Rapid changes in the TA sphere mean recruiters need to sharpen certain proficiencies.

Hold onto your recruiting hats, folks. In many companies, complexities in the talent-acquisition sphere are going to require new out-of-the-HR-box skills for recruiters and a rethink of the TA role.

These insights come from a soon-to-be-released study on how artificial intelligence and talent-acquisition tools are changing the recruiting process—and what skills recruiters will need to fulfill their future mission.

“Recruiters’ roles will become less about finding candidates and more about being strategic in their relationship management and in trying to help the organization understand who’s available,” says study author Robin Erickson, principal researcher at the Conference Board.

The first skill recruiters will need moving forward is focused on analyzing data produced by the AI tools that are sifting through enormous amounts of data to find candidates.

“Talent-acquisition professionals are going to need a solid understanding of how insights are derived from the data … [and] they’re also going to need to use that data to reveal insights and make predictions,” says Erickson, who presented the results at the organization’s 2019 Talent Acquisition Conference in October.

These tasks include defining hypotheses surrounding data acquisition and analysis, looking at objectives and making sure the data make sense, and knowing whether or not the intended outcomes are achievable.

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The second skill centers on tech savviness. “Recruiters in the future are going to need technology training and the ability to select, manage and improve platforms,” says Erickson.

Recruiters also need to be prepared to expand their business partner role to become trusted advisors. That means upping their game on talent-acquisition marketing and relationship management.

“I think recruiting will become more and more automated but there’s going to be important steps along a journey where you’re going to need to have a person [involved] in the candidate journey,” she says. “And, they’re going to need more skills around social media as marketers. Look for inspiration in what the marketing team is doing. [Recruiters] need to be able to sell positions and teams to potential employees as much as anything else.”

Along the way, recruiters will have to manage the complexities inherent in their new role. For example, that means dealing with data-privacy protection and bias that can creep, unintentionally, into AI talent-acquisition tools.

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One solution is to designate an HR-technology specialist who assesses and improves new TA technology and promotes user adoption, Erickson says.

Finally, some worry that AI will eliminate jobs, but the complexity surrounding TA will continue to require the skills of human beings in the recruiting roles.

“I do think that they will have jobs,” Erickson says, “but they’re going to look different because they’re going to need new skills.”

Maura Ciccarelli is freelance writer based in Southeastern Pennsylvania. She can be reached at [email protected]

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