#Recruiters: Why 80% of you will disappear in the next 5 years.

You’ve heard of obsolete skills? Without a doubt…For those of you who missed the beginning, here’s the takeaway: in the next 5 years max, 50% of skills that people hold today will be rendered totally useless by technology. #BrutalTruth

Look around you: technology is everywhere, and the least you can say is that it’s off to a good start. It began by knocking out bookstores (Amazon), taxi drivers (Uber, Lyft…), hotels (AirBnB), photography studios (Instagram), matrimonial agencies (Meetic, Match, Tinder…), SMS (WhatsApp)…even industries supposedly impossible to disrupt, like spacial conquest, are now threatened (Elon Musk’s SpaceX)!

Ok but for ME, it’s different!


#1 – How often do you think (deep down) that recruiters will escape the threat?

“Yes, but me, I deal with humans! And that, technology could NEVER replace!” exclaimed a recruiter who is confident, arrogant, megalomaniac, and oblivious to the revolution that is occurring…^^ (FYI, surgeons operate using robots today…they also deal with humans!)

Wait wait wait!!! Slow down for a second: How many recruiters have an address book more solid than LinkedIn (or Viadeo or Xing)? How many are capable of reliably analyzing the potential of their candidates in less than 12 minutes (new assessment technologies)? How many are able to conduct 50 candidate interviews at the same time (pre-recorded interview technologies)? How many are in a position to evaluate the financial and social ROIs of the recruitment that they engage in, externally and internally (i.e. predictive recruitment)?

No need to rack your brain about it, the answer is… 0%, none of them, nobody, nada!

Welcome to the world of two-tiered recruitment!


#2 – The small world of recruitment is fracturing…

What’s shocking, is how the world of recruitment is in the process of splitting into two:

  • On one hand, those who understand that the train is already moving…and apply themselves as much as possible, even if it’s not always obvious (which is quite normal, after all even habits that have been solidly anchored for years are being uprooted…)
  • And the others, who hear the roar of the wave approaching but cover it up to avoid the seeing it (because they are too threatened or because they are too busy diverting their attention elsewhere…).

At the same time, this is not at all surprising… all you need to do is look again to understand that this phenomenon is normal. Well, I mean “normal” in the statistical sense.

Do you hear the sound of the barrier approaching?


#3 – Learn to surf or take the wave in full… let’s say “with full force”!^^

In all revolutions, there are winners and losers, those who wake up on time and the others. And the trick to avoid drowning lies in just the “on time” part!

In times of change, there is always a constant: At first you start to hear talk, but you tell yourself you still have time (and it’s true!). And then it becomes recurrent, the talk becomes stronger and stronger, and you tell yourself: “everything’s fine, everything’s fine, we’ll deal with it later…” and then one day “BOOM”! You discover that the world has in fact changed and that you no longer understand it, you are left behind, and then you panic.

And everyone knows, nothing good happens when you panic.

Remember this: when a recruiter complains, nobody cares.


#4 – THIS is a Wake Up Call!

Most sincerely, I have only one piece of advice to give you: get started as soon as possible, don’t wait for answers to your questions, in order to evolve your practices and to equip yourself in a professional manner… Keep in mind that I am not telling you this to boost business for guys like me… Most well-established publishers don’t rely on your contract to pay the bills (change is known, and the growth will be sought – also – abroad now…).

If I’m telling you this, it’s because the world has already changed and without a big effort on your part, you risk being the tomorrow’s bookseller, the aggrieved hotelier or the pissed off taxi driver… and you, you won’t have a “lobby of angry recruiters” to block off the airports or Grand Central station… Angry taxi drivers that prevent travelling for vacation, that annoys people. But a recruiter who complains, nobody cares.

Analyze your practices, objectively. And draw the obvious conclusions.


#5 – The ultimate test…

Hey, take the test: Do you have a hard time attracting good candidates? Do you find sourcing complicated? Do you spend more than 3 minutes on a stack of 200 applications? Do 20-40% of your candidates (the good ones first) end up working elsewhere? Do you keep recruiting  “average” collaborators for jobs? If you are not fully prepared to target the best candidates and evaluate their potential in a reliable manner, or if you can’t afford to pay operation managers enough to integrate new talent, it’s just… normal. But at the same time, in 2016, it’s equally… terribly worrisome!

Would you rather die with an idealist vision of the professional world, or transform yourself and survive?


#6 – Which camp do you want to be a part of? #MakeAChoice

Keep this in mind: The best recruiters (those who recruit talent capable of performing and thriving…and who stay in the job for more than 18 months) are not superhumans or super technophiles with a different processor plugged into their brains, they are not the ones with a “natural appetite” for technology… they are just the ones who understand that in a digitalized world, the practices and tools needed to do their jobs effectively are no longer the same as they used be 5, 10, or 15 years ago. And that today, there are ways to track what works and what doesn’t work in recruitment!

So – if you haven’t already – wake up and embrace the change… or come to terms with the fact that you’re one of the recruiters who’s going to disappear, and retrain as soon as possible!

(After all, there is nothing besides recruitment in life… 😀 !!)


David Bernard

CEO @ Co-founder @AssessFirst

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