The Future of the Executive Search Industry in the Digital Era
Searching for the right person for a role can be like trying to find a needle in the proverbial haystack; while making the wrong hire is extremely costly for any business. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionising the search process and helping to reduce this risk. Mindcor InterSearch reflects on these changes and the impact of AI on the future of the recruitment industry.
Recruiters have been using software for years to help them scan through thousands of CVs by searching for keywords and phrases. More recently, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been applied to proactively identify suitable candidates by tracking their online activities. It can, for example, identify candidates who apply for sales roles and target them with adverts for similar positions.
AI is also able to compile a more comprehensive picture of a candidate beyond the content of their CV in seconds by analysing their online behaviour, trends and patterns across various social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. That’s why people entering the job market are often advised not to post photographs or comments that they will live to regret when recruiters conducting background checks unearth their history.
In the US, multinationals such as Google and L’Oreal use AI-driven chatbots (robots) which simulate real-time conversation to schedule interviews and conduct initial online screening conversations 24/7. Biometric and psychometric tools analyse the quality of the candidate’s responses, voice and pace of speech, facial expressions and body language. This technology can pre-determine a candidate’s fit with the company, and predict how likely a person is to accept a job and succeed in it.
Does this mean that robots could replace the executive search consultant?
Researchers at University College in London believe that AI and machine learning algorithms will only go so far in the recruitment process, and that human intelligence will remain pivotal to a successful hire. Although it is technically possible to replace human interviewers with chatbots, this will not be as effective as having professional experts analyse interviews with the additional benefit of information provided by computer algorithms.
While technology can detect certain subtleties in a candidate’s voice or body language during a video interview, researchers believe that human qualities such as empathy, insight and contextual understanding cannot be replicated by software. For example, AI may incorrectly interpret a candidate’s interview nerves as a sign of dishonesty, and a single defective algorithm could disregard a suitable candidate.
Rather than replacing humans, AI can automate the repetitive, mundane, time-consuming tasks and provide additional data for informed hiring decisions.
Executive and managerial positions require a more experienced approach and with digitisation we find that our clients, more than ever, need Executive Search skills to analyse all the available data and to simplify the process of making a suitable hire.
While the digital-only approach may initially appear to be cheaper, it can prove more expensive and time-consuming in the long run due to the high failure rate and allied risks such as reputational damage.
Mindcor InterSearch specifically employs consultants who add value at a strategic level with a thorough understanding of both clients and candidates – their needs, values, culture and industries.
Because technology has disrupted the way professionals identify and assess candidates, Executive Search firms are no longer rated according to our research capability, but on our reputation, personal relationships and success rate. We believe that the way we approach individuals professionally and discreetly, build trust, and engage them in meaningful conversations about career opportunities is impossible to replicate with technology.
To find out how Mindcor InterSearch can combine AI with our personal expertise to find the right person for your business, please call any of our experienced Executive Search consultants who are not robots!