Updated: Aug 29
The future 👽🛰🚀🏙
For some the mere thought of the future conjures up images of post-apocalyptic worlds, Back To The Future style realities and some kind of alien life.
The reality is that the future is unfolding everyday and it’s mostly purpose built. Technology is empowering and changing the structure of every industry on the planet, seeping slowly into our ways of conducting daily life.
Recruiting is no different. In a market where recruiters spend on average 13 hours a week sourcing for a single vacancy and often face deadlock with hiring managers, the scope for technological change is huge. The future for recruitment isn’t one of complete job loss and replacement by AI, but rather using increasing automation to become increasingly competitive and ensure a company never suffers from an empty talent pipeline.
In this post, we are going to take a look at some of the major trends we predict for recruiters when we harness the changing tides of technology to our advantage. Working with purpose-built innovation, how recruiters can leverage data, automation and tools to become indispensable to a company in the future, not redundant. In fact, Digitalist Magazine agrees that technology can be an asset to the recruiter of the future so it’s time to start embracing the future now.
1. Greater automation of repetitive tasks
Writing a job description or sourcing initial candidates are examples of tedious but essential recruiting tasks. What if most candidates are passive? How do I engage them? What is the right mix of information and emotion in my vacancy?
Recruits spend hours on these questions, with no clear idea precisely how to lead to that magical hire in the fastest time possible.
Enter the chatbot. Companies such as Singaporean startup Impress are developing chatbots which can be used at this early stage of candidate engagement, to ask key questions and learn about their profile.
Taking this a step further, the chatbot can be fed an ideal candidate profile generated by analysing vast amounts of data on potential talent (i.e. top performer traits, application funnel history, performance data etc). This ideal candidate profile can be used to measure the responses of prospective candidates and even ask better questions as the algorithm learns.
The time saving implications for recruiters are huge. Recruiters can then spend less time trawling through LinkedIn and CVs, and more time engaging with top talent. The chatbot might just become HR’s best friend.
2. Using AI to identify talent gaps
Is there a perfect hiring strategy? Knowing the right vacancies to fill and how many candidates you need to fill your pipeline is a tough question for recruiters.
Predictive algorithms could be used to trawl university databases, LinkedIn, government employment databases and more to understand skills gaps that will be created in the future. Acting on this data, recruiters can tailor their hiring pipeline to finding the skills required to fill these roles.
This will lead to more diverse recruiting initiatives such as working with student projects and nurturing relationships with future talents. Unilever has implemented this kind of AI to this exact end, ditching CVs in favor of algorithmic match making. Using a tool called Pymetrics they conducted their university hiring using AI assessment which gave them a reduced time-to-hire and a more diverse socio-economic cohort.
Whilst this approach may not work for more senior roles where there is less front-heavy information given in the recruiting process, the potential of AI to identify talent gaps is unprecedented. Using games and other creative forms of assessment, recruiters can move beyond the traditionally cumbersome hiring process.
3. Content is driving the talent community
Content is a key driver of engagement from the new, digitally native generation. Millennials and Gen Xers care about different things then they work, use mobile first platforms and react to storytelling.
Whilst platforms like LinkedIn make it easy to source hundreds of qualified candidates, the need for companies to differentiate themselves and attract potential hires is larger than ever. This is where employer branding comes in.
Content can be a key engager for active and passive candidates. By building a narrative around your company, your team and even your values, potential hires will have a lasting impression of why your organization is a great place to work. This helps build a more long-lasting talent community with quality people.
Using social media platforms and visual storytelling can help companies sell a more personal hiring message. Likewise, recruiters can increasingly move away from boring cold reach-outs to memes, video messages and other forms of interactive engagement.
4. Recruiters will need to do more than recruit
The trajectory of a given hire is no longer just a linear progression. Talent in the future will increasingly follow the lattice career development path, characterized by horizontal and vertical movement within the company to develop their profile.
Understanding that potential hires will work beyond the narrow scope of a company unit, recruiters need to think more holistically in their strategy. Hiring strategies need to become twinned with business strategies, allowing recruiters & business decision makers to collaborate more closely.
Ultimately technological change will remove these repetitive tasks mentioned earlier, giving recruiters a more crucial role to play in the company’s destiny in terms of people. As business models shift quickly, recruiting teams will also need to pivot quickly.
In this sense, recruiters need to become key business decision makers. The hiring strategy will become part of the core business strategy, in order to create a recruiting pipeline which reflects the current needs of the company but also future needs.
Recruiters must continue to enhance their skillset in the present, but with one eye on the future. Automation, algorithmic learning, chatbots and other technological breakthroughs can help recruiters to build more mutually beneficial hiring processes. It can build better dialogue between the company and its candidates, filling vacancies faster and better.
Think of a hiring pipeline with less bias, with perfectly targeted profile and with a wider talent community engaged through regular content. This would be a future-looking recruitment strategy, piloted by someone that understands how hiring fits into other disciplines.
So no, the future isn’t apocalyptic. The future of recruitment will be what recruiters make of it.
Embracing innovation and using it to improve the hiring pipeline can elevate recruiters to a new level of importance in an organization. But first we must be prepared to enhance our own toolkit to ride this new wave of automation, prediction and engagement.
For more information on Bridge’s workshops to become more digitally savvy, click here.