Recruiting – High tech vs. High touch

During this pandemic, a lot of things have changed. It feels like everything is now online, virtual, digital. Our world has moved from packed train rides to work, having a drink in a bar and celebrating your colleague’s birthday with croissants to sitting around in tracksuit pants, virtual after work drinks and sending a message through MS Teams to congratulate. The “touch” got lost and tech is probably the most important thing of our time. But how did all this affect the recruiting process? How will it change in the future?

Von: Nadine Leemann | Datum: 21. Juli 2021 | Lesedauer: 8 Min

Artificial intelligence and mobile recruiting are established for a while. Does it help? Yes. Does it make sense? Not always. Before writing this article, we were convinced that a lot of tools are used by the big companies and executive search firms. We were wrong. We spoke to a few experts from the field and got very interesting insights about how they think this process will develop.

A human touch is needed
5 years ago, it was a recruiter’s daily business to waltz through 200 applications or more. Looking at the design of the CV, trying to spot the competences they need for a role. It was a tough job. In most corporate companies this process has been taken over by an algorithm which can evaluate the KPI’s they are looking for. Do you think robots will take over the recruiting process completely, I ask Daniel Müller from Mercuri Urval. “In recruiting you have on the one hand a search problem and on the other a selection problem. For the search, those tools are very helpful. You can hop onto LinkedIn and find almost everyone. This helps a lot and speeds up the process. But when it comes to the selection process a system can’t help you. We are human beings, and it has to match in person.”

Ask questions
But how can you as a student prepare for an inter­view? “I would strongly recommend that you contact the company before you apply and find out more about their application process. Maybe you will have to do a video interview or a test. Maybe you will have to go through an assessment before you can attend an interview. These are things you can prepare for and the counsellors at the CSC to help you and talk things through”, suggests Selina Frei from HSG Alumni.

Technology can’t replace HR
Surprisingly for us, the big, international tech companies are far less open to a digital process. The values vary from continent to continent and from country to country a lot. For an international company it is almost impossible to program a system which fits all. That means the resources needed would be much higher than employ someone who screens the CV. But overall, the profile of a recruiter has changed. Like almost in every job, it is necessary to be open to computer systems and the usage of those. These tools surely support the process but will never replace a person.

Use the right buzz words
“Make sure you use the same language as in the job ad but don’t lose your personal touch”, says Selina. It is important to have the buzz words describing your competences and personality in your CV and on your LinkedIn profile but in the end, you will face somebody from the company and that is all that counts to be selected for a job.

Be yourself
For us this research has been a big surprise.
All the experts we spoke to denied using Artificial Intelligence and are convinced that a recruiter will never be replaced by a robot. It is somehow reassuring to know that our personalities and values are important and will be key to match the right job. So be clever when applying but never lose yourself.

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