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Why human interaction is the 'killer app' for recruiters

Sharon Florentine | March 31, 2017
In an age of automation, recruiters must focus their energy on higher-value, high-touch activities that emphasize personal connection to help attract and retain the best talent.

Human interaction is something job seekers crave, too, which means they're likely to respond positively to sourcers and recruiters who augment technological approaches with a more personal touch.

 

Pros and cons

A new survey from Beyond.com of 6,000 job seekers found that the majority, 56 percent, felt that technology has already made the interview process too impersonal, with more than half reporting that commonly used video technologies like Skype interfere with a hiring manager's ability to accurately evaluate a candidate's soft skills.

The survey did reveal, though, that job seekers acknowledge the ways technology has made the job search process easier; 73 percent say it's made the search and recruiting part of a job search easier, according to the Beyond.com report. But when it comes down to it, job seekers still want other human beings to make the final decision when it comes to hiring, says Joe Weinlick, senior vice president with Beyond.com.

"Job seekers are scared by the specter of a computer interviewing them or making the hiring decision. At the same time, people have come to embrace technology in many areas of job search, with most people searching for jobs almost entirely online, relying on computers to match them with appropriate jobs. While it's likely that one day most job seekers will embrace a greater role for technology in the interview process, today companies that are eager to employ interviewing technology would be wise to include an option for some old-fashioned personal interaction if they want to attract all candidates," Weinlick says.

It's an augmentation approach. By focusing on these very human activities now, at the early stages of automation, sourcers and recruiters can gain a competitive edge and bring the best talent available to their open roles.

"You have to do things a bit differently, but there are so many places in this process where humans are and will remain invaluable. See what tech you need to get on top of this, and then use it to free up your time to devote to these more high-value activities," says Roberts.

 

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