Automated Recruiting: A Dangerous New Tech Trend Harming Both Employers and Job-Seekers

Have you ever received an email asking to take an automated video interview or automated phone interview? Are you a company which uses this practice? This abomination is becoming more prevalent, but the damage it leaves in its wake is causing great harm to the hiring market and companies which use it.

Here are the top 10 reasons you should ignore and immediately delete any email requesting to start their “first step” of the hiring process with an automated video or phone interview; and if you are a company which uses such a system, why you should immediately cease using it for the health and longevity of your company.

1 Automated interviews are usually not a real interview.

Automated interviews are usually not a real interview.

Many companies today are looking for more ways to circumvent hiring requirements. Some companies prefer to hire only within, or have no desire to look for new employees; but in order to comply with regulations, they post the job to prospective job-seekers to do their "due diligence".

In reality, this is nothing but a waste of applicants' time. They are not really looking for employees; and to prevent the hassle of actually performing or watching the interview and waste their time with people they never intended to hire, they automate the whole process and automatically reject everyone.

They reply to every applicant with an automated email asking for an automated job "interview", which will not be read watched, or listened to; but instead, after 1 to 2 days, they automatically send out a rejection email. This way they can fraudulently circumvent the legal requirements by pretending to offer a job they are not really offering.

No human actually monitors these applications, so if you get a reply asking for an automated interview, chances are it is nothing but a waste of your time. You can safely ignore it because it is most likely not a real job, and is definitely not a real interview.

Some more nefarious companies may also pose as employers but really only be a recruiter that is simply collecting as much applicant data as possible to sell to recruiters - or even advertising companies. In reality, in this case you are not applying for a job, even though it seems like you are. You are just sending your data to a recruiting company where it will go into a black hole.

2 Chances are, nobody is going to watch your interview recording.

Chances are, nobody is going to watch your interview recording.

Think about it. If the company cannot afford to hire staff to do actual interviews - even actual, live, video or phone interviews - how can they spend the same amount of time watching your video or listening to your audio?

Either no one is really going to watch your interview and the interview was nothing but a charade, or the recruiters really just don't care enough about the job-seekers to give them the time of day, and really just want to check off a couple items to eliminate as many people as quickly as possible - a bad strategy as you will discover below.

Chances are, it is the former. If they cannot afford to hire quality staff to conduct the interviews, then they also cannot hire staff to spend the same amount of time watching the interviews. If they cannot spend the time to interview you or watch your video, then your recording is never going to get watched.

3 Automated interviews fail to perform the task they are built to do.

Automated interviews fail to perform the task they are built to do.

Conversely, if they are hiring people to actually filter through these videos, it shows extreme incompetence and an extremely poor-run company. Since video and audio responses to canned and irrelevant interview questions give zero context and almost zero background of a particular interviewee, the company is wasting valuable time and money watching interviews that are nothing more than a list of questions and answers - which could have been easily written down more concisely.

Even more, since the automated process is so dehumanizing, the company can expect the absolute worst answers to these questions, if any at all. If you have ever been on the other end of the line of a robot voice asking you coldly "tell - me - about - your - recent - work - experience", you know what it's like. Trying to answer such questions to a machine is going to get answers that are vastly different than if you had spoken to a real person.

As a result, recruiters are alienating many of their best candidates by filtering them out, never seeing who they are or getting a chance to meet or talk to them.

The remaining best candidates know their value and would immediately hang up the phone when hearing an automated robot voice or canned prerecorded interview questions. This is because the best candidates understand their worth and know better than to apply to any company that treats them like subhuman trash.

The best candidates understand that they are more valuable to the company than even the company is to them, and that the recruiting process is a way for companies to sell themselves in the best light possible. The best candidates know a red flag when they see one, and they know that a company which places such a low value on the recruiting process is a company which is either horribly run, or does not care at all about their employees and thus only deserve the worst hires possible.

The best candidates will never work for a company which uses a dehumanizing automated recruiting process as the so-called "first step" of the interview process. Therefore, the automated recruiting system ultimately fails to do the very task it is built to do, because it will only attract the worst and lowest-quality hires while alienating all the best talent who will be happily gobbled up by your competitors who have a real interview process.

4 Automated interviews indicate the company is too poorly run to hire qualified human resource staff.

Automated interviews indicate the company is too poorly run to hire qualified human resource staff.

If the interview process to this point is so horrible, can you imagine what the actual job will be like? I assure you, it will absolutely not be better than the recruiting process. Companies which use this demeaning and ineffective strategy to filter out the "dead weight" (that's what they think about job-seekers), are so poorly-run that it indicates that they do not have the resources to hire qualified human resources staff or the money to pay recruiters to actually attend interviews.

