Recruitment is as old as the civilized human race and will experience undeniably rapid change.
Recruitment has been changing rapidly. At the root of all this change is technology advancement as the ultimate change maker. Some recruiters wonder, and ponder, about the future of recruitment and what role is left for them to fulfil.
We did too.
What if you could articulate yourself without saying a word? The truth is, we already can. Companies like Neuralink, Synchron and UCSF have developed devices that can be implemented into our brain or another part of our body to recognize brain signals and translate those signals to text or other actions. Don't believe we'll be talking and acting with just our brain? This monkey is already playing pong with only his brain.
Reading brain signals and synthesizing them to text can mean a lot for health use cases where people who lost their speech can restart having conversations with people.
But it will also have a big impact on recruitment sooner or later.
Being able to read minds means you can get an honest assessment on what’s going on in someone’s mind. Reading brain signals could at one point minimize the need for having conversations in the first place and could create an opportunity for getting an honest read on a candidate's intrinsic motivations.
Already a decade ago Tupac's hologram performed a show at Coachella. What if candidates and companies start meeting in holograms too? Candidates could meet the team, visit the global office locations and experience the company assets with their digital avatar.
Showing a candidate around at a factory or in the global head office is very expensive and costs a lot of time. Walking their digital avatar around doesn’t cost that much and would still provide an experience that is a lot more lively than watching your laptop’s screen.
Augmented Reality (AR) is progressing fast. Especially in gaming AR is the promised land. But the developments in AR can also create an experience in which meeting teams digitally comes close to meeting in person. These breakthroughs will completely change how people interact in work and private life.
These developments all together could eventually create digital twins of candidates or employees which simulate the person's character and performance on a job.
Tasks that used to be executed by people are already being done by robots at scale. You could say that nowadays that for some tasks a robot is the most productive employee you could hire. A manufacturing plant couldn’t compete anymore if it would not deploy physical robots to do a big chunk of the work. Software robots are increasingly taking over work that used to be performed by by white collar workers.
What if candidates start reproducing their own skills and activities in an automated version of themselves and sell this automation to employees. The person behind the robot would only jump in when the robot shows undesired behaviour. Hiring companies would not put them on the payroll but the robot.
Not only in execution robotized versions of candidates will play an important role, but also in the interviewing process robots of candidates might be deployed. What if you think you are interviewing a person but you are actually interviewing a robot? Deep fake video’s have become very realistic and conversational technology is progressing fast. These two technologies combined can mean that candidates will deploy robots of themselves to do the interview for them.
A deep fake video would mimic their appearance and facial expressions. A conversational AI would take care of answering and asking questions in the interview.
Also Natural Language Generation (NLG) is taking off, which automatically creates human-like text. The text suggestions in Gmail are a good example of NLG. NLG can generate entire texts automatically based on just a few keywords so it’s inevitable that candidates will start using this technology to automate their chat conversations.
Adoption of the internet is almost covering the entire world population. Only some under digitized countries in Africa and Asia are still relatively unconnected but are catching up quickly.
Also people data is increasingly becoming more accessible. (Public) data on profiles and work related activities are shared at scale and sometimes even made available entirely free.
Access to the internet and people data in combination with the breakthrough of remote working models opens up the entire world as the available talent pool.
The entire workforce has potentially become your next hire. Engineers who are working at competitors on the other side of the world can be your next candidate, you can attract and train previously underserved communities to become your next sales force and even kids are already being targeted to get connected to an employer brand before they even start working.
So now you're planning on screening 8 billion profiles? Of course not, intelligent software will help you make sense of those billions of data points and match them to your requirements and organization.
Data extraction, scrubbing and analytics is evolving at such a fast rate that you can expect that soon you will not be going through hundreds of profiles yourself, the intelligent machine will take care of that for a big part. The recruiter is there to make the final decision and build a relationship with people.
All these developments can mean that the recruiter job title will cease to exist. Looking objectively at the full recruitment cycle, most of the activities are being automated for the biggest part already.
Think about how searching is currently rapidly changing in single source solutions that find profiles across the entire web and match profiles. Or scheduling tools which is taken care of by automated scheduling tools. And we talked about how assessments will change.
This leaves us to wonder, what part of the recruiter role will remain relevant for humans to do and what's to be done by robots? We've seen in any domain that advancing technologies will be adopted when they are effective. Even when there are major ethical and moral objections technology that serves a purpose finds its way through.
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