Cognitive Computing in HR: The Evolution

Cognitive Computing in HR: The Evolution

Anyone with a flair for technology must have heard about the seemingly miraculous feats that have been accomplished by IBM’s Watson; a question answering super computer system, which relies on the power of artificial intelligence and deep learning algorithms to replicate a high-functioning human’s ability to answer questions and with a greater accuracy.

Watson has found its applications, possibly in every imaginable way, right from predicting a future health emergency for patients to creating recipes for any taste to guiding people around a resort like a concierge, to fighting cybercriminals. IBM Watson is just an example of what cognitive computing is capable of.  But what does this technology entail for HR?

What is Cognitive Computing?

Cognitive computing refers to the usage of computer algorithms to imitate human cognitive capabilities and find quick solutions to complex problems. Some of the technologies used in cognitive computing include neural networks, robotics, expert system and virtual reality. Computer systems with cognitive capabilities can synthesize data from various information sources while considering the context and evidences to come up with the best possible answers to any problem. At the center of a cognitive system is a huge database and powerful processor that can access information at ultra-fast speeds. Cognitive computing is a combination of analytics, data and a powerful infrastructure. The technology ultimately uses AI and machine learning to understand, learn and grow. IBM Watson is the most popular example of cognitive computing in action.

There are mainly three areas where cognitive computing is affecting HR:

This article is a brief and simplified analysis of the IBM report titled, “ How cognitive computing is transforming HR and the employee experience”. 

Cognitive Computing in HR: Ongoing evolution

Applications of cognitive computing are pretty much endless. HR, which is now looking towards technology with an unusual fondness and expectations as compared to, say, five years ago is also hopeful about the possibilities and impact cognitive computing can create in the future. IBM’s research shows that 66% of CEOs believe cognitive computing can drive significant value in HR while 50% of HR professionals acknowledge the power of cognitive computing to drive transformation in HR.  The goal of cognitive computing is not to replace the HR, but to expand the HR’s capabilities by processing the truckloads of data available, that humans would possibly take months to process and retain, and provide a potential solution.  Therefore, cognitive technology is one of the key HR trends in 2018.

(Also Read: Need for HR Digitization)

cognitive systems

cognitive systems

 

Here are the three areas in which cognitive computing are evolving HR:

  • Talent acquisition using cognitive solutions

The IBM research reveals around 46 percent HR professionals maintain that cognitive computing will positively impact talent acquisition and onboarding. This particular area of HR functions requires a lot of optimization in terms of operational efficiency and cognitive technologies will help achieve just that. With the current crop of recruiters juggling multiple responsibilities from creating job descriptions to posting them on different platforms through their choice of ATS and completing the acquisition.

With the aid of cognitive technology one takes on the approach of a marketing strategist where the recruiting efforts are optimized with better talent targeting and time utilization. Armed with analysis of millions of profiles the cognitive systems will help recruiters identify the right talent much more rapidly and with greater accuracy. From speculative hiring, the recruiter turns to predictive hiring.     Plus, you can also improve the onboarding process as IBM did when it launched in 2016, CHIP a cognitive onboarding assistant that is a one stop source of knowledge for every new hire.

Also Read: Chatbots In Recruitment: How Do They Help?

  • Talent development through cognitive technologies

In addition to talent acquisition, talent development is another area where cognitive technologies can provide an enhanced experience. 48 percent HR believe that digital skill gap is one of the major challenges while 40 percent believe cognitive computing can help address this challenge effectively. A personalized learning path where content is tailored to employee needs and continuous feedback through continues social analytics are just two of the benefits of a cognitive-enabled talent development program.

In a global organization where career conversations are relegated to once in a year performance review discussion, cognitive tools can provide the managers with great insights right at their desk which can help them have an ongoing dialogue with the subordinates to help them grow better.

  •  Optimizing HR operations through cognitive solutions

HR policies change often and so does the workflow related to those policies.  The research shows that 39 percent of CHROs believe cognitive solutions can help overcome the complexities of HR operations, especially when there is a sudden process change.  For instance, if new benefits are introduced then HR would use the official email as a channel to communicate this change. However, in most organizations HR emails are often overlooked due to lack of engagement or time constraints.

When an employee needs to know such a change his only option remains to locate the information on company’s HRMS or ask his manager about the same. These different channels may be inconsistent with each other and instead of helping might end up confusing the employee. On the other hand, a cognitive solution will use natural language processing to understand the employee query and tap into every available resource through intelligent algorithms to come up with an answer to even the most trivial or novel queries.  Reduced runtimes of HR operations and payroll management is a huge benefit of cognitive capabilities.

While this is a high-level impact analysis of cognitive capabilities and their applications in HR, we will later see how an HR department can take its first step towards utilizing these solutions to their benefit.

 

Importance of Artificial Intelligence in HR: Five Practical Applications

Importance of Artificial Intelligence in HR: Five Practical Applications

While we can keep browsing through articles scattered all over the web that speak about the impact Artificial Intelligence is creating in HR, there are only few who delve into the practical problems being solved by use of Artificial Intelligence. Time has come when instead of talking about theory of the AI and its high-level impact, we look at its real world applications in context of the HR industry and the ways in which the recruitment can take full benefit of the resulting disruption. As a forward thinking, technologically inclined product vendor, we have listed some of the players which are doing outstanding work in this field. There are others also, but these have impressed us the most.

