What's New?


2024 – Robots or Humans?

Posted by Laura Bell

17-Jul-2014 11:56:04


By Laura Bell, Marketing & Communications Intern

Maybe it’s just me, but whenever I think ‘future’ it’s surrounded by the utopian and dystopian stories that have been polluting popular culture recently. As a society we see these portrayals of ‘cleansing’ and striving for an ‘elite’ group, but never assume it could be closer than we think. Obviously I’m not suggesting we all need to start training for the Hunger Games, but in recruitment it is survival of the fittest.

Lou Adler from the Adler Group sees the processes of hiring today ’about weeding out the weak rather than finding the best’. He suggests that in the future we need to look for ways to judge talent and predict achievement on accessible information - but how could this be done? With the war on talent already in full swing, we are currently embracing these factors but how can you predict talent? DNA?

Back in 2007 psychiatric geneticists at Washington University School of Medicine established a connection with genes and performance IQ. So, if we can already test another’s ability to organise things logically, picture a CV replaced by a full body profile and being able to inspect / interview every detail of a possible applicant. By 2024 social footprints could be as important as real ones, and the idea of uploading yourself online for a job will be no different from years of posting your life on social media. ‘Big Brother is watching’ will now be everyone watching, so a virtual persona has the potential to be the new reality.

By 2024, if candidates could create virtual profiles of themselves, will we need human recruiters anymore? Given that the attention span for Generation Z is around 8 seconds it seems unlikely they will use their time to input repeat data online. Recruiters may have to disguise themselves under new identities (No, not like Clark Kent), and become something like ‘virtual profile up-loaders’, ‘profile analysts’ or even ‘online persona consultants’. Imagine recruiters spending their working day examining a series of ‘reality television shows’ where a candidate’s life is represented online? We are already conditioned to record certain elements on our CV and seeing as video applications are becoming more commonplace this doesn’t seem too crazy.

Showcasing talent in a more personal and engaging way will combat the issue of assessing a cultural fit. Holograms (anyone else still extremely freaked out over the Michael Jackson one?) may be the advanced YouTube video, or even a new realm of Skype. Digital interviews are increasingly common, which also brings forth a fundamental question when it comes to recruiting in the future; how many times will a candidate be in the physical presence of someone else before they are hired? Recruiters in London for example, rarely see the candidates they suggest for placements… so will anyone else? After all recruiters are THE professionals when it comes to finding the best person for the job.

Besides all of this, everything can be done from the comfort of your home nowadays! It seems silly not to think a first day at work could be the first day meeting in the flesh, or even if the ‘office’ will materially exist at all.

When posing the question of ‘robots or humans’ as the future of recruitment I think we need to look at both the role of the recruiter and the application of technology – just how far should / will we be able to automate? And how far will we want to?

No doubt there will always be a need for human interaction within the recruitment process, but searching for digital CVs, algorithms and analysing profiles already is increasing being completed by machines…

I for one am planning my Avatar already but what are your thoughts? How do you want to find your next employer or are you an employer, employing technology to find the best talent for your business? Let us know your thoughts!


About Laura Bell

Hey there! I’ve just graduated from Newcastle University and have been given the great opportunity to intern here for two months at Broadbean Technology. Having studied Media as a degree, being able to put my skills into the industry is really exciting, especially with the crazy friendly bunch that work here! I love to write, watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer and spend a lot of money on coffee.


Topics: future of work , technology , recruitment , social media , recruiters