Recently I came across an article that had relayed some of the discussions had during S.H.R.M.’s 2018 Talent Conference and Exposition and it has been on my mind ever since. The panel of talent leaders had a fantastic discussion about certain business strategies that have major potential if fully developed and implemented correctly but tend to get overlooked. The five trends they focused on were about giving more opportunities to current employees, as well as keeping in touch with former ones, expanding on diverse applicants, offering flexible work arrangements along with the many possibilities of nontraditional interviews.

Although I respect all ideas that were brought to the table, one area in particular had ruffled my feathers. While expanding on nontraditional interviews, Danielle Monaghan, director of talent acquisition in Amazon’s consumer division, boldly stated “I’m not a fan of face-to-face interviews.” She is hoping one day for A.I. to be able to manage the hiring process fully, as in job offers being made to applicants without ever interviewing with an actual human. She believes this concept will vastly open up and diversify the candidate pool, but I believe that pool would be clouded with mediocre applicants who don’t have the heart and drive to excel. It appears Monaghan has forgotten and is belittling the value of meeting with candidates.

While I am no stranger to the idea of utilizing technology to make the hiring process more efficient, there are irreplaceable benefits that can only be fulfilled from actually meeting with your candidate. Meeting candidates is a foundation for trust between employer and employee and establishes a stable line of communication. It instills confidence about your company within the candidate and can solidify the reason why they want to work for you. Without that opportunity, it is easy to give off the impression that you don’t care about your staff as individuals. The candidate gets no sense of worth for their future contributions and no reference point for the type of culture they may be joining. My prediction is if your sole approach is to have A.I. handle the assessment of applicants, the turnover rates will be unfavorably high.

Statistics show that the best predictor of on the job success is a combination of structured interviews, behavioral assessments and cognitive assessments.  In addition, relying on AI assumes that you have an endless supply of candidates that you do not need to connect with.  You and I both know that in this market, qualified candidates need to be engaged and often makes their decisions about a company based on that engagement.

There should not be a choice between solely relying on one approach over the other, but rather create a fusion of both technology and personal touch that optimizes the hiring process to find solid candidates. I’ve adopted this strategy myself with Qualigence Performance Solutions. By partnering with P.I. and following our Performance Blueprint, we’ve leaned into the opportunities and benefits that assessment technology has to offer while simultaneously continuing to personally connect and interview with applicants to ensure long-term success. Although technology has come a long way, the hiring process should never be fully replaced by A.I. if you expect your company to flourish.