The latest 2018 Talent Trends report shows that HR is seeking aÂ blend of high-tech and high-touch when it comes to AI deployment.
By Michel Stokvis
While they wonât sport bionic arms and legs, recruiters willÂ be empowered like never before by technology that makesÂ them smarter, more efficient, and more connected.Â The recruiter of the near future will be able to find theÂ right talent with the push of a button and will possess theÂ people skills to engage and convert top candidates intoÂ employees. And thatâs not science fiction.
In fact, a lot of this type of innovation is already here.Â Tools to automate search and screening processes areÂ growing smarter and more refined with each iteration.Â Candidate relationship management (CRM) platformsÂ are like a Swiss army knife for talent leaders, automatingÂ many workflows and centralizing data for greater insights.Â Artificial intelligence (AI) is helping businesses personalizeÂ and customize candidate touchpoints to create memorableÂ hiring journeys. People analytics deliver past performanceÂ data but also predict future talent needs. Itâs easy toÂ assume that life as a human capital leader will becomeÂ easier. But maybe not.
This rapid and powerful transformation may not be aÂ clear win-win. While technology is changing how businessÂ acquires talent, itâs also the great equalizerâcompetitorsÂ will have access to similar, if not the same, tools. ThisÂ means technology alone wonât provide an edge. HowÂ organizations use it to accelerate people will.Â Randstad Sourcerightâs 2018 Talent Trends researchâwhich surveyed more than 800 C-suite and humanÂ capital leaders in 17 countriesâconfirms this. Tasks suchÂ as candidate database search (51 percent), tracking HRÂ data/metrics (51 percent), the creation and managementÂ of HR analytics (51 percent), and the initial screening ofÂ candidates (49 percent) are the top four areas that talentÂ leaders say should be mostly or completely automated.Â This isnât surprising because technology can expedite theseÂ activities and provide value beyond what humans canÂ deliver.
On the other hand, employers believe that people skillsÂ and the human touch are still important when it comesÂ to other tasks. Down-selecting using video interviews (28Â percent), interview scheduling of shortlisted candidatesÂ (27 percent), and engagement and management of talentÂ communities (26 percent) are the top three functions thatÂ employers would like to be handled mostly by humans.Â Thatâs likely because each of these touchpoints providesÂ another opportunity to reinforce personalization duringÂ the candidate journey.
It is worth noting, however, that the study shows mixedÂ feelings about these top areas for human involvement.Â For instance, while 28 percent say theyâd like candidateÂ down-selection via video interviewing handled mostly byÂ humans, nearly as many (26 percent) prefer the process toÂ be mostly automated with limited human involvement.Â The same holds true for interview scheduling; 27 percentÂ say they prefer humans to manage this process, while 28Â percent would like to see the process mostly automated.
How much of the human touch is necessary depends onÂ a number of factors, such as role types, urgency, volume,Â and more. For example, an employer may scheduleÂ interviews with top candidates personally for the value ofÂ direct connection, but prefer to schedule initial interviewsÂ for an entry-level position using technology to accelerateÂ the process. In either case, automation can help freeÂ recruiters from spending time on low-value tasks, allowingÂ them to create stronger bonds with hiring managers andÂ candidates, and resulting in increased conversions.
Most of the survey respondents believe this as well.Â Sixty-eight percent say that knowledge workers willÂ be freed up to do more advanced work and 66 percentÂ believe that human workers will be more efficient,Â productive, and innovative. Sixty-five percent feel theÂ candidate experience will be positively affected and smartÂ technologies will open up new opportunities for talent.Â This outlook is further affirmed by 73 percent of humanÂ capital leaders who say that smart technologies will haveÂ as much, if not greater, influence on their organizationsÂ this year.
Michel Stokvis is managing director of the Randstad Sourceright TalentÂ Innovation Center.