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Automation Marches Onward

A new survey finds that recruiters expect automation to change the way they hire -- and many are excited about it.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017
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The robots are coming! Well not robots, maybe, but automation is certainly on the way, and it's going to affect your job as a recruiter, if it hasn't already. A recent survey of 800 U.S. recruiters and hiring managers finds that a significant majority of recruiters (72 percent) believe their approach to hiring will need to evolve as automation and artificial intelligence become more prevalent. The report, titled Automation Nation, was conducted by Jobvite and Zogby Analytics and seeks to understand how recruiters and hiring managers feel about automation -- both in relation to their own jobs and those of others.

Thirteen percent of recruiters say that automation has already impacted their hiring plans and nearly one in four (22 percent) say leadership at their company is discussing automation's impact or preparing for it. Recruiters in the finance industry (80 percent) are the most likely to say they need to change their approach to adapt to automation/AI, followed by those in technology (74 percent), healthcare (71 percent) and professional services (66 percent).

When it comes to their own jobs, many of the recruiters that Rachel Bitte speaks to -- both those on her own team and at other companies -- are excited about automation.

"Recruiters are now feeling confident that automation is taking away stuff that they don't like to do and giving them the opportunity to double down on new skills to help them grow their careers," says Bitte, Jobvite's chief people officer.

Indeed, the report finds that nearly all recruiters are either positive (49 percent) or indifferent (42 percent) with respect to automation/AI in their own jobs. Forty three percent believe it will actually make their own jobs better, compared to seven percent who believe it will make them worse. Recruiters are eager to see tasks such as interview scheduling, background and reference checking, analytics/measurement and candidate sourcing automated, the survey finds, while they'd least like to see interview process, phone screening and salary negotiations automated.

The onset of automation/AI gives recruiters the opportunity to transition to a more consultative role such as talent adviser, says Bitte.

"I see it as not just helping the hiring manager with requisitions but helping hiring teams think of the people they have within the organization, determine what their future talent needs are and then helping them shape strategic plans to meet those needs," she says. "Lots of recruiters are excited about this because it helps them get closer to the business."

Automation can also free up recruiters to take on more of a sales and marketing role within their organizations, says Bitte.

"It's about learning how to drive a recruitment marketing campaign, build brand awareness, thinking about the marketing engine they need to have within talent acquisition to help build those talent pools for the future," she says. "It's an opportunity to exercise your creativity and build a marketing mindset."


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