Here are the five practical applications of AI in hiring that make us understand the importance of artificial intelligence in hr:

Mya Chatbot aka Artificially Intelligent Recruiter

Formerly known as Firstjob, Mya systems have developed a recruiter chatbot, named, Mya. The bot uses artificial intelligence to communicate and interact with jobseekers.  Mya was launched in July 2016 and it works on different levels such as sourcing CVs, screening them for the job and scheduling the interview. The application assistant relies on Natural Language Understanding to find meaningful information from the candidate’s response to a query and accordingly responds to it.

Mya also delivers regular updates automatically to the applicant about the status of his job application. The best part about Mya is that it can easily integrate with your existing ATS and career sites. The cloud based bot uses different mediums like Facebook messenger, Skype, SMS and Email to communicate with the applicant from within the ATS. Over the course of its existence, the chatbot has interacted with more than 2 million candidates growing its knowledge base intelligently with every interaction.  The automation made possible by Mya enables recruiters to free up a large part of their bandwidth for doing actual HR tasks.

(Also Read: Chatbots In Recruitment: How Do They Help?)

Relink

Relink is a Copenhagen based startup that sells APIs for screening and matching candidates. These APIs use machine learning to identify different patterns in CVs and accordingly match them to a particular job.  Having the experience of reading through more than 20 million CVs, Relink is one of the first players to provide a machine learning based platform for CV-Job matching.

The smart API can be integrated with the existing recruiting software to boost its search and matching capabilities. They have named the API as Marlowe which uses Artificial Intelligence to provide smart recommendations, do smart research and offer insights based on industry trends and skills. The purpose is to make it easier for the recruiters to find the right match, and save crucial time in the process by application of machine learning and big data.

(Also Read: Benefits of using Semantic Search in Recruiting)

HiringSolved

If you are looking for an AI based tool that reduces bias in recruiting, HiringSolved has you covered. Its experimental tool RAI uses hundreds of data points to identify diverse candidates to help you reach the diversity goals. The tool uses a proprietary statistical model that was developed in house that allows users to boost search relevance through the platform’s ethnic and gender diversity models. The other function of RAI is similar to that of Mya, which is interacting with candidates just like any other human assistant.

RAI uses the same Natural Language Processing that Mya uses to understand the conversations and come up with a suitable response. The developers promote its context awareness as one of the big differentiators amongst its competitors. Other than RAI, Hiringsolved has developed an AI powered advanced “talent matching and search” technology called Talentfeed. Talentfeed analyzes billions of data points across the social web to come up with a pool of talent along with data of their skills, experience and more. The same technology can power your ATS, CRM and HRIS to enable AI based recruitment in your organization.

Read now: 5 Best AI Based Recruitment Software in India 

Textio

Do you need to improve your job listings? Textio will help you do precisely that and through Artificial Intelligence. It is an augmented writing platform which provides HR all the help they require for constructing effective high impact job postings. Powered by machine learning and Natural Language Processing, Textio smartly analyzes millions of job postings and recruiting outcomes to recognize the patterns that result in some posts getting greater success than others in terms of applies.   The startup aims to solve diversity and talent sourcing problems by helping the recruiters write their best job post ever.

(Also Read: How to Improve Talent Sourcing in Your Organization?)

Hirevue

If video interviewing is one of your main recruiting activities then it’s worth taking a look at Hirevue, a recruiting startup based out of Jordan. The startup applies AI algorithms in the most innovative ways to select candidates through video interviews by analyzing their raw audio, facial expressions and many other data points. The Hirevue Video Intelligence platform aims to speed up the recruitment process by reducing reliance on CV and combining video interviews with predictive, reliable I-O science and artificial intelligence.

(Also Read: The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Recruitment)

 

Key Features of Applicant Tracking System that are Absolute Must Haves

Key Features of Applicant Tracking System that are Absolute Must Haves

This is no secret that recruitment departments across all scales of organizations are arming themselves with HR software, showing specific interest in the new age cloud based applicant tracking systems (Also Read: Why Cloud Based ATS is better). Buoyed by the useful features and productivity increments that these ATS present, organizations are lapping up every opportunity to adopt the new technology. However, if you want to experience full benefit of an ATS, it’s essential to do due diligence of the vendors providing it. Here are some points to keep in mind while making the decision:

Multiple job board access is an important applicant tracking system feature

An applicant tracking system should allow recruiters to post jobs on multiple job boards in one go. To enable this feature ATS should have multiple job board access. In order to build a large candidate pool, it is essential to be able to source CVs from multiple channels. The ATS should have this inbuilt feature where the user can post the job to multiple job boards in one go. This feature makes sure recruiters do not have to post the same job description to different job boards one by one and thereby reducing the redundancy. It helps in increasing recruiter productivity and speeds up the hiring process.

(Also Read: How to Improve Talent Sourcing in Your Organization?)

