AI and automated communication hold great promise to improving the future of business. They can save time and energy on simple tasks and let employees focus on the more creative parts of their job. It’s important to remember these are still tools and will only work as well as the person using them. Because of this, it’s essential to add a human touch to automation if you want to achieve the best results.

A Human Touch is Still Essential

In the last 10 to 15 years, there’s been an explosion of the use of automation in business. And for a good reason: automating simple and process-heavy tasks leaves recruiters with more time and energy to focus on decision-making.

With the development of AI and machine learning, it looks like we’ll soon be able to automate pretty much every step of the hiring process. However, the question remains if this is the right way to go. There are still areas where a human touch is irreplaceable. And while AI can improve the speed and efficiency of a recruiter’s work, there’s still no replacement for expertise.

There’s No Substitute for Emotional Intelligence

For a while now, we’ve seen AI take over work that requires traditional intelligence. And it makes sense—computers can perform simple tasks much faster than a human brain would.

One area where humans will always have the upper hand is emotional intelligence. Employing empathy and compassion is something won’t be able to master any time soon. Because of this, emotional intelligence will stay out of the reach of automation and prove to be an extremely valuable skill in the years to come.

The Human Mind is Still More Flexible

AI recruitment requires mountains of data to work and will only be as strong as the data provided. Because of this, if an AI is working with a faulty data set, it will have a hard time self-correcting. While machine learning promises to take steps toward fixing this issue, a human touch ensures that through trial and error mistakes can be fixed much faster.

A Matter of Context

AI chatbots can be extremely helpful for engaging and screening potential candidates. But they are still limited by the quality of questions and answers they have access to.

On the other hand, recruiters are able to understand the context and answer more complex questions. This is particularly important in the later stages of the hiring process, like interviews and onboarding.

Engaging Passive Candidates

As a part of their job, recruiters have their own networks of contacts and relationships they can use to reach out to candidates that might not otherwise know about a job opening.

Certain types of automated email campaigns can still reach passive candidates. However, these might feel impersonal and turn candidates off. A human touch will result in a much better response.

Building Rapport

Finally, the strongest case for recruiters employing a human touch when hiring is the ability to build relationships. While you can set up an automated email campaign to reach out to candidates, putting a face to the communication is the only way to truly build a relationship.

This extends beyond the hiring process itself: having a recruiter who is good at building relationships ensures you have a steady pool of top talent the next time you need a position filled.

The Benefits of a High-Touch Approach

With all this in mind, here are some of the distinct benefits that only a high-touch approach to automated communication can provide:

Building Relationships

As we mentioned above, recruiters are uniquely suited to building true and lasting relationships. Combined with an automated communication system, they can build these relationships with a lot more clients at the same time. This will give you a much wider and better selection of candidates come hiring time.

Improving Your Employer Brand

This ties in with our previous point. Building stronger relationships with your candidates and employees will show that your company cares about its staff. Once you start building a reputation like this, you are directly strengthening your employee brand. With word of mouth, you can expect top candidates to reach out to you every time there’s a possibility of a position opening.

Short- and Long-Term Engagement

We’ve already covered how adding a human touch can help build relationships and improve your employer brand. In order to facilitate all this, you will need to make sure you’re properly engaging with candidates. Automated communication will help you provide engagement over the long term with minimal effort. Combining it with a human touch will make this engagement more personal, and therefore more effective.

Combining AI Recruiting and Human Touch

Now that we know how adding a human touch to automated communication can help our business, here are some of the ways you can do it:

Sourcing

Automated communication can make the sourcing stage more efficient and provide much better results. Reaching out to passive candidates will give you a much wider talent pool to use in the screening stage.

Recruiters can help improve these results by taking the time to direct automation the right way. Consider the wording used in the job description. The same adjectives used here will determine who an automated outreach campaign targets. At the same time, recruiters should choose the best channels to use with automated communication. This will ensure that you target candidates with the right background and qualifications.

Screening and Interviews

The screening stage is where AI can have arguably the biggest impact on the hiring process. It can process thousands of applications almost instantly. However, this process largely depends on the screening filters used. Recruiters can help by carefully crafting the words AI will screen for.

If you’re using chatbots to engage and screen candidates, having a recruiter design and review the list of questions will both humanize the interaction and provide much better results.

Using AI during the interview process is also a recent trend. AI can monitor a candidate’s word choice and facial expression to determine their personality and reactions. Without a human interviewer present, AI will have a hard time coming to the right conclusions. Having a person on the other side of the table leads to much more genuine reactions, and an experienced interviewer can offer their own insight on how well a candidate might fit your company.

Hiring and Onboarding

Finally, while many companies are adopting automated and remote onboarding, there’s something to be said for having a recruiter present during this important period. Having someone to answer their questions will help candidates adapt much more quickly and will further support the element of building lasting relationships.

AI and automated communication will give recruiters more time to focus on their area of expertise - forming connections and making hiring decisions. Combining these tools with a human touch will ensure you always find the perfect candidate for the right job.