Recruiting in the Age of Automation: Building the ‘Human’ in Human Resources

6th June 2023

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AI and automation are permeating every industry—construction included—and internal teams such as HR are also witnessing technology’s impact on operations. Americas HR Director Ana Liesch discusses the considerations of recruiting in the age of automation, and how Soben makes the best out of tech without compromising humanness.


From 3D-printed houses to the use of digital twins that help buildings reduce their carbon footprint, technology has proven itself useful time and time again by enabling humans to reach milestones that weren’t possible just a few years ago.

As it became part of our everyday lives, technology began to permeate organizations across all industries, impacting internal communications and processes.

According to a 2022 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), nearly 1 out of 4 organizations reported using AI or automation to support their HR and recruiting operations[1]. Their findings showed that up to 85% of employers said that automation actually helped them save time and increase their efficiency.

As the survey shows, automation has made an impact in speeding up the recruiting process, especially for those teams with large-scale hiring needs. With many tools out on the market, a big part of the lengthy, repetitive tasks can be plugged into an automation platform and free up time for HR personnel to engage in other activities.


Remembering our purpose

It is crucial to remember, however, that the essence of recruitment—and of our business for that matter—is human connection itself.

Whether it is to help minimize financial risk in a construction project or to mediate a dispute, the success of our partnerships at Soben depends on our team’s capacity to empathize with and understand all parties involved. We strive to be present for our clients through every step of their projects, and that must be reflected in how our Human Resources team executes its functions.

Areas like employee relations, behavioral interviewing, reaching out to passive candidates as well as strategic and succession planning are all cultivated through human interaction, and won’t be delegated to AI (at least not in the near future). Said practices are part of what allows us to demonstrate our culture, one of our biggest strengths, and completely automating recruitment would hinder our capacity to do so.


Reconciling Culture and Performance

As the binding element of a company, culture must be safeguarded. A recent study by Glassdoor revealed that almost 8 out of 10 adults consider a company’s purpose before applying for a position, and social phenomena such as the Great Resignation point towards the need for companies to commit to real workplace culture.

After realizing what’s at stake when failing to communicate values, purpose and mission, the decision from HR teams to keep culture in their hands rather than relying on a machine to communicate it shouldn’t come as a surprise.

On the technical side, the pitfalls of becoming overdependent on AI are a rising concern. Completely delegating tasks like screenings can lead to bias and steer companies in the wrong direction, making them miss out on talented individuals. Any recruiting process supported by AI and automation should be carefully supervised by a human to avoid misjudgments made by the software.

It’s up to every company to determine how they will design their internal processes: which stages of the recruiting process will be assigned to automation and AI and which ones will be preserved by humans. With so many new technologies emerging every day, the next years will be crucial to the development of the recruitment industry as a whole.


The Soben Way

For Soben, a mix of traditional methods and task automation has proven to be the most efficient recipe for finding talent across multiple countries and continents, strengthening our culturally diverse team through the skilled hands of more than 200 members across the globe.

Our growth plan for the upcoming years is ambitious, but we’re confident in the capacity of our people and are looking forward to welcoming new team members on board.

If you’re interested in joining a global company that’s rewriting the rules of consultancy in the construction industry through a human approach, you can explore our career openings here or reach out to me at [email protected] if you happen to be in the Americas.

For the rest of the world, contact Sabrina Mohammed.


Ana Liesch

HR Director

[email protected]