Actonomy was at the yearly Recruitment Tech Event 2019 in Amsterdam. Some 450 attendees enjoyed keynote speeches and got in touch with top notch providers of recruitment tools. Hot topic of the day: artificial intelligence and robots. But shouldn’t we look a bit further? Here are the main findings of the day…

Amsterdôme, the circular economy event location just outside the centre of Amsterdam, November 21st: the perfect location for the fifth edition of Recruitment Tech Event, a yearly event organized by Recruitment Tech. Martijn Hemminga, founder of Recruitment Tech and organizer of the event, is clear about the goals:

‘we want to be like curators, and provide a map of the recruitment technology landscape to recruiters. For many of them, technology is far from their core business, but they need to know what is going on, and what they can expect from technology in their current and future work.’ 

Knowing this, the keynote by Megan Marie Butler from CognitionX was far from surprising: the future will be driven by AI. She gave a roundup of what is possible with AI in recruiting. Nice to see and hear, but nothing new. Already 15 years ago, Actonomy started implementing Artificial Intelligence in its smart searching and matching software. In these days, ‘AI’ was nothing more but a scifi-like notion. Conclusion: AI is far from new in HR, as Actonomy has been pioneering in this field.

Fuzzy fancy faces

Elin Öberg Mårtenzon, the Swedish (singing! There is more than Abba in Sweden, that is) CEO at Tengaï, introduced what she firmly believes to be the best example of what AI can mean in recruitment tooling: her ‘ready to be launched on the market’ ‘Tengaï Unbiased’. Tengaï is a robot with human looks (a nice looking lady head) taking live recruitment interviews without biases of gender, race, looks, … ‘Interviews suck, they discriminate’, Mårtenzon argues. ‘Tengaï does not.’ Quite an impressive keynote speech, indeed. But the question is: aren’t we putting too much emphasis on the technological side, slipping away from the real added values AI can offer to recruiting? Do we need a talking head to bring our recruitment to the next level? Chatbots can do the same unbiased interviewing without the fuzz of fancy faces. Beware: technology should be (much) more than just a ‘nice to have’.

filip de geijter at rec tech amsterdam 2019

Actonomy does firmly believe the future of AI in HR goes further. Filip De Geijter, CEO at Actonomy, gave a break-out session entitled ‘Passende kandidaten vinden dankzij AI’ (finding suitable candidates thanks to AI). His message: AI sometimes is a hype. To really have AI in your processes, you need three conditions to be fulfilled: data analytics, machine learning & predictions, and finally taking decisions. In a next blog post, we will zoom in on his vision on AI in recruitment. 

Cultural fit

Another interesting break-out sessions was given by Broes Sanders from Roularta, Belgium. In addition to the semantic searching technology from Actonomy, Roularta is implementing the cultural matching technology provided by CompanyMatch: a tool to match the cultural values of a company to the ones from the candidate. ‘A good match deals with more than just hard skills. What about the personality and the style? In our online recruitment portal we want to offer a ‘total match’, where cultural elements are important as well’, Sanders says. 

Apart from the many other break-out sessions and loads of personal contacts between tool providers and recruiters, the overall sentiment is clear: technology goes fast, and it may take a while for the recruiters to realize where the real added value of technology can be found. It’s more than just using some fuzz terms like ‘Artificial Intelligence’. An event such as ‘Recruitment Tech Event’ is the ideal spot to tune all violins: those from the technology and the recruitment people.

Finally, some good breaking news: Recruitment Tech will host its first Belgian Recruitment Tech Demo Day in Mechelen. Mark the date in your agenda: October 15th 2020, Vandervalk Hotel Mechelen. Be there. Actonomy will be there as well.