Are Robots taking over Humans in the recruitment industry? 

So, are robots taking over recruitment? This is a question almost every industry today faces. Will automation make our jobs easier, and better? Will it make us more or less biased? Do we even trust robots? Can we trust the Albert Heijn automated checkout?? Based on the passionate response from the panelists and crowd at WeAreKeen’s first-ever recruiter meet-up, we’re still divided on the answers. (Except the Albert Heijn one, you can trust it.)

Last Thursday, we met up with 100 recruiters for a panel discussion — and delicious mini burgers — in the A’dam Tower. The topic was: “Are robots taking over recruitment?” Panelists included Rabobank’s Global Sourcing Lead Marcel van der Meer, founder, author of The-Robot-Proof-Recruiter, and keynote speaker Katrina Collier, and was moderated by Anna Brandt, my old friend (sorry Anna!) and currently at Mollie as an Executive Talent Advisor. What started as an organized panel discussion quickly turned into a lively and fiery discussion involving the whole crowd.

Marcel began the evening: “I’m lazy… I like to automate everything.” For Marcel, radical recruitment automation is the only way forward. Recruitment automation now includes everything from writing job ads and marketing to internal and external search, engagement, pre-screening and screening candidates, interview planning, and even the interview itself. 

But what Marcel was arguing was not for robots to do our recruitment job for us (wouldn’t that be nice?) but to use automation to make us as efficient as possible, showing us how to “be productive, not busy.”

Katrina Collier explained how automation highlights the importance of human interaction. “Human first,” Katrina told the crowd. This means, if you reject a candidate, call them, don’t email them. If you buy recruitment tech, make sure it was created by a recruiter or with a recruiter’s input. Don’t use technology for the sake of it — use technology to make recruitment an inclusive process, such as, a tool that can make job posts accessible to the dyslexic and visually-impaired. Humans should always be at the center.

So, back to the question: are robots taking over recruitment? Maybe yes, maybe no. But there’s another side to this question: how can robots make us better recruiters? Our panel discussion quickly became an interactive one, with audience members passionately shouting out and discussing amongst themselves. This shows not only that recruiters are opinionated on automation, but care deeply about how it can allow us more time and energy to focus on making genuine human connections especially in recruitment where the process is not always so human.

After all, this is what recruitment is about, and I’m incredibly proud of our team, panelists, and attendees for creating a space for this discussion. We want to continue exploring how automation and new technologies can make us better and smarter recruiters because after all, we are always #KeentoLearn.

If you want to join our community, learn more about what we do, and why we do it, follow us on LinkedIn to stay updated with future meet-ups and events, the WeAreKeen Academy, and other opportunities.

Happy recruiting ;-)

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