4 Recruiting skills AI will never replace

Apr 15, 2019 - Cat DiStasio

Recruiters will never be fully replaced by technology.

With the increasing demand for the human touch in the recruiting process, recruiters who use AI recruiting tools to support their relationships with candidates will remain vital to talent acquisition. The key is using AI recruiting tools within their limitations and with well-defined roles.

Some AI experts predict technology will replace up to 40% of human jobs in the next 15 years. We just don’t think recruiters will be on that list. (Well, we say that with one caveat: as long as recruiters are investing in the skills that will not be easily replaced, they will probably keep their jobs.) AI can take care of menial tasks and free recruiters up to focus on the more human aspects of their job. Experts typically agree that tasks that will be easy to automate with AI are predictable tasks, data processing, and data collection. Other types of tasks will be more challenging to automate are tasks, such as managing others, handling unpredictable work, or any tasks that require a high level of soft skills. And the tasks that are difficult to automate are exactly the areas where human nature can shine.

In this article, we’ll look at 4 recruiting skills that AI will never be able to replace.

Building trust

Choosing a new job is not the same as choosing which pack of gum to buy or even your next smartphone. Why? Because the workplace is where we spend 70% of our days. And a job is a place where we surround ourselves with other people. It makes sense that, in order to truly commit to a new place of employment, we must trust our future employer. Building trust doesn’t happen with technology alone. Trust grows when two humans get to know each other through actual conversations.

AI may never be able to replicate a real human conversation, with empathy, compassion, and personality. And that’s a good thing. Let’s keep that realm to ourselves, and work harder to build relationships between humans. After all, most candidates (58%) say communication is the biggest aspect of a positive candidate experience.

By focusing on quality conversations with candidates, recruiters can learn everything they need to know in order to make a determination about each candidate’s progress. At the same time, this strengthens the employer brand so that potential applicants consider your organization trustworthy. And while there are many ways you can build trust with job seekers, one of the most powerful ways is through video. If you decide to experiment with video in recruiting (which we recommend), this will create even more opportunities for human-to-human connections.

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Assessing candidates beyond the resume

Even in this tight talent market, recruiters are prioritizing employee retention as part of their talent acquisition strategy. With recruiting trends shifting toward impact hiring, recruiters will spend more time looking beyond the resume and experience, and really getting to know their candidates. Focusing on potential impact as a key component of the recruiting process is what organizations like BASF are doing to invest in future performance, and the initial results are positive. (For more on that, click here to watch a video interview with Heidi Gerhard, director of talent acquisition at BASF.)

Recruiters are increasingly focused on other potentials, such as cultural fit. While AI tools may be able to assess a candidate’s grammar, ability to follow directions, and basic responses to questions, they can’t do what humans can do: deduce. As recruiters talk with candidates about their qualifications and experience, they must simultaneously screen the candidates for a personality fit, both with the team they would be joining as well as the organization at large.

Research from Harvard Business School found that a toxic employee can cost an employer $12,000, so there’s plenty of motivation to work on assessing culture fit.

Planning and strategizing

In the coming years, AI tools will become more refined and capable of making more advanced recommendations, by analyzing past data and running projections for future performance. And that information will become invaluable for creating all kinds of business strategies, because humans will use those insights to inform their critical decisions. While AI and algorithms base all of their work on data, we recommend that recruiters remain data-informed, not data-driven. Data doesn’t tell us the whole picture. In fact, data can be manipulated to show us any picture we want to create.

But data can help inform our decisions and help with the planning and strategizing. A prime example might be when it comes to diversity hiring. As we learned from Amazon not too long ago, the algorithm is only as good as the data we put into it. When it comes to actually making decisions about recruiting goals and strategies, such as diversity hiring benchmarks, humans must make the final call.

Creativity

AI is really good at math problems. But other kinds of problems? Not so much. The best way to approach real human problems is with real human problem-solving. Because of our ability to think creatively, we can imagine possible solutions and spot opportunities, sometimes reaching outside the box to tackle a really tough problem. Additionally, as humans, we can pool our creative resources by brainstorming with others, which always seems to have an exponential result. Because recruiting revolves around fast-paced relationships with high stakes, the ability to think creatively can make a world of difference for recruiters as well as their candidates.

The Future of AI in Recruiting

We love AI recruiting tools because they can take over menial tasks from recruiters, freeing up valuable time to invest in better conversations with candidates, while improving candidate experience and your employer brand all at the same time. But being aware of AI’s limitations, and knowing when it’s time for humans to take over, is just as important as enjoying its benefits. Consider the human skills AI will never be able to touch, and look for ways to use technology to support your efforts in those areas.

For more about how chat is helping recruiters hire top talent faster, download our Recruiting Chatbot Revolution eBook below:

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