Smart technology is disrupting the recruitment industry. It’s introducing changes. And fast. As the world of artificial intelligence grows exponentially, ‘job automation’ is the buzz-phrase we’ve all been warned to worry about.

According to Futurist Speaker, 50% of our jobs will disappear by 2030. 30% of activities in most occupations, even knowledge-based roles, will fall into the robotic hands of automation. Will HR become one of them?

As an HR manager or recruiter, you might find navigating a minefield of algorithms, talent analytics and predictive behaviour technology daunting. But the companies that succeed in doing so, gain the benefits of being able to source and recruit candidates themselves, internally and directly. For recruiters, it’s clever tech – and you’ll want in on it.

So how can you keep ahead of the HR game and make this smart technology work for you? We’ve compiled the top 5 game-changers you’ll want to watch out for. Welcome to the future.

1. Embrace Tech or Get Left Behind

Say goodbye to mundane, repetitive or routine recruitment tasks.
Artificial Intelligence is designed to make our lives easier and more efficient. It’s scalable too. There are tools to collect, track, analyse, understand and store data – a sure-fire way to benefit a business.

Recruiters only spend an average of 6.25 seconds reviewing a resume. Why?

There just aren’t enough hours in a working day to shortlist a mountain of applications in finite detail. But. Good HR tech has the ability to do it for you.

Studies from The National Bureau of Economic Research found computer algorithms do a better job of evaluating skills, personality and overall job-fit better than we can. The technology is faster, cheaper and more accurate than humans could ever be. Natural Language Processing AI, for example, scans candidates’ covering letters and CVs for keywords and contextual searches. It verifies backgrounds and experience, and talent analytics can assess personal attributes and motivations. In a time-stretched recruitment role, this sort of technology can only benefit your workload.

Want to cut out the early face to face interviews?

Digital connectivity saves time and money. Facial Action Coding Systems, used for video interviewing, pick up on sincerity, disagreement, nervousness and potential performance – assessing the very character of an applicant.
Chatbots answer FAQs and rate responses.
Machine learning predicts and analyses suitability; screening candidates and grading them on skills, experience and qualifications.
Whilst virtual reality tech can use pre-hire gaming tests to rate the candidate’s fit.

There’s AI to make every aspect of hiring easier. Technology is advancing. It’s inevitable..Invite it in.

2. For all that AI is, it isn’t You

Technology makes the recruitment process easier, but it can’t complete it. We still need the ‘human’ in human resources. Artificial intelligence is not yet accurate enough to replace humans. Not in the near future, anyway.

There is a long way to go to improve unstructured data so AI can unlock talents, can reason, find exceptions and make judgment calls based on intuition. In fact, 75% of job seekers’ chances of landing an interview are killed by errors in the ATS or by restrictive keyword search parameters.

HR is still an emotion and social-based job. It takes a human being to persistently reach out to candidates, build trusted personal and emotional relationships, persuade passive candidates to apply and accept interview invitations, convince top candidates to stay until the end of the hiring process, negotiate the salary with the manager, and convince candidates to accept a job.

75% of candidates are not on job boards. They’re not looking at advertisements, are not on agency databases and are not active on social media, says Recruitment Agency Now. They need to be sold to.

Millennials appreciate transparency, and you can’t do that with AI.

3. Treat Your Candidate like a Baby

In the future, your candidates will be interviewing you.

Websites, such as Glassdoor, have the power to rank company culture, experience, perks and management. 90% of employers anticipate more competition for talent – especially in India, North America and Asia.

It’s going to become more and more important to focus on the candidate experience.

To attract and retain the best possible team you’ll need to put your effort in engaging employees; with performance management, goal-setting, career development, inclusion and leadership opportunities.

Work-life balance through flexi and remote working will be paramount.

You’ll need to get to grips with how you can help your employees be their most productive and impactful. Ultimately, that can only benefit you, the business, and the bottom line.

4. It’s Time to Up-skill

You will survive in HR, if you up-skill.

Recruiting boils down to three critical ingredients: sourcing, screening, and verifying, says BrightMove. But HR is already starting to overlap with other departments.

Business acumen and leadership skills will be pivotal. Risk management, environmental issues and most importantly, innovation will be blended into any managerial role.

In the near future, consulting, solely, just won’t cut it. You’ll need to diversify and step it up.

Marketing and sales skills will be essential in the future of HR.

In a 2016 survey, 86% of recruiters agreed that recruitment is becoming a whole lot more like marketing. Clever viral employer branding and social media will take aim at socially active, tech savvy candidates. Influencing, persuasion and negotiation skills will see you through the recruitment process. It’s all about using your broader skills in selling the right candidate to the right workplace.

It’s time to go niche. With increased automation, tech will take over the more generalised roles of lower positions. Use this opportunity to rise up in the ranks. Be your own brand ambassador, a recruitment specialist even, and make it personal. Develop your expertise and share everything online. Gain exclusivity in your niche and own the roles too complex for AI.

5. Data, Data, Data

Be a data scientist.

Problem solve with an analytical, data-driven mind. Forecast, identify trends in the sector and market, conduct market research and understand failures and turnout rates. It’s time to make the numbers work for you and to help you get ahead.

Our Conclusion? Change is happening.

Technology will cause major restructuring within businesses. HR departments may downsize, but they are by no means extinct. In the future companies will take a more hands-on approach. SAB Miller, a large organisation with extensive recruitment demands, for example, went from gaining 90% of its recruitment through agencies, to 90% direct. It can be done.

So what can you do in the here and now to help you survive? Learn, continuously. Change your course. Add to it. Take risks. Be better prepared to future-proof your job. HR will be subject to change, so change with it.

If you want to find out more about HR tech and how it can work for your recruitment, please drop us a line on 0203 3745 3552 or