Are Recruiters About to Become Extinct?

As I’m sure you’re aware by now, artificial intelligence is taking the world of recruitment by storm. New technologies are emerging that can help the recruitment process, eliminating the need for humans in basic admin tasks like resume screening, interview scheduling, and even automated candidate sourcing. Automations reduce the time to hire and significantly cut recruitment costs, which we’re all looking for in these uncertain economic times. 

Therefore, at first, this seemed like a silver bullet, allowing recruiters to skill the mundane tasks and focus on hiring the best talent. Experts say automated recruiting saves an average of 2 days per week of recruiter time and speeds up the recruitment process by an average of 15 minutes per candidate. However, as AI becomes more advanced many experienced TA leaders are asking, what does this mean for the recruiter? I’d go one step further; if technology can help us screen and source candidates, are recruiters about to become extinct? 

The COVID-19 crisis has driven so many of us towards automation, speeding up the reliance on technology that many of us predicted would come into play in the years to come. The crisis has led to a surge in demand for talent in some industries. For others, it has meant a lack of recruiters in the office due to strategic cuts. Either way, automations have provided a lifeline for recruiters, providing a more streamlined candidate experience and ensuring hiring can continue through these challenging times. 

So, has this new-found reliance on AI and automations led to the extinction of recruiters as we know them? 

As an agency, we’ve had a lot of success using technology and data to help our recruitment process. Using digital programmatic advertising, we’ve been able to target specific skillsets. We’ve also interpreted data to source candidates in unlikely places and discover what is deterring candidates from applying to a particular business. I’ve been impressed at just how well we’ve been able to engage with passive high-quality candidates with the help of technology. With these developments, I can see why people may see the recruiter as redundant. Technology and data provide insights quickly and, on the surface, can help solve recruitment problems. However, for me, there is a crucial balance that needs to be met. 

We can’t rely on these tools alone; recruitment is, after all, about people and therefore needs to feel human. Especially now, in a time we’re all craving social connections. A computer can never make the same judgments of character and cultural fit as a human being because it can only work from data, not conversations, and human interaction. A good recruiter can look beyond the skillset checklist and assess if a candidate is not only right for a company but also consider if the company is the right fit for the candidate.  

Some people argue that recruiters and hiring managers hold unconscious biases, and therefore AI is a better and more fair approach to hiring. However, in a time when we need to prioritize diversity more than ever, is the right approach? Should we be leaving such a crucial part of the hiring process up to machines? Remember, people, program all technology. Humans will tell AI how to read the data and which keywords to look out for. Therefore, it will hold some biases just as people do. Companies could be missing out on great non-traditional candidates just because they don’t match the specific criteria of an algorithm, and we all know sometimes the best hires are ones that surprise us. Veteran talent often is kick-off because they may not have a traditional 4-year degree or job title in their profile. 

Therefore, I believe we need to strike a balance. We need people involved to ensure an inclusive and more human approach to recruitment, getting to know candidates’ personalities, and taking the time to source non-traditional but exceptional candidates that AI does not find. Only 7% of HR managers say they think a robot could do their job, and I agree. To hire great people, you need great recruiters. 

I don’t think that recruiters will become extinct, as long as we can adapt.  

AI can be a considerable asset to recruitment professionals. If we find a way to work with these new advances in technology, we can improve hiring teams and candidates’ experiences. Making better quality hires in shorter periods. 

If you’d like to find out more about how Talent Works can balance data-driven recruitment processes with human-centred sourcing, then contact our team today.