Research & Best Practices

‘Get Me to a Human’: Key Recruiting Functions that Still Require People

Veteran recruiting executives know human resources and recruiting are moving more and more rapidly into the technological space. Whether applicant tracking systems (ATS), vendor management systems, background screening applications, and automated reference checking, to name just a few – automation offers assistance in more and more recruiting functions.

The new technology generates a lot of buzz, and rightly so. However, key players in the marketplace, in their excitement, can easily lose sight of the more essential, human element. And companies may do so to their detriment:

• Job applicants often feel trapped in a recruiting algorithm, and find the lack of a human touch and human judgment in the hiring process as leading reasons application processes are difficult. Four of the top five reasons in a recent survey on the topic describe frustration with automation in the initial application process.1

• Candidates make a judgment about the fairness of the organization, and thus their enthusiasm, early in the process2. It’s called a “fairness heuristic” (a rule of thumb about fairness based on the limited information available to a job candidate during recruiting), placing a premium on humane, equitable treatment early in the recruiting process. And that often means feeling they are heard, speaking with someone.

• New hires either get early support or undermined in their first 90 days from colleagues and co-workers -and a lot hangs in the balance. Early support from colleagues and supervisors shows a strong relationship with performance outcomes later3. That early support starts at the very beginning of the recruiting process, starting from sourcing, to screening and interviewing.

Bottom line: It’s the human element that can make or break the talent acquisition process, from sourcing, screening and interviewing through to onboarding. This is particularly true with “people-centric” organizations that rely heavily on interpersonal skills of frontline employees to set the right tone with customers. You need people to find the best people.

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