Feelings Cannot Be Automated in Recruiting

Back in 2010, just about every headline had something to do with replacing the recruiter with a machine. Everyone wanted recruiting to be automated, with artificial intelligence taking the reins and leaving recruiters behind in the past. 

Recruiters were out. Machines were in.

And chatbots were born. They were supposed to get smarter as more people interacted with them, popping up to say hello as soon as someone clicked on your website. You could ask them just about anything, and they’d search for keywords in an attempt to answer your questions.

But at the end of the day? People prefer people. That’s why people still dial zero for an operator when met with a robot on the other end of a phone call. 

Let’s get real: not much has happened since chatbots came into existence. They sucked then, and they still suck now.

It may have been machine vs. recruiter, but it’s pretty obvious who won. Clearly the recruiter hasn’t gotten killed off yet. 

What Can’t the Machine Do?

Everyone who calls me describes one consistency: that there is absolutely no consistency. Recruiting is consistently inconsistent, which is a problem machines were supposed to fix. 

Why is that? People tend to think that automation and augmented writing are the answer — that they will automatically make everything consistent.

That’s just not the case. Automation can only create one baseline. And the reality? There are so many more types of people in the world. Different kinds of people are applying for different kinds of jobs. Robots can’t adapt to real people with real wants and needs. A chatbot can recognize a word, sure, but the one thing it can’t recognize? Feelings.

If we still need to teach people how to be better communicators, how can we expect a machine to have that mastered when we’re the ones who made the machines? It starts with us — learning and teaching each other how to speak to other humans. The machine just isn’t a part of that equation. 

In other words, you create consistent recruiter performance through better communication.  

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Say What? Value of Better Talent Communication 

There’s a lot of value in teaching recruiters to communicate consistently. 

Fill jobs faster with the right people. The hiring process is long, exhausting, and intimidating for both employers and candidates alike. And sometimes things don’t even work out after all of the effort to fill a position. If recruiters know how to communicate, positions will be filled quicker, and better candidates will be placed.

Retain candidates because you hired the right person in the first place. When the wrong candidate is brought in, it can set both a company and candidate’s life back by months as they scramble to reconfigure. But when a recruiter knows how to discuss a role effectively and communicate with a candidate, they can assess just who they’re hiring ahead of time — and if it’s going to work out for both parties.

People apply. Point blank. Have you ever tried to maintain a conversation with someone who struggles to communicate? Imagine how that feels for a candidate who just wants to land the right position. When your recruiters are able to describe a role in a better job posting that sells, candidates will apply.

Makes recruiters respected. Recruiters need to be the authority on the position they are working to fill. Communicating effectively and consistently will garner respect from candidates and ensure that they feel like they are entering into a reliable space.

The Hiring Process Is an Emotional One

The one thing that has always made humans stand out from the rest is our ability to feel. In a world where someone’s career impacts their day-to-day life on such a large scale, the hiring process can be an emotional one. 

That’s why removing feelings from the process just isn’t an option. Machines don’t get people, and feelings can’t be automated. You have to be able to communicate and adapt in real time to be a great recruiter — not use more tools.

Katrina Kibben believes your first impression on candidates starts at the job post. Many small businesses and companies struggle to find their recruiting voice and craft less-than appealing job postings. As CEO of Three Ears Media and a featured expert in recruiting and HR, Katrina takes a unique, strategic approach to help companies rewrite candidate experience content, overhaul job descriptions, and attract more qualified applicants.

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