How To Be Disrespected By Hiring Managers

by | Jul 4, 2024


This is for those recruitment and talent acquisition professionals yearning to be replaced by AI πŸ€–

Last year

Thankfully, it has been many years since I last endured a job interview. True, I have meetings with potential clients, where they assess my capabilities and fit for workshops or keynotes, but most are inbound enquiries or via referral, so they tend to be relaxed and informal conversations.

Last year, though, I interviewed for a voluntary position with a charity. The interviewer was lovely (though made me feel very old πŸ˜†), and she dutifully went through the questions.

Question 1. My answer. βœ”οΈŽ

Question 2. My answer. βœ”οΈŽ

Question 3. My answer. βœ”οΈŽ

Question 4. My answer. βœ”οΈŽ

Question 5. My answer. βœ”οΈŽ

It was robotic.

I wasn’t quizzed further about my answers; I didn’t feel heard, understood or appreciated. The lack of follow-up or independent thinking created an impression of the interviewer that was probably false.

The interview seemed little more than a tick-box exercise. (Check-box, US readers πŸ˜‰)

I wondered how much she knew about the job itself.

Perhaps you have experienced similar. What impression did it create of the interviewer, role and company?

Last week

Last week, an HR tech vendor thought it would be funny to have their AI interview me, the author of The Robot-Proof Recruiter, for a job. They sent me a video of “the robot” conducting a job interview with an industry bellwether, thinking I would be as amused by it.

I was not.

I was irked because anyone who has read my first book, heard me speak, or read any of my posts knows that I care deeply about the experience people endure in the hiring process. I am known for asking recruiters to be human.

Watching the video, I observed that as the AI received an answer to each mock job interview question, it replied with ‘great’ or something similar, and moved straight on.

It was – obviously – robotic.

Ignoring the potential for bias in its algorithm, which must be considered before implementing any technology that is permitted to assess and discount applicants, I was reminded of last year’s interview and how I felt each time my responses seemed ignored.

I wondered if anybody thought of asking job seekers how they would feel after such a robotic experience. Treatment that might be vaguely tolerable to them in this job market but won’t be when the market turns, which it will.

(I know; I empathise. TA teams are at breaking point and overloaded with applications. Technology like this should help. It should ensure fairness. It should improve the experience. I am simply far from convinced… at this time.)

Last Friday

Last Friday, a fabulous workshop client asked me how his TA team can conduct recruitment alignment meetings (formerly known as job briefs, kick-offs, intakes, etc.) in a manner that gains respect. One that feels less of a tick-box exercise!

Again, I was transported back to that interview.

What was it specifically that made me feel disrespected?

What could recruiters do to lose the respect of their hiring manager swiftly? πŸ€”

For starters:

  • Robotically follow a job briefing checklist.

  • Only acknowledge the manager’s answers with a yes, no, or great and move on.

  • Don’t ask questions that express any vulnerability or naivety about the role.

  • Don’t make them look forward; just check off the job description.

  • Don’t challenge must-haves, and instead hunt for unicorns.

  • Appear unknowledgeable of the industry, competition, etc. (Chapter 5)

  • Behave in a manner that leaves the manager thinking a robot could do better.

…and so on.

Or not!!

From researching and writing my new book, Reboot Hiring: The Key To Managers and Leaders Saving Time, Money and Hassle When Recruiting, I know that company leaders are already looking at ways to replace functions with AI.

That includes talent acquisition.

Obviously, we both know that it is farcical to think of hiring without humans, but unless you start acting like the brilliant recruiting professional you are and showing managers and leaders – in every interaction – why you are the right person to hire the people for your company, expect to be among the first to go when they try and recruit without any human interaction.

AI is evolving, and vendors are loud. However, changing jobs involves complex human emotions, which gifted recruitment professionals know. It’s time your leaders did, too!

PRE-ORDER Reboot Hiring today!

It was written for the (hiring) managers and leaders in the business. I have made the case for and explained the value of talent acquisition! Give it to them, especially the challenging ones! (You’ll thank me later.)


Image of the book Reboot Hiring with its bright yellow cover

Pre-order for your managers and leaders now to receive freebies!