As AI becomes more ingrained in our daily lives, more people are incorporating these automated processes into their work. In fact, 37% of people have already used AI at work, and we can expect more people to start using it daily, too. This surge in AI utilisation marks a transformative phase in workplace dynamics, reflecting a broader trend towards digitalisation across various industries. The potential of AI to streamline operations and optimise efficiency is immense, yet this technological revolution brings with it a critical consideration: the irreplaceable value of humanness in the workplace.

AI is advancing rapidly, automating tasks and freeing workers from administrative burdens in the recruitment industry. But it is also essential to recognise that certain aspects of the profession require human intervention. Human professionals excel in assessing cultural fit, interpersonal dynamics, and understanding organisational values—facets that go beyond the capabilities of AI and demand the expertise, judgment, and empathy that only a human professional can provide. This blend of technological efficiency and humanness creates a more holistic and effective approach to recruitment.

Where AI is useful in recruitment

AI and automated processes are built to help workers achieve tasks quicker and more efficiently. Whether planning a recruitment schedule or through recruitment tracking software, technology can help businesses cut down on administration time – allowing HR professionals to spend that extra time focusing on their employees. By automating mundane and repetitive tasks, AI enables HR professionals to devote more time to strategic thinking and personalised interactions, enhancing the overall effectiveness of the recruitment process.

On average, a single online job post can expect to receive 118 applications. Technology can help screen these applicants to find ones that fit specific criteria that suit the job role, saving you time from viewing these individually. Using AI during the working day can also help you write job descriptions, tailored feedback, and even personalised messages when outreaching potential recruits. This automation not only streamlines the recruitment process but also ensures a level of consistency and fairness in evaluating candidates.

But, ensuring there is humanness in HR is essential for the role.

Where humanness is needed during recruitment

Screening resumes

While the initial 118 applications can be cut down by software, ensuring that everyone applying has the right level of experience for the role and that you’re screening the remaining applications is essential for your business. The human element comes into play when interpreting nuances in resumes and cover letters, understanding the context behind job changes, and recognising potential that may not be immediately apparent through automated screening.

Choosing the right candidates for your company could mean looking at more than just their most recent work experience. Having the human touch here can help better determine who you want to reach out to and interview. It involves understanding the unique blend of skills, personality, and potential that each candidate brings, which is something that AI currently cannot replicate.

Networking and relationships

Automating administration processes can ensure you’ve got more time for other HR-related tasks. This can include networking and building relationships with customers, other businesses, and potential recruits. The human aspect of HR is critical in fostering trust, understanding individual aspirations, and creating meaningful connections that benefit both the organisation and its employees.

While AI can be used to help you write emails and provide feedback for interviews, you will want the human touch if you’re considering an applicant for a longer period. This person-to-person approach can be more welcoming and helpful if you plan to maintain contact with a candidate for future roles.

The human touch is also useful for headhunting. If you know someone who would be the perfect fit for your business, it is best to reach out to them personally rather than through a system.

Handling sensitive situations

The recruitment process isn’t simply hiring someone new. Sometimes, it is handling sensitive situations which require some humanness rather than technology. This can include during layoffs, for employee wellbeing, or during a difficult negotiation. Situations such as these demand empathy, discretion, and a personal approach – qualities that AI is far from replicating.

Using technology during these situations can present your company as unfeeling and difficult to work with, and it could even cause a loss in employees if sensitive situations aren’t handled with care. Whether handling the death of a colleague’s family member or long-term sickness, ensuring you’re caring for your employees means adding the human touch to these moments. It’s about creating an environment where employees feel valued, respected, and genuinely cared for – a key aspect of fostering a positive workplace culture.

AI might be used throughout our daily lives, but it cannot replace the human touch. Whether it is concern and care or needing a bit of judgment, the human touch is essential for getting the best results for your business. By balancing automated systems and a human-centric approach to HR, you can get the best results for your business and your employees. The future of work lies not in choosing between human and artificial intelligence, but in harmonizing them to create a more compassionate, efficient, and effective workplace.


Caroline Gleeson
CEO and co-founder at Occupop | Website | + posts

Occupop is a recruitment software company. With offices across Ireland, UK and US, the business is a happy intersection of the functionality and scope of a robust ATS system married with a simple, easy-to-use way to track complex hiring processes and manage candidates effectively — all without much training.