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Recruiters vs. AI: The Chilling Truth

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The HT Group Founder/CEO Mark Turpin recently had an epiphany over a hot bowl of Japanese shabu-shabu (as one does). It’s an important reminder for employers being lured into the “Automate everything!” mind frame. Here’s how it relates to recruiting, in his own words:

I was eating at the North Austin Japanese restaurant DipDipDip Tatsu-Ya the other night and noticed the restaurant’s new ice cream shop was open. There were a remarkable number of customers lined up outside the food trailer, each waiting their turn to order. But, at this trailer, ice cream isn’t ordered at the window. The process is more automated, with customers placing their orders at an ATM interface.

It got me thinking about how automation is taking over the business world. It works for some business functions but not for others. AI companies are beginning to claim they can eliminate recruiters from the candidate search process. They’re saying that employers actually benefit from removing the human touch by eliminating the risk of unconscious bias. Diversity in hiring is a good thing, of course. But is abolishing recruiters the intelligent way to achieve it? And does relying solely on metrics like education and work experience eliminate bias, or does it just complicate certain socio-economic factors?

Dipdipdip may find success in automating the front-end process of ordering an ice cream cone because they have very specific limited offerings. They offer six flavors. You can choose a cone or a cup. And then you can choose a couple of add-ons. That’s it. So ordering is easy, fast, and you know exactly what you’re going to get each and every time. There’s no room for special orders.

Hiring employees isn’t that simple because people don’t come in off-the-self models. And what you see on the screen (a resume) isn’t necessarily who you’re going to get in person. What you gain in a completely automated process, you lose in numerous other areas.

Without a knowledgeable recruiter on your side, for instance, you lose human intuition. AI can be a helpful supplement when building a candidate pipeline, but intuition is critical.

“A hybrid decision-making approach can help mitigate the biases we experience both from data and intuition,” the Open Data Science Journal explains. “In the hiring process, we are notably predisposed to hiring certain types of people, but a machine can quickly strip away the internal biases we have and present us with a list of truly qualified candidates…The other side of this is a blind trust in the conclusions of data. For example, data conclusions often run without the addition of outliers, but our gut responses can tell us a lot about why those outliers exist, helping paint a broader picture.”

A wrong hire can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Are you willing to risk that much on a vending-machine approach to recruiting? Talk to our recruiters today to find out how they find candidates in a way that’s superior to using AI alone.


The HT Group fills roles in Temporary Staffing, Executive Search, Technical Recruiting, and Retained Search.

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