Recruiters’ soft skills become more important with the rise of artificial intelligence

Over the past few years, AI has, perhaps unnoticed, entered the work processes of recruitment teams. Chatbots, automated messaging or appointment booking systems, for example, streamline work routines every day, reducing manual and repetitive work. AI helps with the most basic tasks of recruitment and direct search, such as writing job advertisements, generating interview questions, identifying potential profiles or providing feedback, while leaving more time for the more demanding recruitment tasks where the real skills of recruitment professionals are required and needed.

The benefits of AI are clear in day-to-day routines, but with it, the soft skills of direct search and recruitment consultants, i.e. interpersonal skills, emotional intelligence, strategic thinking and the importance of good judgment skills are highlighted in an ever-changing environment. Soft skills lay the foundation for how we communicate and interact with other people.

1. Communication and interaction skills

Good interpersonal skills have always been important for those working in recruitment. With the increasing role of technology, soft skills, and in particular the interaction skills of recruiters, are needed to work in a multi-dimensional environment. Conversations with candidates, employers and internal teams take place across a wider range of platforms and influence how we communicate.

While technology can help with communication, it is the soft skills of recruiters that ensure that correct information is obtained from interactions, that others’ perspectives are understood and that potential conflicts can be resolved constructively. Especially in direct search, recruitment consultants must be able to ask the right questions, take into account the needs of the client, and thereby find the right candidates for the role and the organisation. Successful interactions with candidates allow for a deeper understanding of their motivations, skills and aspirations.

The recruiter is usually the first link between the candidate and the organisation. Therefore, the importance of listening and understanding as part of soft skills becomes even more important. In a hectic and fast-paced environment, for candidates, the feeling of being heard and seen is an important part of ensuring a positive candidate experience, whatever the outcome of the recruitment process.

2. Networking and relationship building skills

The importance of networking and building relationships with a wide range of talent, particularly in industries where there is a shortage of skilled candidates, is emphasised. When a recruiter knows people from different sectors and backgrounds, there is a better chance of finding the right person for the job quickly and efficiently. In fact, according to a LinkedIn survey, over 73% of recruitment professionals believe that networking will be one of the most important skills for recruiters in the coming years. Soft skills are needed to build relationships so that a trusting relationship can be established from the very start.

In addition, while AI can provide faster access to up-to-date information on the recruitment market and its changes, recruitment consultants can use networks to gain even more transparent information on trends in different sectors, salary levels, candidate motivation factors and other important factors affecting the success of recruitment. This information will help to make better decisions and provide added value to the recruitment process.

3. Strategic and critical thinking

As AI automates many tasks, it also inherently provides a large amount of information and data. Yet the benefits it offers may be limited in recruitment unless analyzed and further processed by a professional. Therefore, in the future, strategic thinking and judgement by HR managers and recruiters will emerge as an increasingly important skill.

In recruitment, it is essential to be able to discern the best options from a sometimes large amount of information. For example, in a direct search, consultants may go through hundreds of different profiles, looking for the best options. This requires the ability to assess, analyse and make decisions that will always allow the most optimal way forward to be chosen at each stage of the process. Critical thinking helps to prioritise the most important information and criteria to ensure that the key objectives of the mandate are met.

4. Empathy and emotional intelligence

An open, open-minded attitude, the ability to put oneself in the shoes of others and to recognise and manage emotions are all valued in a recruiter’s work. In recruitment situations, an empathic person is able to have a better understanding of the candidate’s needs and motivation, for example, and to make them feel heard and understood. An empathetic recruiter helps candidates to see their own potential and also helps them to identify their own strengths and competences.

Recruiters are constantly interacting with a variety of people. Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognise and understand your own emotions and to respond to the emotions of others. Emotional intelligence helps to build and maintain relationships and networks, to better understand associates and candidates, and to resolve challenging situations in a constructive way. Emotional intelligence helps recruiters to assess personality and suitability in relation to the role and company culture.



Ota yhteyttä

Heinikki Konola

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