Future of work is one of the most discussed topics in 2017. With the emergence of automation technologies like AI and ML, there have been hot debates going on amongst the experts on its consequences in the job market.

In this first article on the "Future of Work" series, we have the founders of Multi Recruit, one of the biggest recruitment consultancies in India, Shashank Vagale & Praveen Kumar talk about these new technologies, how they will change work, and what new research says we can expect in the future.

When you and Praveen first founded Multi Recruit, you, of course, wanted to change something about the way recruiting is done. How has been the journey so far?

The journey has been fantastic and at the same time a rollercoaster ride. We still have a long way to go…. We started with the prepaid Fixed cost recruitment solutions benefitting startups, small business owners who avail a gamut of services for a low cost – info about it is here.The journey has been good and we have 300 + clients in India and abroad.

Tell us a little bit about the evolution of work and provide us with some context of the changes that we are seeing right now.

We started off as a customized recruitment specialist and have had success in helping a significant number of clients in their hiring needs, changing the perception of Recruitment Consultancy, Nowadays companies demand more strategic partner\vendors than just a traditional vendors.

Work here has always been about Continuous improvement, the team is always ideating, adapting & evolving. This is a “candidate-driven market”. A job seeker nowadays is well informed about the company that he/she would be applying for. They go through reviews, Social chatter and Company's Public image. Social hiring and Cross-Platform Integrations, Chat Bots & API’s are the way to go….

Praveen ( on the left ) and Shashank (on the right) - Founders, Multi Recruit

With the strong emergence of AI in recruiting, how do you think the scenario is changing? How is team Multi Recruit preparing for this?

AI solves only part of the problem it is not a complete solution. AI & Automation would lead to Process improvement, save time and increase efficiency. Yes with things Such as Google Hire and Facebook Jobs even large organizations see huge potentiality of AI / Chatbot’s and Automation is the way to go forward. Chatbots can also work as Process bots which would guide the Jobseeker to the relevant opening and help employers in terms of Sales functions and process functions such as Transactional processing or Moving candidates through the hiring funnel.

We are in process in terms of AI for recruitment which is coming soon.

How has candidate engagement process changed? Now as the job market is dominated by millennials are there new strategies that one needs to adapt to?

Like I mentioned before, in a "candidate-driven market" millennials would have access to data, update, and status in real time. They would apply to jobs after usually looking at the company's social presence, Social chatter, reviews and feel good factor of the organization before applying to them.

Career Marketing plays a big role in candidate attraction. Companies should get more into Employer Branding, few of young age companies have already adopted the strategy of Employer Branding to attract the best talent, one needs to master this in coming days to be at the top. Another thing candidates look for is the “hand-holding experience” or Guidance given by the consultants in terms of the interview processes and in-depth knowledge share about the job role, responsibilities and the organization that they are applying for.

We are hearing this a lot that a lot of people are not willing to work with an organization on a full-time basis. Are organizations taking the “uber-folks” into consideration as well?

Remote working is trending in the market, it would give a lot of flexibility to people working from their own place. Productivity, quality plays a major role. With diversities in Job Role, Working timing & cultural attributes, there has been an enormous shift in the mindset of Job Seeker/Employees with respect to how they perceive a Job.

As mentioned, millennials are volatile and so has earning potential been off late. We see Freelancing booming, a lot of platform/market space offering shared projects enabling the gaining potential for individuals triggering one to be a Part timer or entrepreneur. Yes, organizations in India though have been reactive in understanding the mindset shift, but have started entertaining virtual work, there is a shift seen from process-oriented thought to Outcome-oriented thought. Having said that, there is still a long way to go.

Organizations are now trending towards – Rehires, Women-centric Hiring, Diversity Inclusions, Work from Home & Freelancing.

Any final thoughts on all these inevitable changes that we see coming?

Changes are bound to happen and can’t be controlled, rather can be adapted and leveraged. The one who adapts to the trend and forecast future stay ahead of all in the race. There can always be four broad classes as I see: Initiators or what I like to call the “Game Changers” then there are the Trend Setters, Followers and Negligent.

The Initiators who are first movers and more chances to earn or lose, the Followers who want to play safe and walk on footprints of Initiators by learning from their mistakes and finally Negligent group which ceases to exist with unexpected changes.

Would like to end this discussion with a quote:

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything - George Bernard Shaw.

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