In the latest blog in our ‘short read’ series, Ian Knowlson, a global recruitment influencer with 35 years’ experience, talks to Charlotte Nicol about how he feels technology will change the recruiter of the future.
When you last applied for a role, was it a recruiter communicating with you over email – or were those emails automated through technology?
Today, more and more organizations are using automation to simplify the recruitment process.
Regardless of whether a person is corresponding directly with candidates, or, responses have been automated, however – those responses have still been written by a human.
If used correctly, automation doesn’t take the human out of technology. In fact, it can do the opposite – by automating core admin processes, recruiters are able to spend more time on the strategic initiatives and human connections.
The emergence of automation and IA is becoming ever more prevalent in today’s world of work. So, here’s seven ways I think technology like it will change the recruiter’s role of the future.
When a candidate applies for a role, it will be AI (artificial intelligence) that they deal with, rather than a human.
AI will improve the process by producing a shortlist of candidates, leaving the recruiter to focus on the human contact element of the process.
This means more time to focus on advertising the role, more time to vet the applicants, and more time to decide on the right person for the job.
As technology changes and evolves, it will become harder to find people with the most relevant skills.
Right now, for example, sourcing data scientists is a particular priority for organizations. The role has been ranked by Glassdoor as the number one vacancy in the US for the last three years.
According to the European Commission, there is currently a gap of 350,000 data scientist jobs, which will have risen by a further 100,000 by 2020.
In companies that are already experiencing skill shortages in tech, recruiters should be prepared, as they will now be spending a higher percentage of their time looking for candidates that are harder to come by.
As roles become harder to fill, recruiters will need to become familiar with tools to help them find and source the best candidates.
New technology will be used to scour internet applicant sites and forums to help recruiters to find people whose profile fits the job roles they are recruiting for.
As automation takes over certain industries, some roles will become harder to recruit for.
With that in mind, the recruiter of the future will not only need to ensure that they can find this talent but also confidently showcase why a candidate should work for their company rather than a competitor.
Humans have certain qualities that computers can’t emulate very well.
For instance, AI is not very good at persuasion, so for roles with high skills shortages, persuading people to apply will rely heavily on human-to-human interaction.
For recruiters, skills such as collaboration, emotional support and communication will become increasingly important, as these are the kind of skills that tech will not be able to replace.
One area tech is likely to have a big impact on is face-to-face interviews. Already today, many interviews are conducted virtually.
Recruiters are already using virtual reality (VR) to augment the interview process, so this improved technology is not far away. Until then, it’s likely video interviewing will become increasingly more commonplace.
HR and People leaders are already aware of their company’s employer value proposition (EVP), which measures how attractive the company is to potential candidates.
In the future, recruiters will need to be even more conscious of this.
Why? Because the candidates of the future will be split into two groups – people who are on the grid and are happy to have their information shared online, and ‘dark candidates’ who do not have a digital footprint.
As so much of the recruitment process happens online, it will become increasingly harder for recruiters to find candidates who aren’t online.
Creating a talent pipeline will be a key solution. This will require recruiters to establish a picture of what the organization will look like in the future and map out gaps where skills are missing. Knowing these gaps, they can then create pools of potential candidates.
Employers and staff will move towards ‘output focused working’, where performance is measure based upon what is delivered, rather than a requirement to work a set number of hours per week.
Employees will be required to make fixed meeting points and project delivery times but will be free to work wherever and whenever they want, whether at home, over the weekend, or even the beach (wouldn’t that be nice?!)
That has huge implications for both how recruiters work, and how companies can attract top talent.
After all, where are you reading this blog – are you in the office during working hours? Or, are you reading it elsewhere? My bet is the latter. The future of work is already on its way.
About Ian Knowlson
As a former director of Hays Specialist Recruitment, Ian has recruited for large corporate clients across the Europe, in sectors such as technology, IT, engineering, aerospace, accounting, finance and the public sector. He now advises businesses on the future of work and recruitment.
Discover what 500+ HR leaders said about the future of HR. Download our new research ‘The changing face of HR’ today.