22% of people in Scotland have used AI when applying for a job

The rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools in professional settings is becoming increasingly evident, with recent research by Hays revealing significant trends among workers in Scotland. According to the study, nearly a quarter (22%) of professionals in Scotland have leveraged AI tools when applying for jobs. This figure mirrors the 22% who intend to use AI for future job applications. Furthermore, 24% of professionals in Scotland have already integrated AI into their current roles.


AI Tools Enhancing Job Applications and Roles

With feedback from almost 12,000 professionals and employers across the UK, including close to 500 respondents from Scotland, the research highlights the growing reliance on AI in the job market. AI tools, commonly used to craft CVs or cover letters, are becoming a staple for many job seekers. Interestingly, the trend isn’t just a Scottish phenomenon; it’s part of a broader UK movement. Nearly half (49%) of UK professionals report higher success rates when using AI during their job applications, with this number rising to 61% among individuals aged 25 to 29.


Employers and AI: A Slower Uptake

Despite the increasing use of AI among job seekers, employers are slower to adopt these technologies for evaluating applications. Only 9% of organisations currently use AI tools to scan CVs or score candidates. However, there is a clear shift on the horizon, as approximately 29% of employers plan to increase their use of AI for these purposes in the future.

Keith Mason, a director at Hays, emphasises the importance of transparency and authenticity in this evolving landscape. “While a candidate might use AI in an application, it’s important that they’re also authentic and not over-reliant on the technology. The job application is only one part of the recruitment process. AI can also be efficiently used by employers in the initial sift if there are multiple applications, as this should overcome any bias and reduce the time taken to screen applicants.”


Transparency in AI Usage

The research underscores the necessity for transparency in the use of AI during hiring processes. A significant majority (81%) of professionals prefer to be informed if a hiring organisation uses AI to assess job applications. However, only 54% of UK employers currently disclose this information.

Mason continues, “It’s positive to see how AI tools might support both candidates during the job application process and professionals in their day-to-day roles. But it could be cause for concern if this becomes the norm as we don’t want the next generation to lose the art of good communication and the ability to articulate a balanced written debate. Again, a good interviewer will see beyond this and hire for potential based on the interview.”


The Human Element in Recruitment

While AI is transforming job applications and professional roles, it is crucial to remember the irreplaceable value of human interaction. Mason concludes, “Whilst machine learning is advancing at a rapid pace, in most jobs people will work with other people every day, so soft skills are key. AI will never replace the human element of getting to know someone as part of the recruitment process. Good people skills will always shine through.”

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