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2017 Automation Nation Report: Recruiter Perspectives on an Automated Future

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When most people think of automation, they think about the rise of robot overlords and downfall of American jobs  — at least the headlines and Hollywood movies make it seem that way. But we wanted to know what recruiters thought about the job automation hype and fears. Turns out, the folks who know hiring best are not so concerned.

The decision makers who discover, hire and cultivate our nation’s talent foresee a different future: one where machine learning and artificial technology work with us to automate our most tedious tasks — so we can focus on the human stuff like forging emotional connections and enabling human interactions. And when it comes to their own job, they’re already using automation to make things smoother, both for themselves and the job seeker.  

In our first-ever Automation Nation Report, we asked recruiters how automation is changing their day-to-day work, what the future of hiring in America looks like, and how they’re preparing for it. We learned recruiters are confident automation and AI will make their jobs easier and more efficient. We learned recruiters don’t believe machines are coming for our jobs anytime soon, and that robots will never be able to take over certain human responsibilities. And, we learned they’re excited to see how industries will evolve as automation is implemented throughout the country.

To sum it up, after surveying over 800 recruiters from all corners of the U.S., we learned recruiters are feeling pretty good about the robot future to come — and have a positive outlook on how it will impact their job (and your’s too!) in the months, years and decades to come. Some key learnings include:

Recruiters feel confident in an automated future.

Despite the headlines, almost all surveyed recruiters have an either positive (49%) or indifferent (42%) attitude when it comes to automation/AI in respect to their own jobs:

  • 43% believe automation/AI will make their jobs better, compared to only 7% who say it will make it worse
  • 49% of Tech and IT recruiters feel positively toward automation/AI in their own jobs — 46% toward the overall workforce

Automation isn’t happening overnight.

Recruiters don’t anticipate immediate job displacement:

  • The majority (55%) say no one in their company will be displaced in the next three years due to automation

As automation becomes a reality, hiring too must evolve.

Recruiters hope getting rid of routine tasks and evolving hiring strategies will usher in a new future:

  • A strong majority (72%) of surveyed recruiters believe their approach to hiring will need to evolve as automation/AI becomes more prevalent
  • Thirteen percent of recruiters say automation has already impacted their hiring plans
    • Nearly one in four (22%) say leadership at their company is discussing automation’s
      impact or preparing for it


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