed decisions. Oftentimes AI solutions include automation, so AI also lets recruiting teams do more with less. The key difference between AI and automation lies in the “more” part—AI’s “more” is imbued with far greater intelligence than recruiters have on their own today. Automation only lets recruiters do more of the same. The AI-enabled “more” is not the same, it’s better.

Implementing AI is like giving all those additional junior recruiters access to a tireless, limitless, always on predictive solution with decades of experience. AI won’t only help companies improve their judgment when it comes to hiring, though. When getting quality candidates through the door becomes much less of a burden, talent acquisition teams will get to focus on being strategic partners in their organizations who directly contribute to driving company growth.


Let’s explore a sampling of cases where AI is beginning to transform not just the way recruiters work, but the way they make decisions, across select parts of the hiring process.


Marketing automation took the business world by storm over the last five years. The talent industry benefited greatly from marketing automation tools like Symphony Talent, Ascendify, and others by being able to centrally track email campaigns and follow up on candidate conversations automatically, at scale. AI assistants like Textio are now influencing what recruiters say to candidates by helping recruiters write better job listings, providing real-time writing guidance based on the hiring outcomes of over 10 million jobs posted a month.


What about the inbound side of recruitment, where candidates are interested and coming to employers? Perhaps the top complaint of job seekers is that they overwhelmingly don’t receive responses to their job applications. On the employer end, the volume of interested but unqualified candidates for each open position is simply too great for recruiters to keep up with personalized responses. Responses and rejection letters have begun to be automated, but lack the personalization required to maintain a solid brand identity. AI can offer a better candidate experience.

Dozens of companies are offering chatbots like Mya to bridge the current information gap between applicants and companies. Chatbots are AI systems that communicate with candidates through text in a human-like manner. They can ask and answer basic questions, send reminders and status updates, handle interview scheduling, and even kindly recommend other job openings to rejected candidates. Because chatbots have the ability to ask questions and process answers, they have the potential to better prepare candidates and recruiters for the interview.


Ways for employers to test candidate skills, cognitive abilities, motivations, and personalities such as tests and interviews have long existed in automated form, but are limited in their ability to predict candidate success. Companies like Pymetrics are making assessments predictive by developing machine learning algorithms based on assessments of existing employees. HireVue is taking assessment a step further through video interviewing. It delivers not just a platform for managing video interviews for entry level hires, but analyses of candidates’ facial expressions, tone of voice, and choice of words against other candidates to recommend the best ones for an in-person interview.

See the difference between automation and AI? Wading through the hype around recruiting AI is difficult, but knowing what separates automation from true AI is a great first step to understanding the changes to come. All of the solutions highlighted here address the middle of the hiring funnel. Identifying the absolute best person for every opportunity is why Censia is doing for sourcing through data and modeling what other AI companies are doing for the rest of the recruiting process: providing solutions that aren’t only faster and cheaper, but more intelligent.

Learn more about our solutions and technology here to see the difference for yourself.

Further Reading

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About the author

Joanna Riley
By Joanna Riley
CEO and Co-Founder of Censia. Joanna Riley is a seasoned entrepreneur and passionate advocate for diversity in technology.