the importance of human intervention in the automated future of recruitment

future recruitmentOrganizations are becoming increasingly dependent on technology to attract and hire best talent. Most recruitment leaders believe that there has never been a better time for HR managers to explore and leverage technology for talent management. Based on the survey of more than 800 talent acquisition leaders, Randstad Sourceright’s Talent Trends Research revealed that when it comes to searching for talent, 51% of employers prefer initial screening to be mostly or completely automated. The same percentage of respondents agreed that automation is useful for tracking HR data/metrics and for the creation and management of HR analytics. However, as much as automation is making recruitment processes easier and more objective, employers still consider human touch and personal intervention to be crucial for some of the hiring processes. The evolution of talent acquisition and management has made it necessary for recruitment leaders to consider the right mix of technology and human involvement in the management of human capital.

automation can make recruitment impersonal

Automated Tracking System (ATS) has no doubt made it easier for recruiters to follow up with candidates, however, it has made recruitment quite impersonal. Every touch point with candidates is crucial for establishing a personal connect, especially the initial rounds of communication where the candidate is fast establishing that all important first impression of the employer brand. In a survey of 1200 candidates by Randstad U.S., 87% of job applicants indicated technology makes the recruitment process impersonal while 82% said that technology should be used behind-the-scenes only. The survey revealed that many candidates apply in companies using online recruitment tools, and never receive any revert from potential employers about the status of their application. These findings reiterate the importance of integrating both technology and human touch in the hiring process.

AI cannot empathize the way humans can

Every job applicant is unique when it comes to temperament and emotional intelligence. Many applicants can be in a vulnerable state of mind during the job application and interview process given the importance of the task at hand. Machines are not well equipped to manage this reality effectively by considering the candidates’ emotions and responding with empathy.Research well establishes that general mental ability (GMA) is the best predictor of overall job performance across fields and levels. In a time where finding the right talent is as critical as it is a challenge, emotional intelligence on the part of recruiters cannot be undermined. This is why smart employers prefer to retain human engagement at the later stages of their hiring process. To name a few, Facebook and Pandora made their recruitment practices more inclusive in order to enhance their candidate experience. The ability to empathize, show compassion and exhibit persuasive traits are and will continue to be highly valuable to modern recruitment.

AI is not fully ready (yet) to avoid bias

HRMEliminating bias from the recruitment process is critical to the effectiveness of HRM. Employers deploy several measures to remove bias such as rehashing job descriptions, setting diversity parameters, etc. while hiring. However, human insight is needed to identify such social biases and diversity gaps. Even though humans are more prone to biases, they also have the cognitive and emotional capabilities to spot biases and rectify processes to eliminate them. AI often fails to recognize societal biases in its algorithms, which can result in highly lopsided and prejudiced hiring decisions. Due to similar evidence of concerning gender bias, Amazon had to disband its recruiting tool. The e-commerce giant’s machine learning system used for hiring self-learnt algorithms which preferred men as candidates over women.

Progressive organizations recognize that as much as it is necessary to adopt modern technologies for talent management, it is also important to augment those with human intervention. It is easier to introduce and manage change through employees due to their adaptive capabilities. Development programs can help employees learn to better combine their cognitive abilities with innovative technological means. Their flexibility and the capacity to self-learn and develop cannot be undermined when it comes to a function as human-centric as recruitment. Essentially, while AI and machine learning continue to revolutionize modern recruitment practices, human touch remains a crucial aspect of HRM.