Candidate screening is one of the key ats features

After sourcing, recruiters have to screen the candidates for the open position. Going through thousands of CVs is not an option as it will be a tortuous and time taking process. The ATS should be equipped with candidate screening tools that automatically scroll through the CVs and parse them in structured, searchable format. Using the screening feature, recruiters should be able to filter through the entire database of CVs in few minutes to find the relevant matching profiles.

ATS resume parsing technology is an important component of applicant tracking system

The most critical functionality of an ATS is its ability to find candidates based on keywords query of the recruiter. Although there are many other uses of an ATS but there is little that you can do until you have found someone for hiring. Just because you have a huge database of resumes doesn’t mean that you can easily hire anyone whenever required. The data is of little value if you do not have the means to retrieve the right information when you need it.  Therefore, having an exceptional search and resume parsing technology is of critical importance.

ATS uses resume parser to extract useful information from CVs and make them searchable. With the aid of semantic search capabilities, an ATS is quickly able to sort CVs as per the keywords. An ATS with an intelligent parser is able to understand keywords and the context in which they are used and return accurate results. With a strong parsing technology in place, an ATS can become HR’s best friend helpful in better talent management by removing manual entries and wrong information.

(Also Read: The Benefits of Semantic Search in Recruiting)

Reporting and analytics is one of the key features of an ats

Ask any recruiter, and his biggest pain is hitting the target numbers. Hiring process is as much about getting tangible results as it is about building fruitful relationships with candidates. This means ATS should be as much about providing sound reporting and analytics capabilities as it should be about providing a positive candidate experience.  Ask your ATS vendors about the recruitment metrics that can be tracked by the ATS. Time to hire, time to fill, cost per hire, and employee referral tracking are some of the vital recruitment metrics that your ATS reporting and analytics module should cover.

(Also Read: Top 5 Recruitment Metrics That Matter)

Mobile friendly user interface is one of applicant tracking system functional requirements

Millenials are a mobile loving generation. If the candidates are using mobile to search and apply for jobs, the applicant tracking system should enable them to do so. The ATS should provide ease of use through a mobile friendly interface to candidates who want to complete the application process while on the go. If the ATS cannot provide a seamless experience on mobile, there is a huge chance of losing out the talent to the competition.

Instant messaging and collaboration is an essential application tracking system feature

ATS that are equipped with messaging and collaboration tools allow seamless communication between candidates, recruiters and the hiring manager. With proper communication candidate experience is positively impacted which again leads to building of a strong employer brand. In the end, a strong employer brand is essential to attract the top talent. Also, seamless collaboration removes bottlenecks, enhances performance and propels the process towards greater success.

(Also Read: How to Select an Applicant Tracking System?)

 

Need for HR Digitization

Need for HR Digitization

Digital transformation is reinventing the way organizations perform and measure their success. Before we dig deeper to understand why HR digitisation is important for organisations, let’s understand the basics first.

What is digitization in HR?

The digitization of HR refers to increasing use of digital technologies to drive business objectives in HR.   For a long time HR professionals have mostly worked in isolation, performing their daily administrative duties religiously. They were hired for employee management and legal compliances. However, due to the rapidly changing digital technology, even HR is undergoing a reinvention. Hundreds of software vendors are transforming the HR processes as we know them with breakthrough technologies. HR departments are embracing ownership of IT systems to achieve automation in their processes and drive business objectives. Whether it is the adoption of advanced recruitment management systems for automating recruiting or use of cloud based HCM systems, digitization is blurring the lines between IT and other business functions like HR.

It therefore doesn’t come as a surprise that technology is disrupting corporate human resources functions. The HR scene has witnessed an outburst of umpteen worthy digital tools that are reinventing HR role and opening up new productivity channels. This is the age of technology, which could be a challenge for the HR, albeit shrouded in a great opportunity. Only those who are able to harness the power of digitization can lay their claim to remain competitive in the long run.

Read more

How to Create a Positive Candidate Experience with HR Technology

How to Create a Positive Candidate Experience with HR Technology

If we are to go by what experts are predicting for the recruitment industry in 2018, improving employer brand is going to be one of the topmost tasks. This essentially means that as a recruiter you will have to, in addition to other activities, work hard on enhancing candidate experience. In this age of constant competition, you as a business can only grow when you have top talent working for you and it doesn’t take an expert to decipher that to attract the best, you need to provide them an experience they deserve. Technology can go a long way in helping you achieve this goal.

Here are 4 simple ways to use technology to create a good candidate experience in recruitment:

Using technology to communicate is one of the best ways to improve candidate experience

Using technology to communicate is one of the best ways to improve candidate experience

A research by Software Advice reveals that out of the many grievances that applicants had, communication or lack of communication was a major reason for a poor candidate experience. Over one third of the respondents to the survey said that they would prefer more communication in the entire hiring process.

Sometimes we can’t even blame the recruiters for this communication gap as there are so many stakeholders involved and considering hiring is such a time consuming process, it is actually quite a task to maintain track of 100s of candidates who have applied to a particular role. In a scenario where at any point in time there are at least 10 or more openings in a SME, we can only imagine the kind of efforts that are required for maintaining a lag free communication.

If you are interested in a particular candidate and you do not convey the results within the due time, he might find employment elsewhere. This is where technology comes into the picture. Recruitment software will allow you to generate automated emails that can be scheduled to be triggered on particular events such as success or failure to pass a particular stage of hiring. You can personalize these emails with your logo and company colors to reinforce the brand.

