3 Technology Predictions for Recruiting in 2017

Ed Newman

By now you have probably read a dozen articles with predictions and trends for Talent Acquisition in 2017. You've probably read things like TA will finally get a "seat at the table," or TA will start using data to make better decisions and partner with finance to show bottom line impact.

These same articles preach that there will be more focus on employer branding, and a big emphasis on better candidate experience.  Additionally, we will focus on forming strategic partnerships with hiring managers to better understand their business. Of course, there will be much ado about artificial intelligence and machine learning, and how technology will finally be leveraged to create strategic advantage.

I know this not only because I have read the same articles.  I know this because I have been in the recruiting industry for thirty years, and it seems like the same predictions are made year over year.  For that reason I am not going to try and go big and list every trend and dream we have been chasing for decades.

Instead I will make three very solid technology predictions for recruiting in 2017:

There will be an influx of A.I. and machine learning pretenders There is no question that A.I., machine learning, and data science are coming of age.  There is a new article every week with all sorts of information ranging from the definitions and terminology to prediction of the inevitable robot that will replace all recruiters.

In 2016 we saw quite a few start-ups with A.I. at the core for a variety of niche solutions.  However, this also means every big legacy technology provider will be under pressure to keep up with them.  In fact, you have probably already started to hear buzz about things like personalization, predictive intelligence, automated text and chat bots all on the roadmap for the near future.  You will see features that will match a candidate's social profile to jobs, workflow driven text conversations, and a whole lot of algorithms aimed at identifying the highest quality candidates.

But machine learning is not something that can just be bolted on as a feature.  It needs to be in the DNA of the platform.  The machines need to actually learn from the user's behavior - getting smarter over time.  If the underlying technology infrastructure is not changed - it will just be a slick feature that might look cool in a demo.

In reality, it will be a lot like how the legacy applicant tracking vendors slapped on a "login with LinkedIn feature" and claimed to be social, or how Resumix (still used by NASA) claimed that their manually maintained taxonomy is an artificially intelligent knowledge base.

The tech giants will continue to invade our space In case you hadn't been paying attention, Microsoft acquired LinkedIn - which has been the 800 pound gorilla of recruiting tech for the last several years.  And let's not forget that Microsoft was not the only interested party.  Salesforce was also putting on the moves.  Since that deal was announced we have seen Facebook launch Workplace, and Google start to alpha test a machine learning based job search api.

What does all this mean?

We will spend more time discussing this in 2017, but for now let's just say that its clear the war for data is on.  We also noted that Amazon added a Job Board service to its AWS Educate program.  While this has a fairly narrow and specific focus on entry level cloud jobs, it is still a toe in the water.  We would never bet against Amazon busting a move into this territory in the future.

Voice recognition is the next big user interface shift It seems like most of the world is just catching up to the hype of the mobile revolution, but this year we will see the beginning of the next user interface shift.And I am not talking about Google Glass.

With the development of Siri, Alexa, and Google Now - voice recognition has taken huge leaps forward, and we are well above the 90% accuracy range.  Those are just a few of the platforms you may have heard of.  It is estimated that in the next five years that more than 50% of the internet traffic will be driven by voice.  By HR Tech in October you will see examples of voice powered search for both candidates and recruiters.

Browsers?  We don't need no stinking browsers!

---

Do you agree with these predictions?  What other technology predictions to you think might surface in 2017?