Recruiters, You will be replaced by AI If You Keep Doing What You’re Doing

It’s a very hot topic in the Recruitment space right now. Weather AI will be a replacement for Recruiters. And this article isn’t meant to be a reassuring message telling you everything’s going to be okay and that’s all just a hype.

But more of a warning advice to those out there grinding & hustling in recruitment not actually considering the possibility of this manifesting into reality. And here it goes.

Let’s cut to the chase, You are going to be replaced by a machine if:

  • You believe you can learn any market on the job without a minimal amount of homework on the client, role and market.
  • All you do is collect CV’s by sending out broadcasts to your CV DB, and come back and tell your hiring manager “Hey, I’m not really familiar with this field, I’m just the person who gets you CV’s “. Which brings me to the next zinger!
  • You blame the hiring manager for bad hires, and you think recruiters have nothing to do with the process. Meaning all your job is literally just to crawl some 20 CV’s online, pre close some candidates and come back to throw them in the laps of the HM.

If you practice any or all of these in your job, then I have some morbidly bad news for you. You will most definitely be replaced by a freaking machine.

Let’s look at things from a HM perspective.

If I am a hiring manager and want to fill a purple squirrel type role. Who would I rather work with?

  1. A recruiter who asks me stupid questions about what my company does and what the role is, which shows they haven’t done any kind of research on this market what so ever, and who comes back to me with 20 CV’s every week and not one of them is relevant enough.
  2. A silent machine which I tell to fetch me 20 profiles off the internet for people who are relevant to the role I am hiring for. And Likely 80% are going to be a damn good fit.

Chances are I’m going with 2.

As a hiring manager I’m hiring a recruiter because I have a problem, and my problem is FILLING THE ROLE! And not just getting CV’s.

Now let’s look at Consultants and why people hire them. There are three reasons why companies hire consultants to achieve something:

  1. Inability to do it on their own.
  2. Wanting to do it faster.
  3. Wanting to follow a proven system and have guidance by someone who’s actually done it before!

Now do any of these points ring a bell and seem kind of similar to the problems hiring companies have?

This certainly means the role of the recruiter is to SOLVE the problem and not to add pain to injury and tell the hiring manager about their shortcomings.

If you think otherwise, then you should probably best update your title to sourcer and downgrade your pay by 20K and cap your commission and I’ll swallow my tongue in return.

Dead are the days when a recruitment consultant is actually a person who is hired to solve a problem.

Now, Let’s look at the definition of a consultant: “a person who provides expert adviceprofessionally.” SIMPLE!

Obviously I will highly stress on the expert advice part, because laughingly enough it isn’t existent in nowadays recruitment engagement.

Which is a shame because 90% of recruiters out there insist on adding the “consultant” word to their LinkedIn profile title.

So again, if the plan is to keep on doing what we’ve been doing in recruitment, chances are we’ll be replaced my machines.

But it’s really time to actually bring back the consultative approach into recruitment, be expert advisors in our field, and be actually invested in solving our client’s staffing problems.

Rather than be frantically obsessed about just making the placement and cashing out, we can advise our clients on the best strategy to hire a good fit for a role, or educate them about this market, what salaries should be offered and how to improve the way they advertising the role etc..

Sadly practitioners of the cashing-out strategy will eventually end up with a sum average of zero billings in the long term because someone else who’s actually an expert in that sector will crush them and dominate that market.

Find out how you can fight the machine by booking a quick chat with me today:

Why My Interest in Recruitment

On many occasions when I initiated conversations with people while doing my research on Recruitment, I sensed a few of them had a bit of an inkling inside and were probably wondering “who on earth is this guy and why is he talking to me about Tech Recruitment?”

So I thought I’d like to dedicate this post as a proper introduction to myself and the things I will be posting about moving forward. Hoping it will clarify my background and motivations to many of those I’ve spoken to already or those I will connect with in the future.

