AI isn’t just a buzzword in recruitment anymore

It’s already starting to transform traditional recruitment processes and helping agencies achieve new levels of efficiency.

A recent survey of Bullhorn customers revealed that 63% have started using generative AI, and 54% plan to roll out new AI-driven solutions within a year. If you’re not already using AI during the hiring process, now is the time to prepare your business. AI can streamline your processes, increase team productivity, and help you realise more value from your database.

To fully reap the benefits of AI, businesses shouldn’t just give their teams access to it and hope for the best. Instead, recruitment agencies must prepare their systems, teams, and strategies to ensure strong adoption of AI and lasting success. That may seem like a big hill to climb, but don’t worry; we’ve summarised everything you need to know to successfully implement AI within your recruitment agency so you can spend less time troubleshooting and more time transforming.


To make the most of AI, everyone at a recruitment agency should understand what AI is and how it can impact the hiring process.

Use these FAQs to get started!

What is AI? How does AI relate to automation?

While automation focuses on completing repetitive tasks without human intervention, AI takes automation to the next level.

AI leverages intelligent algorithms to make data-driven decisions. It can analyse data, identify patterns, and make predictions or recommendations based on that analysis.

Combining the power of automation and AI enables recruitment agencies to optimise their operations, improve the candidate and client experience, and drive business growth.

What are the types of staffing AI?

From crafting outreach to identifying key opportunities, recruitment agencies can apply AI across the talent lifecycle.

To keep things simple, we’ve broken down staffing AI into three categories:

  • Generative AI enables the creation of customised content and communications, optimising engagement with candidates and clients.
  • Sourcing AI facilitates efficient talent acquisition by identifying suitable candidates from your existing database and external job boards.
  • Directive AI helps recruiters focus on what matters by suggesting action items, flagging at-risk opportunities, and summarising interactions.

What are the benefits of AI?

AI can help recruitment agencies in a number of ways, including:

  • Increased efficiency: Automate tasks such as resume screening, candidate outreach, and scheduling interviews to free up recruiters to focus on more strategic tasks.
  • Improved decision-making: Analyse large amounts of data to identify patterns and trends that would otherwise be difficult to see. This can help recruitment agencies make smarter decisions about submissions, business development, and more.
  • Personalised experiences: Personalise the candidate and client experience by generating targeted outreach messages, recommending jobs that are a good fit for candidates, and creating client-specific communications.

The path to AI adoption success

To prepare your business for successful AI implementation and adoption, follow this path to success:

1. Centralise and standardise your data

AI requires a large volume of clean data to operate effectively.

Recruitment agencies should invest in a cloud-based ATS/CRM that acts as the single source of truth for the entire business, from front-office candidate information to back-office data.

Once that’s in place, building an integrated tech stack to connect each tool will ensure important data doesn’t fall through the cracks, helping teams provide a superior candidate and client experience.

Prioritising the digitisation of your candidate and client information and establishing a centralised data repository are critical initial steps for harnessing the full potential of AI.

Ready to digitise your data and centralise your systems? Here’s how to make it happen:
Develop your data collection and hygiene strategies
Build out your workflows with data in mind

2. Unleash automation

You can have automation without AI, but you can’t have AI without automation.

Automation is crucial to AI because it allows AI systems to perform tasks at scale that would otherwise be difficult and time-consuming for humans to do. For example, AI systems can use automation to analyse large amounts of candidate profiles or analyse years of submission data in seconds.

Leverage automation to kickstart your data hygiene strategy so AI can unlock more value from your database when it’s implemented. Start by identifying missing information, like email addresses or phone numbers.

Once you have clean data, let automation optimise and standardise your processes even further so AI can have a greater impact over time.

3. Set up policies for security, compliance, and regulations

AI adoption must be done responsibly, taking into account all applicable security, compliance, and regulations.

Establishing robust policies ensures that AI is used responsibly and ethically, safeguarding the interests of both clients and candidates.

Before adding AI to your team’s toolkit, establish policies that govern the use of AI within your organisation and ensure that your internal teams adhere to these policies, whether that’s guidance on handling sensitive information or limiting which tools employees have access to.

Just like privacy policies and terms of use, AI policies are crucial for maintaining trust with your employees, clients, and candidates.

Looking for more guidance on the ethical and legal implications to think about when implementing AI? Here are some key items to consider.

4. Choose the right partners

When adopting AI, it is essential to partner with companies that understand the unique challenges and opportunities AI brings to the staffing industry.

Look for AI technology providers that prioritise compliance and data integrity while also monitoring and adhering to global, national, and regional AI regulations.

Remember, adopting AI is not just about using the newest piece of technology; it’s about solving critical problems and driving growth in your business.

5. Start testing

Get ready, get set, test!

Start experimenting with free generative AI tools. Play around, try different things, and share your learnings with your team. Practice using different kinds of prompts to achieve the desired results – small tweaks in how you design your prompts can make a big difference to the outcome!

This hands-on approach will help you understand the capabilities and limitations of AI, paving the way for successful (and lasting) adoption. From there, your team can explore more extensive ways to bring AI into the recruitment process, helping speed up routine tasks that are being done manually each day.

How recruitment agencies are leveraging AI right now

Once you’ve laid the foundation and formulated your implementation plan, it’s time to start using AI to transform the hiring process.

Our recent AI survey revealed that 52% of Bullhorn customers are using AI to upgrade their internal systems and become faster and more efficient.

Another 38% are using AI to optimise and improve the candidate experience.

What does this look like in practice? Here’s how recruitment agencies are using AI right now:

Streamline the process of crafting personalised and impactful communication with potential candidates, optimising engagement and fostering lasting relationships.

Leverage AI-driven summarisation tools to facilitate efficient data processing, enabling recruiters to quickly and accurately evaluate candidate profiles.

Deliver tailored and insightful communications to clients with the help of AI, fostering a heightened level of engagement and satisfaction.

Facilitate seamless candidate-job matching by ensuring strong alignment between candidate skill sets and client requirements, thus expediting the hiring process.

Speed up the resume formatting process to enhance the presentation of candidate profiles and maximise the potential of each candidate.

The future of staffing AI

Preparing your business for AI adoption is a strategic move that can revolutionize your operations and drive growth.

By understanding the basics of AI, leveraging the right AI technologies, and following a systematic approach, you can unlock the full potential of AI in your recruitment agency.

If you haven’t started to explore AI tools yet, don’t panic! Using AI during the staffing process will soon become table stakes, so now is the time to prepare your team and Bullhorn is here to help.

Bullhorn Copilot is a suite of AI recruiter capabilities in development at Bullhorn, designed to embed the power of artificial intelligence (AI) directly into recruiter workflows across the recruitment process.

With a focus on elevating the work of recruiters, Copilot will help cut down time spent on manual tasks, empower your team to work at a higher level regardless of their experience, and free up time for them to focus on relationship-building.

Learn more about the future of staffing AI