Recruitment in the Digital Age: Man or Machine?

By OrangeHRM | Published on 19 ene. 2016 | minute read

The realm of recruitment has traversed a profound transformation in the digital age. Gone are the days of sorting through stacks of paper resumes; in its place, we find the ever-expanding domain of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. This article delves into the heart of the matter, exploring the evolving dynamics of recruitment in the age of algorithms, analytics, and automation.

The Role of Technology in Modern Recruitment

Technology has emerged as the tireless gatekeepers to the job market. These technologies have brought about a paradigm shift in how recruiters screen and match candidates. No longer constrained by time and energy, algorithms are relentless in their pursuit of the perfect candidate. And over 60% of HR professionals say that technology has improved the efficiency of their recruitment processes. Skill assessments, once a tedious human task, now fall into the hands of technology, providing employers with rapid insights into a candidate's abilities. 

As a result the recruitment process is now supported by another factor “Big Data”. The era of big data has ushered in predictive hiring, enabling employers to make decisions based on data-driven insights. Advanced analytics unveil patterns and trends, helping recruiters identify the perfect fit for a role. By tapping into vast talent pools, employers can gain a deeper understanding of the market, creating a formidable advantage. Backing this claim up stats show that organizations can reduce their cost-per-hire by up to 70% through the use of applicant tracking systems (ATS) and other HR technologies.

Pros and Cons of Technology in Recruitment

Pros of Technology in Recruitment

Cons of Technology in Recruitment

Efficiency and Speed: Technology enables automated processes, significantly reducing the time it takes to screen and shortlist candidates.

Over-Reliance on Algorithms: Algorithms can inadvertently discriminate against certain groups if not designed and monitored properly.

Wider Candidate Pool: Online job portals and social media platforms allow recruiters to access a larger and more diverse talent pool.

Impersonal Process: Excessive automation may create a lack of human touch, alienating potential candidates.

Cost Savings: Digital recruitment methods can reduce advertising and administrative costs associated with traditional hiring.

Information Overload: A surplus of applicant data can overwhelm recruiters, making it challenging to identify the most qualified candidates.

Data-Driven Decision-Making: Technology provides data analytics tools that help recruiters make more informed hiring decisions.

Privacy Concerns: Gathering and storing candidate data raises privacy issues, especially with the introduction of GDPR and other data protection laws.

Improved Candidate Experience: Applicant tracking systems and chatbots can offer quicker response times and smoother application experiences.

Technical Glitches: Technology can be prone to technical failures, leading to disruptions in the recruitment process.

Remote Interviewing: Video interviews make it easier to assess remote or international candidates, reducing geographical constraints.

Skillset Gaps: Some recruiters may lack the necessary tech skills to effectively navigate and utilize new systems.

Diversity and Inclusion: Technological tools can help eliminate unconscious bias from the hiring process.

Security Risks: Data breaches or cyberattacks can compromise sensitive candidate information.

Streamlined Collaboration: Cloud-based systems facilitate collaboration among hiring teams, regardless of location.

Unreliable Algorithms: Algorithms are only as good as the data they are trained on, which can perpetuate biases if not addressed.

Enhanced Candidate Matching: Algorithms can better match candidates to job requirements, improving the quality of hires.

Loss of Personal Connection: In virtual interactions, it's harder to gauge a candidate's personality and cultural fit.

Scalability: Technology allows for seamless scaling of recruitment efforts to meet the needs of growing organizations.

High Initial Costs: Implementing and maintaining advanced recruitment technology can be costly, especially for small businesses.

The Human Element in Recruitment

Emotional Intelligence

The role of emotional intelligence in recruitment cannot be overstated. Building relationships, understanding culture fit, and gauging a candidate's passion require a human touch that algorithms struggle to replicate. In a world of data, it's the ability to connect on a personal level that often seals the deal.

Soft Skills Assessment

Recruitment goes beyond mere skills; it encompasses soft skills like communication and adaptability. These nuanced attributes are challenging for machines to evaluate, highlighting the enduring importance of human judgment. This is seen by 82% of professionals believing that culture is a potential competitive advantage, and assessing cultural fit often requires human judgment.

Fairness and Diversity

Addressing bias is crucial. Recruiters must actively work to mitigate bias and promote diversity. Technology can aid in this endeavor, but human oversight remains essential in ensuring fair and inclusive hiring practices.

The Outcome

The topic of man vs machine in recruitment is a hotly debated topic. There are many who feel that losing the human element in recruitment can greatly hamper an organization, while others believe that data and the subsequent results can outweigh the need for humans to be present at every step of the recruitment process. But there is a third opinion that no matter how advanced technology gets, combining the human element with advanced technology garners better results. This approach involves striking a balance between where to use technology and where to us the human touch.

To find the perfect balance, recruiters are increasingly turning to a hybrid approach that combines the strengths of technology and human judgment. This approach acknowledges the potential of technology in handling administrative tasks and mitigating bias while preserving the human touch for the more nuanced aspects of recruitment like judging soft skills or emotional intelligence. And in turn training becomes paramount to the success of finding the perfect balance. As technology takes center stage, the need for training and education becomes paramount. Recruiters must adapt and upskill to integrate technology seamlessly into their workflow, ensuring they remain relevant in the digital age. 

Why OrangeHRM?

As the recruitment process evolves it is essential that technology evolves with it. OrangeHRM’s Recruitment module gives you all the tools necessary to help you automate your processes while still keeping that human touch. With features like job posting, workflow automation, and customizable application forms and questions OrangeHRM puts all your essential recruitment tools at your fingertips. See what OrangeHRM can do for you by booking your FREE demo here.


  • What is recruitment?

    • Recruitment, also known as hiring or talent acquisition, is the process of identifying, attracting, and selecting qualified individuals for specific job roles within an organization. It involves sourcing candidates, conducting interviews, and ultimately bringing the right people on board to contribute to a company's success.
  • What's the difference between good and bad recruitment?

    • Good recruitment focuses on finding candidates who not only possess the necessary skills and qualifications but also align with the company's culture and values. It fosters a positive candidate experience and engages candidates throughout the process. Bad recruitment, on the other hand, often leads to high turnover rates, as it neglects cultural fit, communication, or providing a satisfying candidate experience.
  • How does human recruitment differ from technological recruitment?

    • Human recruitment relies on personal interactions and judgment. Recruiters assess not only qualifications but also soft skills, emotional intelligence, and cultural fit. They build relationships with candidates and adapt to unique situations. In contrast, technological recruitment uses AI, algorithms, and data analysis to streamline the process, emphasizing efficiency and data-driven decision-making. It may sometimes lack the personal touch, emotional intelligence, and the ability to adapt to nuanced situations that human recruiters can provide.
  • Can technology completely replace human recruiters?

    • While technology can automate various aspects of recruitment and improve efficiency, it's unlikely to entirely replace human recruiters. Human recruiters bring empathy, emotional intelligence, and the ability to make nuanced judgments that technology cannot replicate. They excel in areas like assessing culture fit, dealing with unique cases, and building relationships with candidates. The most successful recruitment strategies often combine the strengths of both technology and human expertise.
  • How can organizations strike a balance between technology and the human element in recruitment?

    • Achieving the right balance involves using technology to streamline administrative tasks, screen candidates, and analyze data. Human recruiters can then focus on interpersonal aspects like interviews, culture assessments, and creating a positive candidate experience. Regular training and monitoring can help ensure that the human element complements and guides the technology to enhance recruitment outcomes.