The Talent Scout Episode 7: Keeping recruitment human
3 minutes | Posted 26 March, 2020

In 2020 we’ve got automation, machinery, AI, and countless other tools and tricks to make our Recruitment Processes simpler and easier. New and exciting tools are appearing every day that are allowing us to segment our applicants and find top talent quicker than ever before. It’s pretty awesome. But it’s not everything.
Time and time again studies have shown that AI and automation are most effective when partnered with a skilled human. That couldn’t be more true in the case of recruitment because fundamentally recruitment is human. Any time a recruitment process pushes a candidate away its usually because the process was too automated and ultimately cold. The candidate was left feeling like a number and not a person. Of course, the flip side of that is to use no tools and leave a very overworked recruiter or hiring manager to try and contend with all of the applications they receive.

Balance is key

Using the vast amounts of technology available to us and combining it with empathy and general humanity is the only way to have a successful recruitment process in this current climate.
On a practical level that can look like a number of different things. Internally here at Scout Talent we use our own applicant tracking system to filter through our candidates quicker. How we do this is by combining screening questions with auto filters and putting some human elements into our auto-responses. It’s not hard to put a bit of life into the auto-responses you send out to candidates yet you’d be amazed how often an ‘application received’ email looks like something a computer spat out.
Instead, we write a warm message thanking applicants for their application while providing them with a number to call should they have any more questions. Yes, you’ll get a few annoying phone calls, but you’ll also make your candidates feel appreciated and keep them warm and interested in your open role for much longer.
Moving on from that, based on how a candidate answers we can have a number of different things occur:

  1. If they answer our screening questions in a way that suggests they’re a top candidate, we will have their status set to indicate this and one of our shortlisters will quickly reach out to them to create that human interaction and bring this highly skilled person forward for a quick video interview. The candidate feels valued and appreciated.
  2. If they’re not quite right for the role, we use different automation linked to statuses based on how a candidate answered to launch different messages based on what we hope to achieve. (If this sounds complicated, reach out to us here)

Above all, and this is key because this is human, we launch these auto-responses on a delay. No one wants to be rejected from a job the moment they hit apply. It’s a bad candidate experience, it’s cruel, and ultimately it’s bad for your employer brand.
When you reject someone from a role, again make it as human as you can. Maybe sign off with a line that says
“We know automated emails aren’t the best so if you have any questions please hit reply to this email and someone will be in touch.”
Give candidates a chance to feel your humanity. Give them a chance to feel valued.
What we are ultimately trying to convey is that you can completely take the human out of recruitment if you wanted to. You could automate everything, have an AI video interview people and then make a hire. In the short them if you do that you’ll make hires and save money, in the long term your organisation will be filled with individuals who are a poor fit for what you’re trying to achieve. In the worst instances, your organization will fail. The combination of human, AI and automation will always be superior when it comes to finding top talent for your organisation.
Humans are flawed, we’re biased, we make bad decisions and think we’re right based on our gut instinct. The best way of dealing with that group is by using another human too who understands them. The AI, the tools, the automation are all very useful and can make our recruitment processes so much more effective and data-driven. This is a good thing. But as of right now, the best way to convince as flawed a creature as humans are into joining your organisation and taking the role you’re offering, is to lead with your humanity.
Recruitment is human and that’s not going to change any time soon.
If you would like more information about how Scout Talent can help you to keep your recruitment human and efficient, reach out to us at or click the button below.
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