In the age of tech, recruitment needs to become a much more personal experience

1 June 2021

We’re relying on technology more than ever; in our personal lives, in work and in the world of recruitment. Advances in technology mean we can connect with people across the globe, send vast amounts of information within seconds and leave those tedious, monotonous tasks to a computer. All of which is helping both businesses and individuals. With AI and tech creating so many automated solutions which can save us time, money and effort, it’s no surprise that we’re all looking for opportunities to update our tech stack. In fact, 67% of hiring managers and recruiters surveyed by LinkedIn said AI was saving them time. The world of recruitment is no different, with recruitment agencies searching for tactics that will save them time and enhance the candidate experience and help improve their recruitment strategies. Tech recruiters can use artificial intelligence throughout the hiring process, from advertising and attracting potential applicants to predicting candidates’ job performance and even running automated interviews and candidate screening.

However, when looking for the best tech talent to scale up your business, can you trust machines entirely?  

We’ve outlined some of the reasons why, in the age of technology, we believe that tech recruitment should still have a personal, human element.

AI can cause a lack of variation in candidates

Firstly, the tech recruitment market is fierce right now, which means you may have to slightly adapt your idea of the “perfect” candidate. Relying on AI and automation will not allow you to do this. Instead of providing a variety of candidates from a range of backgrounds, relying on an algorithm will filter out anyone that doesn’t meet an exact criterion. Imagine a graph, any candidate that doesn’t meet the best fit line will be ruled out by machine learning capabilities, which is beyond your control. Of course, you can set the criteria and algorithms to determine the output, but how this output is reached cannot be known, so quality candidates could be rejected.

When using AI for screening, it’s likely that software looks for keywords or specific experiences. So, for example, platforms can compare experiences across CVs and then rank the applicants by how closely they match an opening. Still, again there will be some criteria that needs to be met and keywords that trigger comparison.

 In the highly competitive tech recruitment landscape, you can’t afford quality candidates to go under the radar because they have slightly less experience or come from different industries. Hiring managers, how many times have you seen something interesting on a CV which may have been unusual but prompts you to start a conversation and learn more?

Some of these candidates may have reskilled and want to start in the tech industry, but your algorithm shows them as too experienced for a junior role, just as you could rule out remote workers because they live too far away from the office. There will always be some element of bias to AI because there is no human to have the conversations and understand candidates’ motivations and personal situation. Now is the time to look for individuals who are ready to learn or have adaptable skills which could benefit your business and help you to scale. Technology changes so quickly, and new systems emerge all the time, so working in tech is already a learning curve. Therefore, why limit candidates to those who a computer thinks are a match?

We’re in a competitive market

Again, we can’t stress enough how competitive the tech recruitment market is right now. There are more jobs than qualified candidates, and every company, whether they’re scaleup, startup, or big brand, are on the lookout for the best talent. Roles like data scientists, full-stack developers, and solutions architects are being snapped up so quickly it’s hard for growing businesses to compete with big names. While you may think that this creates all the more reason to automate your recruitment process and speed up your time to hire, you may be mistaken.

Of course, automate some of the administration side of the recruitment process to help move things along, but when it comes to talent mapping, searching for candidates and reaching out, a more personal approach is what will help you stand out.

Suppose you’re using AI to map which candidates may be appropriate for you before reaching out again. In that case, you could be missing out on passionate individuals who don’t match up to your “ideal” candidate on paper. On the other hand, in such a competitive tech recruitment market, can you afford to miss out on people who could be highly engaged with your scaling tech business and ready to make an impact?

Put yourself in the shoes of an experienced, talented full-stack developer; imagine how many InMails they receive every day from companies looking to hire talent. Having a more personalised approach that feels authentic rather than an automated message will help your communications stand out, and you’re more likely to get a response. An obviously automated email that has been sent to many relevant candidates creates the impression that you don’t care who fills the role as long as it’s filled. It doesn’t make candidates feel valued and desired.

Personal connection to employer brand

The last year has, more than ever, emphasised a need for personal connections. While we may have seen the advantages of remote work, it doesn’t take away from the fact that employees spend more time at work than anywhere else – even if work is Zoom calls from the kitchen table. Therefore, tech recruitment, along with all other industries, cannot rely on technology alone. The people you work with make a workplace what it is and support the employer brand; getting on with colleagues is a hugely important aspect of working life. By automating the entire recruitment process, you’re taking away chances for both candidates and recruiters to form these personal connections and know whether they’ll be a cultural fit for the business. Likewise, if you embrace autonomous job interviews and automate the screening and interview scheduling process, you’re taking away opportunities for human interaction and learning more.

In tech recruitment, this is no different and knowing about the programmes and software they’ll be working with. In addition, Tech candidates want to know about the community they’ll be joining and the people they’ll be working alongside. Interviews and candidate screening work both ways; as much as it’s for tech recruiters and hiring managers to learn more about candidates, it’s also about candidates learning about the company and assessing whether it’s a good match for them. This is only achieved by human interaction and conversation; computers cannot wholly portray the human elements of your business. For many tech candidates, startup culture is a massive motivation for joining a scaling tech business. In your tech recruitment, you need to ensure a more personal touch, and your company can be seen.

Tech is becoming personalised

Another thing to take note of is personalisation in tech. It’s hugely important, and now we’re coming to expect it. Look at consumer marketing, how many times to do you personalised messages, emails and even tailored offers to your needs. As technology users, we’re becoming accustomed to a more personal experience, and that’s not going away. Therefore, if we can get a personalised experience from our local supermarket, you can guarantee candidates will expect a more personal approach to something as important as their career. Tech recruitment is different to hiring in any other industry because you’re dealing with technically savvy candidates. Nothing will slip past them. If there’s a flaw in your candidate experience or your tech recruitment doesn’t feel genuine, streamlined and personal, they won’t take it seriously. So you must ensure your recruitment process and candidate experienced are as perfect as possible and have those crucial personal aspects that we’ve all come to value more and more.

Could outsourcing tech recruitment help?

Of course, personalising the recruitment process is time-consuming, which is why many recruitment experts are moving towards AI and machine learning. However, for a better, more fair and more appealing candidate experience, your tech recruitment cannot be without human elements from reaching out to candidates to the screening process. One solution can be outsourcing your tech recruitment to an RPO provider. This means you benefit from a truly hands-on approach to recruitment while your team can focus on what they do best and grow your scaling tech business.

As a tech RPO provider, Talent Works offer a flexible approach that helps startups and scaleups to expand their teams. Our tech recruitment experts embed themselves into your organisation, learning the ins and outs of your employer brand so that they can communicate effectively to candidates. With in-house brand and insight, creative and digital teams as well as sourcing capabilities, we’re able to help you map where talent is, reach out to candidates and create awareness around your employer brand. All of these services are subscription-based and can alter on-demand, meaning you’re not tied into huge talent acquisition commitments.

To learn more about our flexible, risk-free approach to tech RPO visit our services page; from digital talent attraction to employer branding and executive search, we offer the whole recruitment package.

If you’d like to talk to us about forming a tech recruitment partnership, contact our team and let’s begin a conversation.

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