(Also Read: How Recruitment Software Works, its Benefits and Main Features)

Using technology to improve employer branding is one of the candidate experience best practices

Creating a strong employer brand is essential if you want to communicate to prospective employees that your company is a desirable place to work.  Giving insight into your work culture and ethics to jobseekers is actually helping them make a decision regarding their suitability for a role in your company. This assistance will create a positive candidate experience and help you grow your reputation as a recruiter. While the basic purpose of an applicant tracking system is to organize and track resumes, the software can be customized to increase brand awareness.

A recruiter can promote a more pleasant applicant experience by merely providing clear details of the benefits that come with the job and what’s it like to work for your business. Most ATS come with the capability to create and integrate the company career site. You can use this section to communicate company brand to candidates through “What’s it like to work here” videos and other details regarding the company’s vision and values.  Most applicant tracking software vendors will assist you with personalizing the hiring process through use of company’s logo and company colors. This ensures uniformity and conveys a seamless application process, right from filling the application form to responding for interviews.

(Also Read: 5 Must Haves for a Company Careers Website)

Using technology to improve recruitment process is a great tip for improving candidate experience

Using technology to improve recruitment process is a great tip for improving candidate experience

The same research by Software Advice cites unclear application instruction as the top cause for negative candidate experience. For example if the job application instruction does not clearly indicate the eligibility for the role, it can create a lot of heartburn for the applicants. Using technology, recruiters can address this very basic hiring mistake. Applicant tracking systems allow recruiters to create and store templates of all the past job requisitions within the system, which can be used time and again without the need to create a requisition from scratch every time a new vacancy arises. This not only reduces the error rate but also reduces the workload for recruiters.

Plus, a candidate applying for the role through recruitment solution can complete the entire process without much effort by filling in the required fields and uploading the CV instantly. Once a jobseeker clicks on the Apply button, they can instantly fill the application form and upload their resume instantaneously. Not only does it reduce the work on a candidate’s part as he won’t have to manually email their CV but also improves recruiter’s productivity.

(Also Read: Suggestions to improve recruitment and selection process)

Using technology to reduce hiring timelines is a good idea to improve candidate experience

Using technology to reduce hiring timelines is a good idea to improve candidate experience

21% of the surveyed candidates said that improvement in hiring timelines can greatly impact the overall hiring process. There are no prizes in guessing the usefulness of applicant tracking software in improving speed of hiring. With every aspect of the hiring process automated and system controlled, there is a huge improvement in the time lost between getting approvals of the stakeholders involved which ultimately tells on the hiring speed. Plus, quick communication as we have already discussed, further reduces the total time taken to fill an open vacancy. This is just a classic win-win situation for all the parties involved, from candidate, who gets a better experience to the recruiter who improves his productivity and contributes positively to business bottom-line.

(Also Read: How to reduce hiring cycle time)

 

The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Recruitment

The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Recruitment

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is talk of the tech-town. Some hotshot CEOs are busy sparring over the positive and negative impacts of AI, and others are simply in awe of the immense impact that AI can have on the humankind and the life’s existence as we know it right now. While everyone debates over the good or adverse effects AI will have in future, one cannot deny its usefulness in the current times. Recruitment is one industry which can take solace in the fact that AI has to offer nothing but benefits only for improving various aspects of it.

 

Any technology which claims to be disruptive ought to impact a plethora of industries and not just those which are traditionally tech reliant or have a close relationship with it. This holds true for Big Data, Cloud and now, Artificial Intelligence. AI is being adopted widely as executives across the spectrum are planning to actively implement it in their organizations. A global survey of 203 executives reveals 75% of them will deploy AI actively in the next three years while 3% say this is already happening. In such circumstances, it is only natural for the recruitment industry to lap up AI with both hands and experience its benefits first hand.

Benefits of Artificial Intelligence in Recruitment

Artificial intelligence based recruitment drives efficiency

Application of AI implies using machine learning’s pattern recognition methodology. By tracking all the input and output data after some time of repeated use, AI algorithms are capable of finding the most efficient methods of accomplishing tasks and that’s what it makes a much needed tool for recruitment. The data driven approach of artificial intelligence addresses recruitment weaknesses such as manual error due to fatigue or biased judgment, thereby, driving efficiency.

As per Deloitte’s 2017 Global Human Capital Trends survey findings, 81% of respondents put talent acquisition as the second most important challenge. Using technological advances like AI, one can incorporate smart algorithms that transform the process and allow recruiters  to hire better talent without wasting much time and resources. Some recruitment management software come embedded with AI algorithms to automate HR processes like matching CVs, searching candidate information across the web, processing it and creating a complete profile. The HR can later analyze the profile and combine it with the CV to come up with candidates that are best suited for the open vacancy.

(Also Read: Hiring Trends In 2018 That You Can’t Ignore)

Recruitment through artificial intelligence increases candidate pool

There is no doubt that a machine-assisted search will reach to a greater pool of candidates than a human recruiter’s manual search. But AI takes this reach a step further. Artificial intelligence algorithm analyses the social media profiles and posts of candidates to help come up with a greater pool which might be suitable for the role. This doesn’t increase the work of the recruiter, as AI only selects those which are the nearest fit. In fact, it gives the HR a bigger set of options from which he can choose the best.

