Article: The future of technology in HR


The future of technology in HR

Exploring the recruitment trends to come, Theofilos Vasileiadis, President, Singapore, and India at CareerBuilder, shares his insights into the future of job boards and the need for them to evolve to remain relevant
The future of technology in HR

It's no longer just about connecting candidates to jobs anymore but attracting the right candidates in accordance to the needs of the employer.


Eventually, one would have a maximum of two different HR systems being used by the HR managers. More than two would be too complex to use.


Given the rapid evolution of recruitment sector, what are some of the innovative tools and technologies that would change the way job board’s function?

Job boards have had an interesting trajectory coming into the digital age. If one had the ability to go back in time, the person would find a fairly structured way in which job boards functioned. They were structured but also time-consuming. This, coupled with the lack of robust search and scientific sorting technologies, meant employers would choose the first candidate they find suitable. In the case of big “candidate” markets like India, this makes a significant difference. The introduction of new technologies into the recruitment space has increased the pace at which the process took place.  But in its essence, the process itself has changed very little. And without the vision to adapt to evolving times, my prediction is that eventually plain job boards are going to completely evaporate. Any job board that continues functioning only in the way they are doing today would become outdated in a period of 5-7 years.  A clear vision with the willingness to adapt and evolve is necessary for them to survive.

You mention the threat job boards face if they fail to evolve.  How, in your opinion, are they changing existing work models to maintain a competitive advantage?

It's no longer only just about connecting candidates to jobs, but attracting the right candidates in accordance to the needs of the employer.  I see two broad changes in the field of recruitment.  

Firstly, one needs to find more ways to get a comprehensive understanding of the candidate so that they can pass on this information to the companies. There are platforms coming up which aim at creating communities of prospective candidates. They don't directly contribute to recruitment but are a good source for recruiters to find more information on the candidate and perform background checks and interest preferences. There is an effort within the sector to provide employers access to such platforms. 

The other broad change would be the ability of Job boards to allow employers to perform highly nuanced searches across candidate databases to find the right candidate for the job. And to do this, companies in the recruitment world need to build robust ways of sourcing, collating, and presenting candidate information. By doing this, job boards can actually provide services like “semantic” search to employers; moving beyond the non-dynamic parameters of assessment and classification of candidate database like the level of education etc. To take an example, today one finds similar jobs having different titles. Given the complexity, a plain “boolean” search, relied upon by many such job boards, would find it difficult to identify the right candidates. But semantic search contextualize search preferences and provide right options for the employers to consider. To remain relevant, job boards have to provide a complete footprint of the candidate’s experiences and exhaustive search facilities.

What are some of the best practices in the adoption of HR technology to ensure a good RoI? 

Adoption of new technologies requires every stakeholder to have a complete buy-in with regards to the need and effectiveness of such a change. We can find close analogies of adoption of new recruitment software to the way Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software were initially used by sales departments across organizations. Taking a closer look at how this software was rolled out in the previous decade, employees would often maintain two different set of records for their respective sales. One was their personal records and once in a while they would update the CRM system, rather than making the software a core part of their working.  This indicated the lack of leadership to push employees towards adopting newer and more efficient technologies. It is necessary for the top leadership to build a buy-in for the usage of the new software by the end users. This involves taking charge of the training and laying down the foundation of the system. Explaining the reasons for the change and sharing the final objectives of implementing a new system helps the leadership create that buy-in. There also needs to be stricter implementation policies which restrict users from using alternative systems. All these steps are important to push for the successful implementation of any new technology.

A major demand of organizations using technology for their HR functions is to have an integrated platform for all their functions. Are we any close to achieving that?

I’m in agreement with the fact that integration is one of the top demands of the HR community. And this is not just restricted to the recruitment space but rather the entire functioning of HR. The next step in the growth of HRIS is integration. 

If you take CRM analogy again, I believe we are moving on the exact same path that CRM took in the previous decade. Even in CRM initially, for example, one would have completely a different system for link generations and a completely different one for client management. As the software evolves, I think the winners would be the players who provide simple integrated platforms rather than complex closed systems.

I think that we are very close to having access to integrated platforms under three broad categories -pre-hire platforms, post-hire platforms for learning and management tools and a platform for the payroll management tools which would also have an accounting component. Out of these three, the first two are going to effectively merge at some point in the future. More than two would simply lead to unnecessary complexity. Currently, the systems being used by most HR professionals usually end up being very expensive and highly demanding in terms of training level of the end users, making it difficult for companies to use them in the long run.

What are the new products and technologies that CareerBuilder is developing and planning to introduce which addresses this need?

Our aim is to create a holistic platform that helps HR professionals. A platform that provides the tool to handle the complete workflow of creating and managing a job posting, including components like KPI and goes on to the point of managing the onboarding process. The intent is also to provide better search tools. We need a complete software solution which is a software platform that provides a full end-to-end experience to the employer. One way of doing this is by integrating semantic search in all our platforms to provide a much more robust set of search tools for the employers to benefit from. We have made a clear decision to fully become a technology driven hiring platform, rather than just covering candidate interaction.We are beginning to provide services through which information in a nonstandard format gets imported into a centralized database enabling employers to utilize various tools to make better hiring decisions.The point of doing this is to organize data accurately in a easily searchable database, so that mapping of competencies can be done more realistically. 

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Topics: Technology, HR Technology, HR Analytics, Recruitment

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