March 21, 2023

That time Monster was going to take our jobs


Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

We having nothing to fear but the T-1000

Once upon a time, Monster was going to put recruiting firms out of business.

Yes, people believed that. In my early days, I had several people wonder why I got into recruiting because “the writing was on the wall.”

(Don’t know what Monster is? It was Indeed before Indeed. But worse. Better commercials though.)

It’s absurd in retrospect. The reasoning behind this idea still exists: non-recruiters have no concept of the amount of time, effort, and care (if you don’t totally suck) that goes into vetting a candidate. Not to mention all the small bits that occur before a hiring manager is even shown a resume.

Yet every few years, the next shiny new object comes out that will displace recruiters. And every time, it falls flat.

Recruiting is a labor intensive job. That a lot of people are not built to do. 

A non-exhaustive list off the top of my head:

  • 30-45 mins screen (Absolute bare minimum. Can be multiple times that.)
  • Administering an ATS. (Yay data entry.)
  • Hunting down candidates for interview times.
  • Hunting down hiring managers for interview times.
  • The ensuing calendar tetris.
  • Writing job ads. (That actually makes the job sound worth pursuing.)
  • Mastering the hiring manager’s ‘sales pitch.’
  • Fixing the hiring manager’s sales pitch when it’s garbage.
  • Recalibrating the entire search when it turns out it didn’t match the business initiatives.
  • Pro bono psychiatry.
  • Copious amount of emails and worse: talking to people.

Technology can enable parts of this. Save a little time. But GPT-4 isn’t walking through that door to do your job for you anytime soon.

For that we’d need actual AI. The “travel back in time and come after Linda Hamilton” kind of AI.

Jeff and I can joke about this stuff. But I don’t think people will ever get it. Recruiters are in a tough market right now. Jobs are not safe. But the profession is.

Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

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