5 Ways Your Recruiting Organization Can Successfully Prepare for AI Disruption

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Sep 27, 2016
This article is part of a series called How-Tos.

AI has irrevocably changed the world as we know it. It’s time we pay attention to our future and learn the effects it can have on our businesses and day-to-day lives.

If automation could free up a recruiter’s daily pains and create efficient processes for an entire team, a new kind of recruiter could emerge — an empowered one with a renewed vision. And a unified and effective team would be a repercussion of this transition.

Artificial intelligence will grow from a $643.7 million market to $36.8 billion by 2025Eighty percent of executives believe AI boosts productivity, Big data/robotics was included in the Top 10 percent Drivers of Change on Employment in the World Economic Forum. AI is a valuable asset that the recruiting industry desperately needs.

Here are five ways your recruiting organization can successfully prepare for AI disruption:

Identify the Areas of Immediate Impact for You

Based on research from ERE Media, 70 percent of recruiters don’t care/are clueless, 20 percent want to learn and change, and 10 percent get it. Are you part of the 70 percent? It’s time to wake up and pay attention. The status quo just won’t cut it anymore. The future of your business and the progression of your leadership hang in the balance. So, open up your mind for a few minutes.  

Discover and identify how AI could immediately impact you and your company. Are your clients moving to automation? Is your competition? Become an expert in AI. Learn how it’s going to affect you, your day-to-day, and your industry.

Side note: Just to clarify, when you hear the word robotics, I’m not talking about a physical robot. Think in terms of software that performs a task (virtual robots).

The exponential growth of AI means jobs will become automated. It also means more jobs will be created. When pertaining to your clients, what are trends in the jobs? What are the new jobs and job titles coming into market? For example, automation engineers, automation managers, or robotics systems engineers may be a few to consider. Be mindful when you search for these jobs. If you are trying to search based on a known title, you may not be able to find these. Remember, there will be more un-orderliness in the beginning stages because different hiring managers may name these titles differently. Try to search by company and hiring manager. Begin to further your networking with your clients in order to learn more so that you can prepare ahead of time.

If it is your competition, then it’s a different kind of research. Identify how your competition is using technology. What kind of AI is coming into your space? There are specific types of intelligence that are geared towards specific job functions. Invest time in identifying these tools.

Identify Sources of Knowledge and Tools That You Can Start Piloting

How did you get to where you are today? How do you continually advance and grow your business? By educating yourself. If you weren’t aware of trends, news, and disruption in your industry, you could get left behind. Identify feeds, publications, and news channels that will help you prepare for AI. Invest in opportunities that enhance your impact. Identify platforms and tools that will support your growth in the industry. By consistently educating yourself, you are allowing your business to embrace growth and prepare for changes in your industry.

Listen up: One of the most important cautions to be aware of is noise. There will always be noise saturating the market, but don’t get distracted and lose an interest in education. Pay attention in order to weed out the irrelevant or discredited sources and determine when disrupting discoveries really do come across your radar.

Here’s a head start:

Newsworthy sources and publications to follow

One of the most important questions to ask when you select an AI vendor to begin piloting is whether they have the capability to learn from your success. Does their tool or their solution have the capability to take input from your hires? Can it identify patterns that you’ve mastered in your unique experiences? Your experiences could include specific circumstances, your clients, or the knowledge you gained from your niche value that you present to your customer.

Prepare to Be an Early Adopter

There are always huge advantages for early adopters. Essentially, these people can become masters in a later part of the lifecycle of those new technologies.

Amy Webb, founder of The Future Today Institute, a leading future and forecasting strategy firm says, “As human beings, our evolutionary response to complicated technologies we don’t understand is either to ignore them or to fear the worst. As a result, 2015 was a year marked by poor decisions made by several companies and governmental agencies, many of which advocated for short-sighted policy … Technology can be simultaneously exciting, bewildering, thrilling, confounding and terrifying in the present. We must continue to think ahead to how our actions (or lack of actions) today will impact the future of our societies, businesses, and global communities.”

Now, remember the early adopters of our day:

  • Those who registered Internet domains in the early 1990s.
  • Those who started YouTube channels early on.
  • Those who began writing online blogs early on.
  • Those who took advantage of Facebook and Twitter early on.

These folks paid very little as early adopters, and their returns are disproportionately huge.

Early adoption is always good, but exercise caution to avoid noise and identify potential tools. Remember, almost all solutions have their limitations in scope when they start. So pay attention to their vision and roadmap. That could be essential to their success.

Prepare to Be Disappointed

Change is always difficult. Only few successful people have overcome change successfully. Understand the fact that disappointment can come from your own capabilities or even limitations in technology. That’s normal. You have to be prepared to reinvent yourself and your business to stay relevant. You may need to learn how to do certain tasks in a different way, or you may need to learn how to do related tasks, better. Reposition yourself.

For example, what is the meaning of a good resume? Historically, it is measured based on the perception of recruiters and hiring managers. AI is going to change resumes to be more data driven. Essentially, the data on a resume tells a story about an individual. From their background to different jobs they’ve had to their growth in the companies they’ve worked for — data will uncover their story. AI will recognize that and deliver the information to the recruiter. Based on the story and the data alone, recruiters can learn who someone is without having to take a look at the resume themselves.

Based on this example, recruiters are learning to do something differently. From the words of CA Technologies, “Recruiters won’t be used to discover the talent — they’ll be deciding if candidates identified by AI are a good fit for the company’s corporate culture.” They’re learning to do a different task, better. Culture fit is really the end goal, after all.

Go beyond Boolean. Expertise in creating a Boolean Search String is great, and is still a very important thread in most AI technologies. But, most of the AI engines will uncover where a profile is plotted in a bigger size of data and will resolve how to make a data-driven decision rather than a perception-driven decision.

Make Sure You Are Not Replaced By the AI Tool

AI is going to redefine your role as a recruiter. You must be consistently educating yourself with the changing landscape of recruitment and the shifting role of a recruiter. This will still remain the most important and fascinating function of a corporation. Yes, you will evolve to use AI, but you will not be replaced. In the near future, most of the searches and identification of suitable candidates will eventually be carried out by AI/virtual robots. So, what should be the role of a recruiter be?

Remember: Finding the right candidate is only one part of a recruiter’s job. There are other aspects that are very important and vital for a successful hire.

  • In scenarios where unemployment rates are low and skill is scarce, demand for talent is high. You need to be able to master the art of recruitment.
  • How do you establish the human connection with a potential employee? There is a negotiation part. Improve these skills in such a way that you can cut a win-win deal for both the employee and company.

Adapt or die. AI is growing at an exponential rate, and if you’re not invested in educating yourself and staying aware of changes in the industry, you are on a bad road — a road that will lead to extinction. Stay mindful of ways to reinvent yourself and your niche.

Gartner says “The smart machine era will be the most disruptive in the history of IT.”

Emerging technologies are disrupting the status quo, whether we want them to or not. Are you part of the 70 percent who don’t care/are clueless? Or will you be part of the 30 percent who want to learn and change? The decision is yours — it’s your success that hangs in the balance, after all.

This article is part of a series called How-Tos.
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