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How Talent Technology is Robbing Organizations of Empathy


The wave of machine-led recruitment is in full-swing. Sifting through candidates manually is so last decade… but one of the main challenges of introducing tech to the recruitment process is losing empathy in the talent selection process. Cold hard facts are used to filter through the large number of applicants for each position. And we end up with the small number of quality candidates that match the experience, qualifications and desired historical results. As the world moves to support efficient models of work, we are told that this is effective. But what if we miss out on people who are incredibly talented but just don’t quite hit the criteria? The simple answer is that we miss out.


Talent That Cannot Be Measured

There are certain talents that just can’t be measured via simple statistics. And let’s not kid ourselves that tech solutions are anything other than algorithms masquerading as intelligence. Do we think for one second that the likes of Steve Jobs of Jeff Bezos would pass many of the current recruitment tests used by organizations? That’s because they had other skills that have driven their companies to be among the highest valued in history.

And so, with this in mind, we need to consider the human touch in these systems. Taking the human away completely will leave you with an efficient and cost-effective recruitment system but may leave your organization hiring more of the same. Recruitment, like many other business functions, goes through waves. We used to look solely at experience and qualifications. In short, we wanted people who had the skills and hoped they would fit with the team. Then the world turned. We then looked for the right fit and developed talent in-house. Leaning heavily on talent technology turns the world back again.


Streamlining Isn’t Everything

People at the other end of the piece of technology are the most important person in the process. If your talent technology is over automated you end up excluding certain potential candidates and create a void where empathy used to exist in the process. Cognative empathy is a type of empathy that can be a huge asset in circumstances where you need to put yourself in the shoes of someone else or interact with tact and understanding. Without considering your candidates journey and using heavy automation you often end up drastically reducing the available pool of talent. A smaller pool of talent statistically means smaller talent.

We look at saving time and money as the best measure of our business expenditure. But the best result in recruitment is to get the best talent through the door at the lowest cost. Just looking at cost can leave you with a less-than-best-fit employee and you start the whole process again.


How Do You Mitigate Against This?

If you are launching a new talent technology platform then ensure it is well tested before it is let loose. Simply measuring metrics leaves gaps in the process that will miss out on some incredible talent. Try your tech out on existing team members to see how it performs and whether or not they would recommend the experience. If your existing team ‘pass’ the tests and approve, then you might consider it ready for the wider world. If they don’t then look at what you can fix. You may also consider running your manual screening practices alongside automated filtering software for a few months. Analyze the difference in your selection choices and determine how much quality is being filtered out. If the number is minimal then you have further reinforced the benefit of the automated approach. If differences are significant it may be worth doing a deeper study to determine how to mitigate missing out on some of that talent.

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