10 FIND {perfect candidate} 20 GOTO 10


Seemingly every week heralds the arrival of some new all-singing-all-dancing app aka awesome automated recruitment solution promising to take the pain out of the hiring process. Yes just a simple download will reduce those exorbitant (ĭg-zôr′bĭ-tənt – poor value for money, beyond what is reasonable) fees and deliver you the 3-cherry jackpot of candidates straight into your inbox with the minimum of fuss. Think again.

It will never happen. Not in a million years. OK maybe it will in somewhat less time than that but by then we’ll all be living on Alpha Centauri and a job will be something of a nostalgic trip down memory lane. Why? for one very good reason. Recruitment is not an exact science. It’s at best imperfect, full of subtleties, nuance, context and unconscious bias. Take the bastion of the hiring process: the interview. Does anyone seriously think this is the best way of ascertaining whether someone is right for the job? No, but it’s the closest anyone has found to date. (For the record, we would advocate an element of job shadowing as part of the interview process but it’s not always practical). Hiring someone is a punt, a calculated punt sure, but nevertheless a punt. An interview is merely part of the validation process. Red or black. I’ve got a good feeling it will be red. Spin… zero. Oops.

How best to mitigate against this? get a human involved. Humans are very good at nuance, context, sixth sense, intuition, gut feel, call it what you like. Machines – at least for now – are very bad at it. A lot of jigsaw pieces need to fall neatly into place for that happy new employee with the beaming smile, slick haircut and freshly pressed suit to be sitting in your office come Monday morning, lanyard proudly hanging round their neck, trying in vain to remember everyone’s name save for sexy Sam or luscious Luke in accounts, wondering if they should or shouldn’t take lunch and what time they might get away on their first day.

Machines are very good at precision. Which is why we use technology to help us land 400 tonnes of flying metal at 160mph on a thin strip of tarmac in near/zero visibility with hundreds of lives on the line. Close or close enough just won’t do. Good luck flying with the next airline that promises to get you close to the runway. The fact is hiring a new employee is almost always a case of close or close enough. It’s rare that a candidate will tick every single box on the client wish list. Sure it happens, but then so does zero 3 times in a row.

A good consultant will start out with the aim of ticking every box on your wish list. A good consultant will ask the difficult questions. A good consultant will push back on unrealistic expectations and suggest alternatives. A good consultant won’t source candidates who are merely looking for another job but rather a better job. A really good consultant may also put forward candidates with transferrable skills who are performing a different role in a different industry sector.

Want to work with a good consultant? come say hello to make it so. We are humans. Humans that have worked in the very industry and performed the very roles we now recruit for. Sure we use a modern-day box of tech tricks just like everyone else to help identify talent and generate leads but we do so with a human touch. Machines are not even remotely close to being able to replicate what we do. If you want a sad / comical view of the current state of AI just take a look at the Tay debacle. That said one might argue that automaton-like responses and failure to display any kind of empathy is something that has become all too familiar…

Isn’t it time you got in (human) touch? Call  us on +44 (0) 203 701 1217.

Recruitment. Consulting. Support. As IT should be.™

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