Will robots ever take over our jobs?
Today, robotics, automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is affecting every area of our lives. In the past 10 years alone, the technology has leapt forward in leaps and bounds. With hardly a month going by without a new development in autonomous systems, such as self-driving vehicles, the question is – are the robots taking over?
Certainly just about every industry has been impacted in some way or other. For many it has raised the concern that jobs will be lost to robots and technology. A report by the World Economic Forum and Boston Consulting suggests that one million jobs will be lost in the US workplace by 2026 as a result of autonomous systems and that these people will have find new skills in order to re-enter the workplace. But just how real is the problem? Another report from the McKinsey Global Institute says that hundreds of millions of other jobs will be created in response to these new technologies, along with the emerging economies that will support them.
Robots are changing the recruiting game
If jobs are disappearing in other industries, what will be the impact on recruitment? Robots and AI are already doing a lot of the work recruiters had to do in the past, and it’s not just all about pre-vetting candidates, or applications.
Emerging technologies are helping HR personnel, recruitment agencies and job sites in a whole range of ways. For instance, there are Chatbots, those little messages that pop up when you visit a website to ask if you need help, that are dramatically improving the candidate experience by providing instant feedback and support throughout the application process. These are becoming ever more functional and sophisticated. Then there are AI and machine learning tools such as Beamery, which are proactively building relationships with candidates, reducing hiring cycles and even suggesting when the best time to reach out to those candidates might be. Some robots are even been developed to reduce bias in recruitment, whether that bias is deliberate discrimination or unconscious.
Your job isn’t just safe – it’s better
The fact is, in many ways, automation and AI isn’t taking jobs, it’s actually making the work of people in recruitment agencies and job sites much easier. After all, 52% of recruiters say the hardest part of the job is to identify quality candidates from a large application pool. AI has virtually eliminated that. Robots are removing the drudgery and performing the tedious tasks recruiters don’t want to do, such as reducing screening time for candidates, so those working in recruitment agencies can get on with the serious business of finding and matching the best candidates from what’s left.
Furthermore, it’s an inescapable fact of that recruitment is a very human process. Robots aren’t emotional; they can’t feel empathy, or offer ‘the human touch’ that’s so important when, for example, matching candidates to company culture. And robots will never be able to build human rapport - a skill set that’s irreplaceable in the recruitment workplace.
Ultimately, recruiting, whether on job boards or in a boardroom is all about people. And robots aren’t people.
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