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9 Technology Trends Transforming the Hiring Process

Graphic of a human hand reaching toward a digital interface that reads, “Human Resources Management | HR,” superimposed over various graphs and charts, a map of the earth, and a line of individuals.

Digital options like electronic filing systems are a key component of the hiring and onboarding process for many companies today. However, if these systems are not updated regularly, they can create a range of serious issues, such as lost documents, cybersecurity failures, and general inconvenience. It is also important to regularly update and integrate hybrid processes, such as drug and alcohol screening and background screening. Much of these processes must largely be handled in a relatively old-fashioned way, but by integrating them with hiring and onboarding systems, you can make the process much more efficient. 

In addition to updating your systems regularly and ensuring that integrations have been used to maximum effect, it is also beneficial to be aware of what emerging technologies could improve the process even further. 

1. AI and Predictive Analytics

AI and other forms of machine learning systems process large amounts of data to identify and predict patterns. This can be leveraged in systems such as ATS (Applicant Tracking Software). ATS reduces much of the grunt work involved in candidate selection by automatically processing applications, searching for promising information such as relevant keywords, and only passing along those applications that meet certain criteria to the hiring manager. 

Meanwhile, predictive analytics can be used to make predictions about future trends based on historical data. This is valuable in the hiring process as it can be used to determine factors such as what type of candidate is most effective, optimal workforce numbers, and how to onboard efficiently. A variety of systems utilize or facilitate predictive analytics in this way. 

2. Increase in Remote Work

Options for remote work have been expanding rapidly over recent years — a trend that was spurred on further by the need for social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The growth in remote work options is due largely to developments in technology such as video conferencing and messaging options, as well as demand from workers, cost reduction for employers, and the nature of the gig economy

Onboarding and training for a remote or hybrid work environment can differ significantly from a fully in-office work environment, though applicants may still be required to submit a background check. As such, many human resource departments are having to ensure that they have robust communication channels, document management systems, and digital training resources, to adapt to remote work environments. 

3. Augmented Reality

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are increasingly being used by businesses to attract promising job candidates, a trend that is being led by giants such as the U.S. Navy and General Mills. Immersive virtual experiences can allow organizations to give prospective job candidates a clear idea of what they can expect in their work environment. For example, immersive virtual experiences could be used to offer tours of office buildings, or opportunities to interact with people and items in a realistic manner. This is especially valuable in the context of a growing remote work culture, as well as an opportunity to attract non-local candidates. 

4. Emphasis on Company Culture

Developing technologies can also be used to empower employees and encourage a welcoming and inclusive company culture. Various systems and platforms such as video conferencing options and document management solutions can improve communication between employees, and ensure that they have easy access to important documentation such as information about privacy rights and workplace safety. Portals related to employee benefits such as medical resources are also commonplace in the modern business landscape. Organizations can even use platforms for more frivolous efforts, such as organizing reward systems and games. 

5. Mobile Recruiting

Mobile recruitment strategies simply involve an emphasis on optimizing mobile recruitment channels. Many modern job candidates will search for jobs using a handheld device such as a phone or tablet, and therefore, organizations must ensure that hiring channels are accessible and professional from the perspective of mobile users. 

6. Focus on Soft Skills

Multimedia marketing skills are increasingly valuable in the workforce, and therefore communication and creativity skills are increasing in value right along with them. As such, portfolios exhibiting these skills are becoming a more common element of applications across many different industries. In this way, the need to creatively communicate through evolving multimedia formats is significantly altering priorities in the application process. 

7. Natural Language Processing

Natural language processing is a subfield of artificial intelligence that involves the processing of large amounts of language data to predict the patterns of natural speech. This technology can be used to support ATS systems, as it would allow these systems to better understand the information written on a resume, and therefore create a more accurate assessment. 

8. Forgoing Traditional Requirements

The traditional recruitment process was often arduous, with long delays in communication dependent on scheduled interactions and bureaucracy. Modern options like video conferencing software, messaging options, and digital job boards have made communication channels between recruiters and job seekers more efficient. This allows both parties to conceivably spend less time on the hiring process. There is also theoretically less waste produced by the modern hiring process, with much of the documentation now being digital rather than hardcopy.

9. Favoring Internal Recruitment

Access to resources such as online seminars and virtual shadowing opportunities may give employees more options for developing their skills within their industry. This is, potentially, a very valuable trend that may promote internal hiring, and consequently, help build employee loyalty, reduce turnover, and decrease the need to expend training resources on external hires.