I can’t wait for technology to get to the point where candidates can think:
“Wow, that LMA chatbot was amazing.”
The reason is simple. They will be better than all of the people sitting around me at the moment, rendering my fantastic (award-winning) team redundant…. in certain situations.
There are many ingredients of a great recruitment operation, but two of the main ones have to be efficiency of process and understanding of people. Most recruiters would love to spend their time digging deep into the needs of their clients and candidates, but it is often the cases that ensuring a smooth process gets in the way. Organising interviews, coordinating admin, collecting references, managing feedback…. I could go on, but you get the idea. A good recruiter understands that their process has to be 100% in order to build great relationships, but they spend so much time on the process that they don’t always spend as much time as they would like adding value to their relationships.
That is why I welcome the chatbots, or whatever technology will take the strain on the process side. If they take my recruiters out of the process equation to let them concentrate on the relationship side, I will be delighted. I suspect that they will be too.
In an industry that cannot work on a 9-5 timetable, technology could plug a valuable gap. Recruitment technology that is on call 24/7 will make job searching so much more accessible. You might be chatting with a bot from a potential employer while a bot from your recruiter is working out the best time for your final interview – all unobtrusively on your mobile phone on your lunch break.
Tech is going to create so many opportunities for people to get more “human” with each other. Admin is the bane of our lives, and failed admin is one of the big reasons why recruiters have such a bad reputation. Candidates think that the recruiter doesn’t care when they don’t get the promised call back, but the recruiter is simply too busy. Not that this ever happens at LMA, of course, but it does happen regularly.
I’m not sure that chatbots are there yet though. The attempts that I have seen are rather rudimentary, and when it comes to something as important as a job search, people deserve to have their hands held every step of the way (by a human). I’m not even sure that ATS systems do the job as well as they could, so improvements will have to be made there before chatbots can be taken seriously and trusted.
Nevertheless, I am conscious that if I don’t take an interest in recruitment tech, I will be letting my future candidates down. They need a streamlined and ruthlessly efficient process, and if the machines can do it better than my people, then I will happily get my people onto more useful pursuits.
Come on chatbots, show us what you’ve got.