Almost a year ago, we informed our readers of Microsoft's takeover of LinkedIn and discussed the risk of an algorithmic takeover of the labour market. A recent study published by the firm Xerfi on "the recruitment market" states that Microsoft now has all the cards in hand to become the main player in the recruitment market. As for its colleague Facebook, it is putting colossal means in place to literally uberize recruitment on a global scale.
Ahe news of Microsoft's takeover of LinkedIn for the astronomical sum of 26 billion dollars had, in June 2016, provoked an avalanche of questions. What will Microsoft do with this company and its almost 500 million professional users? Isn't the recruitment market going to be radically transformed when the firm founded by Bill Gates will put its algorithms on this gigantic database of profiles, CVs, training, relationships, interconnections, professional networks? At the time, we were worried about the possible deployment of an algorithmic intelligence capable, as researcher Olivier Ertzscheid had predicted, of "checking our skills, abilities and interests, suggesting that we first accept this or that remunerated task, before finally deciding for us which one we would be the most efficient and profitable for ... and assigning ourselves to it".
The study published by the firm Xerfi confirms our concerns. According to its main conclusions, Microsoft would now have all the attributes to become in the medium term the main player in recruitment and the labour market. According to the Journal du Netthe firm has all the necessary tools to meet this objective:
- Expertise in artificial intelligence and algorithm design: with Microsoft Cognitive Services and Maluuba, the firm founded by Bill Gates is already ahead of its competitors.
- Video Recruitment : Skype is an integral part of the Microsoft group and therefore has a definite strength in video recruitment.
- A reference operating system: Windows has a virtual monopoly on the professional OS market.
- Professional social network: Microsoft has had LinkedIn since June 2016. With more than 500 million users worldwide, the group founded by Reid Hoffman is gradually increasing its position as a world leader in the sector.
According to Xerfi, this would enable Microsoft to implement revolutionary predictive recruiting and conversational intelligence systems. With predictive recruiting, Microsoft would be able to predict the match between a company's expectations and the 500 million members of its professional network. With conversational intelligence, using voice and text chatbots integrated with LinkedIn or Skype, Microsoft could assess a candidate's fit with the company's culture and then select them.
Algorithms are never encumbered by ethical considerations or metaphysical concerns; their cold candor and mathematical robustness make them intractable operators. By feeding on the professional data of hundreds of millions of individuals, algorithms will undoubtedly demonstrate their superiority over human intelligence. It is obvious that a large number of problems linked to the world of work such as training, assignment, career follow-up, availability, but also opportunities, proximity links, recommendations... will be better dealt with by a machine than by a human being. With much greater precision, efficiency and speed. The algorithms will soon become super guidance counsellors, extraordinarily efficient Pôle-Emploi agents.
We must also understand that Microsoft is opening a breach, but that it will be quickly followed by all the other giants of Artificial Intelligence, at the forefront of which are Google and Facebook, who will find, in the job market, data that will increasingly feed their machines and their Deep Learning protocols. We can therefore imagine easily, in the near future, "quite trivial scenarios where the dialogue with this "AI" will be enriched by a new dialogic horizon that will allow him to point out different professional events and make a whole series of transfer proposals, new contacts, etc., but also more "elaborate" scenarios in which this same intelligent assistant piloted by an AI will manage in real-time the totality of your "career". »
Facebook was quick to rush into this breach opened by Microsoft. Since the end of February 2017, Mark Zuckerberg's firm has been offering the United States and Canada its Facebook Jobs. The service consists of allowing companies to publish job offers directly on their company page, while retrieving potentially interesting applications. All this, for the moment, for free.
In this respect, Facebook applies a recipe that has already proven its worth: huge audience + investment capacity + ease of use + data processing expertise = a service that is becoming a must for most of the world's SMEs looking to recruit staff easily and reliably.
A disaster for traditional recruiters and other specialized media. Facebook thus launches the massive uberisation of the recruitment market.