top of page

The Future of Recruiting Won't Any Resumes, and Two More Predictions From an Expert


Resumes will vanish, machines will drive gender diversity, and recruiting for something called “LQ” will be the next big thing. These are three predictions about the future of recruiting that Accenture’s former Global Head of Recruiting who recently joined Delta Air Lines, Jennifer Carpenter, shared at Talent Connect 2017.

And she knows what she’s talking about: Accenture hired over 100,000 people across 120 countries in 2016 alone. To recruit at that scale, it takes a forward-looking approach to hiring, including understanding how technology will reshape recruiting.

Fortunately, you don’t need a crystal ball to see the future of talent acquisition. In what’s being called the 4th Industrial Revolution, technology advances like AI and Big Data are beginning to change everything, but Jennifer is sure that they will enhance, not replace, recruiters. Here are Jennifer’s three predictions for the future of recruiting, and some tips to bring tomorrow a little closer.

1. The end of the resume is near—instead, technology will provide more signals about a candidate’s potential

“Resumes will vanish,” Jennifer predicts. “Resumes are very analogue in a digital world.”

While that’s not a new prediction, Jennifer says it’ll happen much sooner than most think. In lieu of resumes, technology will allow recruiters to pick up on more behavioral signals from candidates about their skills, competencies, passions, traits, and career interests.

This is already starting to happen, with technology like LinkedIn’s forthcoming Talent Insights helping recruiters to make smarter, data-driven decisions. With more information about what makes each candidate tick, it will become easier and easier to pair great talent with roles that they can excel in.

“We’re going to have more signals that start great conversations,” she says. “In the future, with these signals, we’ll be able to know who is the right person, at the right time, for the right job—no application required.”

2. Machines will power “intelligent inclusion,” reducing gender bias

Jennifer predicts that machines will help recruiters “ensure intelligent inclusion” and improve gender diversity. Machines won’t be distracted by those little things that bias humans, meaning they’ll be able to find the candidates most qualified for the job.

“They’re going to be able to filter through stacks of applicants, listen to those signals from our external talent markets, and tell us where great talent is hidden in plain sight,” Jennifer says. “So intelligent inclusion [is] going to help us ensure we have more diverse candidate slates, and that we’re hiring the right people for the roles that we’re hoping to fill.”

Accenture has publicly committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance by 2025, and it’s already making a great start. Of the 100,000 people hired in the last year, 45,801 were women.

Until the machines can eliminate gender bias, you can help battle it by re-evaluating whether things that were once dealbreakers are still relevant—like gaps in the resume. As Jennifer points out, many women and men take time off work to focus on family, and that isn’t a bad thing.

“It’s not just a women’s issue. It’s a family issue, and it impacts millions of people around the world,” she says. “In 1970, six men on the U.S. Census Bureau indicated that they were stay at home dads. But in 2014, this number has climbed to 1.9 million.”

Jennifer argues that taking time off for family can actually indicate a strong performer. “When you think about the types of people who can pivot from career to family and back, those are the individuals who can adapt to perform,” she says. “Those are the types of people that we need in the future workforce.”

3. Online tools will help recruiters test for “LQ”

You’ve heard of IQ, and you’ve probably heard of EQ, but Jennifer predicts recruiters will soon start hiring for something called “LQ.”

“It’s a candidate’s learning quotient,” she explains. “Their ability to come into new situations, learn, and adapt. It’s basically being able to learn, unlearn, relearn—with a smile on your face.”

Hiring for LQ will allow recruiters to substantially grow their pipelines by finding candidates who don’t have all the skills yet, but are willing to learn. She notes that Accenture’s research found that 85% of candidates would happily upskill in their own free time over the next six months to stay relevant at work.

To test for LQ and build its pipeline, Jennifer likes the idea of opening up internal training resources to potential candidates, in what she calls online “learning lounges.” Recruiters would be able to find talent that took the time to upskill and measure how they performed, giving a strong indicator of their suitability for the role.

“It’s virtually cost-free,” Jennifer says. “When you hand the candidate the apple of knowledge and they take a bite, that’s someone who has some potential and who we want to talk to. We can create a stellar pipeline.”

Ultimately, all three predictions boil down to the fact that the future of recruiting will be shaped by a candidate’s potential, not just what they’ve done in the past. “I fundamentally believe,” Jennifer says, “that people’s potential for the future and what they’re going to be doing next is far more relevant than any skill pedigree they might be showing up to your door with.”

To stay ahead of the curve and find the talent that will build your company’s future, it helps to keep one eye on emerging technology to see if it can enhance your process. With more insights and less reliance on the static resume, you’ll find it easier to spot what candidates are truly made of—and who has the potential to really shine.

bottom of page