Why Those Whom Say Recruiters Will Be Replaced By Technology are Wrong.....

Ok big venting post coming. You have been warned.

Read this article real quick which was posted recently on www.ere.net - go ahead I will wait:


Okay - now let's get 15 things straight about why this is absolutely, and completely wrong:

1. Recruiters and Recruiting will always be a "HUMAN" Business. You can't train or coach a computer to match completely what a manager wants.

2. You can't tell a computer to magically transport a HUMAN being to fill your role.

3. You can't tell a computer to meet a manager's core cultural, technical and other criteria simply by automating sourcing. Sorry it just can't work.

4. Can a computer interview a person? No I don't think so.

5. Can a computer conduct an intake session where the manager will then say - okay that was nice. I feel fulfilled in having this computer take me forward in my search.

6. Can a computer analyze the assessments completely without human intervention....I am waiting. Sorry - can't work.

7. Can a computer help coordinate the logistics of offer close and negotiation? Try that with a candidate please. Our core value is just selling? How about offering core career based matches that leave both parties satisfied. Yes - let's let a robot coordinate that. Sorry not going to work either.

8. So you are telling me that you are going to automate EVERY portion of the recruiting process and hope candidates come to your team? Something tells me they will go elsewhere where they feel the "human" touch.

9. Resume screening - so a computer will be able to find the candidate, all by itself, without any human intervention, and then determine soft skills, hard skills, and cultural fit by an algorithm? Somehow doing this scientifically? I'll let that common sense there settle a bit.

10. Dare you to compare the methodologies suggested in this article to a "human" functioning recruiting team. Who will win the war for talent then? Hint - it has "HUMAN" in the title.

11. Can a computer negotiate offer packages and relocation needs? Will a "human" want to speak to a computer that is a robot acting in such a capacity?

12. Will hard to find technical talent be thrilled to approach staffing in a "scientific and technological" way - with a robot asking them to "trust" this non-human focused entity that has no personal touch? Chances are those high in demand technical gurus will go where they can find a "human touch" and a "human culture" in the company.

13. Lets see so a robot is going to explain their benefits, the carrot, and will sell the candidate on our company. Good luck with that.

14. Will top Graduates and Millennials decide to trust a "non-human" approach? Sure they are technologically savvy but they also like to feel valued. Don't think a robot/machine/computer can quite do that.

15. You may be saying by now - yes Mike I get the point, and why is this important? It's important because staffing will ALWAYS be about Candidate Experience, Fit, Assessment, Resume Screening, and Sourcing. Those areas and focus points of our business will NEVER go away, no matter how scientific, technological, etc. we get. We will have recruiting jobs in the future. Why? Because I dare this writer of this article to explain to all of us logically what will happen when Baby Boomers start retiring, and you will have to fill seats in a labor shortage without the Human Touch. Bottom line - let's fast forward 10 years from now, and I guarantee the Human Element of Recruiting will never go out of style, out of touch, and the phone, the social tools, and other matters will ALWAYS have a human interaction. People hire people. And yes data driven decisions in your recruiting/staffing choices showing the HOW and WHY will show just how much Human Interaction is still important to the recruiting function. That's where this writer fails in his analysis. And that will always be the way it is.....

Views: 670

Comment by Rob McIntosh on May 22, 2015 at 3:46pm

Mike - Not 100% agreeing with Dr John but also not 100% agreeing with your either. See below regarding to your point number 4.


Not suggesting that robotics will replace the whole recruiting function, but I think you have your head in the sand if you don't see what is happening with parts of the traditional recruiting model changing now with automation and matching.

Comment by Mike Rasmussen on May 22, 2015 at 4:02pm

Interesting article there.  Interviews by Robots.  The question however though is more surrounding candidate experience.  Would it be feasible to outsource all aspects of the recruiting function?  Is it feasible to take the human element out completely?  I just don't see that happening.  I think this is how I would answer and your insights are quite interesting. And although I do disagree with many points of Dr. John I think that you and he both bring up some valid points that are true.  However - the data and analytics of the pipeline process, the consultation of exact culture needs, the strategic nature and redefinition of HR cause us to think, is this argument of taking the human element out of our function truly a value add, or will it hurt the companies whom believe strongly that making human beings part of a widget process is going to increase their employer brand.  The question is not one of efficiency but more of one of concern of eliminating the entire human element, or even suggesting that recruiters are some bygone dinosaur of the past is quite frankly ludicrous.  No one can tell me that taking the Human out of Recruiting is going to benefit the employer brand scenario.  Quite frankly I am sure numbers/metrics etc will show just how much of a train-wreck the idea of removing elements of human interaction could ever truly benefit the recruiting function.  Perhaps some of the elements can be automated, but will never truly be able to do so for the very reason that candidates will go where they are treated not as a number, not as a commodity, but as truly Human.  And that is why I feel as I do.  Thank you for your robust opinion and very dynamic point.

Comment by Rob McIntosh on May 22, 2015 at 4:21pm

Mike - thanks for the thanks on my robust opinion, but if you know me my last opinion was not that robust :-)

Since you want to throw some gasoline on this fire I am happy to comply. Not sure if you also spotted that eHarmony is looking to get into the Recruiting Technology space.


This make me think that if we all consider who is the customer in this wonderful thing we call recruiting it comes down to two parties IMHO.The candidate is the customer and the Hiring Manager is the customer.

Now if eHarmony and other companies like them (http://techcrunch.com/2015/05/22/switch-with-2-million-in-seed-fund...) work out how to get a hiring manager to create a job profile and a candidate to create a profile (just like eHarmmony's matching profile) and then matches them, does the introduction, then this is another area where the recruiter was removed from the equation.

Not setting some Orwellian overtone here, but makes me ponder that when you really think about it recruiting is a middle person game. Candidate on one side [Recruiter in the middle] and hiring manager on the other side. What history has taught me is that most of the middle person businesses no longer exist anymore.

You don't have to look to far to see where technology is disrupting traditional held belief systems:



I am sure lots of drivers on their forums would have said "They can have a robot replace me, it is took much of a customer service interaction business"......Opps !

Am I saying all recruiters will be replaced by Robots.....No !

Am I saying that the job we call recruiting today is going to be drastically different in the very near future (next 10 years)....Shit yes.

Hope that was enough gasoline for the debate :-)

Comment by Mike Rasmussen on May 22, 2015 at 5:04pm

All great points.  In saying a robust opinion that was in every way a compliment.  In 10 years the roles will be different.  Agree on that too.  But definitely the more one looks at this the more I see that the human interaction is still a key component.  Sure one can say recruiting is the middle man - interesting way of looking at it, I consider it more a partnership and do think that there will be that need for years to come.  Fair enough though - technology has been a game changer - hence Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter, etc.  It's the age old debate though where some will say technology is going to take the entire human element out of the picture which to me is flawed.  As far as you pouring gasoline on the fire, - no I didn't see you doing so, rather you gave some very good evidence and points that are on target and add to the dialogue.  From that perspective it was GREATLY appreciated, and I see a time when Baby Boomers retire in the job market a huge influx of need for recruiting expertise.  It is there that the opportunity will be greatest.  Thus, in all matters here, there should still be room for both technology and the human interaction which in some ways may have to bring order out of impending labor shortage chaos.

Comment by Rob McIntosh on May 23, 2015 at 9:08am
Comment by Rob McIntosh on June 7, 2015 at 8:47am


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