It’s three o’clock on a Monday afternoon. Your desk is stacked to the ceiling with paperwork, the person in the next cubicle will not stop humming show tunes, your boss has been nagging you since lunch, and your email is buzzing to the brim. With a serious case of the Mondays, you take a deep breath, wipe the slight perspiration from your forehead, and type away.

 

Suddenly, your phone vibrates. You’ve received a LinkedIn message.

If anybody is trying to recruit me, now would be the best time, you think to yourself sarcastically. Sure enough, you’ve been offered the opportunity to apply for a management position at your competitor’s location. You’re in.

You spend hours laboring over your resume, hoping to impress your future employer, only to find out that it will be submitted via an automated system that sifts through basic keywords. You receive an email stating that you’ve been selected for an automated interview. It lasts about five minutes total: as it turns out, the firm uses state of the art technology to determine whether you really meant what you said, how often you lied, and how often you blushed. You receive a text message that informs you of your new hire. A robot comes to your door to collect your information, and…

Okay, maybe we’re exaggerating. But you get the point. Perhaps your old job wasn’t so bad after all.

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The truth is that 100% automated recruiting scares away otherwise interested candidates for a few key reasons:

  1. Lack of Communication: Candidates want to talk to a human face, not the computer screen. If they craved automated replies or virtual life forms, they could just talk to Siri all day! True communication is verbal and cannot be replaced with typed messages, online chat rooms, and videos. Recruiters: pick up the phone or meet your candidate in person.
  2. Lack of Value: When recruiters fail to provide verbal communication with their candidates, they are essentially telling those individuals that they will not make time for them. Think about that for a second. What type of impression does that make? Why would the candidate make time for the recruiter in return? Remember that we currently work in a candidate-driven market; candidates have options, and recruiters must present themselves as the best.
  3. Laziness: When a recruiter fails to verbally communicate with a candidate, it appears as though he/she will put forth very little effort to make the correct match. Whether it is true or not, the recruiter seems lazy, incompetent, and more enamored by toy robots than people. It is time that they get off their backsides and recruit!

To be frank, those of us with any expertise in the industry are waiting for this automated recruiting phase to die off sooner rather than later. There is a place for technology in the process, but AI cannot replace real recruiting professionals.  It is time for us professionals to put our toys away, stop treating candidates like our little experiments, and utilize the method that has always worked: the conversation.

Recruiters, it is time to get to know your candidates.