Posted , June 1, 2017.

Our jobs in 20 years’ time will be performed by computers. Artificial intelligence is fast developing. These are common statements we are hearing in the world, let alone the business world. Whilst robots may render some tasks and functions obsolete, robots can never render humans obsolete – and it is the human resources and recruitment industry that best demonstrate this statement.

A recent article by Simon Young, which can be found here, claims the recruitment industry is dead, being replaced by technology and digital platforms. The article continues to assert, that much in the same way Amazon and other online retail storefronts have diminished the reliance upon middlemen and traditional supply chains, job-hunting platforms such as LinkedIn have nullified the need for human recruiters. “This is the evolution of things”, Simon writes, “Digital has put the nails in the coffin of recruitment.” Yet despite the tech-pandemonium and rustlings of disruption within professional services, recruitment will never be effectively outsourced to robots and technology.

The fact of the matter is, recruitment is – and always will be – a people game.

Understandably, technology has provided speed and simplification for some laborious elements of the recruitment process. At no point are we suggesting that the sphere of technology does not provide any benefits to the art of recruitment. But the reality is, the spheres of technology and people provide only limited cohesion and synergy when it comes to recruitment, much like a Venn diagram.

Technology is an enabler for recruitment.

It is a tool that can be utilised to source talent on a globalised and instantaneous scale. But even with relation to sourcing, arguments can be made that even digital platforms such as LinkedIn do not capture the entire talent pool. Does this make digital recruitment platforms inhibiting? The application of technology in candidate testing, such as the use of psychometric testing and analysis, provides insights and simplification of extensive raw data. But technology is only an enabler; it does not deliver the ultimate results and expectations of an effective recruitment process.

Humans deliver the results.

After all, I mentioned in response to Simon Young’s article, “I’d have great difficulty trusting an algorithm that measures subjectivity when human nature is generally cynical and ultimately humans rely on humans for supportive endorsement of their decision making.” The final hiring decision is always subjective. Qualifications, Competencies, work history, industry experience are all verifiable housekeeping matters.

Selecting the perfect fit for your organisation, given the company culture, current organisational objectives, long or short-term orientation, interpersonal dynamics and a range of other subjectively immeasurable facets cannot be fully determined by a robot or data application, requires human intervention.

I take my absolute faith in human nature from the Apollo 13 experience.

When technology failed man – and we see technology failure on a grand scale almost every day, man used his inherent ingenuity to deliver a safe outcome. Whilst a robot may end up replacing job functions requiring number crunching and data analysis, humans will always trump technology when decisions and strategies regarding the application of other human capital is involved.

 

 

John Gilbert

Principal – Options Consulting Group

jgilbert@optionsgroup.com.au

M: 0408 697 128