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The Future of Recruitment Tech: A Tale of Two Podcasts

Adrian Dixon

December 14, 2016

Automation in recruitment tech is getting a lot of attention from recruiting experts these days.

Case in point, I recently listened to two podcasts on AI for recruiting and the future of recruitment tech, one on ERE called For Recruiting, Is There Life After Automation? and the other on RecruitingDaily called Don’t Jump: AI Can’t Kill Recruiting.

recruitment tech

Both podcasts have some interesting – and similar – takeaways about the future of recruitment tech that I summarize below.

Podcast #1: For Recruiting, Is There Life After Automation?


ERE’s Editor-in-Chief Todd Raphael


Jason Roberts, SVP of Strategy and Standardization at Randstad Sourceright


30 minutes 20 seconds


Todd and Jason discuss machine learning, artificial intelligence, and automation and what they mean for recruiters, recruiting, and the whole hiring process.

Key takeaways

Algorithms are simplifications of behaviours into rules which solve for the majority of cases (e.g., 80-90%) but they’re never going to be completely accurate.

In terms of sourcing, screening, and matching, there’s a lot of activity right now in matching. This is recruitment tech that allows you to load a job description and the system goes into your CRM or ATS and matches candidates for you.

Matching technology means you’re not spending time searching your CRM. Your role as a recruiter will be to contact the people identified by the tech and your value will come from interacting with candidates.

Computers can write better Boolean strings than you. The recruiting differentiator will be who can attract candidates the best.

It’s impossible for a computer to have a bias. It can be taught to have a bias. If you’re not training it on previous biased decisions or using information that’s related to bias, you can trust the computer’s decisions over a human’s.

It’ll be a very long time before a computer will be in charge of deciding between two equal candidates. The final decisions will still remain in the hands of the hiring manager.

The exception for where recruiting can be fully automated are high-volume roles with minimal qualifications or where there aren’t a lot of requirements for previous experience such as retail or factory workers.

In the future, automation in recruitment tech will make recruiters analogous to real estate agents. Even with access to housing data, most of us still need an agent to sell and buy a house.

Podcast #2: Don’t Jump: AI Can’t Kill Recruiting


RecruitingDaily’s Managing Editor Katrina Kibben

Amy Ala Miller, Recruiting Consultant at Microsoft


Mike Wolford, Strategic Sourcing Manager at Hudson


50 minutes 21 seconds


Katrina, Amy, and Mike discuss why recruiting is evolving thanks to new technology and where AI for recruiting can support recruiting immediately and in the long term.

Key takeaways

Recruitment tech is getting better at identifying patterns of behaviours, but it doesn’t replace the need to talk to someone.

Human recruiters are needed to ask questions like, “What are your motivators?” “What can I offer you to leave your current job?” An algorithm can’t do this.

Where AI can help us are in parts of the process where recruiters traditionally don’t sit. For example, recruitment tech can help at the top of the funnel by answering FAQs from candidates using a chatbot.

AI can help filter through massive amounts of data. If you receive 200 resumes, and AI gives you a systematic way to filter through all of them, then no resumes will get buried anymore just because they’re the last ones to be received.

A really useful application of AI is if you can assign points to certain qualifications, for example, an employee referral goes to the top of the pile.

If there was a recruiting software that tracked candidate behaviour – for example, out of 100 candidates, we’re looking for the best three – and we had a tech that told us, “Here are the 10 candidates that are most likely to engage with you,” then we could leave the other 90 alone.

For these types of functions, AI could be a big boon to the recruiting industry.

Listen to the full podcast here.