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Hiring is Human: The Argument Against AI in Recruiting

Career Tips

The Human Element

At its core, recruitment is inherently human. More than matching people to jobs, we match people with specific skills to other people with skills. Together they form a brain trust, capable of using their experiences and talents to solve problems and generate new ideas.

Recruitment goes beyond keywords and skills sets. It is built on intuition and knowledge that has accumulated over decades of experience. There are subtleties that can only be decoded when we read between the lines and look past a resume to create the person-to-career match.

Why We Aren’t Using AI

At Talener we are not using AI in our recruitment process. We truly believe that the heartbeat of recruitment requires a thinking, feeling, human being to make decisions and qualify applicants to get the right fit.

There is a time and a place for AI algorithms, but making definitive hiring decisions isn’t one of them.  While it can learn over time, rank applications, attempt to eliminate bias, or relieve TA teams of mundane screening activities, it lacks the fundamental ability to qualify experiences that do not match up with a job description.

This is especially prevalent when you encounter very technical or highly specialized positions, AI doesn’t have the human experience to dive deeper, beyond the screening. AI should look to qualify candidates, not disqualify them.  However, the current use of AI doesn’t distinguish between eliminating an ideal candidate with poor keyword usage against a mediocre candidate who has embedded keywords and phrase matching to a job description.  Will all applicants eventually need to adapt their resumes to an AI-friendly system? Likely. Yet, there is an entire pool of qualified talent that you could be missing out on.

Quantifying, ranking, and moving forward with an applicant is not as simple as data in, data out. There are many talented and incredibly intelligent engineers that we work with every day who are phenomenal at their craft but aren’t resume-designing experts. To miss out on this talent based on an algorithm is nothing short of unfortunate.

Additionally, within the vein of qualifying applicants, it is so important to screen candidates beyond the keywords. You can very quickly determine whether their experiences make them subject matter experts or simply tick a skill box to fill space.


Hiring and ranking decisions made by AI also bring up ethical and transparency concerns. New York City, for example, is attempting to regulate how companies use algorithms to make hiring decisions. This includes things like annual third-party audits and notifying candidates of the use of AI prior to beginning the application process.


At some point most companies will use some form of AI to help with their qualification process. There is a time and place for it and it can aid teams who deal with hundreds or thousands of applications for a single position. However, right now, it is not the right choice for our team as we work through a complicated web of ever-evolving technology skills, experiences, and enthusiasm to build for the future.

View our recent case studies and gain an even greater perspective.