How will AI and automation affect recruitment?

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The rate of technological change is growing at an exponential rate currently. Just a few years ago we had dial-up internet, landlines and chord connected printers. Nowadays, everything seems to be wireless and automated. And it’s not stopping here, we expect more changes to come, and people are uncertain about the future. Some envision sitting at the beach and getting served by robots, while some fear these same robots and AI will make them jobless and redundant in the job market. Let’s look to see what are the predictions about the future in relation to artificial intelligence and recruitment.

Due to the increase in AI, recruiters do predict that their task in recruitment will change and evolve into different tasks. According to the Jobvite 2017 Automation report, thirteen percent of recruiters believe AI has already affected their jobs in one way or another. They expect this to increase and help in reducing mundane tasks in the future. These include the most undesirable activities that recruiters encounter such as interview scheduling, background and reference checks, and sourcing candidates. This will make recruiting much more efficient.

Some of the recruitment processes which will change are recruitment automation for resume screening, recruitment automation for pre-qualification and recruitment automation for interviews. Recruitment automation for resume screening assists recruiters in the most mundane part of the recruitment process of shortlisting relevant candidates and doing a background check on them. AI is now used to make it easier and quicker to shortlist the right candidates for the job opening. In automation for pre-qualification, AI is used to engage more with candidates before selection in order for them to remain within the recruitment process and enjoy it. Finally, automation for interviews, which allows AI to be involved in the interview process by recording interviews and assessing candidates use of words, facial expressions, and speech patterns.

While there is some expected change in the hiring process, some things are bound to shift in the recruitment market. Recruiters predict a shift in responsibilities in the employment market. Specific skills will be needed for the job such as leadership/management, offer negotiation and interesting enough, creative writing. This means that recruiting will be focusing on skills that automation cannot manipulate. Jack Ma, the founder of the Alibaba Group in China spoke about this during the 2018 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He talked about the future and how education should evolve in order to teach children soft skills. These include independent thinking, values, and teamwork. This is because employees in the future will be unable to compete with AI especially when it pertains to hard skills.

Sometimes I feel like we are at the cusp of a major time in humanity with the presence of artificial intelligence. Just like during the different eras (Agricultural, Industrial etc) we are entering a new era and this shift will affect recruitment just like it did during the different eras. You have to focus on these trends and prepare for them especially when it comes to recruitment to make it easier for yourself.


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