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There's a new member of the recruitment team and his name is Al Gorithms. Al is able to parse through a mountain of résumés and find suitable candidates faster than you can send a tweet. He can quickly trawl social media to determine whether candidates are team players, get clues about their work ethic and pinpoint personality traits that may be missing from a standard résumé. And Al isn't swayed by any bias—he looks solely at data.

With talents like these, it's not surprising that Al, a building block of artificial intelligence (AI), is having a significant impact on the recruitment process, replacing many of the tasks traditionally performed by people. But that doesn't mean that we should be writing an obituary for recruiting professionals—far from it. While some processes are indeed becoming obsolete, they are often mundane repetitive tasks that people are happy to delegate to a robot colleague.

Still, though AI won't replace recruiters, it is changing the roles they play. Here are some ways that using AI in recruiting enables you to be more thoughtful about hiring.

More Opportunities for Personal Connections

Though AI in recruitment is still new, it's gaining traction. According to the Harvey Nash Human Resources 2017 Survey, 15 percent of HR leaders think AI and automation are already impacting their workplace and 40 percent anticipate that it will affect their plans over the next few years.

As AI technology becomes more commonplace, the differentiating factor for organizations will be the quality of their recruitment team and its ability to be creative and strategic in attracting high-quality candidates.With Al taking care of repetitive tasks, recruiters will have more time to focus on strategic issues and long-term planning. They will also have more time to build personal relationships with candidates. Sure AI can identify talent, but it's not going to hire the talent—that requires building a rapport with candidates to assess their cultural fit for the company.

With technology speeding up and potentially improving the hiring process, recruiters will become talent advisors to the business, using their market knowledge to steer hiring decisions.

Room for Thoughtful Data Interpretation

Recruitment in the future will be a symbiosis of man and machine, each playing to the other's strengths. Data will only get you so far—recruiters will still need to understand how to interpret that data and ask the right questions.

It's also important to give automated recruitment tools the right parameters in the first place. For example, one of the great strengths of technology is that it is impartial and can help cut through the unconscious bias that makes human recruiters unwittingly prefer certain candidates. But machines can still be biased if they are programmed that way. Machines are designed by people, after all.

The most successful recruiters will be the ones who understand the software they are using, know how to program it effectively and are able to analyze the data that emerges. The bottom line is that recruiters need to not only keep up with technology, but also master it.

The Chance to Be a Marketer

It's a candidate's market. Top candidates can be picky about where they want to work, so modern recruiters need to put a marketing hat on to ensure their organization is presented as an appealing place to work.

With Al freeing up their time, recruiters need to develop an integrated digital marketing strategy to ensure their brand is presented consistently across media channels and that candidates are given the best possible experience across the board. For example, speed is key. If you take too long to contact a candidate after their application is submitted, or if the application process itself is too complex, then that candidate will go knocking on your competitor's door.

The digital economy is having a profound effect on recruitment and the skills that recruiters need. It's a real opportunity for recruiters who are data-driven, people-focused and have a keen eye for branding and marketing to take strategic center stage.

Photo: Creative Commons