a meditation on productivity

Don’t Let Machines Run Your Recruiting Process

Some companies that have excessively automated their recruiting and hiring processes are discovering something serious is going wrong. The over-reliance on automation has taken the humanity out of the process. The results are human resource departments are having a more difficult time filling open positions with qualified candidates.

There is always an overabundance of unqualified candidates for any particular job position. Settling for an unqualified candidate is a mistake, when there are qualified candidates out there, if only the company knew how to attract them and find them.

Once the job position goes up in responsibility, the candidates become more sophisticated. Some of the best candidates may already be employed elsewhere and looking to make a career move, rather than being desperate to find a job.

These highly qualified candidates are likely to find cold, automated, recruiting systems of no interest. What they want to know is what it is like for a person to work for the organization. In this regard, a human resources recruiter is like a goodwill ambassador as well as a diplomat. They are the “face” of the company to the outside world, and the in-between facilitator for the company’s management in the application and hiring processes.

Even when using automated technology, it does not have to have an impersonal feel. The best human resources recruiters are “people persons.” They enjoy contact with people, learning more about them, and gain much satisfaction from a successful placement of a person in a good position where they perform well.

Personalize the Communications

One way to improve automated systems is to personalize the communications. An article that appeared in Forbes about humanizing the recruiting processes recommends that the personnel in human resources departments identify themselves to all qualified candidates who have taken the time to communicate with the company and submit an application for a position.

Humanization may take the form of being as simple as changing the language of email communications from the cold, sterile, “Thank you for your application. If your qualifications match the position requirements, you will be contacted sometime in the future,” to “Hi. My name is Brenda. I am delighted to see you applied for a position. It is my job to match up highly qualified candidates, like you, with the open positions in our company… ”

The nicer more humane email communication sets the tone for encouraging the best candidates to become more involved in the discovery process of matching them to an open position that they qualify for in the organization. Pre-screening of applications can eliminate disqualified candidates who then receive a polite, yet friendly, “Unfortunately, we do not have any open positions that you are qualified for at this time.”


The compelling reason for humanization of the recruiting process is that it is more effective. It is not difficult to use the technology such as Applicant Tracking Systems in ways that are more personal and enthusiastic about the people who are candidates for job positions. This has become the new standard and companies applying humanization to recruiting efforts are more successful than others are.


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