Balancing AI With Human Contact

The topic of Artificial Intelligence (AI), particularly its far-reaching impact on the future of the workplace, continues to be at the forefront of the staffing industry. I am of the camp that truly believes AI will make our lives easier and create work that will be different, yet even more exciting, from what we know today.

Like many of us, I welcomed Alexa into my home in November 2015.  Having garnered a solid understanding of its pros and cons, and appreciating the benefits, I haven’t looked back.  Just last week I heard my 8-year-old nephew asking Alexa to add fruit punch flavored Capri Sun juice to the shopping list, clearly illustrating his ease of acceptance for this small-scale AI device.

In the staffing world, there is excitement and momentum around AI and other such tools that help streamline operations, improve our candidates’ experience and free up our recruiters from performing the mundane daily tasks that must get done. Beyond supporting a more efficient use of our time, AI in most cases also contributes to improving the bottom line.

PREMIUM CONTENT: AI in Talent Acquisition

So, with the extra time provided by AI and with the increasingly fast speed at which the world operates, I encourage taking a moment to think about the importance of key relationships and how you can maintain and fortify them. This is something you have to do yourself. While AI may free up some time, as far as I know, there is currently no technology that can do this for you. Four things that I have found very beneficial for connecting with people and developing successful business, as well as personal relationships, are:

  1. The little things add up. Simple and personal gestures can often enrich a relationship. Taking the time to make a call, schedule coffee or lunch, send a card or even a quick text are all easy ways to remain connected with people. Use social media in a positive way. You may start by reading or liking a post, but if you expand beyond that to true engagement and conversation you will find that it can enhance your relationships. Small things like this create a strong foundation that you may need to draw on down the road whether you are working through a complex customer issue or trying to find the perfect fit for one of your candidates.
  2. Be generous with your time and attention and do so without expectation. Let your network know when you are thinking of them and not just when you need something.  Help others by sharing an article, some expertise you have, or by simply avoiding distraction and giving your full attention to the person with whom you are having a conversation. Additionally, when you act without expectation people feel your authenticity and it will come back to you tenfold.
  3. Remember the golden rule. If you treat people the way you would like to be treated, things tend to go well. Empathy is frequently cited as a soft skill that can give you an edge in business. Anyone in a client-facing role (which, in my opinion, is everyone in staffing) understands the gains to be made by having the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.
  4. Have fun. Connecting though humor is just plain fun. Who doesn’t like to be around someone who is optimistic and has a good sense of humor? Congratulate others for their success; lighten the mood during a stressful situation, and just laugh. As Charlie Chaplin said, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.”

Finally, use technology to help you manage your time and energy so you can better focus on the important stuff that only you, as a human, can do. A willingness to accept and adapt to AI broadens our horizons and often encourages a greater openness to learn, but we mustn’t forget the importance of the human touch. If nothing else, Alexa or Siri are more than willing to remind you to call your mother!

MORE: Are you looking for talent the wrong way?

Lauren M. Griffin

Lauren M. Griffin
Staffing and Workforce Expert Executive staffing services leader with sales, recruitment, operations and financial management expertise. Linked In: Linkedin.com/in/laurenmargueritegriffin Twitter: @laurenmarguerit

Lauren M. Griffin

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