Recruiter reaction to the technology, not surprisingly, has been mixed -- recruiting is, after all, a "people-sport." What would happen to the reputation and value of recruiters if technology was to take their place? Concerns about technology replacing humans predates the industrial revolution; the reality of machines replacing humans, however, hasn't come to fruition.
There are some natural reactions to new technology, not only excitement, but also frustration and fear. Usually, with time and experience, people come around to technology, finding that it's freed them up to focus on new tasks, perhaps more valuable than the tasks that are now attended to by technology. Used properly, technology doesn't replace humans; rather, humans utilize technology to improve their own efficiencies and increase their own productivity.
A recent comment from a Senior Technical Recruiter, about VoiceScreener technology: "I think if this were sent to me as a professional level candidate, I would delete it. I can't imagine working with something so 'automated.' Recruiting to me is about relationships ..."
Addressing "automation" versus "personal touch," I initially shared the same concern. What we've found, through using the tool and soliciting feedback from candidates, was that when the tool was used in addition to the personal phone interview, there was an added assurance of consistency and preparation on the part of the candidate as well as the recruiter.
Initially, 90% of the candidates that completed the automated VoiceScreener interview through Quovis had gone on to a personal phone interview with a recruiter; however, as we revised our interview questions to be more thorough, approximately 70% of candidates have gone on to a personal phone interview.
In addition to being able to review the candidate comments prior to the personal phone interview, we'll soon be able to present the automated portion of the interview to our client hiring managers, in conjunction with the resume, interview notes, and our firm's overall recommendation. Our clients have already told us that they've noticed a difference in the quality of candidates that make it to the client interview.
Like the early days of e-mail, job boards, and networking sites, such as ERE, LinkedIn, and Facebook, this technology is now in its early-stages, but we've found that with the ability to spend more time, digging deeper into the backgrounds and experiences of the most qualified candidates, our success rates, in terms of finding a client/candidate match, has already improved.
In addition, most successful companies today are successful and will remain successful not because of their history of keeping with what they've always known, but rather because of their desire to identify and their ability to embrace change. No question, this technology awakens all of us to yet another change, but for recruiters, our clients, and our candidates to see the positives in the new technology says a whole lot about our individual abilities to thrive in a constantly changing environment.