This Chart Reveals Where AI Will Impact Recruiting (and What Skills Make Recruiters Irreplaceable)

November 16, 2017

LinkedIn’s CEO Jeff Weiner recently predicted that the most important trends impacting the future of work are - AI and automation, the skills gap, and the rise of independent work.  

Of these three, the one that any individual recruiter can best prepare for, since it would have the most direct impact on your everyday activity, is AI and automation.

Unlike previous technological revolutions, experts predict that this time around, AI and automation will start by impacting white-collar professions (like recruiting) before cascading to blue-collar roles. So jobs that involve collecting data (read: resumes), processing data (such as parsing/de-duping/matching profiles) and other predictable activities that deliver based on well-defined rules (e.g., social media aggregation, ATS updating) are the ones on top of the list for automation.

To help you and your recruiting organization prepare for the upcoming changes, we have created an easy-to-use reference chart that maps Automation Potential (from High to Low) in the X-axis against the Value added with Human Touch in the Y-axis. The bottom left quadrant refers to those activities that add little incremental value with human touch and the top right quadrant refers to recruiting activities where human touch is required to interpret or augment AI-driven information.

Front-end recruiting activities -- from resume collection, candidate sourcing, interview scheduling, coding skills assessment, candidate ranking -- on top of this matrix, would broadly result in the area in the bottom left quadrant. These are the activities that are likely to be automated first, given that computational abilities are out-pacing efficiencies of human decision making in the recruiting process. In fact, there is a justifiable argument that automating many of these activities would streamline the front-end process, remove mundane and repeatable tasks from the system and ultimately improve candidate experience.  

As you move towards the recruiting activities listed in the top right quadrant, the need for and value of human touch becomes more obvious. These are activities geared towards delivering high-value services expected of recruiters in any organization. Empathetic interactions, like the ability to understand nuanced needs of candidates, negotiate with clients (and internal stakeholders) and to make the hire, demand the human touch. These are the ones that will be hard to be automated using algorithms in the foreseeable future.

So, what can you start doing now?

  1. Augment your current skills with interpersonal and behavioral assessment capabilities. Max Tegmark’s book “Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence” is a good reference on the need for skills like interacting with people and how to develop social intelligence in the AI-driven world.
  2. Get comfortable with data analysis and interpretation. Your stakeholders and clients are going to expect you to be their talent consultant. LinkedIn’s upcoming Talent Insights products are going it make easier for you to access the data and insights on talent - on demand. It would still require your expertise on interpreting this information. 
  3. Start strengthening your instincts about your candidates, hiring managers and stakeholders. No amount of insights is going to be valuable if they are not combined with your instincts to deliver Talent Intelligence for your clients and candidates.

*Image by Andy Kelly

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