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How Technology can Improve the Recruitment Process (But Don’t Forget the Human Touch!)

A tried and tested technology that we’ve all used to source candidates is keyword searching. Whether it’s tracking email addresses through the system or using the search bar on LinkedIn. 


Aline Lerner, a tech recruiter from Silicon Valley, possesses a CV which reads like a who’s who of big tech firms. Using her expertise in this area, she’s tracked the employment success of all the candidates she’s hired and through her years of experience, Aline has been able to highlight what matters and what doesn’t for candidates. 


What doesn’t matter, and has no correlation with success within a job, is what degree classification the candidate achieved, nor which institution they studied at to achieve their degree. Put simply, Red Brick and Ivy League universities shouldn’t be a factor. 


What does matter, however, is the various employment experiences the candidate has had and how many grammatical errors there are in a candidate application, as it shows how much time they’ve taken to complete it. If you’re doing a keyword search, always look for errors! 


Algorithms, Machine Learning and AI are all technologies that have changed the recruitment process for the better. They help us to wade through the information that’s not relevant and cut back on the admin duties. However, Adrian Thomas (Head of Executive Recruitment, Civil Service), speaking at one of our breakfast events about technology in the future, highlighted what he believed is ‘the most important thing in recruitment’ - Recruitment as a contact sport or ‘RAACS’.  


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It doesn’t matter when contact within the recruitment process starts, as long as you make the most out of those interactions. In the past, contact with the candidate started early in the attraction pipeline. Now though, tech that has improved this process by assisting us to source the candidates, engage with them and nurture their interest in a potential role while encouraging them to start the recruitment journey. 


To hire the most desirable candidates you have to have a trustworthy recruitment process and use trustworthy technology. Blind hiring, for example, is not a good way of recruiting as you’re already sending a message to the candidate that you’re not invested in them as a person and what they can bring to the role. It also shows a lack of trust in your hiring managers to hire the right talent. As a result, blind hiring will only fuel uncertainty for the candidate and lead them to question their own ability to do the role. 


As the recruiter, you have to pre-empt the unintended consequences that will impact the candidate. Technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence can improve the recruitment process but make sure it’s not at the detriment of that personal touch when dealing with candidates.



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Adrian ThomasHead of Executive Recruitment @ Cabinet Office