Artificial intelligence and automation are playing a growing role in the recruitment process, with many agencies and businesses relying more and more heavily upon robotic decision makers rather than face-to-face human interaction when selecting candidates.
Leading and award-winning recruiters Encore Personnel, which employs 11 people at its office on Lower Temple Street in the city centre, are taking a stand on the issue, as Operations Director Pete Taylor explains.
He said: “We live in an age where innovative technology is saving us money and time and I am certainly not against the efficiencies and developments that this brings. However, as a people-focused industry which deals with the livelihoods of human beings, we need to stop and think about the impact that AI and robotic recruitment is having and the implications for future generations.
“At Encore we do use job boards for advertising our roles and it is true that throughout much of that process, candidates may not speak to a person. This can be off putting to some people, but the reality is that for blue collar roles – which is the majority job type we recruit for – it is the most efficient and effective means of sifting through CVs and applications. But that doesn’t mean the process has to be impersonal.
“We endeavour to respond to all applicants following their submission, whether they are successful or not. It is alarming to hear that some candidates are experiencing automated rejections or no feedback whatsoever, having gone through a system where they haven’t spoken to a person at all. I fear a bleak and faceless future landscape for recruitment, unless we, as ethical recruiters, stop and think about the impact this system will have.
“We hear a lot of noise about Millennials and how they have lost the ability to communicate in person. From a recruitment perspective this is ironic, as the system that is evolving now will only work to feed this problem. We want young people to think outside the box, to demonstrate personality and flair and to challenge the status quo – these young people are the leaders of the future and we need to nurture them from their first job application, not discourage them with automated rejections.
“In an era of evermore sophisticated technology, the recruitment sector needs to remember its core purpose – pairing the right person with the right employer. Computers will never be able to do this as effectively as a human being and we must remember and protect the value of face-to-face interaction for as long as we can.”