Businesses are under pressure to streamline and improve productivity. According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report (2018), 50 per cent of businesses expect that automation will, to some extent, reduce their workforce by 2022. Of these, 50 per cent indicated that they were unlikely to retrain or were undecided about retraining current employees. Furthermore, two-thirds of these businesses indicated that they expect their employees to retrain themselves.

It is important that recruitment professionals understand this new landscape and take stock of the implications for their roles. Some tech giants have already replaced human recruiters with AI for initial job interviews with candidates. Given the efficiency of automation and video interviewing, it is not hard to envision a world in which HR recruitment services may no longer be needed by hiring managers. Repetitive recruitment tasks, such as negotiating offers and posting jobs, can already be carried out quickly, easily and cheaply by a robot.

While this may sound bleak, there are a lot of opportunities in this new world for recruitment professionals. With some preparation, professionals working in the recruitment sector can be ready for the future and even use AI and automation to their advantage, starting with the following three steps.


First of all, take a long, hard look at your current recruiting role and note what percentage is made up of repetitive tasks. If the number is anywhere near 50 per cent, you know that there is a strong possibility that half your role could be automated right now with automation technology such as recruitment tracking software, which is already available.


Plan ways to replace the tasks in your role that can be automated with more creative work; for example, create automated talent channels for unique, hard-to-fill jobs in different areas of the business. Think about how your role can work with AI and automation instead of against it.


Put your plan into action with speed, passion and clarity. There is no set way to do this and the method will depend very much on your particular sector or organisational culture. There is one blanket rule here – don’t get stuck in a ‘follow best practice’ mindset. These traditional ways of thinking about HR and recruitment practices need to change to accommodate and fully utilise AI and automation.

In conclusion, while automation and AI present a significant challenge to recruitment professionals, it is possible to utilise the technology to your advantage. It is important to be honest about what elements of your role can be given over to automation and focus on the tasks in your role that benefit from or require human involvement. While automation and AI will no doubt change the recruitment landscape radically over the coming years, savvy professionals in the sector should be able to use the technology to their advantage.