Is Technology Replacing Recruiters?

In an increasingly technology-driven world where the Internet of Things is taking over and mobile devices live in everyone’s pocket, both businesses and consumers are always changing to keep up with technology. Every field is constantly evolving to meet the demands of advanced technology, whether it was the use of computers and email in the workplace, the invasion of mobile devices or the widespread use of cloud-based technology.

Technology has replaced many jobs over the years, proving that it was cheaper and more efficient than manpower alone. How does this impact your job? As it become even more prominent, is technology replacing recruiters?

There’s been a lot of speculation about the answer to that question. On one side, some people say that technology is on its way to replacing recruiters one day, and on the other, some say that technology is actually enabling recruiters to do more. Let’s break it down.

Gearing Away from Research-Heavy Tasks

Think of the busier, research or reading specific tasks that you do as a recruiter – the resume scanning, candidate sourcing, etc. It’s likely that in the near future, many of these tasks will be done by technology. Imagine your computer scanning resumes for you according to keywords and picking out the top resumes, and imagine a computer searching through social media profiles and online databases to find talent. Because the internet has decreased the public’s desire for privacy, it’s easier than ever to find talent and scan through their history to determine eligibility.

If you enjoy this part of your job, you might want to be prepared to let it go. Instead, recruiters will have to focus their attention on other aspects of the process in order to remain relevant.

Preparing to Sell

According to an article by ERE Media, recruiting is going the way of salespeople. As technology takes over many tasks previously managed by recruiters, they will be forced to sell as their primary role. That means selling candidates on accepting a job, convincing passive candidates to apply, selling the company to prospects through employer branding and convincing candidates to stick out the hiring process, which brings me to my next point.

Keeping Recruiting Personal

There’s still one thing technology cannot do – create personal relationships. While this is an aspect of every robot-centric movie now, where technology develops feelings and personality and either befriends humans or destroys them (Avengers: Age of Ultron, anyone?), it’s not going to replace the human-to-human relationship during the recruiting process, or any process for that matter.

No candidate wants to be hired by a computer. They need that human interaction and personality to shine through during the recruiting process, and they need someone to reflect the company culture. Otherwise, who is the candidate trying to impress? A computer?

You Can’t Recreate Intuition

Another trait only humans can possess is intuition. While machines can help you locate candidates, scan their resumes and determine their qualifications, they cannot judge the candidate’s ability to do the job. At some point, the recruiter and hiring team have to step in to personally interview candidates and make the decision. No matter how much technology invades the workplace, it cannot (hopefully) make decisions for the company regarding hiring, leaving that responsibility with the talent acquisition team where it should be. Recruiters and interviewers can notice things about a candidate, whether on their resume or during an interview, that either raises a red flag or ticks off an important box on the list of job requirements. Technology can narrow down a group applicants by their resumes but it cannot and should not be able to judge a candidate’s personality and communication abilities and determine if they are “right” for the job.

Recruiters should Embrace Technology

What’s the morale to all of this? While technology can be very intimidating and seemingly be gunning for your job, it will never truly replace the human interaction that’s required for successful recruiting. Ultimately, candidates want to be hired by people, not technology. Still, recruiters should absolutely embrace technology during the process, such as utilizing video interviews to save time and money, using software to scan resumes to save time, and letting technology take over research tasks, because it means they have more time to spend on building relationships with candidates and selling them on the company. Together, recruiters and technology can find better candidates and keep them engaged throughout the hiring process so that they become excellent employees.