What Recruiting Will Look Like in 2029

We all know that recruiting will not look like it does now in 10 years. But what will it be like? Which skills will be useful, and which ones will be obsolete?

After several generations of developing more powerful machine-learning tools and neural networks, computers will be able to speak at a level where humans cannot tell if they are speaking to a machine or a human. They will have vastly increased knowledge of human social behavior after years spent analyzing social media and online interaction. They will have analyzed vast amounts of data and be highly skilled in narrow areas of expertise. Their power will be integrated into programs and apps, guiding the user at each step. While human judgement will still be valued and necessary, many of the other traditional duties of the recruiting profession will likely be replaced with automated tools.

Scenarios are useful tools for thinking out of the box, for challenging us to think about what possible things might happen so that we can prepare for any eventuality. Some scenarios are very “out there” and may never be reality. But by thinking of these wild possibilities we shed light on the elements of them that could happen and what we would do if they did.

The real value of scenarios is helping us make contingency plans and helping us psychologically come to grips with an emerging future.

I have sketched out four scenarios for recruiting in 2029. What do you think?  Which one is most likely to happen? How do you react to these? How would you change your behavior if any of them were to come true?  Please leave your comments, vote for the most likely one, and leave your ideas for other scenarios.

Scenario 1: The Automated Function

Computers, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain will have automated recruiting. Hiring managers will not need recruiters, as they will have access to powerful apps that will do everything from creating job requirements to sourcing, screening, assessing, and recommending an appropriate salary. They will also communicate with candidates and, by using personality screening, engage them in ways guaranteed to interest them. With access to corporate data, strategic plans and other business data, these automated systems would help decide which positions should be permanent, contracted, or part-time.

Candidates also have access to automated tools that locate potential openings for them, assess them for those positions using the candidate’s social media, and offering them self- assessments. Apps will analyze corporate financial data to ensure that a firm is stable. They will also help match personal and career aspirations to the position. These apps interact with the corporate apps and together they recommend position and candidates.

Scenario 2: The Augmented Function

Computers, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain will augment recruiting. Hiring managers will need only brief interaction with a recruiter, as they will get advice from online tools and apps. Recruiters will remain essential to hiring success, as they will need to engage candidates, understand and overcome objections, and close on offers. While the computers will help identify job requirements and offer advice on selection, the recruiter will still make final decisions along with the hiring manager.

Candidates will use apps for access to more in-depth information about the company, its strategic and financial goals, and possible career opportunities. Tools such as Glassdoor will have evolved to be able to predict whether or not a candidate would be happy in that organization based on their personality and company knowledge.

Scenario 3: The Self-service Function

Hiring managers will be offered a series of self-help apps that can give them some independence from recruiters. For example, they could choose to use an app to help them create job requirements and give them advice on where to advertise the job. Another app might provide candidate assessment and rank candidates for the hiring manager. Still other apps could create offers and suggest salaries. But whatever apps they choose, they will still require a recruiter for advice and to do certain things such as interview candidates and close them.

Candidates will also have access to these self-service apps and use them to locate ideal positions that match their skills, personality, and values. The apps would provide comparisons of various similar jobs, and provide pros and cons about each one depending on the company reputation and Glassdoor reviews, the candidates’ values and skills, and, when available, the reputation and personality profile of the hiring manager.

Scenario 4: A New Profession Arises — Talent Concierges

Because automation has progressed so far, there is no need for anyone with the traditional recruiter skill set. Sourcing is automated, as is matching, screening, assessment, and all the administrative duties. A new job has emerged: Talent Concierge. This person engages candidates, closes them, and provides career guidance. They also influence and guide hiring managers using analytics and big data to help shape opinions. The talent concierge also has coaching skills and does high-level quality control and troubleshooting of the automated systems. Talent concierges may also guide candidates and provide advice and career coaching.

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Technology is the way of life practically for everyone in all industries. In the field of recruitment, the impact of technology and the data it captures is becoming more pronounced in terms of enhancing the hiring experience for both the candidates and the hiring teams.

The labor market has become largely candidate-driven, which means that recruiters and companies are working harder to attract top talent. According to current  recruitment stats, on average businesses use up to 24 recruiting technologies to help improve their hiring process.


Technology and the data we capture from it has opened up new possibilities for recruiters and hiring managers to reach candidates. It is to these ends that recruiters need to incorporate technology in their hiring strategies.


The prevalence of technology has created higher levels of expectations from jobseekers who want a fast, straightforward application process. If you haven’t noticed yet, talent acquisition has become more like a marketer’s game for HR and recruitment professionals. It attempts to build a strong employer brand and a fun corporate culture, and then actively promote them on social media and other online platforms.

With each day that hiring proves to be a drag, recruiters are more likely to lose the best candidates to other firms, while companies end up spending more of their resources than what is necessary. 

To counteract this, here are some ideas to help you accelerate the hiring process using a digitally-driven approach.  


First-round video or mobile interviews offer flexible options for recruiters and job applicants alike since they help eliminate chances of delays in schedule and lengthy hours preparing for a face-to-face meet. Data says more than 60 percent of companies are now using video interviews for their hiring.


Among various recruitment trends related to company branding, this one needs to be explored more for its potential in increasing the response rate to job postings from roughly 12 to 34 percent. Corporate videos published on a company’s careers website enables candidates to get to know more about the company, its culture, and job offerings all in one place.


An ATS is a great help for recruiters and employers to sort through thousands of applications submitted to them, and with more and more people on mobile and social platforms, you need your ATS to be capable of leveraging these channels. When leveraging your ATS, consider your organization’s needs; i.e. accessing your candidates’ social media profile on LinkedIn, for example.


Technology has many salient features in itself, among which are its collaborative nature and its preponderance to data-driven analysis. These two attributes find great favor with hiring managers and recruiters when it comes to finding the candidate with the best fit for a particular role or company as well as employee retention.


For one, when firms use technology to collaborate with one another, they are deemed to be “best in class” for making it easy for their recruitment teams to manage the hiring process – from assessing candidates to exchanging feedback and making hiring recommendations.


Companies are also relying on technology to give them analytical data and insights in monitoring employee performance or tracking sources of hire so they can target the right candidates on the right channels.


Lately, however, the role of technology in preventing bias from marring the recruitment process for candidates has also come to light. As a backgrounder, Harvard University designed the so-called Implicit Association Tests to check on people’s bias, which may be unconscious at times, against others. The same test has been utilized by a global media outfit to increase awareness about diversity in the workplace and how it should be celebrated rather than avoided.

Since bias appears to be a natural tendency among humans, the idea is for recruiters to use machine learning or artificial intelligence technologies to reduce human judgment in the selection of candidates. For example, software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is being hailed in the HR sphere because it provides recruiters a candidate matching system that automatically tracks work performance alone, with no room for subjective, unfair, or emotional bias against the applicant.

Technology is seen as something that can help HR practitioners realize their own personal bias and enable them to take countermeasures. No less than Microsoft is raising the bar in campaigning for equal employment opportunities, choosing to recruit candidates with autism as coders as part of an experimental hiring program. The tech giant’s overall strategy was to immerse the apprentices in an engaging, less structured work environment using tools that were apt for their pace and style of learning.

These examples demonstrate how by using technology or the right recruitment software, organizations, specifically HR, talent acquisition or recruiters, can discover brand-new ways to connect with talent.  

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