July 2, 2024

Why AI Won’t “Fix” Hiring


Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

Meet the new problem. Same as the old problem.

AI isn’t going to “fix” the candidate experience. It’s just going to make it worse.

Sounds gloomy. But it doesn’t have to be.

I’m fascinated by the  “automation paradox.” David Mindell came up with it: “the phenomenon where increasing levels of automation in a system can actually increase the need for human intervention rather than decrease it.” 

Think back to the Industrial Revolution. The machines were supposed to take our ancestors’ jobs, weren’t they? But people were needed to build, fix, maintain, recalibrate, improve, and most importantly, invent new machines. And the same exact thing happened when personal computers went mainstream. We always need to create newer and better stuff.

But there’s a difference between creating new products and improving (what’s perceived to be) non-revenue generating processes: there’s a financial incentive to throw people at one, but not the other. 

Or as I more colorfully put the latter scenario in this video “the more autonomous and complex the system, the less you’re able to fix it when it’s f*cked.” So I worry about AI in recruiting, because it’s a field that’s under supported as-is.

Automations that work? Seamless. You never know they’re there.

Automations that are broken? Stick out like a sore thumb.

Those annoying drip email campaigns of stuff you’d never buy. Those LinkedIn connect requests “I noticed your profile and saw we know people in common.” Or, you know, getting straight up ghosted after an interview.

But it’s not just knowing how to create and fix increasingly complex AI automations. It’s understanding that the trickier parts of the process require human empathy and understanding to begin with.

Offer time. How do people make high stress life decisions?

Everyone is different. Everyone has their own criteria. And they’re largely emotional. And one will never be the same as the next. You can’t create an algorithm to predict what one person will do vs another when you’ll never have enough psychograph information on any of them.

Yet great recruiters have better close rates than bad ones. Why? Candidates trust them enough to tell them where else they’re interviewing, what they do and don’t like about the opportunity, what it will take for them to accept, etc.

Because…they’re human.

AI will automated the hell out of the boring stuff. But the boring stuff isn’t what gets job seekers excited enough to join your company.

Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

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