Recruiting Talent in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics have been garnering lots of attention lately. Although there have been exciting advancements to this category of technology, that’s not what the everyday person seems to care about. Mainstream media has picked up on this idea that “robots will soon take our jobs,” and as a result newsfeeds have never been the same.
While the topic has definitely been sensationalized a bit, there seems to be two sides to the story worth inspecting. Some experts agree wholeheartedly that AI and automation will eliminate a vast portion of employment opportunities. Others see it as a means to improve productivity and actually create jobs. Either way, it’s going to impact the job market, and that means it’s going to impact recruiters.
In this post, we’ll inspect this issue, looking into the jobs that are at risk of being replaced by automation, research on the topic, and what it all means for the future of recruiting.
Which Types of Jobs Will Automation and AI Replace?
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly which job types will be replaced by automation. However, the generally accepted idea is that the more repetitive it is, the higher the likelihood the job can be done by a machine (this is why you hear a lot about automation in manufacturing and industrial settings).
NPR recently used the results from a study done by Oxford University to make a tool that shows how at risk particular job types are from being wiped out by automation. Below is an example, and if you’re interested you can find the tool here.
In case you’re wondering, “Recruiters” wasn’t a position listed. But we took a look into the data behind the tool and found that “Human Resources Managers” had only a 0.5% chance of being automated in the next twenty years. There’s some job security for all of you HR leaders out there!
Data: The Future of the Machine-Human Workforce
The reality is in the future AI and automation will create and eliminate jobs. It’s inevitable. Intelligent machines will easily be able to do more of the tasks humans can do, and jobs will open up for people to manage the machines. Research on the costs vs. benefits for the job market, though, is varying and pretty subjective—rightly so, since we’re only on the cusp of figuring out what intelligent machines can actually do.
“80% [of respondents] indicated that AI makes workers more productive and creates jobs,” Narrative Science says. “As opposed to replacing workers, organizations are leveraging AI for machine learning, automated customer communications, data-driven reporting, and business-decision making.”
What Does This All Mean for Talent Acquisition?
At this point, AI is working well when it comes to automating and executing particular tasks, but machines are not (yet) able to take on the diverse set of tasks that would be required to completely eliminate lots of workers. Either way, it seems that in the future, repetitive and low-skilled jobs may be phased out. But at the same time, there could be a rise in the demand for skilled labor.
What’s interesting—and somewhat concerning—is companies are already in heavy competition for skilled labor. In a recent study, CEOs were asked if finding professionals with the right skills was a threat to their organization’s growth prospects. 63% felt this was a major concern, up from 58% the year prior. Since AI has the potential to raise the average skillset required (for a human) to do a job, the concern seems all the more real.
Although automation has not yet pervaded the everyday workplace, it is slowly creeping its way in. And it brings to light the weaknesses of some recruiting strategies currently in place for attracting and engaging talent. Now, in 2015, a surprising number of recruiting organizations are still using outdated strategies and technologies. And the fact that so many CEOs are nervous about talent is a testament to that.
Every large enterprise has its own strengths and weaknesses in recruiting. And thoughts about automation and the impending rise in demand for skilled labor are not meant to instill even more (sensationalized) fear, but rather to bring up the point that we’re fast-approaching a crucial time where weaknesses in your strategy and IT infrastructure have a far greater chance of hurting your department’s (and company’s) long-term performance.
So, what should you do? It all starts with leaving the idea behind that the status quo is acceptable. If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to start looking into your strengths and weaknesses.
Last week we asked a simple question: When was the last time you went through your own apply flow? From LinkedIn groups, Twitter, and other areas, we heard a surprising number of recruiters say they’ve never even had the experience of applying for one of their own positions. This is just one place to begin the process of evaluating your own performance, but there are many. The point is the cost of inaction is rising by the day.
Interested in learning more about what it takes to build a modern candidate experience? Check out our new “9-Point Checklist for Building a Next-Generation Candidate Experience.”