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The key to making recruitment more ‘human’? Robots

The role of tech in delivering great recruitment experiences is complicated. Rely too much on automation, and you’ll lose the humanity in your hiring process. Avoid technology altogether and run the risk of unconscious bias and human error.

When you make the decision to hire someone, is it based on logic or intuition? 

Do you tally up candidates’ achievements and qualifications, to make sure you pick the perfect skills match?  

Or do you trust your gut, and hire the person who feels like they belong in your team?  

Maybe you do both.  

Either way, our personal preferences play a huge role in the hiring process. And that isn’t always a good thing. While searching for the ideal cultural fit, we all have our own ideas on what constitutes the ‘dream’ candidate.  

But unconscious bias can blind us to brilliant people. Without even realising it, we can unknowingly act on our prejudices and involuntarily discriminate against candidates. Alongside this unconscious bias, is the strain on HR time and resources. Let’s be realistic – it’s unlikely your recruitment team will be able to vet the 100th application as comprehensively as the first 10.  

And even the most talented HR teams aren’t immune to human error. With increased workloads and the changing face of recruitment, HR teams could really do with a helping hand. A robot hand, to be precise.  

Okay, so how can tech improve recruitment experiences when hiring is all about humans? 
Glad you asked. And to clarify – when we say robot hand, we just mean technology in general. (No robo-assistants, yet).  

From Recruitment Management Software Applications, Applicant Tracking Systems, and basic automation through HR software, it’s never been easier to integrate technology into your HR operations.  

But for many businesses, the question isn’t whether or not it’s easier. It’s whether integrating new technology into the hiring process will ensure they find the best person for the job, at the best possible time.  

It’s not unheard of for HR to receive so many applications that they can’t assess all of them. Some businesses might choose to bring forward their application cut-off date and miss great candidates.  

Between the various stages of recruitment, applicants are likely to have a wide range of questions. Certain questions will likely pop up more than once. Instead of getting caught up in a never-ending email chain, implementing a chatbot which can answer the common FAQs could save HR staff the unnecessary back and forth. HR tech can ease some of the administrative burden on staff, so that they can turn their skills to more high-level work.  

Technical skills assessments and certain aspects of resume review don’t actually require the human touch. Think about it – if one of your job requirements is that candidates have completed an accredited course in accounting, an ATS can quickly filter the applicants who have achieved this. Then, your recruitment team can give their full attention to a selection of candidates they’re confident in.  

This also reduces the risk of unconscious bias. Within your hiring team every individual will have a unique educational and career background. Reading through resumes, they may favour candidates who completed the same course as them or dismiss the ones who went to a competing university. Even the most impartial hiring professionals will have their own experiences and opinions that can inadvertently affect who’s shortlisted.  

It’s vital to remember, that even when unintentional, hiring bias is a pertinent issue affecting multiple industries. Ethnic minorities living in the UK are less likely to land a good job than white British individuals. Using HR tech to filter applicants based on technical skills and relevant qualifications, can ensure that capable individuals aren’t discriminated against based on gender, background, or ethnicity. Instead, they’re measured based on suitability for the role.  

Recruiting involves the collection and distribution of all kinds of data. From applications delivered in a variety of formats, to important dates and times littered through lengthy email chains. One of the most useful functionalities offered by our HR platform, HIRE, is the centralised GDPR-friendly location provided for all recruitment activities.  

Hang on, there must be some limitations? 
Of course. Certain things, humans do best. So, there’s no need to call in the robot interviewers yet.  

But realistically, hiring without the use of technology is far more limiting than the alternative. In light of the pandemic, hiring virtually has become the new recruitment standard.  

Unless HR teams embrace the use of technology, they could end up missing out on the best candidates who apply from remote locations. Because we can’t rely on human instinct alone, when meeting the candidate in person is no longer a fundamental component of recruitment.  

And let’s not ignore the fact that HR professionals are facing dramatic transformation, and subsequently, an increasing workload. Over the past year, they’ve rapidly implemented remote working policies, responded to frequent covid policy changes, and facilitated the return to the office.  

Pulled in every direction, HR staff may not have the time or resources to properly nurture candidates without the support of recruitment technologies. Communicating with applicants at regular intervals might sound trivial, but it’s critical to candidate experience.  

It’s also very easy to automate – adding a few template email responses to an ATS will require some initial setup, but once it’s up and running, staff won’t have to think about it again. For candidates, this automation means they’re less likely to drop out of a lengthy, disjointed hiring process.  

In a data-driven world, it’s so easy to lose track of crucial details amid ever-expanding records. By centralising all recruitment material in one platform, businesses no longer run the risk of missing something important.  

HR teams are highly skilled. Yet, staff are often pulled away from important business decisions to navigate calendars and schedule interviews. Automating emails and interview invites gives HR teams more time to cultivate the candidate shortlist, and identify the right person for the job.  

Technology can help companies big and small tackle recruitment challenges. Larger businesses often lack the resources to deal with a surge in applications, but smaller brands are on the back foot when it comes to budget. Recruitment is notoriously costly and getting it wrong is even more so.  

Using automation and artificial intelligence, HR teams can redistribute some of their ever-growing workload to smart hiring platforms, without the fear of sacrificing quality or accuracy. Machines don’t get tired of filtering applications for the right qualifications, after all.  

Recruitment teams can work collaboratively on screening, interview invites, and rejections, to mitigate unconscious bias collectively. Because your hiring approach is a reflection of your business model – and no one wants to work somewhere disorganised, and inconsistent.  

As more of us embrace technology in our day-to-day lives, the pull towards digital integration in our work cannot be ignored. Instead, businesses should use intelligent HR platforms and automation to empower HR professionals with tools to mitigate unconscious bias, and nurture candidates. Technology may not solve all of your recruitment challenges, but it can certainly enable human solutions.

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