As a result, if these companies cannot even afford to hire effective human resources whose job is to hire staff, you can bet that they do not have the money to pay fair wages. A job like this is almost certainly going to be a minimum-wage job, if there is any job at all; and the job requirements will be many times more than the menial pay for the work being done.

As a result, you will be overworked, underpaid, and it will damage your chances at getting a real job, because bad habits from working at a bad company can be damaging to your future job prospects. Since these jobs will hardly even pay your basic living expenses, you are actually better off not even applying to them. Instead, spend your time applying to real jobs that actually value their employees.

5 Automated interviews are usually not much more than an insult to job-seekers.

Automated interviews are usually not much more than an insult to job-seekers.

There is nothing more insulting to a job-seeker than to be humiliated sending in a one-way video or audio and going out of your way to answer canned questions that firstly, usually have nothing to do with the actual job, and secondly, present the most horrible "interview" experience. After all this, only to get a canned automated email shortly after, "unfortunately we have decided to keep looking for more qualified candidates".

This occurs because it shows that the company has not done their due diligence to put themselves in the job-seekers shoes to present a high-quality and positive interview experience. The interview experience is the first impression that a prospective employee gets of a company. If a company is so haphazard and poorly managed to not see this fatal flaw in using automated systems to filter out candidates, then they certainly are not a good company to work for.

What is worse is the fact that the majority of rejected applicants in the automated process are actually the best candidates. These high-quality candidates who were never given the chance for an in-person or even live video or phone interview are being insulted by an unfair and invalid rejection.

For the majority of candidates who are automatically rejected during this phase, it is nothing but an insult, because they are lied to and insulted in the rejection automated email saying that they are unqualified or underqualified, which is not true; thus wasting their time and energy that could have been better spent applying for a real job.

When a candidate knows they are definitely qualified, being lied to and insulted and having had their time wasted for nothing is unsettling and disheartening to say the least. It would have been better if they had simply deleted the automated "interview" email in the first place instead of wasting their time and energy that could have been better spent applying for a real, quality job which values their prospective candidates instead of insulting them with a dehumanizing automated interview process.

6 Automated interviews are usually done by companies that have high turnover.

Automated interviews are usually done by companies that have high turnover.

They have high turnover (that is, a high number of employees are hired and quit or are fired quickly) and thus have a massive number of applications because their job description does not describe the job. They offer a poor job with low pay, but advertise it as an exciting opportunity. As a result, they get a huge influx of applications, but really they are looking to hire the best while paying the least.

These are not good companies to work for. Their deceptive marketing of their job provides a healthy influx of new victims, but they need a way to filter through it, because honestly, they don't pay their human resources enough either. These dead-end, overworked, low-paying jobs with a terrible work environment could do more harm than good to your work ethic, outlook on life, and ultimately your future employability.

Working for these companies may sound like the only option if you are desperate, but the truth is that it is harming your chances at a real job, when an employer who is actually high-quality sees you jumping from job to job or sees your bad work habits and fires you; or your new bad attitude due to your bad work experiences doesn't get you past the first interview.

7 Automated interviews are done by companies who use a transaction-based recruiting strategy.

Automated interviews are done by companies who use a transaction-based recruiting strategy.

The truth is that job seekers are not just meat being auctioned off at the lowest price. In fact, job-seekers are the life and blood of any company. Without quality employees, the company will fail.

Any qualified recruiter understands that the company needs the job-seekers even more than the job-seekers need the job. Why? Because if a job-seeker is not hired, they can go elsewhere. But if a company does not get any employees, they die.

Therefore, recruiting is a sales and marketing function for any reasonably well-run company with a future. Hiring managers are selling their company to the job seekers, and have to put their best foot forward to attract quality talent.

If they treat their applicants like trash with a dehumanizing and automated recruiting process, this indicates that the company does not intend to hire good talent (or has dramatically unrealistic expectations), but instead the bottom of the barrel, most desperate people willing to do anything for some spare change.

8 Automated interviews fail to deliver on their promises to recruiters.

Automated interviews fail to deliver on their promises to recruiters.

The promise of the automated recruiting during the sales pitch to employers is that it will save time, simplify the hiring process, and filter out bad candidates.

In reality, automated recruiting costs far more time, since it eliminates all the best candidates, and complicates and convolutes the hiring process. Worse, it alienates quality job-seekers, rejects many of the best candidates before anyone even meets them, and presents a horrible first impression to prospective hires that degrades the hiring process.

This harms the company's image, lowers the quality of hires, and ultimately severely damages the company's bottom-line - because, ultimately, employees are the lifeblood of the company. If you poison your lifeblood, you set your company on a downward spiral that can only end in a poor work environment and damaged company.

