Will robots be able to recruit candidates like consultants do?


ECSSA questions about how much Artificial Intelligence impacts on the search & selection process and whether it will replace the human factor.


Let’s face it: Artificial Intelligence (AI) has already carved out a place in the recruitment world.

It has been years since software is able to sort out profiles out of thousands of resumes, just in a few seconds, through typing the key words.

CV scanners are quick at spotting relevant information in the resumes, analyzing the data and finally suggesting whether the candidate might have the right experience or technical skills.

As for the behavior skills, on-line tests do exist, leading to soft skills profiling. Those who believe that on-line test results are reliable will certainly come to the conclusion that a robot can do a proper selection job after all.

But what about the communication skills and emotional intelligence, whose evaluation normally requires a face-to-face interview?


There again, technology seems to be able to do the job Tim Roth is so good at in “Lie to me”.

Candidates can be video-recorded, and a tool is now able to analyze hesitations, modulation of the voice, micro-expressions and many more, leading to valuable information enriching their profile.

So, is it the end of recruitment consulting at least on the assessment side? Surely not.

At the end, the complexity of the decision making will always require human contribution because we know that a successful recruitment is a question of compromise. Compromise between the demonstrated and required skills (it never matches perfectly), taking into account motivations and values of the candidate, those two probably the most difficult features to assess.


More on tools? - “scans all the resumes and provides a ranking report, showing which candidates best match your job requirements (not just keywords)” - “gather and analyze predictive performance data without the lengthy process of

traditional assessments”


Source: ECSSA - European Confederation of Search and Selection Associations

Not just IQ and OPQ but EQ too



Along with Personality Profiles, assessments of verbal and numerical applied intelligence have long been included in the armoury of those making decisions about who to choose when filling key vacancies. Although the subject prompts hearty debate amongst both supporters and detractors of such techniques, there is plenty of research based evidence which supports the inclusion of these practices. At CFR UK, we have found that an assessment of personality and critical reasoning i.e. the speed and accuracy of problem-solving in both numerical and verbal contexts, are valuable additions to other recruitment techniques.

A relatively new kid on the block and attracting more interest is EQ or Emotional Intelligence. This is perhaps the missing link which explains the strange anomaly that people with average critical reasoning scores outperform those with the highest scores 70% of the time. EQ has been described as “the something” in each of us which is intangible.

The rules for work are changing. We are being judged by a new yardstick: not just by how smart we are, or by our training and expertise, but also by how well we handle ourselves and each other”.

(Goleman 1999)


How we handle ourselves and how well we handle other people is at the heart of the EQ concept of. There is heightened awareness for this measure, which is particularly relevant to the modern working environment and it has a profound impact on the judged effectiveness of our work performance. The main emphasis is no longer on what we know, our specialist skills or how well we can solve complex critical problems. These are still important but they count for little in many organisations if the individual has difficulty adjusting to the pace of change and can’t interact effectively with others in the organisation.

EQ has various applications e.g. in performance development and coaching as well as in team development however, its value in selection should not be underestimated. Using trained practitioners, CFR UK is able to assess and compare candidates’ EQ as part of the selection process. It is intended as a “value add” rather than a “stand alone” measure, particularly given that selection decisions should always be taken in the context of the broader job demands. Also, the more techniques included in a selection process, the greater the likelihood of an excellent selection decision.

Like IQ, personality can’t be used to predict EQ and like IQ, personality really doesn’t change much through life although of course learnt behaviour can. Personality, IQ and EQ each cover unique ground and help to explain what “makes a person tick”. Although some people are more emotionally intelligent than others, it is possible to develop higher EQ even if you aren’t born with it.

By offering our clients detail under all three categories, we can provide vital knowledge about a shortlist - not to make a decision for the client but to provide excellent information which the hiring manager can use in making the best choice.


Angus Keiller



Don’t forget, there is work to be done before “onboarding” your new employee


Don’t forget, there is work to be done before “onboarding” your new employee


More and more companies are recognising the importance of “onboarding” – the process of inducting new starters into an organisation and ensuring they settle in well with their new employer and that they acquire the necessary skills, knowledge and behaviours to become highly effective members of the team.  However, companies should also remember that there is an important role to play during the period between an individual resigning from his/her current role and starting with a new company.


CFR UK was recently approached by a new client who had just recruited a Senior Sales Manager by using their own resources. The day before she was due to start, the individual e-mailed the client to advise she would not be joining as she had decided to live abroad. The client had tried to maintain regular contact with her prior to the start date and perhaps with this individual, there was nothing which could have been done to bring about a different outcome. Nevertheless, it did confirm the importance of doing everything possible to make a new employee feel part of their new organisation even before they have joined the business.


A recent project we managed, to recruit a Senior Legal Counsel, provides an excellent example of best practice in this regard. The Line Manager did all he could to ‘go the extra mile’ to ensure that the preboarding process went seamlessly. After making himself available to directly answer some questions from the new starter concerning her employment package, he continued to keep in regular dialogue with her as well as meeting up with her when she came to check out schools and accommodation for her family. Whilst the individual was serving her notice period, our client arranged for her to accompany him on a trip to the company’s Japanese headquarters which was an excellent opportunity for the new recruit to meet members of the international team, with whom she would interact on a regular basis.


A series of meetings whilst in Japan also gave her a great insight into the work she would be undertaking as well as the issues she would be facing. Additional recruitment activity into the Legal Team was also ongoing and the Senior Legal Counsel was invited to participate in the recruitment process by reviewing CVs and assisting with final interviews of the prospective candidates.


Obviously, not all companies’ circumstances will allow for this level of involvement with their new recruits and this will of course also depend upon the availability and workload of the individual in order to allocate this amount of time. However, in this instance, it certainly helped to create a close bond between company and employee, who will join the organisation already feeling a close affinity with her team and her Line Manager.


Roger Ruane