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HR Tech VS Human Touch: Setting The Right Balance

Published: Thursday 6th June 2019

HR tech has transformed the recruitment process, eliminating a lot of the repetitive donkey work for personnel and automating many processes that were previously done manually. But, despite all the advances in recruitment technology, the key to getting the most from the tech available to human resources staff is to balance it out with the human touch.

Human resources manager using a computers technology when working

Let tech take care of the stuff you don’t want to do

By now every HR professional should understand the importance of digital solutions in the recruitment process, but the best will realise this tech is only a tool to help with the manual lifting. It’s human involvement along the journey that brings it all together.

This can be seen most visibly in candidate screening and tracking progress through the application process; a laborious, time-consuming job that used to be done by hand. Intelligent screening software and Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) has automated most of that. But someone is still needed to program the technology so it knows what to look for – and that expertise can only come with someone with real experience in HR.

Technology can do a lot but it can‘t do everything. Human interaction at certain points in the recruitment process that keep candidates engaged. According to talent acquisition firm, Randstad Sourceright, these tasks include shortlisting candidates by video interviewing, scheduling interviews, and managing talent communities and engagement.

Conceptual business illustration with the words applicant tracking system

Artificial Intelligence (AI) As HR Tech

One technology that is making the biggest waves is Artificial Intelligence or AI. While some are worried that AI will take their job away, research from Gartner suggests that Artificial Intelligence will make more jobs than it takes.

AI augmentation will be the key here – a combination of artificial and human intelligence will produce the best results for HR departments. AI tech, such as chatbots, are proving to be useful along the way, especially when it comes to keeping costs down, but they can only guide candidates, the human element is needed for in-depth assessment and decision making.

Likewise, when human resources personnel are looking to improve the candidate (or employee) experience, the technology will be there to provide the analytics and manipulate the data, but it is up to the decision-maker to use the insights provided to create an action plan that makes it all happen.

Artificial intelligence. Human head outline with circuit board inside. Technology and engineering concept.

The best of both worlds

For the meantime, AI algorithms will get better at screening CVs and identifying the best candidates for interview, but those interviews need to have a human element. After all, recruitment is about humans and emotions – how they interact together in the workplace. That’s why it would be such a mistake to let technology deal with employee relations issues, such as discrimination harassment or abuse; it would alienate staff if they weren’t able to deal with a ‘real’ person.

The digital HR revolution shows no signs of slowing down, but recruitment professionals must remember not to lose sight of the human touch. There are critical points throughout the recruitment process when only the human touch will produce the most desirable outcomes. Technology doesn’t possess intuition. It will give you the edge, but it’s how humans use it that creates the best outcomes. That’s why it’s called ‘human resources’ – something we understand at Zoek. We never lose sight of the fact that it’s all about people.

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