Asimov’s New 4th Law: Displace No Recruiter

robot recruiterThis an “eyes-only” post. Under no circumstances let a hiring manager or your CFO see this. Now, close the door; darken the blinds, and be ready to blank your screen if anyone walks up to you.

Ready? There’s a robot getting ready to take your job. 

I’m not talking some automated software process like an ATS ranking algorithm. I’m talking a Robot & Frank, R2D2 cute kind of robot the Aussies have built that conducts interviews and assesses what the candidates say and their emotional response to the questions.

Sophie the robot, and her pals, Charles, Matilda, Betty, and Jack, are a joint project between La Trobe University Business School in Melbourne and Japan’s NEC Corporation, involves students and faculty from management, health sciences, sociology, psychology, and education.

“She captures their (candidates) cognitive verbal responses and captures their emotional responses by monitoring changes in their facial expression,” says Rajiv Khosla, from La Trobe’s Research Centre for Computers, Communication, and Social Innovation. “The whole idea is to develop the emotional profile of candidates including their passion for the job and a behavior profile, and benchmark this against an organization’s best employees.”

He’s going to be showing Sophie to potential business partners next month at the Australasian Talent Conference.

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So, my friends, here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to use the first law of robotics to convince Sophie that rejecting a candidate would injure them. That should take care of that little problem.

Sophie Should Be a Safety Officer

Since we’re already down under, here’s another Aussie development to keep you awake. Office injuries.

Of all the things to worry about these days, injuries to office workers wouldn’t seem to be high up on the list. OSHA data says the rate of musculoskeletal disorders caused by on-the-job injuries for office worker is so low that the rate per 10,000 workers is less than 1.

But, evidently in Australia, office dangers abound. Safety Video Shop of Melbourne produced this retro look at the hazards of office life. And don’t you just wish you had one of those office machines — Note to Millennials: They are called typewriters. They’re going on eBay for $100 and more.

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.


1 Comment on “Asimov’s New 4th Law: Displace No Recruiter

  1. Thanks, John. I’d like to steal and change a good line I heard in the past few weeks:
    “Having a computer scientist work on emotional profiles is like having a *Mormon work as a bartender.”



    *No offense meant to mixological members of the Church of JC of LDS.

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