5 Recruiting Skills That AI Can’t Replace

March 14, 2018

Recently, there’s been a lot of talk around AI and recruiting—will it take over recruiters jobs? Will the way we recruit and hire completely change?

But, while AI will certainly play a big role in the future of recruiting, only 14% of talent acquisition professionals are concerned that AI will take away their jobs, according to our survey.

That’s because the core of the recruiting profession—the parts of the job that require personal and emotional engagement—can’t be replaced by AI. Instead, AI will automate more menial, structured tasks (like data collection) and free up recruiters to focus on building their skill sets that require a human touch.

These are the top recruiting skills AI is least likely to replace

  1. Building relationships with candidates
  2. Seeing candidate potential beyond credentials
  3. Judging “culture add” or “culture fit”
  4. Gauging candidate interpersonal skills
  5. Convincing candidates to accept offers

By nurturing and growing these skills, you can be sure to stand out as a recruiter and add value to the hiring process that AI can amplify, but not replace. Here’s a look at each recruiting skill:

1. Building relationships with candidates

Unsurprisingly, the most AI-proof skill is the one that relies most on the human touch—building strong relationships with candidates. It’s these relationships that leave a lasting impression on candidates—one that can make all the difference when they’re choosing between multiple offers or deciding whether to leave their current role.

You can build a strong relationship with candidates through personalized outreach that’s tailored to their interests, being open about yourself and your career, and being transparent about the interview process and the role (the good and the bad). Helping to prep them for interviews also goes a long way and leaves a lasting impression.

2. Seeing candidate potential beyond credentials

It takes a talented recruiter to spot the true potential of a candidate, especially one who has minimal experience or is switching careers altogether. You can develop this skill by defining the traits and soft skills that have made previous employees successful in the role, and screening for them in your hiring process. While AI can enhance your potential-spotting skills, it can’t replace them.

3. Judging “culture add” or “culture fit”

Figuring out whether a candidate will fit in with your culture, or more importantly be a culture add, is a skill that requires human interaction. Pre-screening AI tools can come in handy here as well, but what will really help you make this decision is meeting with the candidate and, even better, bringing them in for a job audition. By letting them work alongside their prospective coworkers for a day, you get a firsthand glimpse of what they’ll bring to the culture (and how good they’ll be at the job).

You can also help candidates who won’t like your culture self select out by making your company values and culture show in job descriptions and on your website.

4. Gauging candidates’ interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills impact how well an employee can communicate with their managers, work with other teams, and respond to customers’ needs. The best way to assess interpersonal skills is the simplest, and something recruiters are very good at: chatting with  candidates.

You can tailor your interview questions to uncover interpersonal skills by asking things like “describe a conflict you’ve had with your manager, and how you dealt with it,” or by posing a specific problem they might encounter on the job and asking how they’d solve it.

5. Convincing candidates to accept offers

Accepting a job offer is a huge decision, and it requires a personal approach. When you’ve spent the time getting to know your candidate, you can focus on the things that matter most to them (beyond salary) when making the offer. If they’re really excited about career growth, for example, you know to discuss their career trajectory at your company, showing them what their next five years might look like. Recruiters can also discuss any concerns and anticipate why a candidate might reject an offer.

The human touch is only going to become more important as AI streamlines the hiring process and handles the menial tasks for you. Mastering these five skills will ensure that your candidates always have welcoming and engaging interactions with you and your company, even if they encounter AI along the way. Their experience will be better, and your job will be secure for years to come.

For more insights about how AI will impact the future of recruiting, download the complete Global Recruiting Trends 2018 report today.

*Image by Ravi Shah

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