When it comes to technology in the field of talent management, our options come closer to limitless every year, innovations to make our lives run faster, more efficiently and effectively. A fear in any industry or field as these advances happen is that enough strides will be made that certain areas will become obsolete, victims of the insatiable need to automate, automate, automate. Will Human Resources or more specifically, Recruitment, dwindle due to the electronic relationship-building that now encompasses sourcing and selecting your next hire? Will mobile applications, busy schedules, informal attitudes, and sites like LinkedIn eliminate the need for experienced recruiters?
Lior Shamir thinks this to be true, no matter how much a majority of the recruitment industry might beg to disagree. In Recruiters: Your Days Are Numbered, Shamir ever-so delicately summarizes his logic:
“Recruiting can be boiled down to three critical ingredients that make up the mix: sourcing, screening, and verifying. A traditionally manual function of HR, process automation is snatching the reins from bloated HR divisions and outside recruiters.”
What Mr. Shamir fails to consider is that “sourcing” candidates is not simply done by the click of a mouse. In order to find quality candidates, the gems that fit in with corporate culture, have the qualifications, and will actually work for the compensation package that is offered, those with experience know that for many positions it’s not as easy as placing ads or finding resumes online. The process is aided, not completed by, various systems and software. It takes human contact – creating trust between you and the candidate that you desire for the role. You get to know their background and personality; you call on their references. You interview them and ask the right questions, peeling back each layer of the onion until each red flag is discovered and explained. After all this, when you know you have a solid lead, even if you don’t have a current placement option for them, they are added to your bench and you keep them close. If you do have a place for them, you are the employer’s coach and the candidate’s mentor.
This process should be true whether you are a third party recruiter, a member of a corporate talent management team, or simply the future hiring manager. Probability of successful placement increases as you develop your relationships, better familiarizing yourself with each individual and increasing the level of trust. There isn’t a computer out there that can take over these steps. Technology may have simplified (not mastered) the administration side, but it has yet to overtake the sales piece of recruitment and the development side of talent management.
Though in his ranting, Shamir slightly recognizes that there are still areas in which a human touch is needed in the realm of recruiting, it seems within our lifetime he feels it will be slowly eliminated. “Recruiting as we know it — a scrappy and gut-driven racket — has reached its expiration date.” The only thing that’s spoiled is his prediction.