AI in recruitment improves gender diversity at workplace

Gender bias is one of the worst kept secrets of the corporate world. Technology, in addition to its primary role of ameliorating efficiency and boosting productivity is also working towards rooting out this major handicap. As per the author of The Future Workplace Experience: 10 Rules for Managing Disruption in Recruiting and Engaging Employees, the major cause of lack of diversity is the unconscious bias that recruiter practice unknowingly. AI as a third party tool can be of great importance in identifying such practices by recognizing patterns of bias. By identifying patterns of communication on sensitive data points such as gender and age, AI/machine learning can help close the blind spots.  The market already has such tools.  Glassbreakers, has a software that helps companies identify their diversity gaps. Textio is another company which has an AI-driven word processing tool that uses machine learning to help businesses analyze job posting for bias.

Using AI tools for recruitment helps improve candidate experience

The time from applying to a job to getting a call for an interview and then getting the feedback of the interview is of great anxiety and stress for the jobseeker. Those who get selected finally might forget the agony of the long wait in their euphoria, but those who are not able to make it in the end and still have to go through the excruciating pain of waiting will take a highly negative perception of the company and the business in their minds, which will travel to others through word of mouth. It is important for businesses to create a positive brand image in the mind of jobseekers in order to attract the best talent.

AI can help reduce the processing time and improve candidate experience by keeping them connected and engaged during this waiting period. This is where chatbots come into play. Mya is one very popular example. It is chatbot software that helps streamlines the entire recruiting process and claims to reduce the hiring time “by 75% by automating screening, sourcing and scheduling.” For a jobseeker, this is a bigger relief as his application can be reviewed within minutes for eligibility and he won’t have to wait for two weeks to hear from the recruiter for feedback. There are other AI-powered chatbots like JobBot, Yodas and Jobo that are either focused on improving candidate experience or optimizing recruitment processes.

(Also Read: Importance of Artificial Intelligence in HR: Five Practical Applications)

 

Challenges of Artificial Intelligence in Recruitment

While the hunt is on to use AI powered tools in various ways to revolutionize recruitment as we know it currently, there are still some unsolved challenges that need to be addressed before handing out the judgment. Since these tools are also being created by humans, one has to be sure that they are free from any sort of inherent bias in their code or are not susceptible to human bias. In addition, as recruiters decide to rely more and more on AI, there will be some displacement in jobs, as in where jobs will be lost out to bots and other AI tools. However, AI won’t be able to replace human’s sensitivity, emotions and judgment of a character anytime soon, and therefore, recruiters have little to worry about. They will always remain an indispensable part of the hiring process.

 

How to Convince Your Management to Invest in HR Technology?

How to Convince Your Management to Invest in HR Technology?

HR circles are abuzz with the benefits and performance of cloud based HR software system. But merely talking about the latest HR tech will not do your organization any benefit. Until the management decides to invest capital in HR tech software and processes, all the conversation about HR tech is just paying lip service. However, it’s not easy to convince the CHROs, the CFOs and the CEOs to set aside dedicated financial resources for HR Tech. Read on to know how you can make a business case for the same.

Every time the financial leaders of the company decide about budget allocation, the HR department is hard pressed to make a compelling case for its demands. Most of the organizations are still embedded with legacy, premise based solutions for HCM and while benefits of replacing this system are pretty clear, the return on investment is not as well defined and can dissuade the CFO from giving a go ahead to any significant investment in new HR technology tools and solutions. The onus is now on you to provide relevant data and context so as to make a convincing business case for HR tech investment.

Here are some tips for building a business case for HR Technology:

Show HR Tech benefits to convince your boss

To create a buy-in among the executives who will sign on the purchase orders, you need to prove that the new solution will benefit the company as a whole. Everyone knows the key advantages of advanced HR software, but how those benefits will translate into overall business success needs to be presented in clear and data-backed visual format. This will only happen after you do due diligence, spend days performing comprehensive market research and vendor comparisons. Once you have the required data to support your claims, you can clearly show the improvement it brings in terms of quality, quantity, productivity and transparency in every HR process. From thereon, the task is to connect the dots for the decision makers to show the fulfillment of a common or multiple business objectives.

An example could be how using advanced analytics solutions can help increase the employee retention rates and improve efficiency. Now CEOs are always concerned about the availability of high skilled talent. If you are able to alleviate this concern through your solution, at least you will have one of the top leaders on your side.

(Also Read: The Importance of HR Analytics in an Organization)

In addition to the CEO; CFO, CTO and CHRO are perhaps the only other people on the panel who have an overarching view of the entire organization’s performance and vision. Your proposal should be able to create a common ground for all the executives where each has a clear idea of how the new solution will help accomplishing the shared business goals. (Also Read: Need for HR Digitization)

Justify HR Technology costs with ROI to convince management

CFOs are more concerned with the ROI aspect of the investment than anything else. Ideally, you should be able to explain how the technology will be able to recover its costs in due course of time.

