Bots will disrupt recruiting in four to seven years

  • mball1
  • mball1
    Never underestimate the power of a nerd with a spreadsheet.

Social media, bots and why you’d better start coming up with content right now.

Facebook announced a new strategic priority last week: bots. It’s doubling down on the technology, predicting that bots will start replacing apps and a lot of other things you currently do yourself.

Take pizza. Say you’re chatting with a friend on Facebook messenger and you ask if they want to get a pizza. The bot monitoring your Facebook conversations 24/7 will recognize this as a trigger, look at your past pizza order history and preferences, find pizza places in close proximity, look at what specials are advertised, and maybe even find out your friend’s order history and preferences. Then it will ask if you want it to reserve a spot at your favourite pizza joint at your favourite time, or maybe even ask if you want it to order a medium pepperoni with extra cheese and anchovies on half for delivery from Pizza Pizza at 5:30 pm, placing the order using your credit card for you.

Resistance is futile. Resistance to delicious, convenient pizza.

Some people find this idea creepily intrusive and only one or two steps removed from SkyNet. Most consumers will probably come to mutely accept it the same way they’ve come to accept retargeting, the EdgeRank algorithm and marketing automation. Where this really gets interesting is when bots become intelligent enough to recruit you.

This idea isn’t so far-fetched. Autonomous agents (as they’re called) already write as well as a professional scribe. If they can understand grammar and semantics well enough to write original pieces (although writing marketing copy isn’t rocket science) they can certainly read well enough. If they can read well enough, it won’t be long before they can read well enough to scrape your Twitter feed, public Facebook posts, your LinkedIn updates, blog and more to determine whether you’re worth looking at for everything from association marketing to zoology.

“As a man thinketh… so is he.”

It’s a paraphrase from the Book of Proverbs (chapter 23, verse 7). For our purposes we’ll apply it to everyone (male, female and otherwise) and extend it to “As a man writeth… so is he.” In 2016 we are what we say we are, and more particularly what we write we are. Our knowledge and expertise are demonstrated in no small way by our ability and desire to express that knowledge and expertise online. Want to be known as a marketing expert? You’d better have a blog, LinkedIn content or something else that demonstrates that expertise. Are you an educational thought leader? Hopefully your Twitter or Medium account attests to that. Pursuing a career in Python coding? You’re doing yourself a vocational disservice if you keep that knowledge to yourself and don’t demonstrate your chops on GitHub, StackOverflow or somewhere else.

This is where bots come in: their ability to scrape and interpret vast amounts of public information about you will make them able to locate candidates, determine their fit for a job, and determine the likely hiring outcome.

At this point I can hear legions of human resource professionals exclaiming “No bot has the judgment or insights of a seasoned recruiter. You’ll never replace good recruiting talent with a bot!”

This is pretty much exactly what professional baseball scouts told Billy Beane when he claimed he could get better scouting results from a nerd with an overgrown spreadsheet than from legions of seasoned scouting professionals. And we all know what happened next (hint: there a ton of sports analytics conferences and no baseball scouting conferences).

Automation will disrupt recruiting. It has already started to: bots will simply accelerate the process.

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  1. April 25, 2016

    […] #1 Bots Will Disrupt Recruiters in Four-to-Seven Years […]

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