When AI Meets HR: Finding the Human in IT Sourcing


October, 2023

When AI Meets HR: Finding the Human in IT Sourcing

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You’re the head of HR at a mid-sized tech company. Business is booming, but that also means your workload is piling up. There are more candidates to source and screen, more interviews to conduct, more offers to negotiate. You’re starting to feel overwhelmed and overworked, and you know you can’t keep up this pace forever. At the same time, you’re hesitant to rely too much on AI for critical hiring tasks. You want to make sure you don’t lose the human touch that has always set your company and culture apart. You need to find the right balance of human and AI in your recruiting process. You need to find the human in IT sourcing.

The Risks of Over-Automation in HR Processes

The drive to automate and optimize business processes is understandable, but over-relying on technology in human resources can be risky. While AI and automation may increase efficiency and reduce costs in some areas, it also risks losing the human touch that is so vital in HR.

Some HR tasks are well suited to automation, like screening resumes for basic qualifications or administering employee surveys. However, for more complex, nuanced areas, technology may struggle. Conducting a thoughtful performance review, for example, requires empathy, emotional intelligence and flexibility - qualities artificial systems have yet to achieve. The same goes for navigating difficult conversations around compensation, workplace conflicts or termination.

Rushing to automate entire HR departments could damage company culture and employee experience. People want to feel heard, valued and cared for - not like just another number in a machine. They need a human connection. If employees only interact with chatbots and automated assistants, it can lead to frustration, lack of engagement and higher turnover.

Over-automating HR also risks excluding or disadvantaging groups. Bias and unfairness can creep into AI systems in subtle ways that go unnoticed until damage is done. And automated tools may fail to account for individuals with disabilities or those needing accommodations.

The solution is not to avoid technology altogether but to find the right balance through "human-in-the-loop" models. Give employees opportunities to connect with real people. Have human experts review and adjust automated decisions. And make sure to audit AI systems regularly to check that they are being fair, inclusive and aligned with company values.

With the human factor guiding technology, HR can achieve efficiency and an improved experience. The key is using automation to augment and empower human capabilities, not replace them. When AI meets HR, humanity must come first.

Preserving the Human Element in Candidate Screening

When it comes to candidate screening, AI and automation shouldn’t replace the human element completely. While AI can efficiently scan hundreds of resumes and narrow down the pool, human recruiters are still needed to make the final hiring decisions.

AI may identify candidates that meet the basic qualifications according to the job listing, but humans can determine if a candidate is the right cultural and values fit for an organization. Soft skills, emotional intelligence, work ethic, motivation, and passion are complex attributes that AI has a hard time evaluating.

For example, say you’re hiring a customer service representative. An AI system might filter for candidates with a minimum of 2 years of experience, a track record of high customer satisfaction scores, and a degree in a relevant field like marketing or communications. However, a human would be needed to assess how friendly, empathetic and persuasive the candidate is, and whether they would mesh well with your company culture.

Human interaction also allows for a more personalized candidate experience. Phone or video interviews, for instance, give recruiters an opportunity to connect with candidates, answer their questions, and get a feel for their enthusiasm and interest in the role. Candidates will appreciate the human touch and getting to know the company better.

While AI and automation have their place in improving the efficiency of candidate screening, human judgment and interaction should play an equally important part. Combining AI and human skills will result in the best hiring outcomes. The future of recruiting isn’t about man vs. machine but man and machine working together.

Striking the Optimal Balance Between AI and Human Judgment

Finding the right balance between AI and human judgment is key to ethical IT sourcing. As AI continues to advance, many HR and IT sourcing tasks can be automated. However, human input is still critical for nuanced, complex decisions. The ideal approach is a hybrid model that optimizes the strengths of both.

Leverage AI for repetitive, rules-based tasks

AI excels at high-volume, repetitive tasks like screening resumes, scheduling interviews, and basic background checks. By automating these routine chores, your human sourcing team can focus on more strategic work. Look for AI tools, software and services that can shoulder the bulk of administrative tasks so your team can operate more efficiently.

Rely on human judgment for nuanced decisions

While AI has come a long way, human judgment is still superior for complex, nuanced decisions. Your sourcing team has a more holistic understanding of company culture and position requirements. They can evaluate soft skills, company fit, and growth potential in candidates—subtleties AI may miss. Have your team review candidates screened by AI and make final hiring choices. Their input helps ensure selected candidates are the best match.

Provide AI oversight and feedback

For the optimal AI-human balance, your team should provide oversight, guidance and feedback to improve the AI system. As AI learns from real-world data, it needs monitoring to confirm it is screening and evaluating candidates objectively and avoiding potential biases. Your team should audit AI decisions and scoring to validate its accuracy and provide additional data to enhance its knowledge. With regular feedback and tweaks to its algorithms, AI can become an even more valuable partner.

Maintain human connection

While AI brings efficiency, don’t lose the human touch. Have recruiters personally connect with promising candidates, not just AI chatbots. Build genuine relationships and rapport. Candidates will appreciate interacting with real people, and your team will gain valuable insights into their potential and motivation. With the right balance of AI and human, you gain the benefits of automation without sacrificing meaningful connections. Finding this balance is key to ethical, effective IT sourcing.


So that's the balancing act companies face as AI makes inroads into the HR and IT sourcing process. Automation and machine learning can streamline and optimize many tedious tasks, freeing up human resources to focus on more complex, relationship-driven work. But people still crave that human connection and judgment. The key is finding the right mix of technology and human insight. AI may source candidates and handle initial screening, but humans need to be in the loop to assess culture fit, soft skills, and make those final hiring decisions. Companies that get the balance right, embracing automation without losing the human touch, will have a key competitive advantage in attracting and retaining top talent. 

The future is AI-enabled, but people-powered. Technology is just the means, not the end. And for job seekers, while AI may transform how you find work, the human skills of networking, empathy, creativity, and collaboration will be more crucial than ever. So keep learning, stay nimble, and don't lose faith in the power of human potential. The future of work is human, with a little help from AI.

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