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The recruitment industry is dead – long live the recruitment industry!


As one of the first people to create an online job board back in the late 1990’s and having worked in online recruitment for some of the biggest players I’m confident we can see now predict the end of recruitment … well in the traditional sense anyway.

This very site – LinkedIn was built for networking and job hunting, yes today it is inhabited by every recruiter on the planet near as dam it, but as technology takes over and digital marketing empowers HR teams the world is getting smaller by the second, and that is putting a limit on the time that the recruitment industry can survive in its present form.

I sat recently in a meeting where some very clever developers demonstrated a platform which pretty much automated everything a recruiter can do, except it did it more quickly, more efficiently and it even had a ‘human touch’ (one of the phrases used was ‘it’s a numbers game with a touch of personality – a robot could do it’) …. so what happens when technology takes over? After all, soon we will no doubt all be meeting virtual friends at a virtual pub and having a virtual dinner. What then? Technology is speeding everything up and employers by 2017 – 2018 will have access to more tools, automation, virtual assistants, virtual recruiters… the recruitment industry’s days must be numbered – don’t you think? Look at the model of Amazon as an example – they began as a portal for business to sell to the mass market and now are turning into a one stop shop where more and more of their product is sourced and sold directly by them themselves cutting out the original customers that bought into their model in the beginning…. how does this relate to recruitment you might ask – well imagine a scenario where LinkedIn allowed networking on such a scale that a business wanting to recruit could immediately contact every single person who is suitable for a particular job. Yes, LinkedIn itself effectively began as a job-site and CV repository – now it is bringing potential employees closer and closer to the employers they want to be matched to…. OK, for now it’s the worlds best place for recruiters – but is it a step too far to say that cutting out the recruiter is only a small piece of code away now?

Recruitment is now an old man, he’s done really well and made a load of friends during his life, he’s had it all – money, even stardom! But his kids ‘Social Media’ and ‘Digital Marketing’ put him in a nursing home a couple of years ago and are having the conversation about when to come over and pull out the life support plug………… The robots are coming, they are in your pocket, soon it’s all going to be automation on an enormous scale and engagement through social in a virtual world …. and that dinosaur called recruitment who is stumbling toward the edge of the cliff will have to perform a miraculous metamorphosis or swiftly become extinct…. it’s already too late for him!

This is the evolution of things, digital has put he nails in the coffin of recruitment. 

I’d be really interested to hear the views of recruiters and how they plan to change their business’ over the coming months and years. It’s a really really interesting time for tech and those that bury their heads in the sand, unwilling to change or take notice will be the ones that are wiped out first.

The challenge will be for traditional recruiters to mix the new tech with the old approach becoming flexible, the industry is changing – what do you think? I welcome your comments and suggestions.

Posted on May 27, 2017

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