If you are currently a recruiter and you’re worried about your future … I agree, you should be. If you are not then you should definitely read till the end.
Look around recruiters, technology is taking over small components of your work. There are ATS systems in which resume screening happens much faster and may be a bit better. Assessment companies are providing all kinds of assessments you want from psychometric to code evaluation to help out in better-automated screening. You have Asynchronous and live video interview players replacing the Telephonic rounds, automating initial screening rounds, automating the scheduling and other coordination aspects. At the end of all this technology adoption you really need to think really hard about your future. Current recruiters should be aware of this upcoming obsolescence, because there will soon be data to show that much of what they do will soon be done much better, faster, and cheaper by data-driven algorithms and software.
Has this happened before? Yes, look around in your Marketing, Sales and CRM teams; compare the roles on offer around a decade back with the roles currently in your firm. You will see a drastic difference in the same, this is because technologies which were evolving 10 years back have now become mainstream and have replaced many of those jobs or rather modified many of the jobs. Now this kind of changes are coming into recruiting, it is now finally beginning the inevitable shift to a hard scientific approach, where database decision-making and software technology will literally take over most of the roles currently held by human recruiters.
As a corporate recruiter if you are wondering whether technology may replace everything and your role may soon become completely irrelevant, then you may be wrong. If you look at this spectrum of technologies being in HR, there is one component, which cannot be replaced i.e. selling the company and role to the candidate; having said that this is something most corporate recruiters do not excel at.
The primary role of a recruiter will evolve into selling or influencing various stakeholders in the hiring process, like the potential candidate, hiring managers and various decision makers. Selling will become the critical competency for a corporate recruiter, much like it has been for third-party executive search for decades. Now I know many of the recruiters may reject my assumptions about the job roles being evolved and changed. Let me share a few thoughts to cement my arguments on the above assumptions.
Some of the main components handled currently by recruiters include sourcing, matching, resume screening, candidate follow-ups, candidate assessment and interviewing. Now let me explain why I think these recruiting areas will become less of manual intervention and more tech oriented
Sourcing — No one is hidden anymore
Sourcing was a challenge 5-10 years back when it is difficult to find people. You had to be using one or more of the job sites and you had to be a ninja when it comes to Boolean searches or cold calling. Now with the high adoption of Internet, social media, smart phones it is already surprisingly easy to find anyone you want. Because of social media you can find connections to anyone you want and use your employees referrals to get to that person, you already have employee referral software doing that. How about passive candidates? Yes, you need to sell to them.
Matching — Aided by analytics faster, cheaper and more accurate
If you excelled a matching the prospects to the perfect job, be prepared for that job to be done faster, cheaper, and significantly more accurately by software. There are softwares aided by data analytics that digs into the performance of the current employees and recognizes patterns, which will be used to hire future employees. Want to ignore them? Not for long I guess.
Resume screening — Beyond keyword matching and traditional ATS
I know many of you think resume screening is all about keyword matching, like the ones done by traditional ATS. But let me share the current updates in that field, there are resume screening tools which use contextual search crawls the entire internet to verify the candidate’s resume claims and to find everything about the background, skill set etc and give him/her a score which is based on the likelihood of him/her to be fit for the role. I will rest my case on resume screening here.
Many a times recruiters spend substantial amount of time in just following up with candidates. This will be required, no doubt even in future but with a perspective of selling and engaging rather than just follow ups for interviews and like. For candidate follow-ups we have automated tools that informs the candidates through various channels including private messaging channels we have developed for companies. I think this area too has been automated to some extent and anyways this is job you may want off your table.
Candidate assessment — faster, accurate and scalable
We have come a long way here. From the personality tests earlier on we now have coding tests, games, customized assessments based on various organizational factors & requirements and now with virtual reality simulations, this recruiting area is completely automated. If you feel this is still under explored, do drop in your arguments in the comments will like to understand your perspective.
Interviewing — Why new technology will make it unnecessary for recruiters to participate in interviewing
One of the primary reasons recruiters participated in the interviews were to discourage illegal questions and judge the candidates from an HR perspective. Now will recorded Asynchronous and Live video interviews both these aspects are well taken care of; added with the convenience factor of interviews from anywhere anytime both hiring managers and candidates are fine with these techniques. One other factor why this works now is because internet infrastructure in emerging countries are now well equipped to handle the requirements like better bandwidth and access than what the situation was 2-3 years back. And as more hard data becomes available showing the low predictive value of most traditional interviews, the emphasis will shift away from interviewing of any kind and toward a heavier reliance on online testing and assessment. Taken together, all of this means that recruiters will only occasionally have to be involved in interviewing.