To come up with the ROI, you will have to evaluate the following three aspects:

Justify HR Technology costs with ROI to convince management

Calculating ROI of an HR Tech investment is a combination of the direct and indirect savings caused by the solution.  The direct or quantifiable part of it relates to minimization of payroll errors, precise attendance record maintenance and reduction in time to process different operations. It is easy to put a monetary value against time as you can measure the number of hours saved in doing a task with the automation tools. The resources thus freed can be reallocated to spend more time on other areas of HR.

Indirect savings or unquantifiable ROI refers to other key attributes of the solution that empower the recruiter with the ability to identify best hiring sources and key performers of the organization. Greater employee retention if made possible through identifiable patterns in employee data analysis is also a saving which can increase bottom-line in the long run.

(Also Read: HR activities to improve employee engagement)

Show case studies to make a business case for HR Technology

When leaders are skeptical about your proposal, it is wise to come up with some case studies that provide credibility to the assertions you make. The HR solution providers might have something to show off which can come handy or make a case study of your own by studying the competition and proving how they are doing better than you.  Case studies, if done right, are exceptionally powerful at expounding the product and its benefits and how it has solved problems in the past. They will help provide a value to your proposal.

(Also Read: Creating a Positive Candidate Experience with HR Technology)

 

Innovations in Recruiting Technology - Past, Present and Future

Recruitment Technology Innovation – Past, Present and Future

When LinkedIn was acquired by Microsoft in 2016, it took everyone by surprise. Microsoft was considered the last name that would be interested in a digital media company whose sole focus was connecting talent and providing talent solutions to recruiters.  But the acquisition did happen, and if we are to believe the statement of LinkedIn Chief Executive Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn’s graph can now be interwoven through the entire Microsoft Suit of Products like Outlook, Windows, Skype amongst others. Future will tell how this will fare for both LinkedIn and Microsoft, but recruitment industry got a big boost with the entry of the tech giant.

2017 has continued to remain significant for the recruitment industry as we already witnessed the launch of Google Hire and rumors of Facebook also entering the recruitment space were also doing the rounds although nothing concrete came out of it. The recruitment industry is at a critical juncture as we witness the highest-profile companies in the world making grand entrance in the world of recruitment. It would be silly to assume that decision makers at Microsoft or Google do not have a long-term strategy and a well thought out plan for their products in recruitment.

The recruitment technology space is lucrative and has an investment potential of billions. It is now for us to wait and watch how these firms, which are known for disrupting trends and making an ever lasting impact on every industry, will affect the incumbents of the recruitment space and everyone else – right from investors to service providers, recruiters to job seekers.

(Also Read: Disruptive HR Practices in 2018: What is changing for HR?)

Innovation in recruitment industry

The below framework visualizes the important shifts across three distinct durations of innovation. This is a generalized framework which fails to register thousands of startups that haven’t had that much of an impact. However, it does provide an overall view of innovation in recruitment space over the past 20 years.

 

Innovation in recruitment industry

 

Moving from ATS to RMS

Though a bit slow on exploring the possibilities of technology, progress has been made in terms of using tools for finding and tracking candidates.  The Applicant Tracking System, with its ability to digitally store candidate CVs, emerged as game changer during 1990s. It saved a lot of heartburn for recruiters and protected them from lawsuits through infusing more consistency in hiring practices. However, the earlier versions of ATS did little for increasing the efficiency of recruiters and focused more on compliance.

Recruitment Technology Innovation - Moving from ATS to RMS

This has changed in the past few years. There has been continuous improvement in the ATS with more features being added. The ATS 1.0 was a unique software installed locally on the customer’s server and focused on enterprises. Taleo was the biggest name back then. It was soon replaced by a new “web-first” version ATS 2.0 in the early 2000s and new players like Jobvite gained considerable spotlight and market share. This was also the period when enterprise companies like Oracle took the first step towards building full suites of HR software.

However, we are still behind time to witness a true revolution. Most companies and staffing agencies still use their manual expertise or outdated tools for tracking potential candidates for vacant positions. These tools lack the capability of posting job ads to job boards and different social media platform. The ATS is indeed a beneficial tool, but working with them demands a lot of manual dexterity, for instance, searching for right candidate using keyword research.  According to the latest insights from Alexander Mann Solutions, the new age Applicant Tracking System must progress from basic tracking to managing all processes right from sourcing to on-boarding and beyond.

This is where Recruitment Management Systems come into picture. Also known as the ‘wave of ATS 3.0’ we now see a whole new breed of HR software, also sometimes known as RMS or Recruitment Management System taking over the mantle. This new breed of software is mobile-first, user-friendly, feature rich, cloud-only and open to integrations. In fact, the development of RMS is one of the bigger highlights of the $14-plus billion marketplace for HR software and platforms.

How the ATS 3.0/RMS is different from previous versions?

While the traditional ATS is heavily process driven, the RMS incorporates all elements that HR heads are now seeking.  It is in fact a one stop solution for all your hiring needs. From having features like resume parsing and social media monitoring to post-hire tracking and candidate tracking capabilities, a RMS can do all this and much more. A good RMS not only takes care of all four stages of recruitment process that includes advertising jobs, receiving applications, screening applications and final selection but also can be used for performance appraisals, talent forecasting and employee management once the candidate is hired. These Recruitment Management Systems have advanced communication capabilities allowing HR managers to email, SMS or even tweet to potential hires. Moreover, all this happens in the cloud, which has its own immense benefit.

