Can AI replace people in recruitment?

Can AI Replace People in Recruitment?

With the advancement of AI, there’s one question we’re getting asked a lot – Can AI replace people in recruitment? Well, the simple answer is no. 

In this blog we look at the role AI plays in recruitment and what the future holds but first and foremost we want to get one thing out of the way. AI will be a partner to recruiters, not a replacement.   

The journey of AI in the recruitment sector dates back to the early 2000s, where the FMCG industry, known for its dynamic market demands and high turnover rates, was among the early adopters. 

Since then, AI in recruitment has brought numerous advantages, especially for fast-paced sectors like FMCG. These include enhanced efficiency in sorting through large volumes of applications, reducing human bias and identifying the best candidates based on data-driven insights. AI-powered tools can quickly analyse resumes, assess candidate skills and even predict future job performance. 

That said, the challenges at the higher end of the marketing isn’t about sifting through large volumes of candidates but utilising human interaction to recognise potential in candidates. Sifting through resumes is a great time saver but if overly-strict thresholds are used, AI could force businesses to miss talent they can’t afford to. 

That means integration of AI is not without its drawbacks. Concerns have already been raised about the potential for AI to overlook the nuances of human experience and the unique qualities that candidates bring beyond their resumes. Additionally, over-reliance on AI can lead to a lack of a personal touch in recruitment, which is crucial in understanding a candidate’s true potential and fit for a company’s culture. 

Despite this, one thing that cannot be argued is the growing adoption of AI in FMCG recruitment. A recent survey revealed that more than 60% of FMCG companies now use some form of AI in their recruitment, a significant increase from a decade ago. So, as we answer the question, ‘Can AI replace people in recruitment?’, what does the future hold for AI in recruitment? 


To fully leverage the potential of AI in recruitment, it’s essential to understand and implement it in a way that augments human capabilities rather than replacing them. Here’s how recruitment can benefit from AI: 

1. Automating Routine Tasks: One of AI’s most significant contributions is automating mundane, repetitive tasks such as sorting through resumes and initial candidate screening. This automation not only speeds up the process but also allows human recruiters to focus on more complex and interpersonal aspects of recruitment. 

2. Data-Driven Decision Making: AI can analyse large sets of data to provide insights that humans might overlook. This includes predicting a candidate’s job performance based on their career history and skillset, enabling more informed decision-making in the recruitment process. 

3. Enhancing Candidate Experience: AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can improve candidate engagement by providing immediate responses and personalised communication. This use of AI enhances the candidate experience, making them feel valued and informed throughout the recruitment process. 

4. Reducing Bias: By relying on data and programmed algorithms, AI can help mitigate unconscious biases that often occur in human-led recruitments. This leads to a more diverse and inclusive workforce, which is especially crucial in sectors like FMCG, where consumer insights drive innovation. 

5. Predictive Analytics: AI can be used for predictive analytics in recruitment, helping businesses forecast future hiring needs based on market trends and company growth projections. This proactive approach ensures a more strategic and efficient recruitment process. 

By incorporating these AI-driven strategies, recruitment can be transformed into a more efficient, fair and strategic function. The key lies in striking the right balance between technological efficiency and human judgment, ensuring AI acts as an enhancer rather than a replacement. 


Despite the advancements in AI, there are elements in the recruitment process that are inherently human-centric and cannot be replicated by technology. Here’s why human involvement remains crucial: 

1. Emotional Intelligence: Human recruiters possess emotional intelligence, which is essential for understanding the nuances of human behaviour and interactions. This understanding is critical in assessing a candidate’s cultural fit, personal values and adaptability to team dynamics, aspects that AI cannot fully comprehend or evaluate. 

2. Complex Decision-Making: Recruitment often involves complex decision-making that requires intuition, ethical judgment and consideration of varied human factors. AI can provide data-driven insights but the final decisions often hinge on human experience and instinct, especially when evaluating soft skills that don’t always reflect in data. 

3. Building Relationships: Recruitment is not just about filling a position but also about building long-term relationships with candidates. Humans excel in establishing trust, empathy and understanding, fostering a connection that encourages candidates to engage and consider future opportunities. 

4. Navigating Ambiguity and Change: The recruitment landscape is ever-changing, with new roles, skillsets and industry demands regularly emerging. Humans can navigate these changes with adaptability and creativity, something AI, which relies on historical data and set algorithms, cannot. 

5. Ethical and Legal Considerations: Human recruiters are essential in ensuring that the recruitment process adheres to ethical standards and legal requirements. They play a critical role in making judgments about fairness, privacy and compliance that AI systems are not equipped to handle. 

6. Personalised Feedback and Guidance: Providing personalised feedback and career guidance to candidates is a uniquely human attribute. It adds value to the recruitment process, helping candidates grow professionally. 


The future of AI in FMCG recruitment is an exciting one. AI is expected to evolve beyond its current capabilities, enabling even more personalised candidate experiences and predictive analytics. This could involve AI-powered chatbots that provide real-time interaction with candidates or advanced analytics to predict candidate success in specific roles. 

As we look towards the next one to three years, the landscape of AI in recruitment is poised for significant advancements. The integration of AI technologies is expected to become more seamless, predictive and tailored to individual industry needs, including the FMCG sector.  

One significant future trend is the emergence of hybrid recruitment models. These models blend AI efficiency with human intuition and emotional intelligence.  

Despite these developments though, the fact will remain that humans provide an intangible element to recruitment that cannot be replaced. Instead, AI will maximise our potential as humans by taking care of the mundane admin tasks while we maximise our skillsets elsewhere.  

If you’d like to understand how Signature can help you maximise your recruitment strategies, contact a member of the team today.  

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