In this era, going digital is no longer a matter of being a cutting-edge business but a must in every industry. On one hand, this is mainly because it falls in line with the digital habits/lifestyle we have globally adopted. It’s about meeting people where they are, wherever that is. On the other hand, digital development gives companies the ability to boost their growth and processes.
So, you could say that what makes the digital revolution so special is that it has the potential to help keep the balance between the operational and human aspects of a business. Which is exactly what digital recruitment is all about: efficient and genuine matchmaking.
Now, there are plenty of definitions out there trying to explain what digital recruitment is. To sum it up, it’s about leveraging digital technology and tools to streamline the recruitment process and benefit everyone involved, including recruiters. Sergio Valladares, Business Transformation Director at gpac, has been leading gpac’s TechHub for over 3 years. He’s heavily involved in the company’s digital revolution and shares some of his insights on digital recruitment and how to get it right.
Recruitment has been around for as long as companies have had the need to find top talent. Still, like in any other industry, there is talk about the recruiter’s job becoming outdated or being substituted entirely by AI or other technological advancements.
However, technology is not here to wipe recruiters (or hiring managers) out of the business but to boost their work. In an article about automation, published by the Harvard Business Review, Stephen M. Kosslyn, President and CEO of Foundry College, says that “The jobs that are likely to be automated are repetitive and routine.”
Though the way recruiters do their job has changed along with the workforce’s needs and trends, there are some basic operational tasks that are part of the recruiter’s process and can’t be left aside. Like scheduling interviews and keeping track of their clients and candidates, to name a few.
Information management alone is enough to take away valuable time and focus from the recruiter. According to Sergio, information is recruitment’s raw material. Data allows recruiters to see the big picture, find patterns, and advance the process towards hiring. But collecting data in notebooks and cards won’t do in a fast-paced work environment where both candidates and clients have urgency.
A question that is often revisited by the TechHub team at gpac is “How do we make the recruiter’s job much more effective?” The evolution of recruitment is too vast and has too many processes to achieve the ideal match with outdated resources and methodologies. Technology in that sense works as the recruiter’s assistant so that they can focus on what matters: connecting people.
With routine and repetitive tasks out of the way, technology leaves room for the human side of recruitment, which is the spark that brings matchmaking to life. Like Sergio says, going 100% digital is a risk, because technology is cold. Meaning, technology can’t vouch for candidates or companies the way a recruiter can.
“An AI can’t keep an agile conversation with a person and convince them on a big life decision such as changing jobs.” – Sergio Valladares, Business Transformation Director at gpac
Having a person involved in the process goes beyond the power of first impressions. “It’s better to connect people through people, at the very least in the first stage of the process. But overall matchmaking involves hand-picking people, convincing them of the opportunity, and negotiation, all of which requires that human touch”.
In the same Harvard Business Review article, Stephen M. Kosslyn mentions that there are two aspects of any job that cannot be automated: emotion and context.
The article reads: “Emotion plays an important role in human communication. […] But more than that, it also plays a role in helping us to prioritize what we do. Emotion is not only complex and nuanced, but it also interacts with many of our decision processes.”
“Context is particularly interesting because it is open-ended. […]Moreover, changes in context can change not just how factors interact with each other, but can introduce new factors and reconfigure the organization of factors in fundamental ways,” says the CEO of Foundry College.
AI could still be used as part of the process, like taking over online assessments, but feedback after a video interview or getting a sense of the company culture for the right match is something better left in the hands of a person. All of this requires soft skills like the ability to read social cues or apply critical thinking, which need both the use of context and emotion Kosslyn talks about.
In the end, when it comes to digital versus traditional recruitment, the first is much better for all parties involved:
So, done right, digital recruitment is not only essential to accelerate the growth of the industry but that of the entire workforce.
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