(Also Read: What are the benefits of Cloud Computing for Human Resources?)

Selecting the right recruitment software

The selection of recruitment software is not an easy process owing to its importance to talent acquisition or staffing firm or a recruiting department. There can be huge repercussions on recruiter’s performance and productivity, not to forget the impact it will have on the candidate experience. Hence, it helps to ask certain questions so as to arrive at a definite conclusion.

1) What to look for while buying a recruitment management system?

2) What type of organization you are?  Are you a consultant, a SME, startup or a large organization working in diverse sectors? The needs of each are different and require a different type of solution.

3) What are your key areas of improvement?

If this is your first encounter with HR software, it will help to define the pain-points of your human resource department which are affecting your business. The innovation that we call RMS is a tremendous tool for connecting prospects to right work opportunities.

(Also Read: How to Choose the Right Recruiting Software for Your Business?)

 

What is the Impact of Technology on Recruitment?

What is the Impact of Technology on Recruitment?

The role of HR has never been more crucial. With organizational excellence being the need of the hour, only the companies that focus on innovation, engineering, teamwork and people, will be able to achieve this as the most likely outcome. However, until HR stuck to its traditional role of workforce administration, it did not elicit as much importance as it does now. It was only once leaders and senior executives realized its strategic importance in contribution towards business results, the focus turned to making HR capable of driving a high-performance culture that lead to attainment of growth objectives.  This is where technology came to rescue; tools were developed and introduced that could help HR sustain its strategic efforts.

HR Technology became a fundamental prerequisite instead of being merely a buzzword. Today’s business environment is intensely competitive and promotes only the survival of the fittest and that’s why organizations are using information technology for increasing efficiency in human resource management. Implementation of technology in HR in the form of a HRIS (Human Resource Information Systems) has made it easier and faster to collect, collate and communicate information with employees and also speed up the hiring process.

The first MIS or Management Information System emerged during the 1960s when there was a mounting demand for HR departments to adopt computer technology to process employee information more effectively and efficiently.  Over the decades, the reducing costs of computer technology compared to increasing costs of employee salary and benefits has made it a necessary business decision to implement computer-based HR systems.

Importance of information technology in recruitment

HBR reported in 2016 that 57% of business and HR executives are using and 32% are willing to use new recruiting technologies and tools to speed up the hiring process.

Cloud and data analytics are going to play a huge role from now on.  But what is driving HR managers to use new technologies for screening and selection?

There are several ways in which technology can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the recruitment and selection process:

Role of technology in recruitment results in cost reduction

Role of technology in recruitment results in cost reduction

In a research, Innovex reported a reduction in screening costs by 50% using IVR in their hiring process (Thornburg, 1998). These reduced screening costs led large companies like Proctor & Gamble to adopt video conference technologies for campus hiring. (Chapman,1999). The globalization of economy and labor market has provided employers with a playfield which is not limited to any geographical settings.

In order to succeed in such a competitive global market one needs to have the brightest talent on board. Further the scarcity of highly skilled workers in engineering and computer science propelled recruiters to seek candidates beyond geographical borders. Most organizations that were earlier discouraged by the costs involved in international hiring are now employing technological aids like career websites and ATS to reduce costs while simultaneously expanding the applicant pool.  With the right tools, HR will not only have access to a larger talent pool, but will also be able to hire the right candidates. Greater retention has direct impact on cost savings.

(Also Read: How to Create a Positive Candidate Experience with HR Technology)

Using technology in the hiring process reduces human error

Another benefit of increased use of technology tools in screening and selection has been the reduction in human dependence. Humans often bias their decisions on bases of issues like sex race and age rather than merit or experience. HR professionals are also known for making compelling decision making errors like placing too much important on unverified and negative feedbacks.

Such rating biases can lead individuals responsible for hiring candidates to consciously or subconsciously make unfair judgments and discriminate against a particular group or candidate. The ATS or a similar tool removed the human element from the selection procedure and ensures a standardized one-for-all selection process that helps in valid and accurate decision making.

(Also Read: Top 10 Benefits of Using an Applicant Tracking System)

Technology impact on recruitment in terms of improved efficiency and quality

Technology impact on recruitment in terms of improved efficiency and quality

The final factor that propels use of various technologies like online talent platforms in recruiting is the improved efficiency of hiring systems by automating processes such as resume screening. Improved efficiency leads to shorter hiring cycles, thereby improving the competitiveness of organizations when hiring the best talents who may otherwise accept another offer if selection procedure takes a longer time. Automation is more about driving the quality of hire rather than focus on lowering the cost of hiring. (Also Read: How to reduce hiring cycle time)

While it’s hard to predict what exactly future holds for the human resource industry, we know for sure that innovations required to keep the HR functions competitive and relevant will rely heavily on technology. Cloud, for one, is an excellent platform for organizations to quickly jump aboard this rapid pace of innovation. Migrating to cloud provides the much needed push to break the shackles of traditional recruitment methods and adopt new ones.

