I had the pleasure of attending the SIA (Staffing Industry Analytics) Executive Forum conference in Miami in march 2018; and what an experience it was! For a little context, the ExecForum is a gathering of recruitment business owners and senior executives from across the globe which provides a platform for networking, sharing of ideas and introduction to a range of vendors and discussion of industry trends and innovations.
Topics covered ranged across ‘traditional’ staffing, RPOs, VMS, MSPs the gig economy, the human cloud and much more. While the Australian and US markets are different in many ways, there was one striking similarity propelling both markets: SPEED!
Speed is most definitely a driving force in Australia. Speed to access talent, speed to represent candidates, and speed to close engagements before your competitors. Both recruitment agencies competing with other agencies and hiring managers competing against each other in the war to secure the best talent.
How are the US addressing this issue? It was very clear, very early to me that the buzzword of conferences past has changed from ‘Disruption’ to ‘AI’. Terms such as ChatBots, Natural Linguistics, and Automated Search Algorithms were at the forefront of most conversations and presentations. But this is not ‘robots’ replacing recruiters, that will never happen, but rather ‘robots’ assisting recruiters to deliver on what everyone needs (or demands): SPEED.
While admittedly, at some of the seemingly outlandish vendor claims, I had my ‘sceptical hippo eyes’ (Google if needed); in others I saw real merit. Quick example; Bots engaging with candidates to further their application at the time of applying when they are most engaged. Let’s face it, recruiters are human and need sleep and a lot of my applications come through over night, after work. Imagine a candidate being able to provide more insight into their application and suitability via a quick interaction with an intelligent Applicant Tracking System (ATS). As a recruitment business owner, imagine your staff coming into an ATS that says “here are your overnight applications ranked with the most suitable criteria, availability, salary etc”. That is a readymade shortlist to call with the pre-screening out of the way.
This, and many other interesting innovations presented, will ultimately allow your recruiters to action more responses, faster, and provide you, as the hiring manager, with the strongest talent in the shortest amount of time. Everyone wins. This will also shift recruitment firmly back into the consultative and business partnering space, where recent pressures (SPEED) have been incrementally commoditising the recruitment process.
This is definitely something the leadership team at people2people are keen to explore and I would welcome conversations with any vendors, or industry peers interested in similar applications of AI and process automation in search, selection and engagement.
What are your thoughts? Would you engage willingly with a recruitment AI Tool? How do you feel it would change the recruitment experience for all parties?