I’ve been in the recruiting industry since before 9/11, a time when the US economy suffered a significant downturn. Many of my competitors lost their businesses during this period. Case in point: my best friend even lost his recruiting firm due to the housing crash and decided to join mine.  (Many years later, I am still thankful.)

Admittedly, working in a specialized niche sector—animal health and nutrition, live production and processing, which never dries up, has helped me stay in business. However, our ability to adapt to new technologies and trends, even when it feels uncomfortable or daunting, has been a crucial aspect of our success.

For instance, my website has evolved many times over the years—from having no color to one proudly donning our vibrant orange color scheme. Our first website, had no graphics! (Visit http://web.archive.org/ to see what websites looked like in the 1990’s). Similarly, as the recruitment industry now experiences another shift with the advent of Artificial Intelligence (AI), I am not among the skeptics.

Instead, I am excited about the potential AI holds, and I am confident this is the right mindset.

We have since implemented AI tools that streamline the sourcing process by analyzing resumes and matching candidates to job openings with high accuracy. This has reduced the time spent on initial screenings and resulted in a higher quality of shortlisted candidates.

Moreover, AI-driven language processing tools have enabled us to overcome language barriers when dealing with international candidates. For instance, we successfully sent out farm managers from non-English speaking countries into critical roles in US-based companies, thanks to AI-powered translation and language assessment tools.

AI, as suggested by recent studies and highlighted by ZipRecruiter, can increase productivity, particularly for less skilled employees, and minimize the disparity between the highest and lowest performers. It facilitates knowledge sharing, overcomes language barriers, and accelerates the learning curve for new employees.

As the working-age population in the US stagnates and the portion of the workforce with a college degree increases, industries that mainly employ non-college graduates will face challenges in supply. This situation calls for reevaluating hiring requirements, such as language proficiency, as AI-powered tools have significantly improved in addressing these issues.

Change has always been the only constant in my journey. From the economic downturn post-9/11 to the rise of AI technology, staying ahead of the curve and being open to new technologies has been crucial to my success. When my best friend’s company folded and he joined my team, it was a stark reminder of the importance of staying agile and adaptable.

Hence, embracing AI in my recruitment strategy is just another step in this ongoing journey. Instead of seeing it as a threat, I see it as a golden opportunity to strengthen my recruitment strategy and, in turn, my business. 

About the Author

Dan Simmons founded Continental Search in 1996 but focused exclusively on animal nutrition recruiting in 2002. He has won over 20 awards from Top Echelon Network, America’s leading placement network, including Placer of the Year in 2009 and the prestigious Million Dollar Award.

Dan is currently focused on recruiting top talents such as nutritionists, technical support professionals, sales managers, and executive-level positions, including technical directors and VP of sales and marketing. For the latest job opportunities, you may connect with Dan on LinkedIn or email him at dan@continentalsearch.com.