The Human Touch Is What Recruiting Is All About

When I first began my recruiting career I had an old school manager that explained to me how the job is really sales and that it is best to view your commodity as being people. I took it for what it was and went
on my way to begin building my desk. Sure there were a number of sales
techniques that I learned along the way. Some that worked, and others
that I need not mention again, but I never lost sight of that people
aspect. In fact I would often tell people that my biggest strength in my
chosen field was that I was a people person. But what did that really
mean? In my mind it was that I brought a compassion, a caring attitude,
and a human touch in working with candidates and clients.

Last week a chief executive of Adecco Group addressed an audience at a UK convention warning them that the recruitment process is moving away from human beings.

The worry I have as we move forward is that social media, RPOs and managed service providers are all moving the recruitment process away from human beings.

I know I am not alone in saying that I just do see that being the case. In fact Noel just recently wrote a great post for the doomsayers and this can just be lumped into the mix. As a recruiter that has worked for one of the nation’s largest staffing
firms, and as a recruiter that has worked in small niche firms, the
human element is what recruiting is all about. To think that
advancements in technology and/or RPOs will remove the human element as
the key metric for success is almost silly.

Advancements in technology if anything have only improved my overall efficiency. They in no way diminished my human touch, but rather allowed me to be quicker and more accurate in finding what I needed to find.
Social media takes at the very least two to begin the conversation, and
if anything it is bringing my human touch into the mix that has taken
advantage of these avenues for networking and making connections.

So what am I missing here Mr. CEO (no this is not an Adecco rant- just a generic CEO)? It appears as if the large staffing organizations are most fearful of the direction of the
industry. Perhaps their dominate grasp on how they conduct business is
really what might be getting squeezed out of today’s recruitment
process. From my seat I am just learning, adapting, and moving on.

And I’ll keep my human touch very much in place thank you very much.

Agree? Disagree? What is your take on the human aspect in today’s recruiting?

By Tim Spagnola -

Views: 221

Comment by Paul Alfred on November 17, 2010 at 7:36am
Great post Noel .. I have to agree with you here ...People sometimes forget that no matter how you've received that candidate, you have to communicate, exchange, sell, present, close ...
Comment by Noel Cocca on November 17, 2010 at 8:54am
exactly.....all elements that involve the human touch. Thanks for the feedback Paul!
Comment by Jodi on November 17, 2010 at 11:35am
I can hardly wait to see the computer application, program or gadget that can eliminate a candidate's trepidation prior to their first interview, discuss the pro's and con's of particular candidates with a hiring manager and ultimately offer the emotional congratulations when it all comes together and an employee accepts the offer and starts their new job knowing they made the right decision. Oh wait, until that happens I have another candidate to coach and an employer to engage.
Comment by Paul Alfred on November 17, 2010 at 12:06pm
Be careful about what you wish for Jodi ... ;-)
Comment by Noel Cocca on November 17, 2010 at 1:03pm
Thanks Jodi....needed that, but as Paul shares- I am sure there is a team working on it as we type
Comment by Sylvia Dahlby on November 18, 2010 at 6:47pm
Great article. What's funny is how so many HR and recruiters got into the profession because they liked to "work with people" and then either get buried in paperwork or hide behind their technology barriers (like voice mail and the ATS, which from candidate POV is a resume sucking "black hole"). I think social media is actually helping make more meaningful connections - and the idea of hiring "best fit" for company culture over "best qualified" skill sets. There's a lot of buzz about "emotional intelligence" but frankly I think it comes down to common sense, courtesy, respect and the human touch.
Comment by Noel Cocca on November 18, 2010 at 6:55pm
wow...great feedback Sylvia. Thanks for sharing and I agree with your point fully about the role of social media today in our profession and how it has indeed helped in some areas with making more meaningful connections.
Comment by Brittany Dean on November 22, 2010 at 9:07am
I admit I cringed a little when I read this: the recruitment process is moving away from human beings.

People that think this should just go sell copiers then....

Yes, there are many (many!) sales techniques that are proven effective and used daily. But people change their mind, make emotionally based decisions, drag the family with them, and are impacted with opinion on a daily basis - wonder how that works into the "process" these people are thinking of. If we don't recognize this human element that stares us in the face daily - then shame on us... we're not truly looking at our potential objections to overcome them with good sales training.


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