The future of recruitment is not AI...

Ask five recruiters what they think the future of recruitment will look like, you'll get twenty answers.  We love to analyse and navel gaze about what might be, what new technology will change how we find and hire new people.

During my time as Founder of DANGERFIELD , I've personally interviewed hundreds of candidates and hundreds of recruiters and there is a growing consensus that, whatever changes we have on the horizon, the future of recruitment is personal.

We all agree that AI is acknowledged to be a major economic disruptor, replacing jobs across multiple sectors through automation. As AI becomes more efficient than humans at specific tasks, the jobs that no longer require a human to be done will go away.  The recruitment journey is ripe for the adoption of AI.

Based on my many conversations with recruiters it has caused a certain level of fear among recruiters, with the rise of rectech startups that are attempting to bring AI to the workplace as a potential replacement for humans. If those fears became reality, if AI does replace human recruiters the potential impact is obvious and dramatic - the complete overall of the talent acquisition function and the massive loss of recruiter and sourcing jobs.

I have talked about this several times, some serious (IHRC, Kiev), some less so (DisruptHR, London) and I am a complete doomonger about it.  AI and its awkward cousin machine learning is here to stay, will develop further and put recruiter jobs at risk.  In some cases this is a very good thing.

But my doom and gloom outlook might be misplaced.   Recruiters are naturally upbeat about AI “AI can never replace that human touch” even if I believe they are over egging their ability to scan and read a CV.  But what is changing my perception is probably the view of some clever people that have been playing with AI that little bit longer.

In a talk earlier this year, Y Combinator's Sam Altman described a vision of the future where global wealth grows even as work decreases.   AI will replace jobs and on a large scale but to balance that off, the most personal, relationship-driven, “human to human” jobs, as he calls the will rise in value and importance.  If you are a good relationship building recruiter, this view of the the future could be good for you?

“There is in some true sense right now — we don’t have nearly enough people for all the jobs,” Altman said. “It’d be great if every student had an individual teacher. It would be great if every time you go into a doctor’s office you’d never be waiting. I do think we’ll see a lot more jobs like that. Sort of human to human jobs.”

If you are a good relationship building recruiter, this view of the the future could be good for you?  My advice at that talk in Kiev was exactly that.  Let the AI do the hard work in reviewing candidates and be a good recruiter that can focus on engagement and selling the job to the candidate.

Embrace AI, it’s here to stay but be better at being human.

Martin Dangerfield is founder of the cunningly named Consulting business DANGERFIELD, bringing together recruitment specialists on a global basis to enable organisations to speed up hiring, optimise process and hire on a global basis. We provide an onsite, on demand service with recruitment professionals hiring in your name.

Working with a group of leading recruitment and recruitment marketing professionals, he is keen to talk to high growth organisations about how the hire.