Will technology replace recruitment consultants?

by 15 Apr 2008

Q: How realistic is it that technology will replace the role of a recruitment consultant? I am currently working as a corporate internal recruitment consultant, and with all the noise about technology replacing the role of a recruitment consultant, should I be considering a new career direction?

A: Technology will never completely replace the role of a recruitment professional. It does and will continue to enhance an organisation or consultant’s ability to deliver and therefore drive to successful outcomes.

As far as looking for a new career direction, I would advise you to develop your knowledge about the latest and greatest recruitment technologies as this will only help you advance your career within corporate recruitment being at the leading edge of technology and therefore potentially taking a lead role in any technology deployment with your current or new employer.

While building your knowledge, I would also advise that you think about the real limitations technology has when it comes to recruitment. The process of recruitment can be over-automated at times and we have all heard stories of standard ‘regret’ emails that are sent out to candidates without any real explanation.

The recruitment management process and in particular candidate management is one of those areas that just doesn’t seem to improve regardless as to the technology used – if it was significantly better then why the rapid growth in the number of networking sites?

With more candidates believing that the opportunity to put themselves in somebody else’s hands to find a new role no longer has the certainty of outcome it used to, networking websites offer up an alternative.

The fact is that the recruitment process needs the human touch –applying for a new role can be an incredibly stressful process for a candidate so some consideration should be given to the candidate.

Technology within recruitment as a means to deliver online filtering of applications is a great timesaver, and one that the majority of recruiters rely on.

The difficulty you have with these today is that with the current skills shortage – employers and recruiters should be looking beyond what they believe is the traditional candidate pool and starting exploring alternative candidate markets.

If the technology filter applied is too rigid then a lot of good candidates could potentially end up with the ‘regret’ email instead of the invitation for interview.

The role of technology enhances not only the direct recruitment activity but also the ongoing process of talent management within an organisation – and this is a significant step for you as an HR professional.

Managing the process of performance within a business is a significant process for any organisation but one which contributes immeasurably to the performance of the individual.

Technology as an enabler in this particular area of recruitment and HR is going to be one of the most significant tools that you will have available to you.

As talent has become scarcer, organisations are really starting to question the semi-disposable approach held toward employee recognition and retention.

As an internal recruitment consultant by keeping at the forefront of recruitment and HR technology and innovation you will actually cement yourself further within your organisation playing a significant role in what will now continue to be the biggest corporate HR strategy discussion point of this era: talent management.

And thus positioning your own career as an invaluable team member to your current employer and a highly sought-after employee to future employers.

By Colleen Langdon, principal consultant – internal recruitment specialist, Turnaround HRM