LinkedIn is awash with people from the technology sector prophesising the ‘Death Of Recruitment!”.
They describe ‘AI’ as the ticking time bomb to the recruitment industry; the Grim Reaper waiting in the server cupboard of recruitment companies across the land.
Not gonna happen.
“But why?” I hear you ask. “We have self-driving cars and machines that turn bread into toast. Surely the eggheads can build something that replaces those pesky recruiters?”
Because recruiters don’t just process information and match one set of data to another set of data. If recruitment was that straightforward, the job boards would have hailed the end of the recruitment industry years ago.
“Ah, but Cliff, we have a program that also personality matches people to roles and companies, and can even predict what time the candidate will take their toilet break every morning!”
That program can’t call the manager five minutes before the interview to explain that the candidate’s daughter was throwing up all night and he will be ten minutes late, he’s really sorry, and really looking forward to the meeting so please forgive him. It can’t allay the fears of the candidate the night before the interview who is having second thoughts, as his friend’s cousin’s pet iguana’s brother worked there 10 years ago and said it was shit. It can’t explain to the candidate that her salary expectations are too high because, despite working really hard to get her 3rd in her Quantity Surveying degree, she can’t yet command a salary of £100,000. It can’t tell the employer that he isn’t going to find a left-handed, 32-year-old woman, born on a full moon, with 10 years’ experience who will work for Green Flag stamps, and that’s why he’s been looking for two years.
Shall I go on?
Recruiters are detectives. Councillors. Private investigators. Sales people. Confidants. Consultants. Industry experts. Advisors.
If you believe technology could ever replace recruiters, you REALLY don’t understand recruitment.
Or human nature.
I have a theory that involves making a massive and sweeping generalisation of people who have gravitated to technology sectors as a career direction:
They don’t really like talking to people.
They are, generally, far more comfortable interacting with something (a computer) that is completely predictable, non-confrontational and non-judgemental. I don’t think I am going to get too many people arguing with me on the point that technical people tend to be more introvert and creative/sales type people more extrovert.
I believe that these types of individuals are desperate for a world to exist in which we can all just conduct business via email and through apps, and not have to talk to other human beings. I get it. There are calls I still feel uncomfortable making, calls for which I would rather chew my own arm off than have to make, but that are necessary to keep my business effective and operational.
There will never be a Tinder for recruiting your next employee, unless your standards are as low as the Tinder-using guy I sit next to in the office.
Anyway, better sign off, my 12:30 interview can’t find the office and she has run out of data on her iPhone…