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The Robots Are Taking Over – Bobby Banerjee

OK, I get it! The advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) has had mixed reviews within different industries. driverless cars – good (in theory, without the crashes!), robots taking jobs from humans – bad.

Now, people are looking at AI in the recruitment industry and wondering what the future holds, and, like all disruptive events – Brexit, Trump, PurpleBricks, Uber etc. – there’s a fair amount of scaremongering, theorising and sheer speculation about what’s going to happen.

How on earth does this affect the world of recruitment, you might ask? From several years working within the recruitment industry, here are 5 reasons why I think that AI will have a positive effect on the recruitment industry and in general:

  • It’s going to get rid of recruitment’s bottom-feeders. A person who dominates LinkedIn – Oleg Vishnepolsky – mentioned how some recruiters look at CVs / resumes for 6 seconds before making a decision. Recruiters who take that little care/ attention when looking through CVs and speaking to people will be quickly and easily eradicated by AI. I completely welcome this, as the types of companies who condone this lack of quality will keep trying to cut corners. It would probably help the specialist/ boutique recruitment agencies gain some credibility and remove some of the saturation in the UK market.
  • It should separate the true consultancies from the sales boiler rooms. There is always going to be a need for good consultancies that do as they should – consult on recruitment. If the theorists are to be believed, what differentiates us from AI, at the moment, is the ability to have salient conversations with people in order to decide based on emotion, as well as data. The transactional, “wins based” companies will have to change, as those questions can be asked by AI. The art for recruiters now will be to decipher who is good, based on relational and relevant conversations.
  • It’s going to take a while for all this to kick in. The future is coming, but we, as a race, are fairly slow at embracing technology at a wider level. The fear we currently have of “well, the robots will take over by being better than us” means that the industry will not be early adopters of this, so it might be some time before we see AI being widely used within the industry. In fact, there are already good innovative technologies out there – video interviews through tools such as Odro as an example, but not everyone has adopted or even knows of it yet!
  • It’s going to make (good) recruiters’ lives easier. There are already technologies in place to make the recruitment process easier – LinkedIn InMail, Lusha, Sourcebreaker and Arya are just some of the many tools out there that allow us to intelligently shorten our time spent on browsing through and attempting to individualise contact (which I STILL see a lot of recruitment businesses failing to do).
  • It’s going to eliminate bias… eventually. Biases still exist in the recruitment process – whether internally or externally, which stop potentially good people getting the job. AI will not be judging people based on education, gender, race, name, sexuality, the “beer test” or any other discriminatory/protected characteristic that we use as humans – after all, we are human, and therefore flawed – the human element can then be used in a more positive way at interview.

I’m genuinely excited to see how AI helps the recruitment industry get smarter, and instigate customer-centric change in the industry – those that adopt the technology out there will have a massive cutting edge against the opposition – for others that are resistant to changes, there will be casualties. For instance, we’ve just implemented Odro – a fantastic video interview platform – within our business, and we’re already seeing positive results!

I’m interested to know your thoughts on AI – please feel free to email me via bobby@viqu.co.uk to get the conversation flowing.

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