The art of remaining RELEVANT to our candidates, clients and teams

It’s no secret that our world is changing at a rapid rate as technological advances fundamentally change the way we do business and this is no less true for the recruitment sector as it is the rest of the business world.

The term AI - or artificial intelligence - is something we have all become familiar with in the past decade, but it has also come to mean Assistive Intelligence and for recruitment, this has manifested as, among other things, robots are managing engagement care.

Take for example Olivia produced by Paradox for the recruitment sector and touted by the company as “the AI assistant that allows you to focus on what you do best, while she focuses on candidate capture, screening, scheduling and candidate communication & engagement”.

That’s right. Olivia is able to capture candidates through the internet, mobile platforms and social channels. She can send messages to candidates inquiring about what kind of work they are looking for, where they want to work and can then select jobs which they may be interested in applying for.

The next step for Olivia is checking resumes and assessing their skills against criteria to select those who should move on to the next stage of the recruitment process. She can book and reschedule interviews and appointments and can even extoll the virtues of working for certain companies.

In short, Olivia manages a lot of the mundane aspects of what recruiters do freeing up consultants to focus on interviewing and assessing candidates for jobs and engaging with clients.

And Olivia is not alone with a number of similar AI services now available such as entelo, which is now being trailed by Davidson, with one-third of internal recruiter teams now moving from LinkedIn to entelo.

Using entelo allows us to build candidate profiles which go well beyond their resume by scouring the internet to pull together data on candidates such as what recipes they have posted on social media, events they are interested in going to and what online communities they are actively involved with.

Added to these new technologies are moves by online platforms such as Google and Facebook to take on in-house recruiters; Google has 3,000 of them and Facebook has 2,000.

These technological and HR advances have me wondering where that leaves recruitment consultants and agencies when robots can answer candidate questions 24/7 and set appointments faster than we can?

For me the answer lies in two areas:

[if !supportLists]• [endif]Strong leadership – leaders who aren’t afraid to try new tactics, new technologies, new ideas and engage their team

[if !supportLists]• [endif]Remaining relevant - walking the fine line between the art and science of our industry.

Sometimes answers can be found in the strangest of places and for me, I think we have a lot to learn from the viral Dancing Man video doing the rounds on the internet.

The Dancing Man video starts with one lone dancer at a music festival enjoying his own party on a hill. Soon the man is joined dancing by someone else in the crowd and then another and then another until the original dancing man can no longer be seen for the dancing crowd he has attracted.

In much the same way any good leaders reacts, the Dancing Man embraces his first few followers and rather the trying to see the focus on himself, is interested in everyone participating equally. After all, this is not his show; he is just enjoying it and encouraging others to do the same.

With the advent of this assistive technology, it is imperative that recruiters take stock of what they do and how they do it if they are to remain relevant. LinkedIn research shows that transactional recruiters will be left behind and recruiters who develop personal skill-sets and embrace automation and digital processes will be the most successful moving forward.

I believe this means there needs to be some changes in how we currently work and I believe it will also evolve to a point where some recruitment consultants are doing the work of data analysts, while others will be marketing specialists and others still will focus on engagement.

If we are to stay relevant to our clients and candidates, we will need to be up-to-date with technology, time-efficient, cost-effective, innovative, agile, strategic, advisor, coach and willing to engage at a human level.

This means stripping recruitment back to the basics of people and engagement. It’s about storytelling, understanding the systemic issues clients/candidates are facing and helping them try to solve them while ensuring we value our candidates as much as our clients.

We all acknowledge the days of being a transactional recruiter are long gone. We need to stay close enough to clients to understand their talent pool issues, help them enhance the quality & diversity of those pools, and of course, their capacity to access them by showing our value long-term, we need to show our skill as advisor, coach, counsellor and negotiator.

And to do all of this, we need strong leaders. Leaders who the Dancing Man would follow.

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