Why The "Human" in Human Resources & Talent Acquisition Will Remain At The Forefront




It may come as a surprise or not, but there are multiple writers these days whom seem to think that the "Human" element in Staffing is going the way of the dinosaur.  It seems a popular writing technique to bring out the sensational, the "gotcha" headline, and the "Automation is Coming" & "Your Recruiting Function is Obsolete" focused attention seeking mantra. This in writing about the "trend" of Recruiting Automation and Autocratic Artificial Intelligence.  What is a "Human" Recruiter to do eh? 

So, I read with interest these articles purporting the "end of recruiting" as we know it.  How "70% of all recruiters will be gone in a few years", and the effort to paint with a solid brush stroke the automatic dooms day of the human element of the recruiting world.  Gasp!  Are we to believe that Recruiting of the Old School and the element of the relationship is dead?  Are we to believe that such approaches as building that core passive candidate relationship, the effort to source and build a boolean string, and the effort to speak to a candidate on the phone, in person, and through social channels will one day be tasks a robot, or artificial intelligence will do better than the human recruiter?  Some seem to suggest such.

What follows are the reasons why that will not entirely happen - perhaps - instead the Talent Acquisition Professional of tomorrow will use a hybrid approach - of Recruiting Automation, with the Human Touch. They will not entirely eliminate all recruiting jobs but will rather use existing technologies that will enhance the recruiter's efficiency and build a powerful staffing approach that harnesses ALL these new skills.  What I envision is a world where our recruiting functions will adapt to new emerging technologies, and where candidates will crave the human element.

The truth is there are multiple reasons why recruiting automation will not replace the Human element entirely, but where both the Human & Robotic elements will transform the "HR" department.  In harmony - both the "H" (Human) and the "R" (Robot) will coexist as staffing departments need to use strategic engagement to build their employment branding efforts.

Let me start with 5:

1. The Baby Boomer Generation is Retiring - leaving a Brain Drain staffing gap, and opening the way forward for new jobs, new ways of doing business, and opening the door for the "Human" element all the more.  Would you entrust your recruiting brand to cookie cutter - "Robotic" hiring processes?  No - your brand would suffer.  As the Baby Boom Generation retires so too will the need arise further for a "Human" touch.  With an aging populous - you can't afford to take the "human" element out of staffing to the detriment of your organization.

2. Different Demographics and Culture Shifts among us require the "Human" element to attract a diverse talent bench.  Some candidates may respond to an "automated" approach - but most will not.  The Automated approach should add value, and help your client succeed.  The "human" touch is what most job seekers want - to discuss the power of the offer and understand how it affects the candidate's career.  This takes a "Human" needed approach.

3. For every Computer - there is a Human whom must interpret the data the Computer Generates.  A computer may be able to match skills, match keywords, but the computer can't completely understand the real world.  A HR team whom makes the mistake of relying ONLY on Computers they are going to suffer with un-needed work-place discussion and a damaged brand.  Automation is a powerful matter indeed, but if a GREAT sourcer/recruiter can take existing tools, and show genuine concern for another's circumstances - the human element rises to the surface again.

4. For Every Algorithm there is always a counter argument in terms of matching the best talent to the best circumstance.  Artificial Intelligence may work to help recruiters harness new efficiency tools.  Instead of Technology taking over the recruiting space, I see it where the the "H" in "Human Resources" will still represent "Human" and "Intellectual aptitude". Sometimes the automation argument fails to realize the true and total value add of the "Recruiting Hunter" whom has the ability to win client's over by listening, and to win candidate's over by being honest.

5. Robots/AI will not be able to keep up with "HUMAN" ingenuity.  "Human Beings" hire other human beings.  Automation tools show us where to get the most bang for our "Recruiting dollars" while balancing the human element.

In conclusion - pay no word to the naysayers whom seem to indicate that AI/Automation etc will entirely replace the talent bench you identify with and the recruiting efforts you espouse.  The "old school" is here to stay.  Building relationships is here to stay, Building success, and believing that every "Human Being" has potential.  I have always known that the recruiting element is pretty amazing.  The "H" in Human Resources is robust and strong.  The ability to close a candidate in offer stages can only be done when organizations master the international and robust "Human" elements of their business.  Together the "H" (human), and the "R" (robotic) elements of talent acquisition are connected.  Separate the "human" element away from recruiting and you would have a pretty big disaster HR wise if you don't treat candidates as they deserve to be treated.  That's not a widget, a machine nor an object.  The "Human" element is a powerful existential reality in recruiting.  Yes many steps happen in an interview and automation may seem tempting to adopt some of the more rudimentary administravia roundups, but truth be known - the "HUMAN" matter in recruiting is VERY much alive and well.

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