Automation is dead…(long live HR recruiters)

Automation is dead…(long live HR recruiters)
Automation is dead…(long live HR recruiters)

Automation is dead…long live HR recruiters! “Recruitment is dead… automation spells the end of recruitment as we know it… recruiter jobs replaced by chat-bot…  interviews no longer needed – we have a fully automated hiring process…”


Heard any of these lines before? I bet you have (apart from the last one – I made that one up but it doesn’t seem that far-fetched if you believe the news)!


LinkedIn is currently awash with stories telling us that it’s the end of recruitment as we know it, as companies are increasingly pouring money in to direct sourcing and automation – and not HR recruiters.


But here’s the thing, recruitment isn’t dying, far from it. In actual fact, spend on agents has increased and evidence shows that the industry grew rapidly in 2017.


In 2008 during the height of the recession, companies had the power, but this balance is now shifting back into the candidate’s favour, and they are noticing. Wages are on the increase, people are getting multiple offers and buybacks are now becoming more prevalent.


This makes hiring more challenging and will put pressure on retention rates, as people’s confidence and the benefit to move increases. This will ultimately impact time to hire metrics, cost per hire, and more importantly in my mind – business growth.


But how is this?


The problem with automation is that people are variable by nature, and not to mention emotional.


Nothing is going to beat picking up the phone and having a conversation with someone. A good story beats data hands down every time. In a growing economy with talent shortages and unemployment at an all-time low, people will be swayed by the business that has the most compelling story and makes it the easiest for them to join.


When you consider how many companies use technology badly, it’s easy to see why candidates get frustrated whilst applying for jobs.


Let’s put it simply – if you had 2 jobs with the same salary, same role. One had you communicate with a chatbot, and the other with your potential boss… guess which one would be more successful in establishing an emotional connection with a potential employee?


It’s not rocket science, is it? And before you say, yeah but recruiters are crap as well. Some are. But they are also very good at getting people interested and building an emotional connection – I think tech is a little way off on this front.


Still think that recruitment’s dead? I wouldn’t be so sure…To discuss further, you can email me on

You can view more about James Cumming our change and business transformation specialist here

Is ‘robotic process automation’ taking recruiters jobs?

Is 'robotic process automation' taking recruiters jobs?
Is ‘robotic process automation’ taking recruiters jobs?

Is ‘robotic process automation’ taking recruiters jobs? If you’ve worked in shared services, then you’ve probably heard about RPA.


But what exactly is Robotic Process Automation? RPA refers to a growing trend across shared service centres all over the world whereby we now have robots that can perform more and more intelligent tasks. Whilst automation has been around for a while, thanks to the rate at which technology is changing we now have intelligent software systems that can process and data quickly and more efficiently than their human counterparts.


RPA is like a software robot, or artificial intelligence, that can perform human tasks and is designed specifically to perform a vast range of repetitive functions and communicate between other systems, in much the same way that humans do.


Once implemented, this software is a cheaper, more accurate and more efficient option for many businesses. Robots don’t sleep so they can work through the night, they won’t call in sick or be late on Monday morning and you don’t have the expense of having to provide them with benefits.


In some areas headcount can be reduced by more than double land with human error eliminated, it’s a no-brainer for most onshore…


More than 50% of shared service centres have plans to implement RPA in the future. But why? The main purpose of companies creating SSC’s, is to eliminate costs and improve efficiencies. Robots perform better than humans once rapidly trained, so it’s no wonder the stats are so high.



Some of the benefits of RPA include:

  • Reduced costs – between 30% and 80% savings
  • Improved efficiency
  • 24×7 work
  • Agility
  • Increases customer and employee satisfaction
  • Improved compliance
  • Human error eliminated


Robotic process automation will be the future of Shared Services. It will eliminate manual processing, reduce errors and inevitably saved time & costs. It will also provide a better service; software robots act in the same way as human beings and are trained extremely quickly to process data in a certain way, although they don’t make errors. Over time this software becomes more intelligent as it is self-learning and identifies trends, meaning that any unusual information that may have previously gone unnoticed will be flagged up by the robot.


RPA won’t work in everyone’s favour. It reduces headcount within a SSC, meaning redundancies for some, and initially, these transformation projects will be a big cost for businesses. Also, because of the complexities of changing existing systems, they don’t always work. There needs to be a solid strategy behind it with all stakeholders engaged in the project, as most transformation can fail if not implemented correctly. This is something that we’ve previously highlighted in these blogs ( &


Not all suppliers are in favour either, as sending invoices electronically may cause issues to supplies current accounting processes.


Some examples of how RPA is used.


Finance & Procurement

  • 3-way matching.
  • Invoice processing.
  • Cash allocation.
  • Credit status
  • Parsing



  • Processing starters and leavers
  • Applicant screening
  • Recruitment feedback/rejection emails
  • Data management
  • Saving on recruitment costs



  • New starters/leavers
  • Contractual changes
  • Attendance/absence records
  • Holiday records
  • Deductions such a pension, salary sacrifice etc.
  • Expenses


What are your experiences with robotic process automation? Has your business benefited from new technology, or has it caused problems in your workplace? To discuss you can email me at

You can view more about Sam Perry our Shared Services Executive Search expert here.