A few years ago, upon examining the myriad of tasks that members of talent acquisition teams were asked to perform, it became apparent that there was going to be a recruiting revolution, or perhaps, a dramatic role evolution. This would be, in part, due to the overwhelming expectations placed on recruiting teams as markets improved and companies began to hire to accommodate demand, but also due to a generational shift, as younger recruiters joined corporate recruiting teams in the current job market. Furthermore, the growth of startups and entrepreneurship, while great to spur a burgeoning economy, created even more numerous competitors for Talent Acquisition that never existed before.
Today, the realities for Talent Acquisition are clearly difficult to overcome. There just aren’t enough people to fill the roles of today and certainly not enough to fill the roles of tomorrow. The job market hasn’t been this tight for half a century and if you need more data to support this challenge, see the WSJ article just published last week.
Increasingly, we are all looking for a sense of purpose, not just in the Millennial and “Snapchat” generations, and this applies to our day-to-day tasks. It is not enough to be tied to the overall mission of our company. We need to feel like we are contributing to it daily. When technology can perform the tasks that do not fulfill our need for purpose, it should be implemented in order to free up our time to perform meaningful work. The tasks that recruitment technology is currently powering are administrative tasks that consume our time, thus reducing our ability to stay competitive. It a strategic imperative and necessity for us to leverage automation in order to fill most of our day with the activities that matter and “delegate” the rest to the tech.
As the role of Talent Acquisition becomes more difficult, deep domain expertise in the field that you are recruiting talent for and creativity become increasingly important. Thus, technology that streamlines and expedites many mundane and non-value-added tasks becomes essential. The underlying mechanisms that drive automation are unchanging and this is the dearth of talent, both at the upper and lower ends of the job market.
The winners will be the Talent Acquisition teams that know how to get the most riveting and relevant messages out to the right audience at the requisite time. This sounds a lot like Marketing to me. As a matter of fact, in industries such as sales, marketing, support, and of course, manufacturing, the concepts of automation are not unfamiliar. Rather, many of the roles inside of these industries have been redefined. So how will the role of a recruiter evolve as automation software becomes the norm and the supply and demand gap for talent widens?
The Role of a Recruiter in 2025
By 2025, the role of a recruiter will be even more complex than it is today, but will create many opportunities for those that can seize them. For example, by 2025, it is likely that some demonstrations of artificial intelligence will pass the Turing test – meaning AI will be nearly imperceptible to humans as AI and could actually be mistaken for a human – but that doesn’t mean that candidates and hiring managers will want to interact with artificial intelligence at all parts of the recruitment process, even if the work is remote or contracted. As humans, we still rely on our instincts, rightfully or wrongfully, to gauge whether we think we’ll be able to work on a team or inside a company, which puts an even greater emphasis on the role of the recruiter and the impression that he or she can make on a candidate. Even if most of the activity, communication, and workflows are automated, the juxtaposition of technology and human interaction, will put greater weight on the interpersonal skills and the human element that will need to resonate with the right candidates.
Other ways in which the role will be redefined include, but are not limited to:
- Recruiters will develop an understanding of behavioral psychology and organizational behavior to better align talent with team structure and company culture. They will help design and optimize the teams of the future.
- Recruiters will cultivate deep domain expertise in the industry they recruit in to stay abreast of skills, credentials, and knowledge areas that may be relevant today and in the future.
- Recruiters will be actively aware of their own biases and those of their hiring managers to train and coach them to build more diverse teams. They will encourage risk-taking to reduce homophily inside the organization, thus redesigning organizations.
- Recruiters will become more like high-end matchmakers, developing a robust book of talent and understanding candidates and managers holistically, including their nuances, so that they can be matched successfully.
- Recruiters will develop and strengthen marketing skills - digital, Account Based Marketing (“ABM”), and experiential - in order to differentiate their recruitment approaches and attract talent.
- Recruiters will assist in the development of automation algorithms, by feeding these formulas with the data that will help them learn. This will happen by using cutting edge technology properly and reviewing analytics frequently to identify the validity, or lack thereof, of predictive output.
Lastly, the role of a recruiter will change when companies begin recognizing and emphasizing the connectivity of Talent Acquisition Key Performance Indicators (“KPIs”) with the rest of the company’s KPIs. This is an opportunity for Talent Acquisition and Marketing to work closely with the rest of the business to understand what truly matters to the bottom line. For example, co-developed KPIs and metrics of success that tie revenue to sales associate ramp time and ramp time to time-to-fill and time-to-fill to time-to-accept¹ should be reinforced strongly by all those involved with achieving those measurements.
You’re Crazy Danielle. This is NOT the role of Talent Acquisition.
You’re right. I am crazy, and these are not the expectations of Talent Acquisition teams today. But my craziness also enables an overarching optimism and belief that although the world has dramatically changed, the Talent Acquisition leaders of the future will not only have the ability to adapt rapidly and embrace the changes that are necessary to survive the talent shortage, but will also thrive, by redefining the way their teams work and by employing differentiated people strategies, KPIs that matter, and better alignment with the business. It’s time to understand how the role of a recruiter will be redefined and act accordingly.
¹Another way to think about time-to-accept would be similar to a “Sales Accepted Lead” or “SAL” in Sales and Marketing. It would be the presentation of a candidate or slate of candidates that the hiring manager has agreed to interview.