My name is Jawad Sabra (obviously!) and I’ve been working in the field of IT for about 8 years now, over this time i’ve had the fortune to work in plenty of roles across various layers of IT. From working with in-house IT services teams, to SME size Digital Agencies and Corporate Companies owned by Global Tech conglomerates.

To get even more in the gritty details, I’ve worked with Service Desk, Service Delivery, Service Support, Network Infrastructure, Server Infrastructure, Web Support, Web Development, Web Management, and Software Development Delivery teams. So I’d like to think I’ve been able to gather a holistic view and understanding of how things work in the IT world!

The reason why I mention this is to reflect on the fact that i’ve managed to get hands on knowledge from with in the battlefield in sourcing and delivering Software/Web Development projects over the years part which mostly were in the Digital Marketing space as it’s an area I a very keen interest in in the recent years.

Fast forward till now, being a candidate for many development roles over the years, i’ve spoken to many recruiters about many different roles, and me, not being the typical dismissive type candidate who doesn’t want to waste time talking to hundreds of recruiters when they haven’t got anything, I actually took the time to listen and have a conversation with each and everyone of them.

At the beginning I didn’t make anything out of it, I was just too oblivious and too consumed by focussing on finding the right position or the next jump for me that’ll be better than my last role. But at some point I started noticing patterns emerging among these calls i’ve had. I noticed many recruiters I speak to have very little knowledge of the tech and market in which I am looking for a job in, better yet many of them were literally asking me “can you explain to me how this system works?” or “what is X?”, which is the product I specialise in.

This made me think, It must be really tough for these people having to be out there making calls to devs and trying to extract information from them and at the same time trying to sell them on the role, how would that work? I mean as a candidate If I want to talk to a recruiter about a particular job and they have no clue what is the role, what kind of experience do I expect moving down the hiring process? how much confidence do I have in this recruiter and in their ability to place me with this company? I’m not sure if other candidates have the same thought process, but certainly these are things that crossed my mind.

Then I thought, If you’re working in a very niche tech field and you’re looking to learn about this tech from candidates, how many candidates do you have to lose before you actually build enough confidence and credibility so you’re able to sell the next candidate on the role, is there really enough candidates that you can do trial and error with? and just so I was sure about this, I actually went out and started asking these recruiters, “what do you do to learn about this X tech or whether this candidate is good for the role or not?”, and to my surprise it was actually by trial and error, every single tech recruiter I spoke to just uses trial and error with the candidates, as well as with the clients to learn their way in.. Then I thought, surely there must be a better way to do this, surely as a recruiter working in a very small candidate pool I can’t afford to do this. How many clients do I have to lose owing to the fact that I know jack about this tech or that?

There must be a better way to do this!

This is where I started doing a lot of research on recruitment and speaking to many participants in this market. Asking about their challenges, problems, daily frustrations, and I found 90% of the people I spoke to struggle with the fact they can’t get through to candidates, they can’t verify if these candidates have done the thing they’re claiming they did, and third and most importantly (this came with a lot of emotion and pain attached) hiring managers taking ages to give feedback and sometimes not even giving any.

And I thought, maybe there’s something here, maybe I can connect the dots together. But I did actually start seeing that many market participants do admit Recruitment is in a very bad state as an Industry, reputation is completely tarnished an that’s why these poor folks can’t get through to meaningful candidates over the phone, none of them (candidates) want to talk to recruiters anymore.

Also How can you expect to validate someone’s experience or verify it and you don’t even have any knowledge of the field they’re working in? that’s CV Matching 101, but funny enough some recruiters do seek to learn about these tech by starting a coding course on, but that’s not really how learn about the role or tech. Let me tell you now, You don’t need to know code to be a good tech recruiter.

Last point and certainly not least. There must be a reason why hiring managers are slow to give you feedback or just treat you like shit overall. My first inclination is to think they might just be too busy, or just too busy talking to 10 other recruiters they put on their PSL to source for this role and they don’t expect much from you as an individual. Maybe it’s because you didn’t position yourself as the trusted advisor who’s an expert in their field, but rather the generalist CV crawling type of recruiter who normally says: “I don’t know this field I just get you the CV’s and you decide”.

