Welcome to our video series, The Experts. In the series, we interview staffing and recruitment leaders to hear their perspectives on industry trends, lessons they’ve learned in the careers, and their leadership philosophies.
In this clip, Eleanor Vajzovic, Head of Adecco Group X, explains how AI will enable those who embrace it to be more productive, allowing recruiting professionals to focus on the human side of building relationships.
How would you explain the advantages of new technologies to someone worried about losing their job?
Eleanor Vajzovic: Part of it is helping them understand what it is that they love about their job. Quite honestly asking, “What do you love? Do you love the people part? Do you love taking cells from one data entry spreadsheet and putting it into another, and taking one system entry and putting it into another? Is that the part that you love so much?” And really describing what these tasks are and asking them if it’s important that they do them, explaining that those are the aspects of the job that will be automated. It isn’t a one to one relationship or conversation, it doesn’t make you less valuable. It reduces the things that you hate, it takes all of that out of the equation and frees you up to discover who you are, what you want to do, and what you want to continue to learn.
Part of it is taking a look at the redundancies of the job, maybe even ranking it, and really explaining that these are the positions and the types of tasks that are going to go away. Then, explain where the opportunities are: monitoring, doing the QA, and advancing that role to be more of a management position and an opportunity to write the future for that position.
How has technology transformed the way staffing professionals build relationships with candidates and clients?
EV: Technology has played a role in how we, in the recruiting profession, interact with our clients and candidates. I think it’s changed the way we do business and how we can better understand and connect with candidates and clients. A lot of times there are conversations about technology disrupting or replacing the fact that there is an important human factor in those relationships and interactions. I think it changes it, enables it, and makes it stronger if you let it. If you decide to embrace it and say, “Help me understand who you are as a candidate, as a client,” by understanding the data, by removing and reducing some of these redundant tests that take a lot of time, tire us, and wastes too much energy, then we’re a little too lazy to do the important things. Embrace the one on one relationships or meetings and actually have them. One of the biggest things is technology enabling us to better understand through data and aggregating that information so we have it at our fingertips at the right moment. Then we can take advantage of those moments of interaction and make them more fruitful and meaningful with both the candidates and the clients.
What’s one of the most interesting digital projects you had the opportunity to work on?
EV: There are a few. Probably one of the biggest ones we’ve done was trying to see if a chatbot mixed with a little AI actually works. When it’s such a people-focused, intense conversation, that was one of the things we wanted to test and try. Will a chatbot be smart enough to engage with a candidate, do the initial screening and scouting, and then schedule them for an appointment? Being able to channel that–what are the right tools to use, who are the right partners to partner with, and what’s the conversation and messaging that will resonate with real humans? Then, what’s the data that we can capture to get to know them better, and then can we actually land them a role in a position?
And we were successful. A lot of practice, time, fails, and a lot of messaging errors. But at the end, we were able to reach more people, reach more candidates, find a human way to interact through a bot, and we ended up being a little smarter, warmer, and able to connect more.
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