The War on Talent - Does Artificial Intelligence Spell The End of Recruitment?

Posted April 24th, 2019

By Doug Bugie, Global Head of Franchising

The ‘War for Talent’ written, by McKinsey in 1998, represented a tectonic shift in thinking regarding the challenges facing companies to find and keep top talent. This War goes on, more intensified than ever, due to low global birth rates, the aging of Western populations and STEM skills shortages.

There is even a larger shift going on with the explosion of information and the many industries that have been created by the internet.  The amount of information we can amass, store and manage has exploded beyond anything we could have imagined in 1998.

I got into the recruitment business in 1985, it was literally ‘look up potential clients in the Yellow Pages, a physical phone book, and ‘smile and dial’… now almost any information one wants to find about a company is light seconds away.

Within all this lies the question:  will Artificial Intelligence and the internet replace the human recruiter? The ’50 point’ word for this used over the past two decades is ‘disintermediation’…which is, as defined by Merriam-Webster: “the elimination of an intermediary in a transaction between two parties”.

Yet in this period, the recruitment industry, specifically the segment where fees are paid to human recruiters has doubled from $12 billion to $25 billion.

I believe the article by Jeff Herzog, President of FPC, the executive recruitment franchise, captures the essence of why human intelligence cannot be replaced by AI. Does Artificial Intelligence Spell The End of Recruitment As We Know It?  There is no question that the performance of recruiters can be enhanced by AI. 

I have seen this myself in starting and supporting the development of many recruiting companies in over 40 countries…not even IBM’s top AI, ‘Watson’, can replace the human heart and mind.

Even the creators of ‘Vera’ the AI which sparked the writing of these articles, says that when it comes to finding and recruiting leaders, AI cannot replace human executive recruiting…and he’s 100% right!

So please read on and let us know what your take is in the ongoing evolution of the recruitment industry and of the human species!

 

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