Hiring Top Talent: You Need The Human Touch

Looking at hiring trends for 2018, Hays discovered that there is an increasingly digital approach to the whole process. With terms such as, ‘recruitment driven by big data’, and ‘artificial intelligence to screen candidates’ rising to the top of the list, followed by the likes of ‘augmented reality’, ‘automation’ and ‘virtual reality’, the word human seems conspicuously absent.

Now, of course, we can expect and should encourage an adoption of technology in the recruitment process, but should we be doing so without the human element? I think not. Especially when it comes to hiring and retaining top talent.

In an article for INC.com Bryan Adams, Founder and CEO, Ph.Creative, discusses why he thinks the human element is more important than ever.

Hiring Experience

Using big data and technology in order to source and refine talent are valuable, for sure, but they aren’t the be-all and end-all. As a recruitment agency or HR department you’re relying on the invaluable experience of years in the field in order to understand the nuances of hiring the right person. This is something that technology cannot simply replace by churning more data.

Speaking on this matter, Dave Hazlehurst,  Director of Client Services at ‎Ph.Creative added,  “Technology, and big data, in particular, has hugely impacted the way we do business in the 21st Century, but what about the art? We can’t just ignore the subconscious know-how we’ve spent years refining through experience”.

The Human Algorithm

Technology has to play its part in every aspect of today’s world, it’s unavoidable, but there should still be a person at the helm. Especially in recruitment when you need to understand whether a recruit is a cultural and personality fit with the company.

Adams uses Formula One as an analogy. In a book written by Ross Brawn – former team boss at Ferrari – he explains that race crews get all sorts of data. They have real-time analytics on the temperature of each individual brake on the car, the airflow over the spoiler, the circuitry inside the motherboard beamed from a speeding car back to their headquarters almost instantaneously.

Does this mean that they should just get a computer to drive the car? Absolutely not. This data cannot see and hear. It cannot feel. It is merely and indication of what is happening. You need the reactive agility of the driver to actually steer the machine. The same is needed in the world of recruitment.

Talking on this point again, Mr. Hazlehurst added: “In the talent space, more and more digital analysis and analytics are being utilized, but we need to make sure the decisions we take around technology help us get closer to the candidate. Poor automation and execution make communication impersonal. It’s the ‘human algorithm’ that provides marginal gains. It gives a competitive advantage to business and talent attraction”.

Live Your Candidate’s Journey

Adams explains that at Ph.Creative they embrace technology, but have a passion for putting people first. They spend the time understanding what makes people tick and what the candidate’s experience is all about.

As a recruitment company or as a HR department there’s invaluable information in this experience. Try putting yourself in the same position as a candidate who comes to you. How do you filter them through your business? How do you treat them at interview? How are you keeping them in the loop?

By drilling down into the candidate journey you can hope to optimise the experience, thereby ensuring that top talent isn’t lost down the line.

Be Clear and Concise

It’s easy to start bragging and bargaining to hire the best talent. To spin white lies in order to land the recruit, but in the end this is only going to backfire. By maintaining a clear and concise message from the moment your candidate finds you online to the second you send them to interview, you can ensure that you are giving off the right values.

Honesty and earnestness are incredibly important in order to hire top talent, and the human element is needed to show that you’re not just about making money, but helping people improve their lives. After all, that’s what recruitment is all about; helping people find the next step on their personal journeys. So be a real, integral part of that journey.

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