Digital Transformation
Jul 3, 2024

Staying Human on the Rise of AI

Ricardo Mota
4 minutes

The other day, I tried using ChatGPT to help me write this article. I wanted to discuss one of our key differentiators, but instead, I got a recipe or guide. However, humans are not binary, and we are all full of surprises. This article explores how we envision the future and how we can make intangible aspects of our work and approaches at Andela more tangible. Let's explore this further.

Keeping it Human-Centric in the Age of AI

In the age of AI and automation, most companies adopt technologies without considering their human implications, which often leads to disastrous consequences. A recent social media campaign emphasized the need to keep the approach human-centric when it came to certain AI-driven recruitment systems. At Andela, we believe that in the post-modern era, our focus should be human + technology, beginning with the individual and complemented by technological aids. Here, I will focus on one of the most essential parts of this process: how we go about understanding if a technologist is a good fit for a job we’re looking to fill for a client.

Connecting Brilliance with Opportunity

Our approach to getting great matches between our clients and technologists is deeply grounded in the best experience for both sides, considering the business and individual needs; it’s about making a real connection. This reminds me of a scene from one of my favorite movies, "Arrival." Just to be clear, our developers aren't 10 feet tall and don't look like heptapods, but there is a meaningful analogy here.

There's a scene in "Arrival" where Dr. Louise Banks meets Dr. Ian Donnelly for the first time on a helicopter. Everyone is tense about evidence of alien life, which is now in our backyard. Dr. Ian is discussing priorities and going over how the aliens arrived, listing off questions along with a sequence of "handshakes" to exchange binary sequences. Dr. Louise responds: "How about we just talk to them before we start throwing math problems at them?" This struck a chord with me. Too often, we subscribe to a scripted mode: we go through the motions of life with pre-planned interactions and forget that humans are unique beings with their identities, backgrounds, stories, experiences, and ambitions. At Andela, we aim to genuinely relate to our digital talent on a deeper level, ensuring our matches are not just based on skills but from an angle of mutual understanding and connection.

Blending the Efficiency of AI and the Human Touch

As mentioned, we seamlessly blend the efficiency of AI with the essential human touch to enhance our selection process. Our AI-Powered Talent Decision Engine™ employs sophisticated algorithms trained with thousands of data points, including verified skill sets and project experiences, to pinpoint the best matches for any given job. This proprietary, AI-driven technology, combined with our vast global marketplace of skilled technologists, helps us hire the world's best talent up to 66% faster. But we don't stop there. We believe in the irreplaceable value of human interaction.

Our approach involves engaging in meaningful conversations with candidates, delving into their unique backgrounds, aspirations, and cultural fit. By harmonizing the precision of AI with the empathy and understanding that only human insight can provide, we create a process that is not only efficient but deeply personalized. This powerful combination allows us to be scalable while ensuring that each match is a perfect blend of technical skill and genuine human connection, embodying our commitment to a human-centric approach in the age of AI. Let's look at how we start the conversation.

Initial Human Connection

As shown in "Arrival," Dr. Louise Banks' approach prioritizes communication and empathy. Our AI notetakers do a pretty good job of pulling that off, but we start our meetings with small talk and quick introductions. It puts candidates at ease and sets them up for a candid, real-time exchange. We use informal dialogue to establish a relationship and give us a sense of the natural interaction, engagement, and interpersonal skills of the candidate. Such dialogue is usually very fluid and flexible since no two people are alike. We want to find out how these candidates, especially those who are already established in remote work, will interact with new stakeholders, show interest in learning about others, and be present. This approach is essential because we connect humans with humans.

Learning More About the Candidate's Background

Once connected, we delve deeper into the professional background and competencies of the candidate. We discuss their previous jobs, responsibilities, and accomplishments, which enables us to understand where they're from and where they stand professionally. It’s not a rigid checklist but rather a flexible conversation sensitive to the subtleties of preferences. We take note of the essential core skills and experiences they have acquired, making their background easier to compare for any given job vacancy.

Technical Skills Assessment

Our talent pool is pre-screened for technical fluency through interviews, live challenges, and skills evaluation tests in, a top-rated performance-based assessment platform. This initial assessment gives us a good understanding of their technical capabilities so that we can then focus on the details: specific tools, market experience, or other specialized technical conversations for a specific role. We ask narrow questions about the technical acumen necessary for a specific role, such as portfolio reviews for designers and GitHub reviews for developers. During this acumen test, we outline real problems and avoid rigid problem-solving approaches. We ask candidates to describe how they would solve the problem to understand their thought processes in situ. This approach enables us to measure not just the candidates' technical skills, but also their problem-solving approach, thereby ensuring better matches between technologists and companies.

Proactivity and Ability to Learn

Sometimes, talent may not have 100% of the technical competencies required for a job. From our discussions, we listen for indicators of proactivity and a desire to learn. We ask if they have any recent learning experiences, taken courses, or acquired new skills, as this demonstrates their interest in self-development and keeping up with the times. We look for instances where candidates have acted on their initiative or gone beyond their job description to solve a problem or improve a process. In research roles, such adaptability and proactive thinking are crucial.

Adaptive and Flexible Measures

We don’t have a rigid process but an open and flexible approach where every journey is unique. We are inspired by an attitude of clear, sharp thinking, conscious that each candidate has different skills and experiences to offer. We aim to see things as they are, always curious, and open to new information, ensuring our decisions are well-informed. Leveraging our data and powerful AI algorithms for unbiased decisions, we maintain flexibility, understanding, and natural connection between people — to ensure we make the best matches between our talent marketplace and incredible companies.


In a world increasingly dominated by technology, it's easy to lose sight of the irreplaceable value of human touch. At Andela, we are committed to balancing the best of both worlds: the efficiency and precision of AI with the empathy and understanding that only humans can offer. We constantly learn and evolve to improve our practices in service to both our talent and clients, guided by curiosity and a drive to see clearly. This helps us navigate the complex but beautiful journey of identifying the best talent for the best opportunities while harmonizing AI capabilities with the nuanced understanding that only human insight can provide.

Embracing a mindset of constant improvement, we test our assumptions, seek evidence, and remain open to new information. At Andela, we apply this mindset by listening to our processes in recruitment and perfecting them over time to ensure they are still effective and fair. This mindset drives us to be nimble, curious, and ever-striving — keeping us ahead in the fast-moving world. As we forge ahead in the era dominated by AI, we will keep our human side adaptable, swift, and supported by every AI co-pilot possible, but intrinsically human.

Interested in 
Learning More?

Subscribe today to stay informed and get regular updates from Andela.

You might also be interested in

Ready to get started?

Contact Us