Talent Acquisition

Terminator 6: The Day Recruitment Didn’t Die

Ok, so the title might be a little far-fetched for a feature film, but with the spate of recent blogs about automated systems killing off recruitment, it could very well be Arnie’s next blockbuster. Maybe. Maybe not.

If I sent the script to James Cameron, there’s no doubt he wouldn’t give it a second glance but he’d probably agree on one thing – automation won’t completely kill off the recruitment industry. Recent blogs circulating around LinkedIn predicted the end date to be around 2018. We’ve been here before though, haven’t we?

We were warned about job boards, social media and even company-branded, internal recruitment departments killing off our industry. (I can’t make sense of that last one either). If anything has happened, we’ve not only survived, but we’ve grown as an industry and it’s looking very likely this will continue. 

What strikes me about these pieces of writing is they all appear to be written by people outside of our industry, who happen to be selling automated software in some cases. Perhaps they were once disgruntled candidates? I’ll come to those shortly. Surely, the question these bloggers need to be asking is how can automation replace an entire industry, rather than predicting our untimely demise.

I want to keep this blog post simple and write with one group of people in mind; our candidates. One of the biggest criticisms of our industry comes from the very people we introduce to our clients – candidates don’t hear back from recruiters. When recruiters don’t respond to candidates, they feel let down and they don’t know why they’ve been overlooked.

When you dig deeper and see how candidates really perceive our industry, you’ll encounter other concerns: recruiters don’t have the specific expertise to understand what the candidate actually does, recruiters don’t provide feedback throughout the recruitment process and recruiters don’t approach companies to really market candidates out.   

Now, I’m not bagging recruiters here – ok, maybe the lazy ones who don’t control the recruitment process properly, allowing most candidate gripes to surface – I am merely outlining some simple matter-of-facts that could be avoided.

Candidates want to be able to interact with recruiters and build relationships. They want to be understood and be treated with respect and sincerity. They want to feel confident that their expectations are being managed. They want to feel confident that doors are being opened on their behalf and they want to be kept fully informed throughout the hiring process.

They want all of the above with bells and whistles on. And why not?

Here’s the question: can an automated system perform all this for a candidate? Can an automated piece of software replace the very interaction and craft that great recruiters fine-tune every day?

I could expand even further, but the point needs to be made – automated systems, robots, Arnie, whatever you want to call them won’t be replacing an entire industry, anytime soon. Certainly not until those writing these articles on automation provide a realistic argument that makes sense to us and our industry.

About the author: Based in Perth, Western Australia, Mark Pearce is the Client Relationship Manager for Fircroft Australia. He has been in the recruitment industry for 15 years. He has written a series of articles on the recruitment industry and a series of how-to articles for employers and employees.

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