Imagine a Future where Robots own every aspect of the Recruiting/Staffing process, where the Robots drive down the cost of staffing such that no human recruiter exists ever again.  Imagine where Artificial Intelligence in a reality like Sky Net is scratching the surface of ingenuity such that sourcing, screening, recruiting, offers, and closing all are filtered by Machines.  Imagine where there is no more human interaction in the staffing process.  Interesting idea?  Interesting world?

Please.  We've heard this nonsense for nearly a decade.  Further, as Artificial Intelligence technologies come into maturity new calls for the loss of the Recruiter, the end of staffing as we know it, and the end of the human recruiter are all but the swarm of the click baited articles we see swirling around this ethos.

Let's take a step back and analyze what is happening shall we?  And what the future is likely to hold?

5 Observances About Artificial Intelligence and Recruiting:

1. Machines will never be able to close a candidate: If there is one thing that machines can't do that is close.  A machine can't try and make itself ever so kind as to have empathy - this word, and this word alone is the niche factor that all Recruiters should pay attention to.  Empathy is what closes candidates, it's what causes them to accept offers, it's what it means to "pre-close", and keep "pre-closing" until the final offer is accepted.

2. Machines and Artificial Intelligence will Make Recruiting Work more Strategic: Mundane and routine tasks might be outsourced to machines.  Keep an eye on this out-sourcing word.  It's what many of these folks who want to save a dollar or two in your Finance Department are looking for.  So be it.  If they want to outsource, then you show them how productive you can be, and how focused you can be to get results, to source, to hunt, and pre-close.  Think strategically, think big picture, think proactively.  Where will the pools of talent be hiding and how will you reach them.  While a robot might help find them, while it might help with some routine administrative tasks the strategic engagement that causes candidates to take a look at your company in the first place will not go away.

3. Tools Like Hiretual that utilize Artificial Intelligence to help Recruiters Find Efficiency will Grow: Pay a visit to Hiretual and see how AI can help with a. Building a Boolean String, and b. showing how likely a candidate is to respond.  This is an efficiency tool and it helps.  More tools like Hiretual will continue to evolve as time goes on.  Hence the further explosion of HR and Staffing tools with Artificial Intelligence emphasis.

4. Boolean is Not Dead: Master it, use it, harness tools that help utilize Artificial Intelligence to give you sharper, cleaner, and more masterful results.  Boolean will be around for a long time to come, both human and machine will utilize this, but keep in mind the control you have.

5.  Candidate Experience will become a Bigger Issue as Technology evolves: Candidates more and more want the human aspect (updates, courtesy follow-up, closure).  The human to human contact will start coming back to the forefront again when we hit a cycle where people will realize they have neglected the human component after focusing on the "shiny objects" of Artificial Intelligence.  It would be wise to understand how this works, and tailor messaging, your approach, and your efforts to become more human and more strategically invested in expanding the candidate experience.

There will be those who disagree, but the bottom line is Recruiting & Staffing won't ever really lose the human element.  It just can't happen.  The reason is, that those businesses that realize that the "H" in Human Resources stands for "Human" and the R does not stand for "robot" it stands for Resources will realize after coming full circle how cutting out the human factors in staffing is probably one of the biggest mistakes in business.  I'm pretty sure the Human Element is indeed here to stay.  I'd bet my career on it, and I am going to stay in Recruiting for years to come.  The truth is Machines haven't replaced us completely yet, and rather while the focus of roles may change, new roles not yet existing will emerge.  With baby boomers set to retire in droves, let's not forget that the human element will never completely go away.  If there is a labor shortage which surely is coming with a 4% unemployment rate employers will start scrambling when they realize that outsourcing everything without strategy is a tragedy just waiting to happen. 

In 10 years there will still be Human Recruiters "HR" as we know it though will evolve and change.  But evolution and change is part of business, even with that humanity can't ever go away from a traditional human business - because brands, and closing are indeed at stake.  And that's the bottom line.

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Comment by Terence B on January 19, 2018 at 1:36pm

I think the term AI is widely used in a retrospective manner as illustrated in your blog picture if you look at the industrial revolution and how machines aided humans in becoming more efficient then it's a pretty safe bet to what's already happening. In loose terms, how long's a piece of string? If your string is just 100cm long, then AI can probably do it better and quicker. 

The technology is widely available, but in most cases, your average employer will use a SAAS system which helps them such as assisted CRMs, outreaching, prospecting - if they aren't already.

Comment by Beth Hudson on January 19, 2018 at 9:10pm

I agree with Terence - most "AI" isn't really AI in the way its depicted in apocalyptic movies. If we continue to use recruitment software as an aid to dwindle down our time to hire and allow for more time on important aspects of the process, it can only help. As humans, I don't think we are selfless or stupid enough to let robots take over our jobs completely. As recruiters, I don't think a competent recruiter would take themselves completely out of the hiring process. The Evil HR Lady agrees: http://recruit.ee/bl-evil-hr-lady-eb-bh

Comment by Mike Rasmussen on January 19, 2018 at 10:26pm

Agree with you both and great points.  I really see Recruiting evolving such that these new technologies will allow for more strategic thinking.  My point here is we shouldn't fear Artificial Intelligence.  Realize it exists and harness it for even better outcomes.  That is what I see happening.  It won't replace human recruiters.  But it will make us have to think strategically and find ways to add more value.  Quite frankly the space fascinates me.  Thanks for your thoughts Terence and Beth.

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