In San Francisco I was stopped on the street and cautioned not to proceed. The homeless person who pulled me aside told me I risked being robbed and assaulted should I continue in the direction I was heading. I was faced with a new situation and in glancing ahead found the warning to be prudent. Taking the detour to my destination through Market Street I could hardly believe what had just happened. Just by walking down a certain street I would have risked becoming the victim of assault and robbery.
In the past days I had witnessed some very advanced working approaches in several corporate meetings. The products also seemed very efficient compared to what we have in the Nordics. In this culture and community the rules of the game are different than in Finland. I can either learn them and use them to my advantage or get stuck opposing some practices just because they are different from the ones I know or because they might have some downsides.
"You can either recognize and take advantage of new trends or get taken for a ride and end up wondering what on earth happened."
In recruiting rules of the game are changing. You can either recognize and take advantage of new trends or get taken for a ride and end up wondering what on earth happened. The most interesting rising trends are crowdsourcing, social research and the opportunities digitalization provides for the automization of work that requires learning and intelligence.
In the recruitment industry the changes brought by these trends are already visible. For years the recruitment process provided as a service remained the same. Although the Internet changed both job advertisements and candidate search, the basic recruitment process remained unchanged. Even though these changes have appeared sizable, it is still minor compared to what lies ahead.
We experienced the power of crowdsourcing for ourselves just a few weeks ago. We were looking for Finnish ICT experts willing to relocate and built a sizable marketing campaign where we also took advantage of "traditional" social media. Even though the campaign continued for weeks the results were meager and we found very few suitable candidates. We had to hold a crisis meeting and carefully consider how to fix the situation.
Crowdsourcing allowed us to harness thousands of experts to support the recruitment process. In under a week we found tens of better candidates and in the end everything worked out fine. We were amazed by the results.
Another hot topic in recruiting is social search. This means taking advantage of the online data available on the job candidate in the recruitment process. This is a difficult issue in Finland, where it is not legal without the prior agreement of the candidate.
Internationally however this is a growing field, with companies popping up to take advantage of any data available on the candidate online. As the result of the search the recruiting manager receives information on the candidate´s education, job experience, expert articles, publications and when necessary their hobbies. There is a surprising amount of information logged in the deep recesses of the Internet. At the moment many recruitment professionals are trying to decide where they stand. Can we afford not to use these tools?
"Just a few years ago artificial intelligence sounded like a utopistic thought, but development in this field has been rapid."
The entire ideology of knowledge work is being challenged concurrently to the rise of individual tools. Just a few years ago artificial intelligence sounded like a utopistic thought, but development in this field has been rapid. All the jobs and candidates in Finland could be entered into this kind of super intelligence, and within a few minutes it would produce results that in many cases would be competitive with man-made selections. It seems that this revolutionary approach is not limited to recruitment but cuts across HR processes and working methods from hard labor to knowledge work.
Finnish recruiters face the same choice I did a few weeks ago on the streets of San Francisco. Do we keep blindly heading toward possible danger or do we take a chance and place our faith in a suspicious-looking character? New ways of working can feel frightening and strange, but why not take the risk and reap the benefits? Recruitment is changing anyway. It is up to you to decide whether to proceed with your eyes open.