Exponential Thinking and The Future of Recruiting


The bottom line of my lecture about “the Future of Sourcing” in “Trendforum Recruiting” in Cologne (21 sept, 2017) was that I envisioned most of the stand-alone applications we see today, advanced sourcing tools and HRtech applications, becoming part of a “mega one-stop-shop platform” (there can be several of them) that will be so user-friendly that basically ANYONE who needs to recruit and will have access to such platforms will be able, in 1-click from his mobile phone to launch a search and qualify potential candidates WITHOUT the aid of a sourcer or recruiter. That means – that the PROFESIONAL MANAGER, hell, ANYONE will be recruiting for him or herself. Sourcers and recruiters are null and void.

Everyone will be able to recruit for themselves.

I based my conclusions on a “gut feeling”, an understanding of the industry and seeing what’s happening. I manage two FB groups, one about talent sourcing and the other about Israeli HRtech and I’ve stumbled into random questions from people wanting to join those groups that never came up before. I felt those sudden and unexpected questions were predictive of what is going to happen. Also, the obvious advancement in sourcing tools such as Hiretual and AmazingHiring and ARYA and smart recruiting chat bots and many other HR, AI based technologies and applications were indicative of it. I also discussed it with some of my peers (Thank you Moshik Raccah for giving “my hunches” a name!) Besides that, I had no diagrams, I couldn’t in any way, shape or form “prove” what I am saying and I had no “scientific models” to apply it to.

The "6Ds of Exponentials" apply in the recruiting industry

However, as I was reading on the Singularity University website today, I stumbled into a model that I felt applied to my predictions just perfectly…It is called – The “6Ds of Exponentials” – And it’s a powerful framework that explains the exponential journey of digital technology and can help us identify and better anticipate disruptive trends.The 6 Ds are: Digitized, Deceptive, Disruptive, Democratized, Demonitized and Demateriliazed. To my surprise, I immediately felt that I can apply this model to my “gut” predictions, and I am happy to share it with you.

1. Digitized – “That’s when Something becomes an information science, which allows us to use computers to manage it. An example of our sourcing industry” – We see manual processes such as sourcing being automated and digitized. We see tools such as Arya automating the whole sourcing process and smart chatbots such as Mya, Wendy, Stanley and others taking it even further.

2. Deceptive – “This is the early stage of exponential growth, which is hard to spot. The technology is advancing, but is not yet being used widely” – We are sooo totally there…Some of my peers and myself are constantly frustrated by the recruiting industry being so behind when we have such advanced possibilities to start implementing and by that I mean the gazzilion HRETCH applications. In TRU Tel Aviv I mentioned that the adoption rate of HRtech applications is extremely low, although the variety and supply are IMMENSE. So we subscribe to this second phase as mentioned by this framework (Jacob Sten Madsen – an answer to your question on why we are not there yet).

3. Disruptive – “When a technology breakthrough hits a critical point, it begins to have dramatic effects, outperforming the previous paradigm in both effectiveness and cost”. It is obvious to me that this will be the next phase. Once our sourcing/recruiting tools will be able to reach extremely targeted and accurate results, as well as the plethora of HRETCH applications will begin to assemble into one-stop-shop platforms where we have all that we need in 1 click to get a full picture of the potential candidate- This will become DISRUPTIVE.

4. Dematerialized – “Items that were once large and unwieldy can now fit easily into our pockets or in the cloud.” I will translate that into “dematerialization” of staffing and recruiting agencies, head hunters, recruiters and sourcers into automated processes that we will be able to perform from our mobile phone.

5 and 6. Demonetized – “The cost of producing and replicating software is dramatically cheaper than creating the physical version of it, and the economies of scale associated with the sensors allow them to become eminently affordable” and Democratized – “Products, services, and information that were once only available to wealthy nations, research labs, or companies, are now becoming accessible by an ever-increasing percentage of the global population”. This stage, to me, means that perhaps those 1 stop shop platforms that I am talking about will become more accessible to everyone, thus strengthening my prediction that ANYONE will be able to use it and access it and it will be as easy to google someone to hire 🙂

Thinking about the future of anything and based on the first signs of advanced technology in our industry means we need to adopt exponential thinking. Out of the ordinary growth. Linear train of thought can no longer apply and will hinder our understanding of where we are going in our industry as well as our future.

Of course, we cannot ignore many issues such as things we don’t know that we don’t know and cannot expect, the future of other industries near ours, regulations, ethical issues, privacy issues, AI “black box” issues and more – that may alter this “prediction”.

We must adopt EXPONENTIAL THINKING when discussing the future of recruitment.

In a previous post in Facebook I mentioned that to me, it feels like the future is simply happening to us and I asked if perhaps some of us should start discussing how WE WANT THE FUTURE OF RECRUITING TO LOOK LIKE, as well as how to prepare for it. We can no longer live like ostriches and bury our heads in the sand and continue to discuss how afraid we are about robots going to take our jobs away from us – This is exactly the DANGEROUS, LIMITED and LINEAR thinking I was talking about. We are having a problem to digest this “unintuitive growth”. The discussion is no longer if a robot will replace us as sourcers and recruiters (because it is and it will. Period.) or if it will empathize or not – The discussion should be about – IS THIS THE FUTURE WE WANT and if we feel we can’t “do much about it” how to prepare for it, on a society and personal level.

I welcome your opinions, ideas and input so that we can take this discussion further.

Karen Azulai Is a passionate Global Sourcer, Int’l Lecturer, HRtech Evangelist and is mesmerized by futuristic technology. Feel free to connect with me or write to karen@everythingsourcing.com

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