Why 2018 won’t be a year of AI

Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future. Yet many of us are trying to predict what the future in recruitment is going to look like. Because knowing what the future will bring us also gives us the advantage that we all are looking for.

Many predictions from last year were about AI (artificial intelligence) and chatbots. AI was quite a topic during the whole of 2017 and I am sure that it will still be a hot topic during 2018. But I don’t think that during 2018 AI will dominate as many predicted.

Bear with me here, before you write a comment that I am wrong, crazy or I have seen the future coming and don’t have a clue about AI All of these things could be true; I am not going to argue with you here, but these are my arguments for why AI will be a hotter topic in 2019 than 2018.

AI is a new technology

AI is still a new and unexplored technology for many recruiters. I am sure that almost every recruiter heard about AI, but many of them still haven’t had a possibility of working with AI tools or tried them. For some of them, AI technology is still a mystery and they don’t understand it yet.

The pricing

The pricing for many tools is outside of the range of many small companies and agencies. The smaller ones can’t ready to afford to buy most of them or their leaders don’t want to invest money in them.

Current technology still sucks

Yes, that is my personal opinion, and I am aware that this is a strong statement and many of you are going to point out that I am wrong here. But most chatbots that I have seen were not working perfectly. And even though there are many interesting tools and apps on the market that could boost your recruitment process and help you to get more from your ATS, referrals, sourcing etc., sadly most of these tools suck, they could have great AI. engine, but most of them need lots of improvements and they especially need enough good data that can be used for learning.

Companies don’t know how to use the full potential of AI

Many of my friends who are working at companies where they implement tools with AI share with me that they are using only a few functionalities that these tools provide.

This is mainly because of two reasons. They implement the tool that is not solving their real problem. The second reason is that recruiters are creatures of habit. They stick with things that they already know and not everybody is open or has the time for new tests.

And maybe, if they have read how AI is going to replace them, they are not eager to start using the tools that could replace them in their work. And if they are not using them they are not getting any results, and if they are not getting results the budget holders are not going to invest the money again for these tools or any other tools anytime soon.

And what will be the “main” topic for 2018?

My money will go on Growth Hacking. This is my guess and I believe this will be the main topic for 2018, but the “blockchain in recruitment” will try to hijack “main topic” for this year. Very soon we will see articles such as, “Blockchain recruitment is the only way”; “Blockchain LinkedIn”; “Blockchain this and that…”

And I am not saying that growth hacking should be a main topic for this year just because I spent the last 5+ months learning about it 🙂 But below are the main reasons why my forecast is correct (at least I hope it is).

What is growth hacking?

Growth hacking is a word with strong roots in the world of startups. The origin of the word can be traced to the year 2010 when Sean Ellis coined the phrase ‘Growth Hacker’ to explain his frustration with getting replacements for himself as he sought to retire from his erstwhile job.

To put a definition to the phrase, growth hacking is a marketing technique developed by startups that utilize the combination of creativity, analytical thinking, and social metrics to sell products and gain exposure.

In layman’s term, we can say it is simply the activity of experimenting with different methods to make a company more successful and bigger, i.e. a growth hacker undertakes the initiative of birthing and nurturing the consistent growth of an organization.

Many times growth hackers have been thought of as marketers but in many ways being a growth hacker is much more than just having a marketing degree; a growth hacker can combine marketing creativity and innovation with the ability to code marketing hacks.

For example, in a startup, the process of charting the part for growth and establishment of the organization might be much more than just establishing a strategic marketing plan or just building a marketing team; growth hacking encapsulates every available strategy to grow and expand the organization’s operation base and capitalization.

Growth hacking in recruitment

Recruiters are already using many growth hacking tricks to get their message among their audience, especially when growth hacking involves thinking outside of the box, which is a necessary thing to do in the current market.

Recruiters are consistently under pressure from line managers to find the best possible fit within the shortest possible time. This recruitment growth hacking involves the use of technology, shortcuts and new ideas to save time by eradicating/automating low-value activities so you can focus on the high-value activities that help you find and hire the right people for your business.

Experimenting with new methods is one of the fundamental principles of the growth hacking process. Although growth hackers share the same aim with marketers, their approach is not as conservative. They use an empirical process in getting to the projected outcome. One aid to the efficiency of growth hackers is the freedom to invent and operate their own self-propagating growth machine that can take the organization to greater heights.

As I mentioned before, recruiters are already using various types of growth hacks, but this year I am expecting that many of them will start learning more about “growth hacking”, how to use data and target more people for less costs.

Why Growth Hacking will dominate 2018 instead of AI

These are a few points that explain why growth hacking will be more popular in recruitment than AI.

  • Everybody could learn some basic growth hacking tips within a short period of time.
  • It is cheaper, growth hacking won’t cost companies more than implementing an AI tool.
  • Recruiters don’t need to ask for extra budget or approvals to learn about it.
  • Growth hacking is great not only for attracting new customers; it’s also a great way to attract candidates.
  • Growth hacking will improve writing skills of recruiters and this will lead to more compelling job ads. And they will generate more potential candidates.

Growth hacking is an effective tool for organizational advancement as it curates innovative ways of propagating and promoting both the products of the company as well as the company’s image. It also provides actual tractable data from which recruiters can draw statistical conclusions and base their subsequent actions upon.

Slowly, all the attractive images, videos etc. that recruiters and other people are posting on LinkedIn won’t matter anymore. The clickbait titles will lose their power and the only thing that will matter will be the right content, the right message.

Recruiters that are able to write meaningful content and have the growth hacking skills will be the hidden gem for any organization because they can bring an organization more than just candidates. They also help to spread the news about the company, company culture, and company products.

AI will surely bring great things to recruitment in the future. And those who implemented the right tools will gain a big advantage, but the year 2018 won’t belong to AI, it will belong to growth hackers. But the year 2019 will be the year of AI.

Forecasting is the art of saying what will happen, and then explaining why it didn’t.” And maybe my first article of 2019 will have a title, “I wasn’t wrong because…” 🙂