HR tech + human touch — the ultimate recruitment process.

August 30, 2018 Michel Stokvis

smart technologies will continue to support human workers

a glimpse into Randstad Sourceright’s Q3 2018 Talent Trends findings

HR technology is taking recruitment and conversion to a new level, and quickly. Each new class of strategic sourcing and screening tools is more robust than the last, streamlining processes and making the job of human capital leaders seemingly easier and more impactful. It looks like the future of recruiting the best talent will soon be as simple as pushing a button. Or will it?

Our 2018 Talent Trends research surveyed more than 800 C-suite and human capital leaders across 17 countries to uncover trends in recruitment processes, automation and smart technologies. According to the results, most talent leaders expect that smart technologies will continue to support human workers, allowing them to focus on higher-level work. This can translate to reduced time to hire and better retention, greater engagement and enhanced productivity — in other words, better business performance. But there’s more to the story.

While it’s true that technology is helping to make recruiters more efficient and connected, successful recruitment conversions will depend on the human touch. Because a full suite of technologies is so readily accessible to most employers, successful recruiters must know how to use those tools to accelerate the process and possess the people skills to engage and hire the talent. But finding the right balance can be a challenge.

which recruitment tasks should you automate?

Our Talent Trends findings show the top four areas that talent leaders would like to see mostly or completely automated are:

  • candidate database search
  • tracking HR/data metrics
  • creation and management of HR analytics
  • the initial screening of candidates

Employers feel that technology in these areas can deliver an effective and enjoyable experience to the candidate, and value beyond that which humans can.

When it comes to finessing candidate selection and their hiring experience, employers believe people skills and the human touch remain important. Their preferences, however, aren’t 100% clear.


Which recruitment tasks do talent leaders prefer be handled by humans? Find out in Talent Trends Quarterly.


It’s clear that automation can help free recruiters from spending time on low-value tasks, allowing them to create stronger relationships with hiring managers and candidates, and helping to increase talent conversions. According to our survey, employers believe that AI is helping create a more positive hiring experience. And 65% feel smart technologies will positively impact the candidate experience.

Many of your competitors are already using smart technologies to advance recruitment. For instance, some are taking advantage of the proliferation in chatbot innovation to engage candidates. While others are using AI innovation to eliminate bias and deliver a more objective screening process. Predictive people analytics are delivering more accurate workforce planning, helping employers ramp up hiring based on business cycles and available talent.

One company, Unilever even claims they’ve saved 100,000 hours previously spent interviewing with the use of video interviewing technology. And others are using sophisticated consumer data to track sites job candidates visited before visiting the company’s website, making it clearer where to focus advertising resources.

As a talent leader, you know the skills gap is growing, and low unemployment rates in many markets around the globe make it challenging to find and engage the individuals you need to move your business forward.

gaining a competitive recruiting advantage

If you’re considering AI and automation for their ability to create speed in your talent acquisition model, you’re not alone. Our survey results reveal that globally, 62% of human capital leaders believe smart technologies will help make the recruitment process more efficient. But ultimately, this can’t be where your HR technology strategy ends.

Your competition has access to the same tools you do. And over-automating talent acquisition has the potential to make the candidate experience feel less personal. It’s not technology — or people — alone that will give you an advantage. It’s how technology and the human touch work together to deliver meaningful insights and a positive candidate experience that will give you the competitive edge.

how tech-ready is your business?

If you want to learn more about these HR trends, download your copy of Talent Trends Quarterly. Within the report, you will find data on the ways that employers view and use different technologies, examples of how companies are integrating these technologies in their recruitment cycles, and tips on using technology to power recruitment outcomes. You can also take a deeper look at findings by country and sector, and see where your market ranks in our HR tech readiness and adoption indices.


about the author

Michel Stokvis

Michel Stokvis is the director of Randstad Sourceright’s Talent Innovation Center. With more than 20 years in the industry, he has deep experience in RPO and MSP solutions, having served on both the client and provider side. His previous roles have spanned across numerous global markets and provided an opportunity for him to work with a variety of companies in many sectors.

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