The truth is that if the recruiting process is so challenging and time-consuming that a company thinks that it needs to resort to automated hiring processes, then the reality is that that company has some critical core issues they need to fix that go way beyond the hiring process.

9 The data shows that automated interviews are the worst recruiting practice.

The data shows that automated interviews are the worst recruiting practice.

Simply put, automated hiring practices are the worst recruiting strategy for any company, and will result in the lowest quality workers, lowest quality work, lowest profits, and worst work environments, ultimately resulting in company failure.

The best companies never have to resort to automated hiring practices. Out of the top 100 best companies to work for, how many of these best companies do you think use automated hiring practices? You guessed it! Zero. Not a single one of the top companies to work for use automated, inhuman, insulting recruiting practices.

That is because no good company which is well-run, has a great work environment, and pays its employees fairly and values them as important and valuable assets, has any need to use automated hiring practices. They are able to see that these harmful recruiting systems do more harm than good. If all the best companies do not use automated recruiting systems, neither should you if you are a recruiter or if you run a company.

If you are a job-seeker, the same holds true. If none of the best companies to work for use automated recruiting practices like automated video submissions and automated phone "interviews", then it proves that the companies who do use these insulting practices are not the best companies to work for. You should keep looking if you see one of these automated interview emails.

10 Automated recruiting only exists because of disconnected third-parties pushing their useless products on employers.

Automated recruiting only exists because of disconnected third-parties pushing their useless products on employers.

The question then remains, why do these automated interview systems even exist? The answer is not what it seems. It may seem at first that they exist because candidates use them and because they are desperate, or because employers benefit from them. The truth, however, is very different.

These automated systems exist solely because they are a product that is being sold to employers. Employers looking for better ways to increase profits and hire better employees while simplifying the recruiting process are sold these automated systems, being promised that it will solve all their problems. This is the problem that occurs when a bad product is developed by people who are not actually part of the recruiting process and is sold to companies on false premises.

There are two major sellers of these automated systems. First, there are online job websites such as Indeed which are contributing to this dreadful recruiting abomination. While providing a website that contributes little value, they are looking to create more value by offering more services to monetize their website. As a result, they tried to use this automated system as a way to "help" employers "simplify" their recruiting process.

Unfortunately, these websites are unqualified to offer such recruiting services. As a biased and disinterested third-party trying to monetize the masses, they are just trying to find another way to make more money off employers or to pretend that they add more value by selling or providing an automated service which, unfortunately, does more harm than good. Employers: never sign up for this service.

Second, software companies looking to make a quick buck, but whom have no idea about recruiting. They are just a software company looking for an opportunity to make money, but do not care that their product ultimately does more harm than good. They may even have good intentions, but unfortunately the automated recruiting is a dead product that will never, ever be of any benefit or value except to the worst companies with the worst hiring practices and the worst work environments who do not care about their employees.

Recruiting should not be a hard process for good companies.


Recruiting should not be hard for a well-run company that pays well and has a positive work environment. The best companies are flourishing, and can afford to hire the best human resource staff. These HR staff are able to use the best practices to attract the best candidates – but better, they will automatically attract the best candidates due to their positive reputation for a great work environment and fair wages that value the employees’ time and energy.

As a result, the best companies can often take employees that appear to be horrible employees at poor-run companies with toxic work environments, and turn them into high-performing employees. This is because in reality, most people are pretty good people, and most employees will flourish in a positive work environment in which they are well-paid.

The result, then, is that most hires will work out very well in a good company. Not all, but most. As a result, a good company never has any problems attracting the best talent, and their employees always help them become even better companies.

Should you use automated recruiting like automated video and phone interviews?

If you are en employer, it is time to send your automated recruiting practices into the elephant graveyard. If you already spent money on automated interview systems, it is better to take the loss than to continue using it. It will only continue to harm your company.

If you are not using these systems yet but are considering it, recognize that it is a waste of time, energy, money, and talent. Emulate the successful companies to be like the successful companies. Whether you are a large company or an entrepreneur just starting out, automated recruiting systems are dangerous to the longevity of your company and must be avoided at all costs.

If you are a job-seeker, you can safely ignore and immediately delete any emails asking for you to submit an automated interview. Do not support these automated recruiting systems by giving in to them and wasting your time. Do not insult and devalue yourself by submitting to such a dehumanizing interview process.

Recognize that you are a valuable person with valuable skills, and that you do not need to work for companies who treat you like trash. Once enough companies stop getting any responses at all, they will be forced to stop using them, and these dehumanizing hiring practices will thankfully disappear into oblivion.

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