We need EI not AI in senior level recruitment

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Barron Williams

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And why writing a good role brief is essential…

Whilst Artificial Intelligence might be the biggest buzz in our industry in recent years, you’re not going to hire a director, C-suite or senior executive with it. 

AI does not have empathy. It simply cannot understand or feel what another human being is experiencing. 

Yes, it has a place in our industry. 

It can dramatically streamline or automate many components of the recruiting process, especially repetitive, high-volume database driven tasks.

However, it is not advanced or ‘intelligent’ enough to replace the bulk of what we do at Barron Williams. 

For us it is more Emotional Intelligence than Artificial. Applying our own experience and EI not AI to each unique situation.

We solve people problems

We are defined by our client and candidate relationships, and our capacity to serve and retain them is critical. 

It simply cannot all be done with AI.

A mass market recruiter can adopt an ‘advertise and apply’ approach but that will not work with senior professionals and C-suite candidates.

What we must do is invite people to apply for a role but make ourselves accessible. Retain the vital human element.

It all starts with the role brief

At Barron Williams we wear a number of different hats for our clients and candidates – advisor, counsellor and many more. 

We don’t just fill roles. And we cannot recruit a role if we base our knowledge on assumptions or what’s been done in the past. 

A good role brief is essential to not only achieve an understanding of the organisation and role itself but also the ‘who’ the client is looking for.

It is imperative that we take an active role in that process. A process that requires communication between all relevant people, but especially the hiring executive.

As recruiters we must challenge expectations and make sure the role brief is right.

We will question, make observations and put forward recommendations to capture the critical issues and challenges that we identify with the client.

For Barron Williams, this is EI not AI. 

We talk. A poor role brief that does not clearly identify the key issues is bound to fail.

What are the deliverables?

When you brief us, it is vital we establish the ‘what’. And by what, I mean the type of talent you’re looking to attract. Where have they been? What have they done?

Articulate the key deliverables, identify what attributes you are looking for in a candidate which mean that they can deliver against the requirements.

A ‘cut and paste brief’ or ‘JD+’ will simply not deliver at the senior level, and this is where we differentiate with our targeted, professional services approach.

A good role brief is the starting point, but it will only get you so far. 

We want the right people to talk to us!

The key objective of the role brief is to appeal to those individuals that might be relevant for the role, and that might be interested in talking to us about it. 

We find them and approach politely. We will then have a conversation to mutually establish if they may be the right fit and agree whether to pursue the opportunity and arrange further discussions.

Only from talking to people can we best understand potential candidates, and vice-versa.

If we just say ‘click’ apply

To only circulate a role brief via the usual channels and say apply…

How much talent would we potentially miss?

How many would potentially ignore the role if there’s not quite enough information on show?

How many candidates apply for roles based on a written brief, only for us to decide after a conversation that the role is not quite right for them, for various good reasons?

Our professional services approach ensures that our consultants are easy to contact. 

There is always the opportunity to discuss the role and organisation in greater detail. 

EI not AI is essential in senior executive recruitment 

A well written brief with the option to talk is imperative. 

And if not to them, then often that conversation will identify good quality referrals. Good people know good people.

Greg Savage, one of the most respected voices across the global recruitment and professional services industry, stated in his recent article ‘Recruitment is not Tinder’ that technology such as AI and a lack of skill are driving plenty of recruiters to treat recruitment like a dating app. 

He states that:

“Transactional, keyword matching, resume spamming recruiting drones take heed. Please. This is what will differentiate the winners from the losers in recruitment. In the end, a recruiter is as good as the number of candidates that she or he can close. That is it. You don’t get paid for sending resumes. Screening candidates. Writing ads.”

Highlighting in his article that what we as recruiters need to do now, is to “architect the deal”.

And what he means by that is to design, build, create and manage the process. 

These are the complex and subtle skills you need to thrive going forward. 

As Greg says:

“Those recruiters who understand that the human touch is still our primary tool in making a hire work, are those who will be most successful.”

At Barron Williams we pride ourselves on our ability to utilise the power of our networks. And a network can only be built through fostering human relationships. With EI not AI.

We build, maintain and develop relevant networks quickly. Each industry and sector is different but they’re all ‘human villages’.

We don’t believe in the ‘cut, paste and post’ approach to our search for talent. What we believe in is a professional service approach to recruitment. The human element is key. Clear and direct communication is the primary tool in identifying the right candidates and successfully placing them in the right roles and organisations.

If you’re looking for your next role, then please feel free to Upload Your CV or Call Us for an exploratory conversation. If you’re looking for a senior executive for your organisation, please use our Client Upload Form or Call Us now.

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