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February 14, 2019
High-Tech And High-Touch? Can They Co-Exist And How Do You Balance The 2?
Alex Csedrik

Pizza aficionados have drawn their lines in the sand. It’s either New York or Chicago-style. The two cannot co-exist.

Unfortunately, some HR departments view the hiring process similarly. Your company is either high-tech or high-touch. Because the advent of automation and artificial intelligence ease overburdened HR departments, companies are having technology take over evaluating candidates (since each corporate job opening attracts 250 resumes).

But is this helping—or hurting—your ability to hire top talent?

Can companies utilize the speed and efficiency of high-tech, while providing the high-touch experience that involves heavy human interaction? How can your company balance the two to provide the ultimate candidate experience?


Without high-tech tools, hiring managers would spend 13 hours per work week reviewing resumes. Instead—as predicted by Forbes—this, along with 16 percent of hiring manager’s tasks that will be freed up within the next 10 years due to AI, is reduced to mere minutes.

But AI’s impact won’t end there. Companies can use it to search the Internet for a candidate’s online presence, highlighting whether the candidate is a cultural fit or not. And its ability to handle interview scheduling moves candidates quicker through the hiring funnel.

Advanced analytics’ adoption in human resources (also known as people or talent analytics) can be leveraged to allow companies to make smarter hiring decisions. Hiring managers have the capability to analyze which traits their most productive employees possess, and they can look for those traits in candidates. In fact, human resources can use this data to understand how all of the employees work, and what the company can do to increase productivity.


While technology is useful, the most valuable tool throughout the hiring process is human interaction. It’s why high-touch is so necessary for a positive candidate experience, which has been proven to be the difference-maker in hiring today’s top talent.

It’s important to avoid sending candidates to the resume black hole—the place where 98 percent of candidates never hear from a company about a job opening. So send an email acknowledgment that you received a candidate’s resume. If your company is interested in moving forward with the candidate, move quickly to schedule the initial interview.  

Remember, 94 percent of candidates want feedback after an interview. But speed matters too. Companies should contact candidates no more than three or four business days after an interview to provide feedback. Even if the answer is no, hiring managers need to keep candidates informed about the hiring process.

And it’s important to make a connection with candidates. While you should keep the hiring process the same for each candidate (to avoid any interview bias), you should personalize communication. If you know the candidate is seeking a good work/life balance, emphasize that when you’re discussing company culture. You can also talk about past experiences or interests that relate to the position.

Balancing The Two

high tech and high touch

Fortunately, companies are perfectly pairing the two to create the ultimate candidate experience.  By automating job sourcing and the initial resume review—not the initial candidate screening—HR departments have optimized the hiring process. Hiring managers are able to choose from more qualified candidates, while providing job seekers with a positive candidate experience with an innovative company.

In fact, many companies are adopting machine-learning chatbots and other AI applications early in the hiring process, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. These chatbots allow companies to give candidates answers to initial questions, at any time. And since the chatbots can understand the questions, it means they can answer with individualized responses. It helps move candidates through the top of the hiring funnel faster.

Others are working with outside recruiters to provide initial phone screen interviews. This saves companies and candidates hours of wasted time on unqualified candidates. Companies don’t have to disrupt their team’s workflow while candidates have the convenience of discussing the position from anywhere (that’s quiet!).

Another high-touch element that aids in the candidate experience is customized feedback. By utilizing co-sourcing recruiting firms, employers are able to provide personal feedback within 24 hours of the interview. The feedback should consist of interview tips for candidates moving onto the next round. And this allows hiring managers to focus on accomplishments, potential, and performance during on-site interviews, not soft skills.   

Yes, it’s possible for high-tech and high-touch to co-exist. Like most things in life, it’s all about finding the right balance between the two.

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