The Future of Jobs, Robots and Recruiting

By Amanda Van Nuys, Senior Director of Marketing, Jobvite

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Welcome to the new world, where artificial intelligence and automation are changing everything -- from how we interact with one another, to how we entertain ourselves, to how we make our way from Point A to Point B. And that's not all. Machine learning and algorithms are also increasingly being integrated into daily business, impacting the very heart of how we work, what we do, and where we're needed.

Not surprisingly, these changes are having a demonstrable impact on both job seekers and recruiting teams -- and both sides have some adapting to do in order to stay competitive. That's because the jobs of the future are also evolving. We're all familiar with the idea of driverless cars and delivery drones, but programmable robots are also hard at work leveraging algorithms to pick apples (at a rate of one per second!) and stitch military combat pants (way quicker than human hands). And this is just the beginning. Before you get too comfortable thinking your job is safe -- after all, you've got a college degree! -- consider that around 60 percent of all jobs today can be at least 30 percent automated. Robots now outperform human surgeons in low-risk, outpatient surgeries; they're teaching English to students in Japan and Korea; and RAVN is automating document review faster and more accurately than any human's capacity.

Bottom line: When it comes to this shifting landscape, you don't have to phased out to be dragged in.

So what's the proper response for a company intent on hiring the best talent?

First, consider that job seekers are scared. They think automation might eventually render them obsolete -- but the reality, proven by history, is that advances in technology tend to create more jobs than they eliminate. Think about it: When cars replaced horse-drawn buggies, we might have said farewell to the buggy driver -- but we quickly invented dozens of new occupations. The need for well-constructed roads exploded, travel took off and highways were populated with buildings, hotels, restaurants, and so on. Given that experience, it's understandable that McKinsey now predicts AI advances will help spur annual GDP growth of 1.4 percent worldwide.

Here's the kicker, though: The jobs created won't be for everyone. If fast-working robots and algorithms are steering us toward greater efficiency, job seekers should expect to see a sharp decline in the need for people to perform routine, mundane tasks. And that, in turn, means they should be prepared to perform non-routine, cognitive, strategic work. As most business executives have likely seen already, the most competitive employees of the future will be people who can design, build, work with, and train the machines.

And that means acquiring the right kind of skills. Creativity, innovation, leadership, emotional intelligence, adaptability and problem-solving will become the least automatable -- and therefore the most important -- qualifications on a resume. As you might have surmised, these are not necessarily things you can measure or learn in school. Don't get us wrong: Higher education is most definitely an advantage, but the name of an applicant's school won't likely matter as much as what they've studied and how well they've learned.

Recruiters, this is the moment when you freeze up slightly. You know these sorts of soft skills are already the hardest ones to find. But you've probably already realized that credentials -- the big-name universities, the years of tenure in a single position -- aren't leading you to the best hires anymore. So make no mistake: What counts going forward are these tech-friendly, yet tech-resistant, skills. Figure out how to find them, rank them using innovative new scoring mechanisms, and lure them in.

Of course, this ongoing evolution also requires recruiters to step up their game. They'll need to understand how to work with software applications to analyze data and apply insight, all while using their uniquely human abilities to engage with candidates. Robots might be able to run formulas, but only people possess the gut instinct for the "right" hire. And businesses will need to supplement their recruiting efforts by investing in an employment brand that aggressively speaks to the candidates they most desire.

No doubt, businesses looking to snag the right workers for this future economy have their work cut out for them -- as do job seekers looking to make themselves as indispensable as possible in a future full of technology. For both sides of the equation, however, the mandate is clear: Your future depends on how well you can blend your intuition and expertise with the AI world around you. Proceed wisely.

Oct 2, 2017
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