What does Recruitment Process Automation mean for TA skills development?

There isn’t any doubt in anyone’s mind that automation and AI adoption are going to be key trends for Talent Acquisition in 2024. During the 2024 Fearless Forecast webinar earlier this week, Kevin Wheeler shared his insights into what that the increase of recruitment automation processes will mean for those working in Talent Acquisition.

If you said you wanted to automate the heck out of recruiting, could you do it? Yes you could. There are only certain things that can only be partially automated, and that’s where recruiter skills will become really valuable. But I think we have to be really realistic about what can automation do, and even though automation can’t do it 100% now, we have to understand how we can use those capabilities right now.

This is an extract from Kevin Wheeler’s 2024 Fearless Forecast slides.


There’s this thing called the 80/20 rule. When something can do something you do 80% as well as you do it, it almost certainly takes over. For example, the early automobile could do 80% of what a horse could do, and so the horse (as a means of primary transportation) went out of business. This means that even though a piece of technology may not be as good as you right now, it doesn’t mean that it won’t replace you in the long-, or even short-, term future.

So, what can recruiters and TA professionals do right now to continue to develop their skills and stay relevant in the face of increasing tech and AI adoption?

A lot of HR jobs – scheduling interviews and things like that –are jobs that are relatively easy to be automated, and they will be automated. IBM laid off a lot of mid- to low-level HR people and said they will never bring them back – they’re going to replace them all with AI. So, the challenge for anyone in one of those mid-level jobs is to think “how do I get higher level skills? How do I develop myself to have bigger and better skills?”

A big challenge for us right now is that we don’t yet know what some of the good things are going to be, and some of the things that we should start learning are yet. We’re currently in this experimental phase.

The key for people working in Talent Acquisition right now is that the broadest skill set you can get. Remain as agile and as flexible as you can. If an opportunity that looks good to you comes along, accept it, learn as much as you can from it, and don’t be upset if it goes away after a while and you have to get another one. The most important thing is going to be this mindset of agility, flexibility, experimentation, and learning; this will be our ultimate survival skill. Constantly learning, constantly being curious about what’s going on, networking with lots of people, and not just staying in our little silo and hoping we’ll be ok. That’s the worst possible strategy you could have.

Watch the Webinar: Phoenix or Dodo? Fearless Forecast 2024


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