By Jennifer (Nwanosike) Oyelade

NOW this is a topic with many complexities, especially given that the world we live in is increasingly becoming dependent on technology, which is evolving at a fantastic rate. Technology is arguably one of the largest, if not the largest revenue generating sector in the world currently. It pervades almost everything we do in our day to day lives, both personally and professionally.

Over the years, Human Resources has seen a huge increase in the development of softwares and Information Management Systems that have enhanced different processes and made company information systems easier to manage centrally, and easier to access from anywhere in the world.

However, with regards to Recruitment, I believe that there is a limit as to how far technology can be relied upon to identify a perfect candidate for any advertised position.

With Talent Acquisition, a more personable approach should be the preferred method. It is critical for Recruiters to meet face to face with applicants and to measure their personalities against the wish list set by the potential employer. Given that brands operate in a highly competitive market, nothing should be left to chance when it comes to identifying a new employee, especially if they are C-level executives.

As the first point of contact between the talent pool and the recruiting organisation, the manner in which a Talent Acquisition Manager engages with professionals speaks volumes about the organisation they represent.

Your objective as a Talent Acquisition Specialist is to identify key talent and to do everything within your power to ensure that they tick all the boxes so that once they are on the job, they will hopefully prove themselves a great asset to the employer. This requires a thorough process of vetting the academic qualifications, technical competencies and personality of a candidate. This is something that no system or software can do as effectively as a human being.

Technological systems are of course essential when it comes to processing candidates’s applications, keeping track of tests results and initial interview notes during a recruitment drive. With these systems, you can create a numerous pool of talent which may not be right for the role you’re currently recruiting for, but which may be suitable for future recruitment needs.

Computerised processes are also good for evaluation reports on recruitment drives to measure the calibre of candidates you are attracting. Where and how did the applicants learn about the advertised job? (i.e. job board, print media, social media etc). Monitoring these reports will indicate which route generated the best results.

However, I feel that the traditional way of identifying candidates by headhunting and getting to know the individual concerned, is still the most appropriate method. Building a relationship with candidates is essential for the purposes of identifying the right person for a particular job.

It also shows the person you are dealing with that you genuinely care about their professional development and that you are not just motivated by the commission you might receive when that person gets the job on the strength of your recommendation.

Unlike humans, systems and softwares only work with numbers, scenarios, and probabilities. They cannot look a potential job candidate in the eye, have coffee with them, create rapport and get a feel of how that person can fit within a particular company’s environment and work culture.

Similarly, there is a limit as to what can be gleaned about a prospective employee through a personality test. Such a test can arguably only reflect the candidate’s state of mind when he/she took the test. It doesn’t provide a full profile of an individual’s capabilities. We all have our good and bad days, so our moods on certain days cannot be a reliable barometer on whether we can perform our duties effectively or not.

However, to flip the script a bit, I do believe in tests that demonstrate a candidates’ technical ability because these are set on tried and tested methods of gauging and evaluating performance.

In conclusion I would like to assert that although technology has an important role to play in recruitment drives, locally and globally, companies should appreciate that the jaw to jaw and eye to eye contact which has served human beings since the beginning of time, remains critical to determining a candidate’s fitness for a particular job.

*Jennifer (Nwanosike) Oyelade provides recruitment and training services tailored to identify, develop and empower talent in Nigeria and across Sub-Sahara Africa.