I Have Seen the Future of Recruiting and I Am Not In It

future of work and recruiting

I have seen the future of recruiting and I am not in it. A robot, an algorithm or some other form of automation has replaced me and I am okay with that. Why? Simply put, as old jobs fade away due to technology upgrades, new processes, new jobs replace them. It has happened before and it will happen again; such is the way of the world.

I can remember my mother driving up to a Fotomat drive through window and dropping off a roll of film to be developed. When digital cameras were invented, there was no need for such a service and Fotomat disappeared.

When I was in college, I worked for a video store akin to Blockbuster video. Each week, customers would visit the store to see what movies had been released to VHS, BETA or (for the eccentrics) laserdisc. One day Netflix was invented and eventually, the store I worked at (along with Blockbuster, Hollywood Video and others) disappeared.

Advancements in technology always displaces the former trend and I am seeing more of that each day. Take for example, the disruptive nature of Uber to the taxi industry and how people are making serious incomes driving their own cars. Very soon however, with the advent of robot cars, that income will disappear for many who rely on it.

So, what is the solution to change? I think its adaptation and taking on skills that robots cannot grasp, at least for now; chief among them, public speaking. According to research form “Burning Glass,” verbal and written communication is HIGHLY sought after by employers; ironic as 74% of Americans fear public speaking. If you are among those nervous about standing before crowds, I suggest you join an organization like Toastmasters.

If you are in the service industry, I cannot stress enough how much you need to diversify your skillset. Consider this, Chinese factories have replaced 90% of humans with robots and production soared, farmers have managed to automate much of the work that they do, Amazon has robots manning their warehouses and a company called Momentum Machines invented a burger-flipping robot that can produce a burger every 10 seconds. With all of that, I suppose that the biggest wake-up call to the service industry is McDonald’s response to the $15 minimum wage demands of its workers which basically says, they may pay the demanded rate but to fewer people. And if you are inclined to believe that your job is safe, understand that such coveted roles as pharmacists, lawyers and even astronauts may soon be replaced by artificial intelligence.

With all of this to consider, how soon would it be before the recruitment industry is disrupted in similar fashion? I think very soon. Earlier this year, the millennial job search company “First Job,” debuted its recruitment automation bot – Mya. The company said that “Mya automates as much as 75 percent of the recruitment process.

Wow! Really? I had the opportunity to speak with the CEO of First Job – Eyal Grayevsky and among the more memorable quotes from our discussion was…

“Engagement with Mya has been through the roof. Candidates are answering Mya’s questions, asking questions, and re-engaging with Mya at a very high percentage. This is a strong signal from the market that job seekers value the benefits of the Mya experience and are very receptive to interfacing with A.I. in the hiring process.”

If a robot can handle screening of candidates, would that give me more time to focus on interviewing and closing offers? I think so. I think it would also give me time to focus on strategies that will attract passive candidates into interacting with the bot in the first place. Such is what I meant when I said earlier that “I was not in the future” of recruiting. Most likely, I will be doing something much different than I am now, perhaps reporting to the marketing department. Why do I say that?

I think the future of recruiting in general and sourcing in particular is in attraction and that marketing technology is showing us the way. For example, NFC technology could enable billboard interaction; imagine a billboard sending data to your phone as you pass by it (with your permission of course) or, taking a tour of a company from your bedroom courtesy of augmented reality or, a social media command center focused on detecting negative sentiment about an employment brand so recruiters can target them. All of these possibilities fall more under marketing than HR and ultimately, that is the department recruiters and sourcers may end up reporting to.

So much is going to happen in so little time from now, its already making my head spin. As fast as I can, I am learning and adapting so I will not be left behind. Can you say the same?

One thought on “I Have Seen the Future of Recruiting and I Am Not In It”

  1. Stay this far ahead of the curve and you’ll always have work Jim, simple as that.

    I’m tempted to say that as long as we can get paid for what we know, rather than what we can ‘do’, work will always find us. However, as far back as 10 years ago, I was working as a news editor and one day the tech guy told me he’d installed a robot that was learning the patterns of my writing.

    Granted, much of what I was producing was 3-5 sentence news snips, but sure as hell, within a year that darned piece of software could bang out a quite acceptable replica of one of my own stories.]

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