Recruiters taking advantage of technologies like automation must use it as a way to cement personal relationships or could lose out says Justin Lush, associate director of Ignata Technology.

The London-based recruitment specialist firm views technology as vital to reducing the time and effort associated with recruiting new talent, but realises there will still be a place for the human touch.

“We cannot ignore the potential shortcomings of automation in a very personal industry,” Lush told BusinessCloud.

“Early rapport building with candidates could become lost. Sometimes you cannot beat human interaction to answer any questions or concerns, or even to cement interest in the role.

“If this gets lost, it could mean great candidates fall out of love with the role and recruitment agencies as a whole. It is important to maintain a balance that automates the grunt work but allows for individual interaction.”

However, used wisely automation could also save recruiters a lot of time and energy says Lush.

“There will be no more sifting through hundreds of paper CVs for one position,” he said.

“This leaves more time spent engaging with candidates and clients alike, enabling stronger and more sustainable relationships and potentially seeing candidates maintain a relationship with a single recruiter throughout their whole career.”

As the pool of candidates continues to dwindle, cautions Lush, both recruiters and employers are increasingly challenged with attracting new talent and therefore finding innovative and different ways to engage and retain them.

“Newspaper listings are making way for social media advertisement which has evolved to become the primary platform for employers and recruiters to engage candidates,” he said.

“Likewise, according to the latest research a third of 18-34-year-olds found their current position through social media.”

The introduction of AI and mobile technology has created yet another dimension to the process of jobseeking said Lush.

“Candidates can apply for roles at the click of a button and recruiters can assess skills and suitability much quicker,” he explained.

“New automated tools such as chatbots are also on the rise. These products are evolving constantly, which means they are becoming more intelligent and changing the way businesses and recruiters engage with candidates.”

Machine learning analyses candidate information, allowing recruiters to shortlist applicants in an unbiased way, unless the bias is actually programmed into the platform, concludes Lush.

“In a day where issues such as gender inequality and racial discrimination are under real scrutiny, this neutrality is one of many defining qualities of technology in recruitment,” he said.