Robot Recruiter

Addressing fears of the ‘robot recruiter’ | Recruiters Weekly News

Recruitment must value long term planning

Britain braces for turbulence in the jobs market after an inconclusive general election in the run up to Brexit. But there is a growing sense of time running out if we are to avoid recruitment chaos. So how can an industry achieve stability in these uncertain times?

96 per cent fall in EU nursing applications

Although recruitment is always at the top of the agenda here at eBoss, it is a rare occasion that brings the industry to the fore on the evening news. It is a shame, then, that when recruitment does take the spotlight, it is not always for more positive reasons.

The story that cannot have escaped our readers’ attention this week is of course the news that the NHS experienced a 96 per cent drop-off of nursing applications received from mainland Europe. The year-on-year figure represents the largest fall in history.

Meanwhile, new language assessment requirements for non-EU nurses mean that the situation is unlikely to be resolved even if the country does adopt a more outward, global approach, post-Brexit.

Understandably, the majority of news coverage was focused on the impact on services, but it is perhaps the clearest example of the challenges facing recruiters in the short-to-medium term. In a results-orientated industry, the quickest hire or the lowest cost option will not always produce the most effective outcomes.

Australia: rising wages won’t cost jobs

Retaining key staff is crucial for business leaders seeking stability as they plan for the future. Yet one of the more intuitive solutions to this growing issue – regular wage increases – has often had its effectiveness questioned.

The concept of raising minimum wages is seen by some commentators as a deterrent to job creation. But is this really the case? This week, the Sydney Morning Herald has put forward a strong argument to the contrary: that, in fact, there is no evidence to suggest that minimum wage increases affect rates of employment in any significant manner.

Using data from United States National Employment Law Project which covers a 71 year period from 1938 to 2009, the article finds no link between incremental wage increases and falling rates of recruitment.

Although salaries are not considered as important in staff retention among employees themselves (when compared to factors such as health, working environment or happiness), the study may allay the fears of policy-makers who have used job creation worries as a reason for avoiding wage increases in the past.

The Australian Fair Work Commission announced this week that it would raise the national minimum wage by 3.3 per cent from July 1st this year.

HR trapped between targets and best practices

An interesting piece over at recruitmentbuzz has identified the sticky situation that many HR operatives find themselves in these days: caught between an expectation to fill vacancies and an obligation to complete tasks in line with regulation. It is putting many HR personnel in a problematic position where they feel pressured into making a hire before a candidate’s suitability has been properly assessed.

The piece identified the low rate of background checks conducted by overworked HR departments, balancing that with the threat of £200,000 fines for businesses who recruit ineligible workers.

Yet the sophisticated HR department is finding solutions to these challenges, and learning to trust its recruitment software to complete much of the heavy lifting in these areas. Candidate tracking and social media deep searches will not only locate potential new recruits, but also assess the suitability and status of each candidate. A small investment in new facilities can help relieve the burden on already stressed employees and – as we discussed earlier – happiness is the key to retaining valued members of your team.

Comment: addressing fears of the ‘robot recruiter’

Finally, we discovered a thorough piece over at Recruitment Agency Now, asking if algorithms will one day replace human recruiters. As this is a subject very much in the eBoss wheelhouse, I wanted to talk through some of the points raised by the article, and present a developers’ take on the topic.

It was encouraging to see some of the many positives of machine learning and recruitment software being discussed, as well as confronting a few of the genuine concerns that many in our industry still hold. Perhaps the most familiar of these was that of Claire Leigh of Brampton Recruitment, who pointed out computers’ capabilities in quantitative analysis are always tempered by their limitations when it comes to contextualising information, or performing qualitative assessments of data.

It’s true that automated systems are experts at big data, but somewhat limited in their soft skills – but that is where the recruitment expert comes in. Learning how to deploy your assets comes with industry experience and, in that regard, your recruitment software is just like any other employee. That is one viewpoint which is usually missed in the (often dystopian) vision of artificial intelligence in the workplace. Either way, it is a fascinating piece, and well worth a read.