Modern or traditional recruitment styles – Which works best?

August 19th 2021 | Posted by phil scott

Modern or traditional recruitment styles – Which works best?


Traditionally, many recruiters have based hiring decisions on technical skills and qualifications.

The problem with this is that just because a person is qualified for a role this does not necessarily make them the best person to hire. This can lead to individuals being hired who are not a good fit for the organisation.

Hence, the recognition of the importance of soft skills in modern recruitment styles and processes. But do these modern styles of recruitment work better than traditional methods of choosing the right candidate for a role? Let’s examine the situation in more detail.

Traditional decisions based on technical skills versus assessment of soft skills

There is no doubt that recruitment specialists are moving away from strict screening of CVs and applications for technical skills towards a greater appreciation of soft skills such as natural talent, empathy, and cognitive abilities as well as personality. Is this a good thing?

The truth is that there will always be a place for technical ability and qualifications to be considered as part of the recruitment process. However, taking a more rounded approach means that recruiters get a better picture of the individual and whether they are really a good fit for the role and the organisation.

Traditional decisions based on personal opinion versus decisions backed by data

Traditional recruitment decisions have often been based on the opinions of individuals or teams in charge of the recruitment process. The danger of this approach is that it leaves the process open to bias and inconsistencies.

Enter personality questionnaires and standardised profiles. These can be used to compare traits and abilities of candidates with those of current employees and/or the desired attributes associated with the role. Using technology and AI in this way is advantageous as it enables decisions to be made fairly and consistently.

However, this does not take away the need for recruiters to be skilled and processes to be well thought-out. Technology is a valuable aid in recruitment processes, but it does not replace human recruitment abilities, it enhances them.

Traditional interviewing techniques versus informal exchanges addressing vital questions

High performing recruiters are at their most valuable during the interview process. It’s at this time that they can bring out the best in the candidate by uncovering their personality and potential and not simply asking formulaic questions based on their CV or application.

For this reason, modern recruiters place themselves on an even footing with a candidate and approach the interview anticipating that the candidate has as much to offer as they do. Recruiters also use an informal approach to engender trust and make the experience more comfortable for the candidate allowing them to be at their best.

Taking this fresh and open approach enables the recruiter to get a more accurate and in-depth understanding of the candidate. This is turn makes it more likely that good hiring decisions are made.

When considering modern vs traditional recruiting styles, the truth is that a combination is the best way to go. There is still a place for considering a candidate’s technical abilities and relevant qualifications, but this should be backed up with a consideration of their soft skills.

Using modern technology enhances human recruitment skills and makes final decisions more likely to be bias-free and accurate.

If you are an HR professional looking for a new role, register with us. If are looking to hire an HR professional, get in touch.