Algorithms vs. Recruiter – Can an Algorithm Replace a Recruiter?

I posted this on my blog a month ago at because the average time to fill has taken longer. What does the numbers mean for average time to fill? It means costs, candidate attrition, and performance tuning.

Recently, those numbers have increased. 

Back in the 90’s personality tests were the rage especially for telemarketing companies that had tons of turnover. Today personality tests are extremely unpopular and a target for a lawsuit.

Here comes the latest new trend in recruiting. Instead of personality tests (oh and remember the companies selling them touted how accurate they were) HR is buying into pre-screening or pre-hire assessment technology. These pre-assessment companies claim their algorithms can accurately predict if someone will quit in less than a year.

But not only can they predict employee behavior they can also replace a recruiter. So they say….

Can an Algorithm Replace a Recruiter is an article posted on the ERE website.  The authors work for SAP and have a pre-assessment hiring tool. So of course, they claim that their product can replace a recruiter using their state of the art algorithms.

Companies that are shopping for pre-assessment hiring technology to replace recruiting are in for a let down.

Consider these 10 things before investing in pre-assessment hiring tools:

1)   People with experience and skills in demand RARELY have to apply online.

2)   Most jobseekers prefer to network rather than apply online

3)   Pre-assessment tools WILL lengthen time to fill

4)   Recruiters are measured on time-to-fill

5)   Hiring Managers already ARE dissatisfied with unfilled positions

6)   HR always will hire more recruiters when positions go unfilled.

7)   Pre-assessment tools are not 100% and will weed out some good ones.

8)   Cost per hire INCREASES when it takes longer to fill a position.

9)   Jobseekers will learn to game the pre-assessment tool

10)   Algorithm CAN NOT predict human behavior because people quit all the time for more money and growth.

Pre-assessment tools that weed out applicants WILL lengthen the time-to-fill. And according to the latest measurements, the average is 27 days! And it’s climbing.

Easy to fill jobs are now hard to fill jobs because of pre-assessment hiring  software. More pressure comes to fill the open vacancies and HR has a tendency to throw more recruiters when jobs are taking longer to fill ultimately defeating the purpose of the tools!

Lastly, people quit. They typically quit because of money and growth. If a company can not and will not address their salary ranges, culture and career path, there is no need to invest in tools that will predict how long someone will stay.


Can an algorithm truly replace a recruiter? Not really, but maybe in the future. We will have to wait until they are programmed in androids that have more human than human emotions.

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Comment by Rchilli Parser on July 1, 2015 at 3:26am

The differences in human skills, coupled with the specificity and rapidly changing nature of employer need. Technology is so extensive; that raises the bar for everyone, including recruiters. That means they need to be increasingly more strategic and creative in the way they use technology to reach and assess candidates. However, this hunt of refining the recruitment and hiring process drives constant change and exciting technological innovations for both recruiters and candidates.

Comment by Michael Glenn on July 1, 2015 at 4:37pm

Well put. But fixing problems with technology isn't always the right solution. We can put the latest and greatest technology in recruiting systems, but if a company can't fix attrition due to salary, environment and algorithm is useless. It's like having a car with GPS Nav system but the brakes barely work....


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