There are dozens -- perhaps hundreds -- of articles published every day about “the future of work.” It's a topic that covers everything from the rise of robots to the evolution of society. With such a big topic, how does the future of work apply to recruiting? What might recruiting look like in coming years? What will change? Let's explore some of the larger trends coming to the recruiting world.
Artificial intelligence is on everyone's horizon
Automation and the coming rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning have been a topic for a few years now, with The New Yorker saying that the rise of AI was akin to ‘compressing the Industrial Revolution into the lifespan of a beagle.”
AI will be the biggest game-changer in recruitment because it has the potential to automate out lots of top-of-funnel logistical tasks, i.e. scheduling, screening, and sourcing. Those are the areas where recruiters spend their largest percentage of time. The natural question that follows is: What happens to recruiters? Do they head towards relationship-building, value-driven roles, or do they get laid off? It will obviously vary by organization, but the sheer fact of the matter is that an AI suite can screen 200 resumes for a high-volume hiring context much more effectively than a human being can. But can an AI suite talk to a human being about their career arc and different decisions they’ve made along the way? No. (Well, not right now, at the very least.) So there are going to be a lot of heady questions about the role of human recruiters vs. the role of corresponding AI-driven HR tech/recruiting tech suites.
The age of the resume might be over
You could argue that resumes should have gone away years ago, especially since LinkedIn -- which in many ways people view as a static resume bank -- has been around since 2004. But resumes are still pretty pervasive, up to and including the idea that when a recruiter messages you on LinkedIn or a job board, they often ask for a resume, even though they’re looking at your information on that platform. The resume is gradually going away, though, and a more tech-enabled future might kill it entirely. If you’ve heard of blockchain technology, that’s a full register of transactions. The initial applications for something like blockchain are financial services or land ownership, but what if someone’s career could be put on the blockchain? What if a recruiter could verify every role, every set of responsibilities, and every manager? In that context, resumes would increasingly become obsolete.
Tech may finally help in terms of diversity
“They’re going to be able to filter through stacks of applicants, listen to those signals from our external talent markets, and tell us where great talent is hidden in plain sight,” Jennifer says. “So intelligent inclusion [is] going to help us ensure we have more diverse candidate slates, and that we’re hiring the right people for the roles that we’re hoping to fill.”
Increasingly, companies are dedicated to being more diverse. Accenture wants to be a fully 50/50 gender split by 2025. We’re closer than we think. Per LinkedIn data across 100,000 hires off the platform in 2018, 45,801 were women. If tech can help us get to 50/50 equality, that’d be tremendous. And that’s not far off either: RedThread Research and Mercer have identified diversity and inclusion tech as a rapidly-growing market segment worth about $100M at present.
When tech giants like Facebook and Google got into the hiring game, you knew better targeting approaches were en route. Those are already starting to happen, and there’s an increased focus on SEO and ad targeting in recruiting, with those trends likely to continue. If you combine the data-processing and analyzing power of AI with better targeting, the idea of “finding the needle in the haystack” becomes more real for recruiters.
New jobs and roles
Per Dell, 85 percent of jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t even been invented yet. That’s not necessarily surprising: who would have predicted app coding jobs 20-30 years ago? But where the change comes in is that now hiring managers have tons of different skills they need to be aware of and know how to hire for. This will likely increase the role of third-party technical expertise recruiting, so that hiring managers know exactly what they need and how to interview for it/locate it. It will be impossible for recruiters and hiring managers to know every facet of each new type of job that will be invented, so you’ll see recruiting shifts because of that.
Are you ready for the future?
While predicting common trends can help give us a view at the future we're headed for, the reality is no one has a magic ball. That truth alone is impacting recruiting in it's own right. Recruiter are getting more agile and creative in their candidate searches. More conversations are happening on social platforms or via text, instead of the traditional phone pre-screen. Job offers are being extended to, and accepted by, remote workers around the world. Not to mention, these days the traditional career path of growing within one company for 50 years is little more than a memory of times past. We're already in the process of adapting to an uncertain future and as technology develops, the ability to manage change will become increasingly crucial. So when we talk about the future of work, keep in mind that some of that future is already here.