Many job categories are now at risk of being automated within the next 20 years, these include; telemarketers, accountants, real estate agents, airline pilots and even actors. But what about the world of Recruitment?
The invention of the ATS and even the job board was set to bring about the apocalypse of the Recruitment Industry and plunge us into a recruiter-less world, but it only made us stronger. The ATS enabled us to do away with time consuming admin tasks giving us more time to focus on new business development and finding those top candidates.
So, are recruiters at risk?
Today, the main threat to recruiters is from big data. With the volume of data being collected on social networks and in the Android universe by Google one can see a situation where a slate of prospective candidates can be identified by algorithms trolling through social media profiles, emails, phone traffic, texts, etc. Marry that with telemarketing technology that can place calls and could it leave little for a recruiter to do.
One can argue that no one wants to get a call from a robot about a job. It doesn’t have to be a voice call — it can be a text conversation, which has already been automated by some companies. A third of people prefer texts to voice calls (which would at least eliminate those awkward situations where a prospective candidate must walk away from their desk to take a call or is reached during a meeting). In this scenario the system could eventually hand over the conversation to a recruiter, but it would make the number of recruiters needed far fewer than today.
While the threat of automation is not imminent, it’s certainly real. The profession must evolve to one where we add more value in more unique ways. Finding new ways to use data and making better use of social networks to connect with candidates, such as through talent communities would be a clear path to follow.
Industry experts believe recruitment automation will augment and enhance human recruiters’ abilities, rather than completely replace them.
As the adoption of recruitment automation continues to increase, the recruiter role will change, BUT there is still very much the need for us.