SmartRecruiters Blog

Recruiting: Adding a Human Touch to an Automated World

Two seemingly unrelated ideas came to mind as I read Noel Cocca’s article at Recruiting Daily, “5 Tips to Manage the Human Candidate Experience.” In fact, they may even be polar opposites — automation and humanity.

At SmartRecruiters, we take pride in delivering a talent acquisition suite that automates processes to save time. But make no mistake. We are not creating automated tools to eliminate the human touch. Quite the opposite, in fact. Our goals are to help organizations augment and enhance experiences so they become more human.

As Noel says, “We need to focus on building and growing respect from not just our candidates but our clients as well. Recruiting is and always will be about the human element.”

Noels’ five tips emphasize humanity in delivering an exceptional candidate experience. Yes, automation is useful, but only to the extent that it gives recruiters more time to engage in more genuine dialogue with candidates, plus help hiring teams collaborate to make the interviewing experience more appealing and efficient.

Look, no robot can ever duplicate the kindness and compassion humans can offer. Organizations are run by real live human beings who must interact with others with empathy and compassion.

Have a heart: Recruiting is not just about processes and procedures.

How to be more human? Noel says that just being genuine, being yourself is a good start. It’s so easy to use jargon and talk about “sourcing” and the number of candidates in a “pipeline.” That’s okay as long as every so often we all take the time to see things from another perspective. Put yourself in the candidate’s shoes. Would you want to be perceived as some entity in a pipeline to be tracked?

Respect goes a long way to building strong relationships. Yes, you need to ask tough questions. Yes, you do need to make sure candidates have what it takes to do the job, but even if you know a candidate might not be the best fit now, there could easily be an opportunity to engage with that person later to discuss another role.

Demonstrating empathy, taking time to help candidates understand how their goals and experience may or may not match the role you need to fill, even helping candidates by referring them to other organizations, makes an enormous difference. In today’s increasingly automated world, that’s the level of respect that’s going to be long remembered and pay off in ways you may never expect.

A great candidate experience is person to person, not business to person

Out of Noel’s five tips, I’d say the fifth one strikes me as a strategy that delivers excellent results. She says, “Use your company’s STARS. Nothing shows your human culture more than a genuine and heart-warming message from a Senior Executive.”

That’s a great suggestion. It’s your team that represents your company. Companies don’t talk to people. People do. The more personal you can be in demonstrating why your company is an excellent fit and what your organization cares about goes a long way to enhancing the human aspect of recruiting.

Remember, the candidate experience is really a human experience

Yes, use all the automated tools and processes you can to be more efficient, but use the efficiencies you gain to spend time being more personal in your communications and more human in your interaction with candidates and colleagues.

Nupur Vilas