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Executive Spotlights

Automation in Talent Attraction: fighting candidate pre-conditioning.

How automation has corrupted candidate attraction, and what can you as a Hiring Manger or Talent Acquisition Professional do to be more than just another ding in an inbox.

Long gone are the days of posting a job, receiving 50 qualified applicants, interviewing the top 10 candidates, deciding between 2 or 3 finalists, and ultimately making an offer.

Furthermore, with the decrease in casual office interactions, in-person meetings, and travel, you aren’t stirring up a casual conversation that leads down the “know someone who knows someone who is hiring” whisper down the lane.

While there are situational exceptions to every rule, most hires aren’t pure coincidence… your next top Sales Rep, or your out-of-the box thinking Director of Quality likely isn’t actively looking for their next role, and none-the-less willing respond to a generic cold solicitation or fill out an application link online.

And here is why…

1. Automation has encouraged passivity – nearly every search engine and job board crawl the internet, scraping every job opportunity they see and circulating it to millions of potential candidates. Applicants are pre-conditioned to feel like a drop in the bucket, and then even the perfect fit might get ruled out by an AI filter.

2. Sheer volume – candidates, and good candidates for that matter, are attractive, not just to you, but also to others for a variety of reasons. Even if you are individually courting candidates (using paid messages for example on LinkedIn), you are still fighting a battle against 100’s of others.

Good candidates need to be courted; good candidates need to be courted again; and probably a third or even fourth time before even giving your message a second look.

So, how do you attract top candidates…?

1. Try as hard as possible to play whisper down the lane – how much more likely would you be to have a conversation with the solar company that your neighbor raves about vs. the door-to-door salesman that comes to your door?

2. Deliberately add as much of a personal touch as possible to your communication efforts (don’t take silence for lack of interest) – you don’t need to write a dissertation to intrigue a potential hire but taking the 5 minutes to google their name and mention something that no AI robot would think to mention sets your efforts apart.

3. Clearly define the “what is in it for them” – candidates don’t entertain jobs because you are happy at your company, candidates take jobs because you or your company is invested in them being happy at your company.

Attracting top-caliber talent in today’s marketplace is a challenge, but not completely due to the market pressures of labor and demand for labor. Automation has preconditioned candidates, and cutting through the noise and standing out from the crowd is half of the battle.


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