23 June 2016

Finding the right people to join our team is one of my top priorities. People are what make a business successful.

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UKFast is certainly a unique place to be! Could a program choose this team?

Which is why I am so concerned to read about so-called ‘robo recruiters’ and how they are affecting the job prospects of job seekers. According to the BBC, self-learning programs are now getting better than human recruiters at analysing data from CVs and social media profiles.

It’s not just the obvious algorithms, such as keywords and professional credentials, the robo recruiters pick up on. They go the next step to identify personality traits from the language applicants use online and the programs learn from mistakes they made in the past. 

Even though I run a tech company, to me this is absurd. I don’t believe computers will ever be able to create successful teams; there is simply not a one size fits all solution – some times you have to go from a gut feeling.

Like most other companies, we look for skills and experience but we recruit candidates who fit our company culture. Job specs and formal interviews simply don’t align with this, which is why I don’t think a robot or computer would ever be able to fully understand our culture.

This is also why we’ve never really used external recruiters or agencies to find candidates based on keywords and skills. We’re always on the look-out for people who fit our existing culture and match them to the best department based on their personality traits and psychometric profile, giving a clear indicator of a candidate’s personality and will highlight the possibility of a culture clash.

We’ve created an in-house recruitment team, called the Dreams Team, to seek out the types of people who will strengthen our team. The Dreams Team know the UKFast identity inside out and lead assessment days, for which suitable candidates are invited. It’s about taking people away from the interview room and getting to know who they really are and how they interact with others. It’s interesting to see how people react outside of their comfort zone – but it’s where we all spend a lot of time!

Perhaps these rob recruiters could be the first line of recruitment but even then, when you only look for the skills and keywords that someone has gained through experience, you might be missing out on the best talent out there.

Never underestimate someone’s potential. Skills can be taught and learned, but values are ingrained in us. In my opinion, helping people develop to reach their potential is much more effective than asking an outsider to find someone who is already at that level. Once you’ve got the right people on board, they will develop and excel. For me, it’s all about attitude.

I really think that our recruitment style makes us a stronger team, and therefore a stronger brand and a stronger business. I know that what we offer at UKFast is not everyone’s cup of tea, but that’s exactly the point. Our recruitment process is about finding people who like us as much as we like them.

What do you think of robo recruiters?

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