The Evolution of Employment: Why Cyborgs Will Dominate Recruiting in 2016

The future of recruiting? Mr. Cyborg.

Who isn’t curious about the idea of the merging of man and machine as we see the exponential technological advances taking place in society today. Now while cyborgs may still be science fantasy for the time being, what I can say is that the world of business, and specifically my industry, recruiting, is being completely disrupted by the concept of pairing computers and human touch. Experienced software teams at companies like Hired.com, TheMuse.com and Gild are tackling the 400B talent sourcing market, bringing with them concepts such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, A/B testing and growth hacking — quite a different toolkit from that of traditional recruiters.

My prediction is that the sourcing industry will look completely different by the end of the year — and companies in dire need of top talent and the recruiting firms who support them will be at a huge disadvantage if they fail to embrace recent technological advancements and efficiencies available by taking a hybrid, cyborg-like, approach to hiring.

Algorithms now have the capability to hire more efficiently than humans (by 30%+). Intelligent machines can clear human bias, guessing and hunches with data and analysis, allowing technology to make decisions strictly based on fact. Looking at further data, NBER research cited in Bloomberg shows that the tenure of employees who are selected for a particular job based on algorithmic analysis are likely to stay with the company longer than their competing applicants leading to less turnover.

With all that being said, can any of us actually envision a world where we would hire a new employee site on scene, hand-picked by a computer — without meeting or interviewing them? If we are realistic with ourselves, I think most people would answer no. Admittedly, the flaw in this approach is that even with all of the advancements in technology — not all desired traits are quantifiable. This is where I see the necessity for the recruiting industry to take one step back from the edge of complete automation and embrace the aforementioned ‘cyborg’ model of hiring.

Here is what I envision as the right mix of human and machine:

All of this emerging hr technology can help manage the overwhelming first leg of the recruiting process. The early stage, mundane tasks like sourcing quality candidates can be easily completed utilizing data and algorithms. After passing through this initial technology gatekeeper — a filtered pool of candidates who are the best fit for the organization can be passed on to human recruiters. Hiring managers can focus on the final leg of the recruiting process — the interviews. This allows management to focus their limited time engaging with the best potential candidates. The results of adopting this ‘cyborg’ approach can be game-changing. Here at Ideal Candidate, a startup focused on recruiting sales executives, we’ve reduced the average time to hire by 32% using data, and we have an existing candidate pool consisting of thousands of sales executives who can instantly be matched to new roles we start recruiting for.

You may still think you can get by using your gut feeling and intuition to hire new employees, but I encourage everyone involved in recruiting to keep an open mind and consider leveraging technology to be more effective and efficient. The next time you sit down in front of a stack of 500 resumes at the end of a long work day looking for that ‘needle in a haystack’ new employee — remember that an algorithm could be doing this painstaking work for you…and you could be home with your family.

You can learn more about Ideal Candidate here.