This week’s news round-up has a futuristic feel as we take a look at some of the ways the recruitment experience will change to meet the demands of tomorrow’s world: from artificial intelligence to creative interviews; to candidates trading their CV as a commodity.

“Fourth industrial revolution” boosts Australian tech

Automation will create new opportunities in what may become “a fourth industrial revolution”, according to one spokesman from Hays Australia. The recruitment specialists talked this week about the growing need for “robot creators“, who will become a key area of employment for Australia’s next generation of skilled recruits.

Chief investment officer at Hays Australia, Steve Weston highlighted the need to adopt new thinking when addressing software automation in the workplace. “New technologies will demand different skills, and create new jobs.” Mr Weston outlined emerging roles such as AI programmers, robotics engineers, and machine learning engineers who will become highly sought-after in the coming years.

As the employment landscape changes, recruiters will see demand for workers with key skills growing across all sectors, and not only within specialist enterprises: larger organisations are keen to operate in-house teams to manage their own intelligent computer systems.

Will the rise of the robots mean termination for recruiters?

Automation is often cited as a cause of change within the traditional employment market. But has artificial intelligence now turned its digital gaze towards the recruitment industry, too?

That was the question asked by industry news portal Recruitment Grapevine this week, as they discussed the emergence of new software technologies for recruiters. As specialist tools like semantic search and candidate tracking become industry norms, discussion inevitably focused on how the technology will change the industry.

In contrast to the optimistic tone struck by Hays, the discussion also asked whether artificial intelligence would create obsolescence within existing industries: a common question any time the subject of automation is broached. But is it a legitimate concern?

Software solutions provide efficient outcomes. At eBoss, we have reduced the time needed to complete a candidate search down to just a few minutes with our recruitment software tools. But while analytics and data processing are improved by automation, interpreting the results will always rely on experience and industry expertise. Many of the fears of being replaced are unfounded, as there are some things that machines cannot learn – at least, for now.

Matt Charney, Executive Editor at Recruiting Daily explained recently how software tools enhance human performance, rather than replace it. “I’m really excited about AI; it’s not only achievable, but pretty damn close to being a reality. [But]AI cannot possess Emotional Intelligence: though it can fake empathy it can never achieve it. Without empathy, HR should be replaced.”

Gamifying the selection process

When it comes to the selection process, nothing is more crucial than obtaining the honest responses of candidates. Recruiters and HR personnel constantly look for new ways to learn about prospective employees. One approach fast becoming the norm is gamification in interviews.

Gamification is an idea that’s been around for a while: the technique of producing meaningful outcomes or decisions based on practical challenges, informal events, and collaborative activities. The concept has gained traction amongst recruiters in recent years, but when the technique makes headlines in the business pages of the India Times for reshaping tech recruitment in the subcontinent, that’s a sure sign that we should pay closer attention.

Stanley Deepak of TeamLease recruitment explained what gamification in India’s IT sector looks like: “Companies have coding marathons, hacking events, complex problem-solving as part of their recruitment process”. Proponents cite its reliance on practical performance, human interaction, and its effectiveness at eliminating prepared responses as the keys to its success.

In Britain, 360 Recruitment has pioneered a number of gamified approaches to the recruitment process, including tasks that mimic the BBC series The Apprentice. Director Leigh Osbourne says: “[It] allows us to attract talent. We’re trying to do it in a different way that can give us the edge.”
Whether the strategy really does give gaming recruiters the edge is untested. But candidates can expect less predictable interviews in the future.

Selling yourself: The employer that accepts your CV as ‘money’

If a job search has ever left you feeling little more than a commodity, this latest recruitment initiative will only confirm your suspicions.

In a novel approach to data harvesting, the Budapest-based digital marketing enterprise Possible has monetised its users’ CVs and LinkedIn profiles by letting them make online purchases that use their personal data as currency. In return for uploading their details to the Possible database, candidates can choose from several items from the company store: everything from bottles of craft ale to coffee mugs.

As a way of collecting big data on potential candidates, we are not certain it is the most cost effective solution. It’s also unlikely to catch on in any broader scale: this particular drive is to fill in-house vacancies only. However, as a means of grabbing online attention, it shows Possible is a business that really does understand the fundamentals of digital marketing.