A couple of weeks ago, The Recruiting Future Podcast celebrated its fifth birthday. Checking back through the eighty podcast episodes I’ve published in the last 12 months and listening to the challenges and experiences of my guests it’s clear that recruiting is getting more complex and ever more reliant on technology.
With complexity comes noise and confusion, and it can be challenging to take a helicopter view and get a real sense of what is going on and how to navigate our changing times.
So how should talent acquisition professionals make sense of the cacophony of noise around the technology-driven trends in recruiting?
I wrote my first blog post about the future of recruiting in November 2006 and have been studying industry trends as pragmatically as possible ever since. Talk of change in recruiting has been constant for the last 20 years, but in reality, it can be very slow to take effect. With that said, there has been a significant series of technology trigger point approximately every ten years, that has dramatically shaped the direction of the industry.
Twenty years ago, it was the arrival of the internet to the mass market, and Online Recruiting was born. Traditional print-based advertising took a massive hit as job-seeking moved online, forming new norms and habits.
At the same time, the first applicant tracking systems started to appear. Change didn’t happen instantly though; it was more of a slow fade over the course of the following decade.
Ten years ago, social media and smartphones changed the way we communicate, and cloud computing started to change the way recruiting technology worked. We started the era of what I would describe as Connected Recruiting.
However, once more change wasn’t instantaneous, and we are still going through the ensuing period of adoption and adaptation ten years later.
Technology does not stand still and wait for us to catch up though. Developments in AI, information processing and an overwhelming move towards technology-powered instant gratification means that we are now moving into another era of recruiting.
Data science, artificial intelligence, automation and quality of experience will define this new era. Perhaps the best way to describe it would be Intelligent Recruiting.
However, as a lot of the content on the podcast this year has illustrated. We are just at the start of a journey here, and while there are some fantastic case studies already, these are still very much outliners from the norm.
The evidence from other industries indicates that the elements of Intelligent Recruiting are definitely trends rather than fads and much of what we heard and talked about in 2019 is just the start of another decade of change. So if you are already bored about talking about AI in recruiting, well I’m afraid there is a lot more to come!
One final but critically important point about trends and change. While it is easy to get caught up in the lure of the new and the future possibilities of technology, some recent recruiting experiences I’ve witnessed involving close friends and family illustrate that many employers are still not getting the basics right. This is something that will be having a massive effect on the success of their talent acquisition strategy.
Application systems that don’t work at the most basic level and inaccurate assumptions made about candidates based on bias are still far too common and don’t even get me started on the negative attitudes to flexible and remote working that still seem to be widespread.
Let’s make a collective resolution to spend as much time getting the basics right in 2020 as we do discussing shiny new technologies. Audit your candidate experience, apply some proper marketing thinking to your careers website and challenge the bias and beliefs in your organisation that are creating an outdated view of the talent market.
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