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Jan 10, 2018
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.


Prediction is challenging, especially if it’s about the future. Many of us are trying to predict what the future in recruitment is going to look like, because knowing what the future will bring us also gives us the advantage that we all are looking for.

Many predictions from last year were about A.I. (artificial intelligence) and chatbots. A.I. was quite a topic during throughout last year, and I am sure that it will still be a hot topic throughout the year. However, I don’t think A.I. will dominate as many are predicting. 

Bear with me here, before you write a comment that I am wrong, crazy, or I have seen the future coming and don’t have a clue about A.I. All of these things could be true; I am not going to argue with you here, but these are my arguments for why A.I. will be a hotter topic in 2019 than 2018.


A.I. is a new technology

A.I. is still a new and unexplored technology for many recruiters. I am sure that almost every recruiter has heard about A.I., but many of them haven’t had a possibility of working with A.I. tools or have even tried them. For some of them, A.I. technology is still a mystery, and they don’t understand it yet.


The pricing

The pricing for many tools is outside of the range of many small companies and agencies. Smaller companies and talent and acquisition departments can’t afford to purchase most A.I. products, and their leaders aren’t prepared to invest financing in this new technology. 


Current technology still sucks

Yes, this is my personal opinion, and I am aware that this is a strong statement and many of you are going to point out that I am wrong. However, most chatbots that I have seen are not working correctly. Even though there are many interesting tools and apps on the market that could boost your recruitment process, sadly most of these tools suck. They could have a great A.I. engine, but most of them still need improvement and enough data that can be used for learning.


Companies don’t know how to use the full potential of A.I.

Many of my friends who are working at companies where they implement tools with A.I. share with me that they are using only a few functionalities that these tools provide.

This is mainly because of two reasons. First, they implement the tool that is not solving their real problem. The second reason is that recruiters are creatures of habit. They stick with things that they already know, and not everybody is open or has the time for new tests.

Since recruiters have read how A.I. is going to replace them, they may not be as eager to start using the tools that could replace them. If recruiters and sourcers aren’t taking full advantage of these new A.I. products, then they aren’t getting any functional results. If results continue to lag, budget holders are not going to reinvest in this technology or perhaps any new tools shortly. 


What will be the “main” topic for 2018?

My money is in Growth Hacking. This is my prediction, and I believe this will be the primary topic for 2018, but the “blockchain in recruitment” will try to hijack the “main topic.” Very soon we will see articles such as, “blockchain recruitment is the only way,” “blockchain LinkedIn,” “Blockchain this and that…”


What is growth hacking?

Growth hacking is a word with strong roots in the world of startups. The origin of the word can be traced to the year 2010 when Sean Ellis coined the phrase ‘Growth Hacker’ to explain his frustration with getting replacements for himself as he sought to retire from his erstwhile job.

To put a definition to the phrase, growth hacking is a marketing technique developed by startups that utilize the combination of creativity, analytical thinking, and social metrics to sell products and gain exposure.

In layman’s term, we can say it is merely the act of experimenting with different methods to make a company more successful and bigger, i.e., a growth hacker undertakes the initiative of birthing and nurturing the consistent growth of an organization.

Many times growth hackers have been thought of as marketers but in many ways being a growth hacker is much more than just having a marketing degree; a growth hacker can combine marketing creativity and innovation with the ability to code marketing hacks.

For example, in a startup, the process of charting the part for growth and establishment of the organization might be much more than just establishing a strategic marketing plan or just building a marketing team; growth hacking encapsulates every available strategy to grow and expand the organization’s operation base and capitalization.


Growth hacking in recruitment

Recruiters are already using many growth hacking tricks to get their message to their audience, especially when growth hacking involves thinking outside of the box, which is a necessary thing to do in the current market.

Recruiters are consistently under pressure from managers to find the best possible fit within the shortest possible time. This recruitment growth hacking involves the use of technology, shortcuts and new ideas to save time by eradicating/automating low-value activities so you can focus on the high-value activities that help you find and hire the right people for your business.

Experimenting with new methods is one of the fundamental principles of the growth hacking process. Although growth hackers share the same aim with marketers, their approach is not as conservative. They use an empirical process in getting to the projected outcome. One aid to the efficiency of growth hackers is the freedom to invent and operate their own self-propagating growth machine that can take the organization to greater heights.

As I mentioned before, recruiters are already using various types of growth hacks, but this year I am expecting that many of them will start learning more about “growth hacking,” how to use data and target more people for fewer costs.


Why Growth Hacking will dominate 2018 instead of A.I.

These are a few points that explain why growth hacking will be more popular in recruitment than A.I.

  • Everybody could learn some fundamental growth hacking tips within a short period.
  • It is cheaper, and growth hacking won’t cost companies more than implementing an A.I. tool.
  • Recruiters don’t need to ask for extra budget or approvals to learn about it.
  • Growth hacking is excellent not only for attracting new customers; it’s also a great way to attract candidates.
  • Growth hacking will improve writing skills of recruiters, and this will lead to more compelling job ads. This will help generate more potential candidates.


Growth hacking is a useful tool for organizational advancement as it curates innovative ways of propagating and promoting both the products of the company as well as the company’s image. It also provides actual tractable data from which recruiters can draw statistical conclusions and base their subsequent actions upon.

Slowly, all the compelling images, videos, etc. that recruiters and other people are posting on LinkedIn won’t matter anymore. The clickbait titles will lose their power, and the only thing that will matter will be the right content, the right message.

Recruiters that can write meaningful content and have the growth hacking skills will be the hidden gem for any organization because they can bring a recruitment team more than just candidates. They also help to spread the news about the company, company culture, and company products.


A.I. will undoubtedly bring great things to recruitment in the future. And those who implemented the right tools will gain a significant advantage, but the year 2018 won’t belong to A.I., it will belong to growth hackers. But the year 2019 will be the year of A.I.

Forecasting is the art of saying what will happen, and then explaining why it didn’t.” And maybe my first article of 2019 will have a title, “I wasn’t wrong because…” 🙂


This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.
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