Artificial intelligence (AI) is now being used for a wide range of serious applications in many different fields. It has even been used in the field of staffing. IT talent is scarce, and finding a suitable candidate takes time. An AI model can make the job more efficient for staffing consultants. The prerequisite is that the model is familiar with the context in which the candidate will be working, as well as the skills and experience that the job requires. The model must also be unbiased. AI can also help with conducting job interviews. Yet, we still strongly believe that AI is no substitute for a human staffing consultant, and it never will be.
Empathy for candidates and clients
Our consultants take the time to get to know our clients who are looking for candidates. They know how to look for the right people, strike up a conversation and build trust. Because we know our clients so well and spend a lot of time talking with candidates, we can easily tell whether we have a good candidate in mind or not. It’s not just about fitting the job description, but also about making sure that the candidate is a good match with the company’s culture and that they will have a good click with their future colleagues. It turns out that factual criteria, like the average age within a team or the ratio of males to females, are not very good indicators at all when deciding whether a candidate will be a good match. On paper, they may look like a perfect choice for the job. Other times, the facts may suggest that they’re not a great match. Ultimately, it takes human intelligence to assess the situation and make the right decision.
Keep asking questions
Often when talking with our clients who have created a job description, we discover that they are looking for some very specific characteristics in the ideal candidate. In some cases, for example, education may not be such a huge factor, but other aspects are extremely important, such as a candidate’s ability to quickly learn new things or whether or not they are an extrovert. When we talk to candidates, we sometimes discover that they have certain expertise or skills that they do not list on their CV. It takes a human touch to ask the right questions and gain a full picture of who the candidate really is. For example, what kind of experience have they accumulated at previous jobs? Are they planning on any changes in the near future that might make them want to work fewer hours a week? These are important questions that the candidate’s CV might not fully address.
Because candidates are scarce, they’re high in demand. That means they have plenty of options for where they might want to work. Even if they might be interested in a potential employer to begin with, they might quickly lose sight of that employer when something more interesting comes along. Yet, we often succeed in convincing IT professionals to come in for an interview with a potential employer or client. It takes real people skills to build that kind of trust, and that’s not something that a computer programme can achieve.
Building a network
Our staffing consultants are in contact with IT professionals every day, even some who are not looking for new jobs at the moment. We organise meetups where people can exchange knowledge while also getting to know one another in an informal setting. That gives our staffing consultants a chance to understand the way IT professionals really tick and to understand their wishes and the options at their disposal.