Welcome to another installment of our Power Women in Recruitment Month. Throughout October, we will celebrate some of the incredible women that make up the recruitment industry, highlighting their career achievements along the way.
Earlier this week in The Experts, Dr. Marcia Goddard, Neuroscientist and Manager, HR Science and Innovation at YoungCapital, discussed the gender gap and how to attract more female STEM talent. In part 2, she shares insight on the innovation that has made YoungCapital a trailblazer in the recruitment industry.
RIX: YoungCapital is a finalist for the Bullseye Awards in recruitment innovation for innovative use of technology as a large company [editor’s note: YoungCapital later won this award!] What makes YoungCapital so innovative in how they approach technology usage?
Dr. Marcia Goddard: This might sound a bit weird, but I think I’m a prime example of trying new things and doing things differently because I’m a neuroscientist. I have a clinical and a scientific background. I have really no business being in recruitment at all, but YoungCapital saw opportunities and they grabbed it and they did the same with machine learning and they did the same with the whole integrating neuroscience into our way of working. So because they’re so willing to try new things and are not scared to fail and just go back to the drawing board and try again, I think that is at the core of our innovation and I think that’s the best way to move forward.
RIX: What is the most pressing challenge facing the recruitment industry?
Dr. Marcia Goddard: Technology. Honestly, technology because even though I don’t think technology is threatening our jobs, it is threatening the way we work and if we don’t get moving and start adapting then we’re going to be in trouble. So we really need to figure out ways to deal with those changes and honestly it might be business-wide, it might be a business problem and not necessarily a recruitment problem, but for one we have difficulty finding people who can develop the technology and work with the technology and then there needs to be a whole shift in the way we approach working in general in order to integrate the technology into our way of working. So I see a gap between the technical people and the, let’s say, people people. They need to come together and bridge that gap so that we will really have the technology work for us instead of the other way around.
RIX: What attitudinal shifts should recruitment agencies take to attract talent from unlikely sources?
Dr. Marcia Goddard: Well, I think there needs to be an attitude change both in education and in recruitment because right now there’s a gap between, for example, IT traineeships or schools that train IT skills, there’s a gap between what they learn in school and what they actually have to do in practice because the technology is moving so fast that it’s really difficult for educational institutions to catch up and to keep up. So an example of what we did at YoungCapital is we started our own academy. So we are training kids, give them an actual diploma in IT, but the teachers are actually people from business. That way we can adapt with all the new technologies that come up. So I think recruiters or recruitment agencies need to sort of shift towards career coaching more and really look at what is necessary and train those skills, teach people those skills. That way you can solve the skill shortage because you’re training the people yourselves.
RIX: With many conflicting opinions on the impact that machine learning and artificial intelligence will have on jobs, should human recruiters be threatened by artificial intelligence?
Dr. Marcia Goddard: No, especially not recruiters. Their jobs I think will never disappear because I think recruiting, in the end, you have to be able to look somebody in the eyes before you hire them. I think the content of work will change and it’s a fact that, you know, today’s children are going to be working with knowledge that hasn’t been discovered yet on technologies that haven’t been invented yet. So it is impossible to deny that the content of work is going to change, but I don’t think that will make jobs disappear. It just asks a lot more flexibility from the workforce. So I think that is something that, you know, education and the way we approach our children, they should be able to deal with that when they enter the labor market and that there’s a big gap there right now.
If you’re interested in hearing more insights from Dr. Marcia Goddard, check out The Experts: Dr. Marcia Goddard on the Gender Gap in STEM Fields and Take It from the Top: Episode 8 – Dr. Marcia Goddard and Leah McKelvey.