After reading a recent interesting article last week on BBC News (read the full article here) around Artificial Intelligence in recruitment with pro’s and con’s and non-biased views from multiple sources, I wanted to give you my take on it, as a professional recruiter with over 20 years in the industry as a retained head-hunter.

I think AI will have its value as another tool in the arsenal of businesses needing to recruit, but technology/AI has its challenges. Let’s be honest, I can’t even get my office Google Echo to understand “play Frank Sinatra” half the time! But seriously, if I look back in my career, job boards like Monster and Jobsite were going to take over the recruitment industry and make roles redundant… it never happened! Then it was LinkedIn… I remember being asked by Dee Doke of The Recruiter back then to sit on a panel for recruitment owners and my subject was “Linkedin: Friend or Foe” and again everyone then talked about it taking jobs out of the industry. But for me LinkedIn in set itself up as business networking tool and everyone jumped on it and over the last few years LinkedIn have restructured the back end and have packaged it as a sales and recruitment tool, and now we have AI.

As a practice, we have divisions that use job boards, we do use LinkedIn and we are even integrating some AI tools ourselves, but for me to date, rather than succeeding in taking over the recruitment industry, I find they have caused a brain drain in a large part of our industry. Everything being automated and process driven, whilst helpful, does take away from the important human element.

I’ve seen this quote a lot recently “Hire the person, not the CV – skills can be taught, attitude can’t” and I wholeheartedly agree. For an individual looking for a role, it’s almost impossible to get our whole history onto a CV, but as a human, we can engage and discuss their experience and transferable skills and look at attitude and potential… whereas the AI/computer automatically ‘says no’.

In summary, I am not against the technology, but someone’s livelihood or first steps in their career being decided by a computer reading a piece of paper/CV would worry me greatly. Real, professional recruiters are not worried as they work closely with each individual to get to know them inside and out. It is a hard but rewarding job if done well!

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