Artificial intelligence and robotization are hot themes in discussions on work. Robotization and automation of work are not new phenomena; in industry, for example, they have been shaping operations and development for a long time.

Now, artificial intelligence has begun to extend its reach from operational work increasingly to expert work, which has made us both curious and wary at the same time.

We are puzzled, interested – and a little scared, too – about what can be made more efficient and replaced with artificial intelligence. The people most worried are thinking about how soon robots will take over their job.

These themes cause excitement, thrill and butterflies in the stomach of recruiters, too. At best, artificial intelligence makes recruitment more fluent and reduces the amount of routine and manual work, when it can be easily automated.

Most recruitment systems have been aiming for this for a long time: managing and screening applications and communication to applicants is considerably more convenient nowadays with intelligent systems. Recruitment systems can probably be considered the earliest manifestations of artificial intelligence in our industry.

In the future, artificial intelligence will hopefully also make encounters between parties in working life easier.

In the best-case scenario, artificial intelligence will create diverse and novel recruitment methods – a new culture of recruitment, facilitating encounters between employers and professionals regardless of time and place.

Good servant, bad master

From the point of view of a recruiter, the possible uses of artificial intelligence are a good question – and also where it pays to use artificial intelligence. What defines appropriate, high-quality recruitment?

Talk about artificial intelligence tends to focus largely on making recruitment more efficient, convenient and easy. These are issues that make the recruitment experience meaningful to the applicant and recruiter alike.

With regard to the quality of recruitment, a human touch is essential in addition to all the efficiency and convenience: encountering the other person and interaction between the employer and job applicant, which seems to have been forgotten in the recent debate.

Currently, a robot can screen and define individuals based on skills and interests using quite clear and concrete criteria. In other words, a robot can particularly look for a sharp professional, task-level expert, strong substance. Naturally, this requires that the applicant uses communication that is relevant to the role being applied for.

However, artificial intelligence cannot understand an individual's motives, attitudes, objectives and dreams like another person can. It cannot be interactively present or ask for more details, meanings, justifications or contexts. Artificial intelligence is not capable of engaging in a dialogue with the applicant in which both parties contemplate possibilities for cooperation. It is particularly the things that have gained a stronger foothold in recruitment in recent years; the ones that defined the "good guy" talked about so much for each organization.

The issues listed above define the appropriateness and quality of recruitment just as much as the convenience offered by artificial intelligence. Therefore, future recruiters must be professionals with interactive skills who are genuinely motivated by people and aim to understand them.

In the best-case scenario, artificial intelligence will free up human resources for activities that cannot be automated: creativity, interaction, and encountering and understanding others.

These, if any, should be at the core of recruitment in all organizations.