The Limitations of Recruitment Technology

While recruitment technology has come a long way, making the hiring process more efficient for recruiters, no computer can replace the “human” factor. Social networking platforms such as LinkedIn put job seekers in direct contact with those responsible for hiring, while a host of online resources offer digital alternatives to many recruitment processes. On top of this is the emergence and heavy implementation of HR-focused technology “disruptors”, aimed at undermining the traditional recruitment model by shifting the emphasis to speed and cost over quality of service. However, technology can only clone a company’s workforce, not improve it. This can lead to missing out on candidates that will bring something new to the organization and have a better fit with the company culture. For highly specialized roles as well as executive or managerial positions it is crucial to have skilled recruiters to both understand the company’s needs as well as assessing potential candidate fit.

Main Issues with Recruitment Technology:

  1. Skills and experience matching eliminate candidates that are high-potential and diverse, who by definition have achieved more with a different mix of everything and don’t fit pre-set filters.
  2. Assessment tests filter out people who don’t meet the company’s current standards for personality style, cultural fit, EQ and IQ which eliminates the opportunity to improve said standards.
  3. Title filtering eliminates candidates who might have done comparable work elsewhere with a different title as well as those who are ready for a promotion.
  4. Industry filtering eliminates candidates from industries that do similar work better.

At the specialized and managerial level, the bulk of the best candidates for any job are passive. Finding and recruiting these people for high-demand and critical positions takes a personal approach and extra effort which technology cannot provide. Passive candidate recruiting is a consultative selling process. It’s comparable to selling any complex product to a savvy and discriminating buyer who doesn’t need your product and has multiple options.

The best people, whether active or passive, also want to understand the actual job requirements and the impact on the company before they’ll even engage in a conversation. Providing this is a high-touch process. They also require more time to understand the long- and short-term potential of a career move. Persistence is the essence of passive candidate recruiting. Recruiters narrow the field of potential prospects and maximize the yield. Raising the talent bar requires more in-depth interviews that involve more time and effort. These outcomes cannot be achieved through technology alone.

Recruitment is not a science; it’s an art which cannot be programmed. When used correctly, technology is a great enabler of the recruitment industry, offering convenient automated solutions. But when it comes to hiring extraordinary people, it can be counterproductive though the elimination of candidates that could bring valuable change and growth to a company.