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Is AI really about to replace the recruiter?

Is AI really about to replace the recruiter?

Do you have an Amazon echo or have you seen one demoed? What a great bit of Tech!

My children spent hours on day 1 asking questions, trying to trip her up, streaming music and adding totally unnecessary items to the shopping list. It’s pretty impressive. I don’t regret having one and I look forward to the day when it can do all the things I least desire.

However, in a week where there seems to have been more posts and blogs about the effect of artificial intelligence (AI) on the recruitment market (the robots are coming for our jobs), it did make me consider what aspect of an effective recruitment process AI really will take on.

I am aware of a global Tech company that recruits all of its first line support staff without human interaction. The first time they meet their line manager is on day 1. When I asked how their retention rates were looking, they said they had increased significantly, much to my chagrin.

So technology is taking over all aspects of our lives, and in most cases, it seems to be enhancing them. But where does it really struggle to hit the mark on a consistent basis?

In my opinion, it’s got to be human and relationship management. I am too old to be an expert on dating sites, but everyone that I ask that is an exponent rarely has a success story to share.

I consider a recruitment process to be a relationship exercise. We have all recruited on gut instinct and sometimes we have got it right. After all, personality fit, culture fit (defining that is such a valuable exercise) and sheer likeability have always been important in any human recruitment process. The issue is that in a world of portfolio careers and numerous generations looking for different experiences, careers for life is as out of date as shorthand.

So we look for more assurance in the process. Numerous products and tools have been produced to support this process. The BPS has even accredited it to evaluate your likely levels of success of getting it right by introducing assessment products, CBI, assessment centres and more. The natural extension of this is that we create a huge amount of data that provides fact and evidence. With that, we shore up our selection process. 

I have seen numerous blogs and sales pitches on the subject of HR analytics and the value they bring to selection, retention, HIPO programmes and leadership development. All of which I agree with, but not at the exclusion of human interaction. Data without performance criteria and cultural inference is just data.

So a prediction from an old man with 25+ years of experience under his belt is that technology and AI will always have a place in the recruitment process, and with ever increasing influence. But if you’re taking your talent and hiring seriously, don’t cut out the human completely!

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