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Automation Impact

January 15, 2016 Leave a comment Go to comments

The robots are coming.  Technology is eliminating jobs.  This has been going on forever, of course, but it always feels like it is accelerating and that is certainly the case now.  The impact on recruiting is great from all angles.

Does automation make us more efficient or does it eliminate jobs?  The answer, of course, is both.  The key question is, to what degree?  All innovations, from the wheel to the printing press to the automobile to the internet, eliminate jobs and create others.  But innovations clearly eliminate more jobs than they create.  All real innovations also make us more efficient.

Job boards didn’t kill recruiting.  They made it more effective.  Many recruiters were washed out of the business when job boards came along, and in subsequent downturns, because they didn’t adapt and use the new tools to improve their work.  As new tools come along, they give us the opportunity to increase our reach, to increase how effectively and efficiently we can recruit.

In addition to the direct impact, automation has a big impact on the recruiting market.  Jobs.  Whole industries get replaced.  Businesses that required big numbers of employees before require fewer employees.  This effectively shrinks the market for recruiting.  It reduces the need for recruiters both inside companies and outside in recruiting agencies.  This is balanced by the need for more specialized employee skills and that creates smaller candidate pools.  Smaller candidate pools increase the need for good recruiting.

Over the last 13 or 14 years I’ve seen this churn continue.  The need for recruiting does not feel like it is less than it was in 2002 or 2003, but it does feel different.  There are fewer needs, but they are more specialized on average and our reach is far greater.



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