As the world of recruitment technology continues to explode, how do you revert from jumping onto every new hype? That’s where the Gartner hype cycle comes in, according to futurist Jim Carroll.
The Jetsons predicted the future
Did you know that the remote world that COVID brought us was predicted back in 1962? In a cartoon no less? The Jetsons were far ahead of their time. George, the family’s patriarch, face-timed his boss and read his news from a screen. Elroy, the son, flew a drone and went to class virtually. “This should have happened in the 23rd century”, said Jim Carroll, renowned futurist, at the 2022 E-Recruitment Congress in Ostend, Belgium. “The point is that the future is coming at us faster than we think.”
Carroll used the Jetsons as an example not only to the recruitment leaders in attendance — but also when he spoke to the NASA leadership team. “A lot of companies are realising that our world is changing at a furious speed. Business model disruption is occurring faster than ever before. The clients I speak to all see it, but what they can’t always come to grips with is the timing. When we need to recruit new staff, it is all about timing.”
The Hype Cycle
In everything Carroll does, he refers back to Gartner’s Hype Cycle, which works as a graphical depiction of a common pattern that arises with each new technology or other innovation. Each year, Gartner creates more than 90 Hype Cycles in various domains as a way for clients to track technology maturity and future potential. The five phases in the Hype Cycle are Technology Trigger, Peak of Inflated Expectations, Trough of Disillusionment, Slope of Enlightenment and Plateau of Productivity.
“You need to use the Gartner hype cycle for all HR and recruitment technology, because any tech is at a different place.”
“Amazon now owns the future of retail,” Carroll said, “while many thought people would never buy something on the internet. “The same is true when analysing recruitment technology. You always need to be thinking about the timing. You need to use the Gartner hype cycle for all HR and recruitment technology, because any tech is at a different place. Inflated expectations when a product launches never help. That’s why you need to be skeptical.”
‘Hype versus reality’
That skepticism has helped Carroll with his career as a futurist — speaking directly to and advising some of the world’s biggest organisations. “I’ve been online since 1982, and I’ve come to realise that every bit of technology goes through the same hype cycle. Now, as people speak about the Metaverse and VR, I can’t help but be a huge skeptic. I had an avatar on Second Life in 2007. I didn’t think it would be real then, and I don’t think it will be real now.”
“Robots will never take over recruitment, because we crave people interaction.”
As inspirational as Carroll may be on stage, it’s that sort of even-keeledness that got him there in the first place. “Robots will never take over recruitment, because we crave people interaction. People will always crave interaction. That’s where recruiters will excel at moving forward, and why you need to see the difference between hype versus reality in judging trends and technology.”