Balancing Automation and Human Touch in Candidate Sourcing

Posted on October 30, 2023
Written By Sakshi Sharma

Balancing Automation and Human Touch in Candidate Sourcing

In the ever-evolving world of recruitment, finding the right talent has become increasingly complex. As technology advances, the role of automation in sourcing candidates in recruitment has grown significantly. However, even in this age of automation, the human touch remains invaluable. Balancing these two elements, automation and the human touch, is the key to successful sourcing techniques in recruitment. 

The Rise of Automation in Candidate Sourcing 

In a survey, 73% of talent professionals agreed that AI was a necessary tool in the recruitment industry. Automation has revolutionised the recruitment industry in recent years. It has brought efficiency, speed, and accuracy to various aspects of the sourcing process. Here are some ways automation has made its mark: 

  • Resume Screening: Automation tools can sift through hundreds or thousands of resumes in a matter of seconds, identifying key qualifications and keywords that match job descriptions. 
  • Sourcing and Outreach: AI-driven tools can scan the internet, including social media platforms, to identify potential candidates and even initiate contact with them. 
  • Candidate Matching: Advanced algorithms can compare candidate profiles to job requirements, making it easier to find suitable matches quickly. 
  • Interview Scheduling: Chatbots and scheduling software can streamline the interview process by coordinating schedules and sending reminders to candidates. 
  • Data Analytics: Automation tools can provide data-driven insights, helping recruiters make informed decisions and track their sourcing efforts’ effectiveness. 

While these automated processes can save recruiters a significant amount of time and effort, they can also lead to certain challenges and drawbacks. 

The Pitfalls of Over-Automation 

  • Loss of Personalisation: Over-reliance on automation can result in a lack of personalisation in candidate interactions. Candidates may feel like they are just another data point in a system rather than a unique individual. 
  • False Positives and Negatives: Resume screening algorithms may inadvertently reject qualified candidates or select unqualified ones due to the limitations of keyword matching. 
  • Candidate Experience: Automated outreach can sometimes come across as impersonal and insincere, which can negatively impact the candidate experience. 
  • Unintended Bias: If not carefully designed and monitored, automation tools can perpetuate biases present in historical data, leading to unfair and discriminatory outcomes. 
  • Lack of Human Judgment: Some aspects of recruitment require nuanced human judgment, such as assessing cultural fit or understanding a candidate’s motivations and career goals. 

Given these challenges, it’s clear that a one-size-fits-all approach to automation in candidate sourcing in recruitment is not ideal. Instead, a balanced approach that leverages automation while preserving the human touch is essential. 

The Human Touch in Candidate Sourcing 

The human touch in recruitment goes beyond just interpersonal skills. It encompasses empathy, emotional intelligence, intuition, and the ability to understand the nuances of each candidate’s unique situation. Here’s why it’s indispensable: 

  • Relationship Building: Building trust and rapport with candidates is crucial. Human recruiters can engage in meaningful conversations and establish a connection that automation cannot replicate. 
  • Cultural Fit Assessment: A survey showed that 72% of recruiters considered cultural fit a top priority when evaluating candidates. Understanding a candidate’s values, motivations, and personality traits requires human judgment. Assessing whether a candidate aligns with the company culture is essential for long-term success. 
  • Handling Exceptions: When dealing with unique situations or candidates with non-traditional backgrounds, human recruiters can adapt and make judgment calls that automation tools might struggle with. 
  • Customised Solutions: Human recruiters can tailor their approach to meet a candidate’s specific needs, providing a more personalised experience. 
  • Candidate Feedback: Gathering and acting upon candidate feedback is essential for improving the recruitment process. This is best done through human interaction. 

Striking the Right Balance 

To strike the right balance between automation and the human touch in candidate sourcing, consider the following strategies: 

  • Define Clear Objectives: Define the objectives of automation within your recruitment process clearly. Identify the tasks where automation can be most beneficial and focus on those. 
  • Use Automation for Efficiency: Use automation to handle repetitive, time-consuming tasks like resume screening, initial outreach, and interview scheduling. This frees up human recruiters to focus on high-value activities. 
  • Customise Outreach: When using automation for initial outreach, craft personalised and engaging messages that don’t feel robotic. Show genuine interest in the candidate. 
  • Training and Oversight: Train recruiters to use automation tools effectively and monitor their usage to ensure fairness and minimise bias. 
  • Leverage Data: Use data analytics from automation tools to make informed decisions and improve the sourcing process continuously. 
  • Humanise the Process: At critical junctures, such as interviews and offer negotiations, ensure there is direct human interaction to provide candidates with a positive experience. 
  • Seek Candidate Feedback: Continually seek feedback from candidates about their experience with the recruitment process. Use this feedback to make improvements. 
  • Stay Informed: Stay up to date with the latest developments in automation and AI in recruitment to adapt your strategy as technology evolves. 


Balancing automation and the human touch in candidate sourcing is an ongoing challenge for recruiters. While automation can streamline processes and improve efficiency, it’s essential to remember that recruitment is ultimately about people. The human touch brings empathy, understanding, and a personalised approach that technology alone cannot replicate. 

Recruitment is not just about finding the right skills; it’s also about finding the right fit for the organisation’s culture and values. This requires human judgment, emotional intelligence, and the ability to build relationships. Therefore, a thoughtful and strategic approach that combines the strengths of both automation and the human touch is the key to successful candidate sourcing in today’s competitive job market. 

At QX Global Group, we train our talent sourcers to use various tactics dependent on the job description and the demands of the hiring manager. To hire the greatest people, they leverage the best sourcing technologies and a large network of talent pipelines. 


Q. What is candidate sourcing? 

Ans: The process of locating and recruiting possible job candidates for available jobs inside a company is known as candidate sourcing. It entails looking for competent candidates through a variety of channels, including job boards, social media, networking, and recruiting agencies. 

Q. What are candidate sourcing companies? 

Ans: Candidate sourcing companies are organisations that specialise in helping businesses find and attract qualified candidates for their job openings. They often have access to extensive networks and tools to source talent effectively. 

Q. What are candidate sourcing services? 

Ans: Candidate sourcing services refer to the offerings provided by firms or professionals to assist in identifying and engaging potential candidates for job openings. These services can include resume screening, initial interviews, and talent pipeline development. 

Originally published Oct 30, 2023 06:10:10, updated Oct 30 2023


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