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The rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is beginning to transform the way we interact, work, and even hire. While new AI technologies can increase efficiency and productivity in various business functions, they also present a challenge that must not be overlooked: the potential erosion of genuine human connections. Nowhere is this more evident than in recruitment and hiring. There are several new technologies, including Paradox, Phenom People, iCIMS, etc., that promise to streamline and expedite the hiring process through things like Chatbots as well as AI algorithms designed to identify the “best” candidates and match job seekers with the roles that supposedly fit the “best.”

Paradox, for instance, provides an AI-powered assistant named Olivia that engages with candidates on web, mobile, and social channels to learn about their skills, expertise, and relevant job experience. Phenom People gives companies the ability to provide a “personalized” hiring process with its AI-driven chatbot. (Isn’t “personalized” and “AI-driven Chatbot” an oxymoron?) During an initial text-based conversation, the Phenom Bot asks candidates questions to match them with ideal jobs and narrow down the talent pool.

The possibilities of using AI in recruitment are exciting, and it is easy to see the efficiency benefits of incorporating such technology into the hiring process. With its ability to analyze large amounts of data in seconds, AI-powered software has been designed to scan resumes, evaluate skillsets, and even predict a candidate’s potential performance based on data history. However, as organizations increasingly rely on algorithms and chatbots to review resumes and automate parts of the hiring process, it becomes even more important that they look for ways to maintain the timeless value of human connection when evaluating and ultimately hiring job candidates.

FlexProfessionals High-Touch Model is Not Going Anywhere

Resumes and profiles may detail qualifications and experience, but they often fail to communicate the intangibles that make a candidate a perfect fit for a company’s culture and values. That is why FlexProfessionals invests time into getting to know both our job-seeking candidates and our clients and is the foundation of our placement success. For instance, we meet and work with many ‘re-entry’ candidates who have taken a career gap to raise children or to assist an ailing loved one.

Under AI algorithms and/or chatbot interactions, I suspect their career gap might automatically eliminate them from consideration and the many soft or even hard skills that they have acquired through volunteering or caring for loved ones will be discounted. This is a true shame as many of our placed re-entry candidates have gone on to provide great value to small and growing companies, especially to those who don’t always have the budgets needed to attract job seekers with more recent work experience but still want dedicated and talented professionals to help them grow their business.

Over the last 14 years, we have successfully placed countless professionals in full-time, part-time, and flexible roles. We have learned that the business clients who limit themselves to looking only at candidates whose resume matches the job description exactly are the ones that often lose out on exceptionally smart and capable candidates whose intellect, tenacity, enthusiasm, dedication, etc.… cannot be found through a resume or identified through communication with a Chatbot.

Our vetting process requires that we speak to and then meet (either in-person or via Zoom) any candidate prior to sending them to a business client. Getting to know job candidates on a more personal level brings forth an understanding of their motivations, career aspirations, and alignment with the company’s mission. AI technologies might assess a candidate’s hard skills, but they are limited in understanding the nuances of a candidate’s personal journey, struggles, and the passion that drives them to excel. By engaging in genuine, face-to-face conversations with our job seekers, we save business clients valuable time by assessing a candidate’s cultural fit, willingness to learn, and potential to thrive within their team, something AI cannot replicate through algorithms or chatbots.

Striking the Balance: AI as a Support, Not a Substitute

The key lies in finding the right balance between AI technologies and human connection. In an era driven by technological advancement, the importance of human connection cannot be overstated, particularly in recruitment. While AI streamlines the hiring process, it’s the personal interactions that bring out the nuances and qualities that truly define a candidate’s potential. As businesses continue to embrace AI technologies, they must ensure that the human touch that FlexProfessionals so greatly values remains an integral part of the hiring process. After all, it’s the human connections that foster innovation, creativity, and a sense of unity within organizations—a touch that AI, no matter how advanced, can never replicate.