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Balancing automation and human touch in HR and recruitment

Updated: Jun 8

By Ms. Christine Sheng, Regional Managing Director of Talentvis


HR today goes beyond traditional staffing and recruiting. In modern-day HR and recruitment agencies, there is a constant challenge of ensuring balance between fast-growing automation tools and the unique human touch of each candidate. Given that, there is a dire need to dive deeper into this problem to draw a balance and insights from industry research and the wisdom of seasoned professionals, with whose help we can get a rare insight into the recruitment industry.

The Automation Advantage: Efficiency, Bias Reduction, and Streamlining Tasks

There is an undeniable impact of automation tools on the intricate landscape of recruitment processes. Algorithms and advanced AI systems, adept at processing vast volumes of applications with remarkable speed and precision, have become instrumental in reshaping the initial stages of talent acquisition across diverse industries. Moreover, the substantial influence of automation extends beyond mere efficiency gains. By streamlining repetitive tasks, HR professionals are empowered to allocate their time and expertise more strategically, fostering a more personalized and empathetic approach to candidate engagement. This shift towards a harmonious blend of automation and human touch highlights the evolving nature of HR, where technological advancements not only expedite basic steps but also enhance the overall quality and inclusivity of the recruitment journey.

Technology as a Competitive Edge

The strategic merge of automation gives organizations the ability to navigate the dynamic currents of recruitment with unparalleled precision. From the initial stages of candidate sourcing to the intricate process of final selection, technology streamlines operations, offering a multifaceted competitive advantage. For example, learning management systems, online academies, CV builders, cover letter generators, special interviewing platforms, and other services, can streamline a recruitment process greatly. These tools can not only help in reducing bias, but also ensure that everyone gets a fair chance to begin with. However, the so-called ‘tech-wave’ has not only greatly improved the efficiency of the hiring system, but has also unfortunately sparked a fear in the hearts of job-seekers – that there is a lack of human touch and understanding in this modern world. Granted, a tech-based system reduces bias in hiring practices, but there is still a need to draw a line between automation and humanization.

The Human Touch Imperative

While automation brings efficiency, objectivity, and the ability to process vast datasets swiftly, it inherently lacks the nuanced understanding and empathy that human interaction brings to the hiring process. The imperative of striking a delicate balance between these two ends becomes evident as organizations strive to preserve the personal touch while also making use of the ease that technology brings into the HR department.

The very essence of the human touch lies in the ability to comprehend not just the qualifications on a resume but the immeasurable qualities that define personality, cultural fit, team dynamics, and the unique aspirations of each candidate. Automation excels in processing data, but it falls short in deciphering the subtleties of individual experiences, motivations, and soft skills. Achieving the perfect balance between automation and the human touch necessitates a thoughtful integration of technology into recruitment workflows, ensuring that the advantages achieved from automation today do not compromise the humanization and singularity that candidates bring.

Striking a balance

There are a few ways that companies and recruiters have equipped in an attempt to strike a balance. One avenue that elegantly addresses this challenge is the collaboration with recruitment agencies. These agencies gracefully integrate advanced technologies, employing applicant tracking systems and AI tools to efficiently sift through candidate data. This automation allows for a proactive response to potential candidates. This is all done while carefully sifting through the candidates and understanding on a personal level about what each one brings to the table. In this harmony, recruitment agencies serve as a bridge, seamlessly blending the efficiency of automation with the nuanced understanding that comes from human interaction. The result is more than often a happy employer and a happy employee – the match of which was made without bias while keeping into account the personal needs of both sides.

Another strategy that you could use on an individual level would be a proactive investment in skills development. Simply put, having a wider range of achievements, networks and interpersonal skills, you would be less likely to lose the digitized rat race of rejected applications. Emotional intelligence takes center stage, playing a crucial role in understanding and forging deeper connections with candidates. This can especially be refined by recruitment teams and agencies who provide services beyond staffing and ensure that the candidate’s skills are strong enough to penetrate the stringest automated zones of the hiring stages. This strategic approach ensures that efficiency is not achieved at the expense of personal connection.

Additionally, initiatives like speed interviews exemplify a fusion of technology and personal interaction. These innovative approaches enable recruiters to make swift yet impactful assessments, maintaining agility in the recruitment process while upholding a human connection with candidates. Ultimately, the art of striking this delicate balance involves a multi-faceted approach—leveraging recruitment agencies, investing in skills and personal development, and prioritizing the building of personal connections—all contributing to a harmonious recruitment strategy that blends the strengths of automation with the irreplaceable insights of human professionals.


The advantages of tech are endless – but it comes with a price of the potential loss of humanization. To prevent this, insights from industry experts can help highlight the critical nature of this balance, emphasizing that a successful recruitment strategy hinges on leaving ample space for a personal touch which can be achieved by excelling at face-to-face interviews, widening your skillset, network, and reaching out to agencies that can identify candidates’ unique natures.

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