And let me tell you! Clients never know what they want, hiring manages included. Who on earth then is supposed to know who is the right talent to fill this role? if the hiring manager doesn’t, and the recruiter had rid themselves from that responsibility, who’s left to judge if this is the right fit or not? so far this activity has been predominantly based on a strategy called “taking stabs in the dark” for both parties. I can write 10 articles about how this strategy is one of the biggest reasons for failure on many Software Development Projects.

This is why I’ve started working with recruiters to help them build their reputation and be able to make more placements predictably by attracting more suitable candidates and picking up high paying clients. We do this by addressing the three points above using a proven system that I myself have implemented and experienced the results of, and was able to place 4 high salary perm developers in the window of a week without even trying. I will be publishing another article about this in the coming weeks. In the meantime to find out more about this story checkout my website here

The Real Reason Behind Candidate Drop-outs

I am in no way a recruiter, but i briefly wore the hat of one when I placed 2 perm developers in 1 week without even trying, while I saw other recruiters hustle and struggle to make this number over the span of months in particular tech markets. Over the past 5 years working in the IT industry and walking in the shoes of a candidate, i’ve had the pleasure to work with some of the good recruiters out there and a lot of the not so up to par ones as well, and over this time i’ve had many observations about tech recruitment especially recently when I embarked on a thorough research asking questions and trying to find answers.

In the past few months since the end of 2017, I’ve been talking to many recruiters and reading a lot on this craft, and it appeared to me one of the biggest problems tech recruiters face in high demand technology markets is candidates dropping off mid engagement, which is understanbly frustrating especially working with limited candidate pools, and it leaves one confused and unsure what to do in order to avoid this happening again. Your candidate not even picking up your calls or responding to your emails and not sharing any feedback that you could start with, leaves you pondering in your own head as to what has been the reason for them to just cut you off like that.

Coming back to me and from my experience on the candidate side there are a few things I could say about this. I can think of two main reasons why a candidate would cut off their recruiter and never get back to them:

  1. They just found another opportunity or accepted an offer (This you don’t have control over and it’s too late down the hiring process to rectify this)
  2. They didn’t take you seriously and don’t have any confidence in you or your ability to find them the right role (Now this you have control over and i’ll tell you why)

If a candidate finds another job there’s little you can do to keep them interested in what you have to offer, therefore the best you can do here is accept the nature of the job market and move on, because really when companies or recruiters fill a role they have they don’t get back to each candidate and tell them they weren’t successful (only a few do this). The only control you have over this outcome is to focus on the input which came way earlier in the engagement process before reaching this stage and this gets me to the second point.

If your candidates aren’t taking you seriously chances are it’s because you’ve given them a good reason not to. The first impression you build with your candidate is very very important because that will set the tone and premise on which you will continue your hiring engagement. In that first conversation you must be able to show them you know what you’re talking about, you’re confident about your knowledge of the role (the tech involved and the responsibilities), you’re confident in your knowledge of the client’s work environment and requirements.

Once you exhibit the fact that you’re well informed, this leaves your candidate no choice but to take you seriously and listen to what you’ve got to offer, and this has given you edge of 90% of any other recruiter who might approach your candidate with another opportunity and it drops the chances of your candidate cutting you off by 80% as well, because once you’ve built a relationship with them based on confidence and competence, the least they owe you is an explanation as to why they’re not interested in the role you have anymore, and this right here has flipped your failed attempt to fill the role into an opportunity to learn from feedback.

In a nutshell the best way for you to reduce candidate drop offs and improve your ability to close a perfect candidate for your role is to become a better recruiter. Is it really that simple? how do you do that? you might ask. Try to educate yourself better on the tech involved in your roles, do the homework when it comes to your client, their working environment and requirements, and finally give yourself more time to do these tasks by focussing a little more on one area of the market than others and not just be jack of all trades.

If you would like to find out more on how you can achieve this faster and hassle free, check out my website and book a FREE consultation with me today: