Moore’s Law And The Future Of Recruitment

Moore’s law essentially refers to the rate which technology advances. Turns out, to an extent, that kind of thing’s predictable. And therefore, scalable.

If you’re a nerd, you’ll love it. If you recruit nerds, you should know about it. Because they will. And actually, if you’re planning on being in recruitment longer than the end of this year, it won’t hurt to wrap your brain around the concept.

As with any complicated-in-practice theory, it all boils down to one relatively simple concept:

More or better stuff comes at a reduced cost over time.

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Moore’s law became a thing when Gordon Moore, a 90 year old multi-billionaire nowadays, wrote a paper a few years before co-founding Intel in 1965. He’d seen the number of components on microchips double every year and correctly predicted that trend would continue.

That rate of growth’s slowed recently, to only doubling every eighteen months/two years. But that’s due a kick in the backside soonish.

The law, which is only really a theory, can be applied to many things in the tech sphere. From developments in AI to the number of megapixels your smartphone’s capable of capturing.

The rule’s the same: as time lumbers on, access to better products and innovations becomes easier and cheaper. 

The standard raises. And technology surges on again.

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So humour me, if you will, as I think of recruitment a bit like a microchip. 

A set of interlinked circuits serving a broader, common function. Under Moore’s law, microchips have been getting smaller, faster, and more powerful since their invention.

So think of the tools you have at your disposal. You’ve got meetings and phone calls. They’re your core components and will never change.

Then you’ve got your database. LinkedIn. Various job boards. Slack. Odro. Drift. Outlook, MailChimp, Broadbean. The tools in your kit will differ from Recruiter to Recruiter, but the function’s the same.

Serve clients. And find good people for the right jobs.

And as with circuitboards, recruitment’s getting faster and more effective every time a new tool hits the market. Or undergoes an upgrade. Or syncs better with everything else.

And it’s changing the way we work.

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A narrow focus

I’m a pharma recruiter by trade so I’ll go with what I know.

Time was, you had Life Sciences Recruiters. These were divided the usual ways, into contract and perm. Then they were subdivided again into Clinical, Regulatory, Quality, Data, etcetera. And there are verticals within those.

Recruiters will carve out a niche wherever there isn’t one. And one key differentiator going forward’s to become such a specialist that no one else in your market does what you do.

A narrower focus doesn’t just mean building niches upon niches. Hunted’s CEO James Silverman wrote about the New Breed Of Onsite Solution sucking attention from the agency model. Here, you’ve not just got Recruiters with a lazer focus on their vertical, but on their end client as well.

The outcome’s the same: Recruiters today are better equipped with access to more in depth market knowledge. Arguably more than they’d have if they’d started out a decade/five years/even a year ago.

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Faster sourcing

Most name CRMs will parse a CV the moment you upload it, saving you probably months of time over the course of the year. Companies like Odro are shrinking the concepts of time and space with single click video interviewing.

And a tool like SourceBreaker automates precision market mapping, meaning you can zero in on meaningful results in an instant.

Increased compatibility among the tools you use should equal increased productivity for either less or the same amount of time. And there’ll be a bottom line consequence to all of this.

So if we step back and apply this to the wider industry, with individuals and brands developing in leaps and bounds, what will tech do to competition among Recruiters?

I think it’ll both accelerate and intensify it. If you think about it, we’ve come from rolodexes to LinkedIn in a matter of years. A mere snapshot of the recruitment timeline.

So where are we now? I’d argue we’re in the eye of the storm. The calm bit before it all properly kicks off.

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Greater effectiveness

Moore’s law charts technology’s upward trajectory. So the question becomes: where does it stop? Or does it just continue improving, getting better and faster every year?

And do the same rules apply to recruitment? Is there a point we’ll hit where we’ve got everything we need to do our jobs – perfectly and instantly – and there’s nothing that can be improved upon?

I mentioned nerds at the beginning of the article. And I didn’t mean to be disparaging. For you see, Reader, I am one. And one thing I’d like to bend your ear about is something referred to as the technological singularity.

This refers to a point in time it’s impossible to predict beyond. Where technological growth accelerates beyond our control. A fairly common example of which would be artificial intelligence designing and manufacturing new technologies themselves.

It’s easy to be impressed with the current state of AI. Siri knows how to use Google like no one’s business and you can get Alexa to fart if you ask nicely.

In reality, these are nothing more than talking speakers. They have a list of commands they recognise and they only get those right half the time.

There are different levels of artificial intelligence. For something like artificial general intelligence – making meaningful decisions independently – we’re still an awfully long way off.

But we will accelerate towards that point. And it will affect how you recruit. Either by the tools you use yourself, or through changes to your market.

Being aware of the developmental curve when it comes to new tech will allow you to stay ahead of it. But you have to actually want to. Staying up to speed with current trends in recruitment technology is only going to stand you well in the future.

And if you thought Moore’s Law was useful for unearthing insights as to recruitment’s destiny, wait until you hear about Cole’s Law.

It’s thinly sliced cabbage in mayonnaise.

Thanks, here all week.

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