Human warmth still trumps tech in the art of the poach


Technological advance has made finding staff easier – but charisma and emotional intelligence are still the key tools in clinching hires, warn HR chiefs

The dominance of sophisticated business profiling and job-matching sites like LinkedIn have failed to supersede the gentle arts of persuasion, warmth and emotional intelligence in the art of poaching key personnel.

That is the view of a raft of HR experts, who warned that companies that rely to heavily on tech to find them staff would lose out to headhunters with charm, charisma and the power to engage and attract potential hires.

The views came at the Talent and Tech Roundtable: Present and Future, held last week at the HermanMiller office in London.

The session explored the opportunity technology provides organizations. Delegates examined how talent attraction is moving from reactive to proactive approaches to finding executives; the role of data in the future of talent attraction; and how data and digital profiling can be balanced with the human element.

But HR bosses fired a cleared warning that HR bosses should not “be a slave to tech”.

Talking about recruitment, Judith Moeckell, interim head of talent at UK insurer the Direct Line Group, said: “Tech is a great enabler, but you need to have generosity and spirit to engage people not like you.”

The event was the first in a series of three Roundtable collaborations between Fairsail and Dialogue media partner All About People.  The second will take place on 8 June, live at the All About People event itself.

The event was chaired by Mervyn Dinnen, talent acquisition analyst. Guests included Matt Buckland, head of talent and HR, Lyst; Gareth Jones, partner, innovation and technology, The Chemistry Group; and Siobhan Sheridan, Director of People and OD, NSPCC.