Automation versus Emotion: How digital transformations is transforming recruitment

Worried about your recruitment job becoming obsolete because of technology? Fear not, recruitment will always need the human touch and technology only stands to benefit both recruiters and job seekers alike.

At the moment, much of the recruitment sector is focused on cloud-based platforms that aim to centralize activity to improve efficiency and productivity to ultimately improve margins. And there’s software available to help manage the entire recruitment process from start to finish from one place. Most recruiters at the very least use a central recruitment client and candidate relationship database to manage candidate placement with more established players supplementing this with some form of pay and bill and screening software. It’s no surprise that the more joined-up the technology the recruiters use, the more gains they see in efficiency — spending less time on admin and more time placing candidates, guiding them through the recruitment process and ensuring all tasks are completed in line with legislation (from GDPR  to IR35). Placement is made faster still by using auto-generated documents and auto-match features fuelled by intelligent search to filter talent pools, profiles and clients.

But further change is coming. In 2016, The World Economic Forum predicted that 65% of primary school children would grow up to work in jobs that don’t even exist today. By 2028, there’s a good chance that a whole new glossary of job titles and job descriptions will exist, and recruiters will need to be at the forefront of these changes. In part, this influx of new jobs will be due to the effect technology such as artificial intelligence and automation will have on existing jobs.

In this scenario, called the “New Economy” current jobs can be displaced and new jobs can quickly be created. The takeaway to stay ahead of the curve is to invest in training.

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The New Economy offers recruiters the opportunity to thrive by offering consultancy services to employers. They can show them how to create new roles that can easily be resourced and how to build resilient resourcing strategies to help them deliver ambitious growth plans. Recruiters should be adding value as strategic advisors or partners, instead of having a purely transactional relationship.

The role of talent acquisition is continuously evolving. For several years, it has been transforming from simply filling headcount to becoming part of an overarching talent strategy. The demand for niche skills is set to hasten this digital transformation even more and make talent acquisition critical to organizations being productive and profitable.

No one can be certain what the future holds, but we can be sure of one thing — the world of work is changing and new workforce strategies will be required. The nine to five isn’t really nine to five anymore, and technologies like artificial intelligence, automation and virtual reality are all altering the way people do their jobs and recruit. Thanks to these technological advances, companies and recruiters have to work harder to find, attract, hire and retain the best talent. So if you operate in the recruitment sector, you need to keep at the forefront of tech.

To stay ahead, there needs to be a focus on the unique human qualities that can’t be replaced, looking beyond experience and consider what personality traits and working styles bring to a role. This will help recruiters stay relevant in the face of technological change. This talent strategy needs to consider the following qualities:

  • Emotional intelligence
  • Critical thinking
  • Collaboration
  • Emotional Support
  • Original thought
  • Persuasion

The future is certainly not all bleak with so many new jobs being created. AI also has the potential to make existing jobs more productive and remove a lot of the mundane aspects. What we’re talking about here is future-proofing and staying ahead of the AI curve.

With reporting and recruiting software, employee data, and social media at our fingertips, recruiters have a world of possibilities to explore. While these developments are already in full swing, 2020 will be a period of rapid development as companies devise and implement new strategies.

Such a dynamic market is likely to create situations where agencies with less agility or expertise could see their customer relationships disrupted or lost to agencies that respond better to the changes. So, in summary, recruiters need to stay on top of technological advancements.

All this change got the team at Access Group thinking about how, when and why the recruitment industry started, how far it has come, and what the future holds? From Ancient Egypt through to robot hiring managers, we’ve created a timeline that highlights recruitment tech through the years, with information and data to highlight each milestone.

 

Jason Martin

Jason Martin
Jason Martin is head of strategy, recruitment division, at The Access Group.

Jason Martin

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