Warning on automated recruitment processes

Picture of a robot

Warning on automated recruitment processes. Amazons' Amy Cropper warns we're losing humanity in favour of autonomy.

Applying technology to the recruitment process can be a touchy subject. Most companies rejoice at the thought of automating this process which otherwise uses up valuable time from staff. However, what’s contentious about automation is the impact on the candidate and their experience of the process when you remove the personal interaction.

Mining is an industry that’s always looking at automation and new technology to improve processes and the bottom line. And in many areas it has provided incredible benefits to business. Looking specifically at recruitment, you would imagine mining is the perfect place to introduce this. There are high numbers of applicants, high numbers of roles, and high turnover with some on-site mining jobs and it can be difficult for recruiters to filter through the mountains of applications, particularly for roles which are not so specialised. With this in mind, automation sounds like a winner for mining jobs.

The flip side to the pro-automation argument is one that was recently highlighted by Amazon’s global TA leader, Amy Cropper, at the HR Innovation and Tech Fest, which took place in Sydney (article behind paywall here). Cropper warned that any new tech or process in the recruitment industry had to keep the candidate as its central focus, or it would fail to achieve the expected result.

What are the most time-consuming parts of the recruitment process? Reviewing applications, screening and interviewing. These are all of the areas where automation promises to benefit recruiters. Hallelujah! But while it sounds ever so tempting to let machine learning and AI take over the arduous process of sifting through CVs, the challenge is that we are becoming less personal with the people applying for the roles, and we risk opening ourselves up to manipulation.

The bad about recruitment automation

Conning the system

Let’s first look at how these systems can be conned. It may seem like these systems are putting measures in place to deliver you only the best-qualified candidates, but removing the human involvement means that candidates can do whatever they please on the other side of their computer. They can give fake email addresses and fake employment history, and they can arrange for someone else to take assessments for them.

Disenchanting candidates

With all the talk we recruiters spin about culture, it should be no surprise that the greatest risk to come from automation is removing the intimacy from the recruitment process. It helps busy recruiters, but does it make the candidates feel cared about and valued? The more steps you put in their way before meeting or speaking to an actual person, the more removed they are from having any personal feeling for your company.

The good about recruitment automation

Improving efficiency

Automation and AI can deliver on the promises when implemented correctly. These technologies should be used to deliver the most qualified candidates to you so that you can then begin the human interaction. These technologies can categorise applicants and assist you in structuring your recruitment process in a way that helps you get the most out of your day.

Better service

One of the most exciting opportunities new technology provides is the improvement of the candidate experience. Chatbots and other automated communication services can help to make them feel looped in. Even if they know it's not directly from you, some contact helps them know they're still in the process. AI can also help you to learn about your candidate’s behaviours; insights which you can then use to improve your service.

Applying technology to improve efficiency is unequivocally a positive step for every business. What’s important is not to get blinded by shining new processes and assume you can apply a set and forget approach. It’s essential to critically analyse how these processes aid your business and how they can potentially damage your business. Ultimately, it’s all about balance and taking a candidate-centric approach.

Why not look at outsourcing before automating? MPi knows the mining industry in Australia inside and out. We are mining employment experts dedicated to delivering the best candidates to our clients, while ensuring candidates get the hands-on human touch that they deserve. Give us a call today.

Stephanie O'Brien
Mining People International