Talent Acquisition

Why People Will Always Matter in Recruiting

The future is coming to get you. For the longest time, folks have railed against the idea that technology could do what until recently recruiters (A.K.A. real human beings) could. But the truth is, when it comes to automation and tactics, we may be losing that particular fight.

Today’s tech can already source a little better, find stored resumes a little faster and automate workflows when the human mind forgets. In fact, APA research reveals that machines are even better at making the ultimate call on potential hires:

Our analysis of 17 studies of applicant evaluations shows that a simple equation outperforms human decisions by at least 25%. The effect holds in any situation with a large number of candidates, regardless of whether the job is on the front line, in middle management, or (yes) in the C-suite.

So is the future of recruiting all about algorithms and technology and less about the study of people? There are two reasons the answer is no:

  1. Candidate experience is more important than ever, and hiring professionals are crucial to the experience. As technology progresses, it’s possible for more candidates to have deeper and more contextual interactions with recruiters and hiring managers. And this is actually all thanks to the trio of modern recruiting technology: mobile, social and video. The newest addition to this modern recruiting kit are the automation tools traditionally used in marketing, which allow nurturing campaigns, retargeted ads to prevent drop off and analytics giving insight into how job communications are actually working. While technology has made and is making these candidate “touches” possible, it takes a skilled recruiter (or hiring professional) to set these dominos in motion.
  2. Work mobility. PWC recently released research around work mobility and the changes the workforce has seen over the last decade are astounding. They show a dramatic shift in the way work will look like in the future. In the last decade, for example, mobility in the workplace has increased 25%, but it’s expected to increase by as much as 50% by 2020. While mobility has traditionally pointed to consulting and postings in different locations, virtual mobility is now considered a significant part of the equation. So globalization is not only affecting management, but sourcing and recruiting as well. Not matter what form it takes, the evolution of how and where we work will need a human element to manage and deploy that evolution in an agile way.

The ultimate future of recruiting will require many talent acquisition pros to step outside of their traditional silos. Resistance to being measured alongside other traditional HR metrics and processes such as quality of hire, onboarding, reporting and engagement will have to be reevaluated, as the runway to hire and train quality people (who may not stay longer than 18 months) shortens significantly each passing year.

While technology can help with the administrative and quantitative parts of sourcing and recruiting, the strategic thinking around talent will forever remain in the domain of human thought (knock on wood).

With trends changing as quickly as they have for the last 5-7 years and many more predicted shifts on the horizon by 2020, we need strong recruiting talent that not only knows how to leverage technology to build talent in a new way but that can employ strategic thinking in their “free time.” It will be this combination that drives the future of sourcing, recruiting and talent management.

By Maren Hogan

Maren Hogan is a seasoned marketer and community builder in the HR and Recruiting industry. She leads Red Branch Media, a consultancy offering marketing strategy and content development.