The evolution of HR tech has helped reduce administrative burden on the HR department so as to be able to focus more on other responsibilities. In fact, in its current form HR technology isn’t a separate industry or entity. Its ubiquitous nature has made it as common as any other technology and companies that do not implement it in their businesses will have a tough time in the market.  CB Insights in its 2015 research estimates that investors put $2.4 billion into HR Tech vendors/ software providers/startups which are building new age Human resource management system platforms. This is a 60% growth over the previous year. The data is just an indicator of the speed with which the HR industry is changing.

(Also Read: The Importance of HR Analytics in an Organization)

 

Benefits of Cloud Computing for HR

Benefits of Cloud Computing for Human Resources

          “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.”

                                                                                                                                                                          – Leon C. Megginson

Cloud computing has been around for some time now. In fact, it’s almost impossible to walk your way through the world of HR without encountering references to cloud technology. We keep hearing large organizations making a move to the cloud. Despite the buzz, there still are companies and CHROs who are sitting on the fence, either aware and yet hesitant or still unaware of the immense benefits that makes cloud such a critical business asset in the current times and more so, in the coming future.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing refers to usage of configurable resources such as servers, storage, and software development platforms over the internet. In a cloud computing model the backend or the hardware is completely managed by the cloud vendor while the user pays only for the services used such as memory or software. These services are generally scalable. The main advantage for the user is that they do not have to build and maintain the computing infrastructure in house, thus saving in IT costs.  This new paradigm in information technology is particularly helpful for small businesses that do not have the financial prowess to match the large enterprises.

Benefits of Cloud Computing for Human Resources

 

Much of the discussion about adoption of cloud in HR revolves around the key benefits of cost of ownership, innovation and ease of use. When employers were asked to discuss their key motivations to implement cloud in HR, the results were along expected lines. While these advantages are strong enough to make a robust case for using cloud, those in HR who have learned to explore the hidden value of cloud computing will tell you there is more to what meets the eye.

Here are the top benefits of cloud computing in HR that your organization will experience:

Cloud computing in HR adds more flexibility

Moving your core HR processes to cloud adds more agility and flexibility. Catering to an audience which is always mobile, you need instant access to vital information and tools to remain relevant. Adopting cloud-based HR solutions eliminates the stacks of paperwork associated with the basic HR processes making them agile and responsive. Plus, even if the HR is working out of a different location like their home, cloud provides an easy way to manage and respond to workforce requests in an instant.

(Also Read: Why Cloud Based ATS is a better option)

HR and cloud computing allows innovation

HR is currently a minefield of changes, with a lot of things evolving even as we talk about the change. Cloud supports a quick access to innovation, unlike the on-premise software where one has to spend days going around in circle with the developers, and on boarding service executives. With cloud, not only the implementation of software innovation is fast, but also the changes are automatically adopted through updates with minimal disruption to day-to-day business. This way you will be saving time and money while implementation, and also, while adopting latest innovation to stay ahead of the curve through automatic system upgrades.

Use of cloud computing in HR saves costs

It’s surprising that out of the top three reasons of implementing cloud in the HR, lower costs of ownership ranked at third. After all, businesses are all about increasing their bottom lines and profit margins!

This points to a direction where the business leaders are now more worried about improving the qualitative aspect of their HR practices, rather than just focusing on growth numbers. In the long term, it is the easy implementation, quick upgrade, and low maintenance of cloud based HR processes which will result in significant dollar savings. Thus, cost savings to business is a natural corollary of all other benefits that cloud brings to the table.  Still, it is notable that only 14% enterprise moved to the cloud because cost saving was their primary purpose. Others latched on to it, as they realized that cloud offers more than cost reduction.

Other than these primary reasons, some other not so obvious advantages of cloud in HR include:

Impact of cloud computing in human resource management to streamline recruitment process

Recruitment is one of the most important HR functions, and with a number of stakeholders and departments involved, the process is far from simple. Requiring a lot of communication and collaboration between departments, hiring can be painstakingly time consuming at times for the HR. With the deployment of a cloud based recruitment solution, the entire process of hiring new talent which includes sourcing, interviewing and selecting the candidate can be streamlined. An integrated platform takes care of all aspects of recruitment and ensures participation of all those involved with minimal intrusion and effort, essentially cutting a lot of time and resources spent. An efficient employment process also goes a long way in building a positive company image.

(Also Read: How HR Technology can improve candidate experience)

Benefits of cloud computing in HR for talent acquisition

Till now legacy systems were at the heart of the recruitment processes. These software did make the work easy but

Benefits of cloud computing in HR for talent acquisition

owing to their dated functionalities, most of the work still needed to be done manually.  With human element involved, one cannot rule out the possibility of an erroneous decision being made on the basis of poor judgment, miscommunication or personal prejudice. Poor hiring decisions lead to waste of money and time and also put the brand reputation at risk. With cloud based technologies, one can totally avoid these human fallacies and make an informed decision based purely on data. Candidates are screened through a cloud based recruitment management system and the integrated analytics assesses the suitability of candidates through its smart algorithm. Thus, hiring the best possible candidate for an available position has become a lot easier with cloud based apps.

(Also Read: Ways to Improve Talent Acquisition)