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12th Jun, 2023

Craig Lewis
Craig Lewis
Job Title
Senior Content Writer

From pre-screening CVs and interview scheduling to chatbots, there are a host of ways automation has changed the face of recruitment. 

But is the continued march towards an automated process what candidates want or is there still a role for human interaction? 

The ultimate goal is to create a process which is both efficiently automated and humanly personalised, one which finds the perfect balance for accessing, engaging and retaining talent. 

How organisations achieve that balance and make the process as inclusive as possible in the ever-changing world of work is an ongoing challenge. 

The benefits of automation: 

Adding automation to the recruitment process comes with a host of benefits, enabling recruiters to hire the best candidates in less time by simplifying processes from sourcing to onboarding, creating a seamless, efficient experience for both recruiter and candidate. 

Ben Park, the Senior Vice President of Technology at intelligent automation consultancy Tquila Automation said automation has, and continues to, drive improvements across the recruitment lifecycle.  

Ben said: “The outcomes of these automations invariably can be categorised as either improvements to the candidate experience or, perhaps more traditionally, improvements to the operational efficiency of the recruitment firm or talent acquisition team doing the hiring. 

“We are already seeing automation dramatically improve everything from intelligent conversational agents used for candidate attraction to natural language processing used to read CVs and machine learning used to rank them, to AI solutions for identity verification during the final stages of vetting.  

“The sheer volume of solutions on offer is huge, is continuously growing, and become increasingly capable as the technologies that sit behind them evolve and mature.” 

Why the personal touch remains vital:  

Despite the obvious benefits of automation, it is also true that the human element remains imperative to finding and recruiting the right candidates. 

Hiring managers have skills which add real value to the process and cannot simply be replicated by technology, while candidates remain more likely to trust a recruiter who communicates with them, offering help and guidance.  

Ben said there are two central reasons why human interaction remains vital to the recruitment process. 

“Firstly, people still like to speak to people,” he said.  

“In the recruitment journey, a candidate’s own personal circumstances may dictate that they need a more personal touch. This might be their first job and they’ve never applied for a role before. Or they may be an executive who’s been approached about a CEO hire. 

“In both these situations, a human approach is the correct one for much of the engagement and is required because, at least for now, automation will not be able to provide the necessary support, guidance or degree of personalisation required to do justice to the process.  

“Secondly, humans possess a degree of intuition, often based on personal experience, that an AI or automated system may never replicate. An AI may be trained with all the data on the internet, but it will never possess the intuition of a recruiter with 20 years’ experience, and arguably never will.” 

Efficiently automated and humanly personalised:  

The future of the recruitment process will undoubtedly be a blend of automation and human interaction, with the technology providing insights, streamlining the process, and helping free up HR and hiring managers. 

Real people, meanwhile, will provide reassurance, that personal touch and the ability to create a positive candidate experience.  

Ben added: “There is no simple answer here. The truth is that some levels of engagement may be more suitable for automation than others, and may even benefit the candidate experience, but arguably there should always be a route through to a human if required.” 

He said the most important thing is that the candidate experience “should be seamless within the context of the recruitment journey and, where possible, frictionless - organisations should not look to place synthetic barriers to human engagement. 

“The design of the processes that support the candidate journey, and equally the design of the automation solutions in place across this journey, must, therefore, also take into consideration the need for the ‘human in the loop’ to avoid this being an afterthought in the rush for value release through automation technologies.”  

  • Hear more from Ben, Director of Workforce Operations at Microsoft, Deborah Shakespeare, Chief Executive at TALiNT Partners, Ken Brotherston, and Managing Director of Reed Talent Solutions’ Contingent Workforce Solutions, Julie Hinchcliffe on our FREE webinar, ‘Getting the right mix: Blending automation and human interaction to enhance the candidate experience’. Watch it here

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