High Tech vs. High Touch: Bring HR Back from the Dead

personal touch hr

Today is a time of robots, screens and the zombified automated processes. Don’t get us wrong; automation is a smart way to save time and increase accuracy in business. However, saving time in administrative hiring tasks should mean more time for innovation, personalization and other things only a human can provide. 

The high tech vs. high touch battle has been waged for as long as the computer has been a cubicle staple. We love being on the other end of an automated answering system as much as we love receiving emails with our name spelled wrong, right? Personalization has become somewhat of a lost art and with “human” being a very important half to the HR whole, we need a balance between technology and touch.

High Tech and Automation

Technology is something a majority of the working world has had to adapt to. From the fingerprint based time clock to the work email we’re administered on the first day of employment, there’s really no way the digital world has completely evaded your workplace. The same can be said for staffing and the talent acquisition process, in which even the most traditional companies have some automation or digitization involved. After all, it’s just good business to find a way to automate a repeated process.

Lack of automation hinders business success according to 72% of HR professionals. If it’s taking employee time, then it’s costing company dollars, which is why it’s so easy for some companies to fall for the trap of replacing human interaction with robotic intervention. There is a tool for every part of HR and recruiting, but their existence doesn’t mean they should all be used at once. At the end of the day, a great ATS can ignore the perfect candidate an experienced recruiter would have spotted immediately.

Tweet This: An ATS can ignore the perfect candidate a recruiter would have spotted immediately:


High Touch and Heart

The way we approach the use of technology is actually a good indicator of what high touch is and why it is so important. We are constantly looking for tools that imitate a human’s touch. Personalized emails deliver 6 times better transaction rates. Though business isn’t conducted face-to-face as often in today’s world, clients want to feel as though they are only a call away from the care and compassion of a person. The same is absolutely true for recruiting and managing talent.

High touch recruiting professionals make a habit of conducting weekly calls to check in on interviews or to discuss feedback from hiring managers. They take clients very seriously and spend time creating relationships with talent so they can make the best staffing placement for the company and the candidate. At a basic level, a high-touch business model might use the bare minimum technological intervention in hopes they remain genuine and avoid any mechanical coldness or frustration.

The Balance of High Tech and High Touch

Realistically, there is no reason a company shouldn’t be using the technology that will reduce administrative strain and human error. The best solution is to find a balance and discover where technology helps the process and where the finesse of a human is necessary. These “touchpoints” provide warmth to cold, mechanical methodologies.

The candidate experience carries weight in recruiting talent and impressing applicants and bears importance to the employer brand as a whole, so find touchpoints in your sourcing, recruiting and hiring processes. Forgetting to send follow up emails or rejection notices are all small pieces that create big waves in a candidate’s satisfaction with a company. Once employed, talent still wants to feel that organic and personalized connection to their organization. That’s why employees who feel they can approach their manager with any type of question feel 54% are engaged.

Tweet This: These 5 simple tasks performed by humans, not machines, can mean all the difference in #recruiting


Recruiting Touchpoints

As mentioned before, sourcing and recruiting talent might be the first time a candidate ever learns about an organization. Recruiting touchpoints can mean the difference between an amazing hire and a denied offer. These simple tasks, performed by humans and not a machine, can mean all the difference.

An easy to find and read job posting. Simple enough, but if the job posting doesn’t break down the position in terms your ideal candidate can understand or identify with, their chance of applying diminishes. Job ad builders can’t ensure this.

  • Confirm received applications. Sending an automatically generated email to applicants will do the trick, but can you imagine how much of an impact meaningful outreach can make on a candidate’s perspective of your company. Talk about making them feel special and engaging them in the hiring process!
  • Emails that feel individualized. From a name in the greeting to the job position’s title, it’s important that you leave no question on who was supposed to receive the email. While this is something email systems and ATS can do today, tacking in personal details about the applicant is a human’s touch… until AI recruiting continues to evolve!
  • Explain next steps for each next part of the process. Explain when interviews will happen after an application is received or detail the interview process. Whatever can be provided will help applicants feel cared for. Again, machines can do this, but what about sending a personalized video with the information instead. It’s part automation, part humanization!
  • Deliver on promises. If decisions were made, do not avoid telling the candidate pool. If you do, be warned they may not be pass on positive feedback to their network.

Not matter how advanced technology gets, we’re of the mindset that human intervention will always be necessary. From email to ATS, applicants and employees are looking for efficient companies that care for the people they enter business relationships with. Touchpoints in recruiting and HR will keep the best candidates applying and retain quality talent.

We believe recruiting will always rely on the power of great human interaction. If you want to improve your recruitment process, but don’t know where to begin, download our guide on Streamlining Your Recruitment Process in 5 Steps.

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