How to Balance Automation with the Human Touch

by | Jun 22, 2022

Is automation a recruiter’s friend or foe? For the modern recruiter, that can be a complicated question. 

While automations can help recruiters with menial tasks, there’s always a concern that they will cheapen, even replace, the human experience. This sentiment is especially common among legacy recruiters.

However, modern recruiters understand that the industry is changing—and change can be a good thing. In fact, for recruiters who are willing to go “all in” on technology, balancing it with the human touch, there is boundless opportunity for success. 

So what can you do to overcome hiring challenges with the use of automation yet still provide a personalized human touch? Here are some tips to help balance the best of both worlds

The benefits of automation for recruitment agencies

Although legacy recruiters may bristle at the notion, automation is here to stay. In fact, 98% of companies use automation in some form to screen their potential candidates & perform other functions. Key benefits of automation include: 

  • Increased productivity. Manual resume screening/interview scheduling allows recruiters to focus on other work.
  • Improved quality of hire. Consistent hiring decisions can reduce biases that exclude some otherwise qualified candidates. 
  • Enhanced candidate experience. Streamlined processes allow recruiters to get faster responses, resulting in better experiences.
  • Reduced time to hire. Removing human error (and human delays) can result in a candidate being interviewed and placed much faster. 

Automation is a tool that should be used, not as a way to replace recruiters, but rather to cause them to work more efficiently and make better decisions at a faster pace.

Finding the right balance at each hiring stage

Balancing automation and the human touch looks different as you develop relationships with your candidates. Here are some examples of what this looks like at each hiring stage. 

Candidate sourcing

By implementing automated communication, you can reach out to passive candidates, giving you access to a wider pool of talent during the screening stage. However, you can’t just blast out job postings to everyone. You’ll not only have very low engagement rates, you’ll upset a good portion of your email list. 

So consider the wording of the job description, and segment your outreach to only target those candidates who have the right background, qualifications, and potential interest in the position.  

Screening and interviews

One of the biggest ways automation, particularly AI, can improve the hiring process is the screening stage. However, it’s not a quick fix. Implementing the proper filters and getting the keywords exactly right is critical to accurate screening. 

To ensure that everything is working as planned, recruiters can’t just “set it and forget it.” It requires human input and monitoring. Candidates want that 1:1 experience and a recruiter that goes the extra mile.

Hiring and onboarding

While hiring and onboarding are uniquely human functions that automation just can’t replace, where automation does help is freeing up recruiters to perform these essential functions. When they aren’t busy sending out emails or screening applications, sending out emails or screening application

Review and feedback

The process doesn’t end when the placement happens. It’s important to source objective feedback from your candidates by requesting real-time reviews. 

Those reviews will help you see whether the experience you provided truly met their expectations. If it did, that’s great! Keep it up. If not, then you can see what areas you should try to improve for next time. 

But your recruiters don’t have time to sit around sending out manual review requests all day. Having an automated platform to request reviews and show you your recruiter ratings can help make this process much easier. Then, if a particularly bad review comes in, you can reach out with a human touch to address the situation—both with the candidate, and the recruiter.

4 tips for balancing automation with a human touch

Although automation is now part of every stage of the hiring process, the human touch is still irreplaceable. Faulty logic or a misguided system that operates without human oversight can actually create more problems than they solve..

Here are five tips to ensure that the human touch helps to maximize the benefits provided by recruitment technology automation.

1. Personalize the experience

Candidates don’t have the time or patience to wade through generic messages. Automation is a great way to personalize the experience. 

A basic example is email merge tags, which allow you to pull in specific information about the candidate—name, city, company name, and more—to take a template email and bring it to life. 

But there is only so much a machine can do. A machine doesn’t remember the candidate’s favorite sports team (or knows to rib them when that team loses a big game). This is something that only a human can do. 

2. Let the candidate drive the process forward

We live in a candidate-centric market. In the past, recruiters were responsible for driving the relationships forward; now, that script has flipped completely. When you set up your automations, you need to take that dynamic into account.

One easy way to do this is to set up easy response options. If a candidate wants to connect with you, they will. If they decide that they’re sick of you, they can unsubscribe. You may hate to lose a subscriber, but it’s better than wasting your time on someone who isn’t a good fit. 

When you let the candidates drive their engagement with your agency, you only increase the likelihood of them being a good match. This saves time across the board.  

3. Create streamlined processes

One of the major benefits automation provides is that it helps improve recruiter responsiveness—especially when they start to scale their client load.

By establishing a series of automated nurturing emails that are triggered when a candidate reaches a certain stage in the hiring process, candidates feel more secure in the process knowing the recruiter is still there and they haven’t been abandoned.

However, candidates don’t just want to receive emails. Incorporating phone calls, text messages, and meetings (both online and in-person) into your processes can help provide that important connection with the candidates.

4. Remember: be human

When you write your automated content and correspondence, remember that you’re talking to a human being on the other end. Although you may not see it as a one-to-one email, the candidate on the other side definitely will. How well do you think they’ll respond to a stuffy, overly formal email?

Talk like a human, because you are. Remember to talk to the reader like they’re a human, because they are

Final thoughts

Automation and technology aren’t going anywhere. In fact, current trends indicate that they’re just going to become more ingrained in recruitment processes. 

You have a choice: either jump on board and reap the benefits, or stay stuck in your ways and fall behind. 

When you know how to balance automation with a human touch, you can rest assured that the technology will only boost your current success. You can do what you do best, only at a larger scale.

Similar Articles

See How Great Recruiters Can Work For You