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Technology Supports a Decision; It Should not Make the Decision

As recruiters, why would we ever agree to assume technology could truly vet the best candidates without any attention from us? My bet is that we don’t, but somehow there is a market assumption that the ATS determines which applicants are qualified. Isn’t this how we got into the dilemma of the definition of an online applicant in the first place?

While technology is used to enable our process and improve our performance, it should never be assumed technology in and of itself is capable of determining who is or isn’t qualified. I encourage you to consider the message you tell your managers. Does it include statements like “According to the ATS, these are the best matched applicants” or “According to the questions, these are the only ones who are qualified”? Projecting these statements as a way to explain our work can minimize the value we actually bring to the organization.

Remember that technology is an enabler, helping us to make our decisions; however, never let it compromise our ability to make the decision and stand by it. I appreciate the fact that we need guardrails to ensure we practice affirmative action and non-bias recruiting. But remember they are only guardrails. The OFCCP definition and the EEOC recommendations for how to track and record an applicant does not limit our ability to define “qualified.” The responsibility lies on us as experienced business resources.

The next time someone asks you how the short list was selected, be proud of the fact that you’ve reviewed the candidate with the business’ needs in mind and served as an expert to facilitate the process of hiring the best talent for the business. Don’t diminish the value you bring by saying the ATS came up with the shortlist, or someone might start to think there is no longer any need for a recruiter.