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  • Writer's pictureLindi Engelbrecht

The intersection between Recruiters and Recruiting Technology

Human in the loop Recruitment Technology

We’re not always aware that we’re in the middle of a technological revolution. We now take for granted that our entire lives are on our phones and that anything we want — from takeout to laundry detergent — can be at our doorsteps with just a simple swipe. We know that technology is similarly changing how we work. Now more than ever, there is a real need to use intelligent digital solutions to enhance the way people do their jobs. The limits of what humans can do at their desks with legacy technology have been thrown into the spotlight, and it's time for organisations across all sectors to think about their hiring practices in a new way.

The relationship between recruiters and technology can sometimes feel a little uneasy. On the one hand, as recruiting technology evolves, companies have an increasing number of tools at their disposal to improve how they source, shortlist, engage, and hire candidates. This technology can automate some of the more time-consuming tasks associated with talent acquisition, like sorting through piles of online profiles to find the most qualified candidates and providing recruiting teams with accurate analytics and insights to make the best hires. But on the other hand, some HR experts wonder if these new technological developments could eventually eclipse the role of the recruiter completely.

This has been a hot topic, even spawning a recent Washington Post article, saying that computers are really good at selecting talent, but that Recruiters can get in the way, preventing the best candidates from being hired. According to the Post article, algorithms are best at predicting who will be successful, but once recruiters step in, they introduce bias and impact a company’s ability to hire the right people.

We disagree with this assumption. Why? It neglects the fact that recruiting is a deeply people-based function and will always need living, breathing humans to drive its success.

As AI and other advanced technologies permeate the workplace, skills such as critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving gain in importance. Leading companies are recognising that these technologies are most effective when they complement humans, not replace them.

Seventy-four percent of South African respondents state that this trend is important, with 76 % not being ready for it.

Only 7 % of respondents state that their organisation is restructuring the way work is done and using AI or robotics. Fifty-one percent of respondents do not currently use AI or robotics in the workplace and 38% state that their organisation does not have a plan to cultivate the human skills required to use AI or robotics. Organisations are often divided on the recognition and acceptance of AI and robotics.


Will AI replace human recruiters in the areas of high automation potential? At DIGGER our focus is on human-in-the-loop, where human and machine are seen as collaborators, adding to each other’s capabilities and making the entire workflow better. It’s important to note that, even in the tasks where machines outplay human performance, humans still hold the overall responsibility on the ethical reach of AI.


A recruiter who is supplemented by technology to streamline and automate key tasks is better equipped to make critical hiring decisions - Working Side by Side. The marketplace for robotics and AI tools is booming. Leading tech companies are investing heavily in the area, even as billions are pumped into AI #worktech startups

Note that augmented AI doesn’t automate you out of a job. Ultimately, the human touch is necessary for augmented AI to succeed. Machine learning that incorporates human oversight (called human-in-the-loop machine learning) is the best way to avoid “black box” AI that makes decisions without a traceable explanation or reasoning.

Machine learning needs to complement rather than replace human expertise. HR and TA professionals know their stuff; machine learning can’t do all the thinking for them.

In my work at DIGGER, I spend a lot of time thinking about "human-machine relationships" — or how technology, people and culture intersect. Understanding that technology is shaped by human factors is key to successful, potentially disruptive innovation.

The end game is to see more people, meet more people and have a smooth experience for the candidates

In the next few years, finding top talent will depend on a recruiter’s ability to intelligently automate their workflow and unearth insights into their talent pool.

Has your team considered the benefits of AI in recruitment in the past and stopped at the shopping phase? Human resources used to be seen as an old school department, with set in their ways and past policies.

Until 2020 happened, and the world turned upside down. Between a virtual-first workplace and calls for diversity and inclusion at major corporations, Covid-19 has called for a complete restructuring of an array of industries. What worked in the past no longer works today.

It’s time to refocus. How is your organization planning to hire efficiently, more accurately, and reduce unconscious bias?

The changes in technology will make a huge impact on the way we hire. We have to prepare ourselves to witness and embrace the changes the future of recruitment has in store. If, as an organization, you fail to grow, adapt and evolve, you will lose the game. It is said that great vision without great people is irrelevant and recruitment is the door to getting great people, you have to ace it to win in the market place.


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