Recruiting Is Better Done In Person

Knowing what, and how, to measure is key for people to survive in this world. At least, this is what authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner claim in their former best-selling book “Freakonomics” originally published in 2005.

What if I told you that artificial intelligence is now in the business of changing how we measure incoming talent. Automated interviews are now a thing of the present.

Wait, what? Some companies are now using AI to measure a candidate’s technical skills, IQ scores, personalities and such. Many are celebrating the idea of hiring people through what is called the process of advanced recruiting automation.

Let me elaborate, if I may: We now have intelligent systems that replace a sizable part of the search process, making recruiting done by human beings nearly obsolete by automating interviews through video technology.

Don’t believe me? OK. Go to www.appliqant.info and see for yourself. Having a machine telling me what to look for in a potential candidate is borderline disturbing. The fact that we now have an available AI system that can also measure a candidate’s strength is simply weird.

Can you imagine trusting a machine to make your recruiting decisions? I know a person who was a bank teller who was applying for different banks, and the system stated that he wasn’t qualified to be a bank teller! What if the system is wrong?

By the way, do we really need a computer to tell us whether a person is a fit for a job or not? Let me reveal this to you: I am a human polygraph. I prepared myself in the psychology of intelligence analysis, back in the day. Working for the CIA was once my goal. Some of us humans have the ability, by training, to profile people quite accurately and make decisions accordingly.

“We tend to perceive what we expect to perceive,” as Richards Heuer once said.

God has created us all in His image but please don’t forget an important fact: We are, technically speaking, animals! Animals behave in quite predictable patterns which are easily identifiable.

For thousands of years, we have lived in communities. One of the best ways to make somebody behave like a madman is by isolating them, like what prison guards do to misbehaving inmates when sending them to solitary confinement. We simply don’t need a computer to tell us these predictable patterns. What we need is to train recruiters in analytical judgment, probability and perception of cause and effect.

Facial expressions, bulging cheeks and moving ears are things we look for when a person is experiencing pain which is easily traceable and noticeable. Do we really need an AI program to observe the obvious? I don’t think so. Our innate ability at discernment plays a role in this.

Some people will think that acquiring this technology for recruiting purposes is awesome, and just the thing to do. I am skeptical about that. What I have seen lately is organizations hiring resumes rather than people, because of perceived advantages of technology. And this, in the long run, is a phenomenon that causes severe problems for those organizations.  Sooner or later, the business of being human kicks in. We cannot afford to have machines recruiting people and people starting to think like machines! Let’s not forget that we created the machine, not the other way around.

I think that in the end, all this conversation about AI being used in the recruiting process is a way for organizations to overwork their employees. Hey, let’s pay a reasonable price per automated interview so that we don’t lose productivity during the hiring process.

We all know that recruiting employees is expensive, due in large part to turnover. Maybe what we need to do is to train our employees in how to better identify talent so that they acquire good employees and — most importantly — keep them!

This idea of firing people in order to increase stock price may be the real reason why some companies are using this tool, along with productivity. Don’t be like them. Be different. Be human! We shouldn’t let a machine dictate who is going to work with us.

At least, this is my position.