Future Technology in the Recruitment Sector
Technology is transforming the way we work, and the nature of employment itself. The recruitment sector is in a unique position, as it must grapple not only with the direct impact on the industry but on employment in general.
I get a mixed response when I speak to recruiters about the subject of future technology, but many see artificial intelligence (AI) and automation as a threat to their businesses. This often surprises me, as recruiters are an optimistic breed who are always seeking to embrace new opportunities. The very nature of what recruiters do demands agility, resourcefulness and a keen eye for the niche and underserved.
A recent report by PWC found that AI could displace 7 million existing UK jobs; however an estimated 7.2 million could be created. Technology presents an opportunity for transformation and the ability to streamline those time-consuming functions that can distract from the finer art of recruitment. This will enable recruiters to focus on meaningful, personal interactions with employers and candidates - no computer will ever be able to replicate the human touch.
This blog will explore two themes: AI and talent acquisition, and the evolution of the workforce and the human cloud.
AI and talent acquisition
Much of the work currently undertaken by people can be automated to make your service proposition focused on the human aspect of finding the candidate their dream job. This includes CV submission and matching, job availability, work history and initial job matching.
There are already sophisticated chatbots - automated programmes similar to virtual personal assistants such as Alexa - that can manage initial candidate engagement, information acquisition and screening, provision of job and application process and even post on-board communication with the candidate.
An effective chatbot will therefore automate the majority of the ‘top funnel’ recruiting function - particularly as it can process hundreds of applications at any given moment - leaving you to concentrate on the task of placing the candidate.
A common complaint from candidates is a lack of communication and information about how their application is proceeding. A chatbot can provide updates to the candidate to ensure that they remain informed at every juncture of the placement process.
The automation of talent acquisition can also extend to background checking. You might think that blockchain technology is exclusive to alternative forms of currency such as Bitcoin and would have no application to the recruitment industry but it is in fact a highly efficient process of authenticating transactions that can be applied to a number of applications.
The blockchain process can be used to effectively and accurately check for background information such as employment history, criminal records, professional licencing and validation, education records and credit worthiness in one transaction, almost instantaneously- thus eliminating a slow, costly process that does not generate tangible income to you.
The evolution of the workforce and the human cloud
How we work, our attitudes towards flexible working and the rewards we seek from our jobs are constantly changing. The working environment of 10 years ago is not the same as today, which will not be the same as the working environment in 10 years’ time.
The rise of the so called ‘gig economy’ allows people to work when they want, where they want and how they want, with work opportunities increasingly being catered for by ‘human cloud’ applications. Apps can allow workers to quickly and easily identify short-term job opportunities locally to them.
The Uber model is an example of this and we will see the model extend far beyond taxis and ride sharing. Casual labourers in the construction industry might use an app that lists all the sites in their local area where labour is required, with the employers updating their labour requirement in real time. Another fluid industry where this model will be effective is in catering and leisure.
The human cloud will be heavily dependent upon fast, accurate employee background checking- something that AI and blockchain can achieve instantaneously.
The main driver for the evolution of the workforce will be the large-scale proliferation of data and businesses must therefore ensure that their processes and systems are calibrated to meet this new and evolving demand.
As the risks to businesses evolve, so too must the processes. It is therefore imperative that a recruitment business collaborates with organisations that understand the evolving nature of the workplace and can offer practical advice on how to mitigate the changing business environment.
Alex Dean - Recruitment Specialist
0330 660 0401