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"The recruitment industry is changing" - Interview with Ivan Stojanovic (Irish Recruiter)

2024-02-14

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What do you see as the biggest challenge for 2024?

If you are the recruitment agency the biggest challenge will be staying in business! Why? Primarily because the volume of recruitment agency total size of the business is really low. The total recruitment volume in 2023 was much smaller than in previous years and is not changing much in 2024. Less volume means, less revenue - since the market would not tolerate upping the prices. The second largest threat is AI. AI has been developed at such a pace in the last 18 months that it is impossible to predict where it will be by the end of 2024. Even harder it is to predict how it will affect the recruitment business. Previous changes in technologies in the recruitment business have decreased the total number of people in the industry. AI is not replacing just one type of job, like various automation before, but affects the vast majority of jobs, and for most of them, the impact is huge. AI simply removes a lot of tasks we all do today. Most senior recruiters agree that more than 50% of the tasks we are doing today are better performed by AI.

What should recruiters focus on in 2024?

The recruitment industry is changing and recruiters have a choice today to dig their heads in the sand and try to keep the status quo for as long as they can. Most big organisations and RPOs will try to do just that. The winners will be the ones who embrace AI best in their processes.

What are some effective strategies for recruiting across multiple countries in the CEE region?

The pandemic and remote work have opened the European borders almost as much EU had. Today it is normal to work from anywhere, especially for the more senior positions. The most effective attraction for a role change is still a remote option. And it is winning above any other perk or even a bigger salary.

In what way is the recruitment process different with cross-country candidates?

Understanding both cultures of the country where the candidates are from and where the job/company/interviewer is is the key to success. The recruiter's job is only to find a way how to find common ground and compatibilities between them. A person coming from abroad is in most cases interested in a role for totally different reasons than a local candidate.

Will there be an increase in third-country workers in the intellectual field?

Yes and no. Yes because more foreign people will fill your senior jobs. No, because fewer of them will actually relocate.

What is your opinion on AI? Is it taking away from recruiters' jobs? Where can you add value in recruitment selection?

Recently I was doing a workshop with a large group of recruitment leaders in Ireland. Predominantly recruitment agency owners. First I asked them to help me write on the whiteboard all the tasks and subtasks their recruiters do. We ended up with a long granular list. As a next task, I asked them to give me their opinion on what percentage (in working time) can each of those tasks be replaced by AI. The conclusion was that over half of the tasks are easily replaceable with what AI offers today.

Where AI makes the largest impact are situations where you have to analyse a large set of data. Imagine when you receive over 1000 applicants.

  1. AI can rank them so you know where to start looking at the pile of CVs.
  2. When you have to ask a common question (scoring card scenario) and analyse results.

AI replaces the most boring manual tasks recruiters are doing today and gives them more time and energy to do what they like doing. One of the outcomes is that the job of a recruiter will become more enjoyable. The other aspect is that the differences in productivity between recruiters are going to become more pronounced since there will be no hiding behind a tremendous pile of manual work.

Thank you for the anwers Ivan Stojanovic, the Recruitment Director of Irish Recruiter!