Could technology spell the end of recruitment as we know it?

Written by
Rauf Mammadov

21 Sep 2016

21 Sep 2016 • by Rauf Mammadov

How has HR developed?

The concept of human resource management, simply known as HR, has been around for more than a century. Initially implemented in 1901 by the National Cash Register Company as a method to increase employee productivity, HR has since evolved into a much more varied department. Nowadays, the majority of businesses use HR to handle employment, professional training and remuneration of employees, and professional evaluation, while also resolving internal conflicts and complaints.

However, with the passing of time, many of the duties that belonged to the HR department, can now be solved easily with the aid of modern technology. For example, employment is now mostly handled by the increasing number of recruitment firms and online platforms. According to several specialists, the recent changes and advancements in modern technology could eventually lead to the end of the HR department as we know it. For example, YouTube gets almost 258 million daily views from the Middle East. The question is, if there’s online viewing, why not have online interviewing?

Online interviewing

In the past decade, there have been important changes in employee recruitment. Besides recruitment firms, social media has started to gain a considerable advantage over HR interviews. The emergence of social websites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, or Ecademy allows employers and employees alike to search and evaluate prospects a lot easier and faster.

Alongside with employment, HR departments also play an important role in employee evaluation. End of the year report forms and employer-employee interviews are currently the most common methods of evaluation available for employers. However, according to Deloitte and Accenture, both large, high-profile consulting firms, simplicity is the key to the future of HR. Pierre Nanterme, the CEO of Accenture said that "the art of leadership is not to spend your time measuring, evaluating. It’s all about selecting the person. And if you believe you selected the right person, then you give that person the freedom, the authority, the delegation to innovate and to lead with some very simple measure.”

Through this new method, the employer will be able to keep a closer, ongoing relationship with the employees. Researchers from Deloitte developed a simple questionnaire, made up of four quick questions, designed to be given out to project managers after each project is finished. Two of the questions are Yes/No questions, while the other two are answered based on the Likert scale (strongly disagree – disagree – neither agree nor disagree – agree – strongly agree).

The importance of evaluation

Studies show that introducing these timely evaluations will greatly benefit both the employee and the employer. On one hand, the employer will be able to evaluate employers much faster after a project has ended, whilst also being able to compare the results of the questionnaires throughout the year. On the other hand, the employees will receive a prompt evaluation of their skills, allowing them to improve on the go, rather than having to wait all year for the evaluation form. Furthermore, this method will allow employers to focus on investing more in the development of their employees based on their current performance.

Moreover, the constant modernization of online tools has led to a visible rise in the opportunities for training, development, and seminars for employees. Online learning provides employees with options that weren't available to them in the past. The possibility of earning online certificates and degrees not only trains better employees, but also saves countless amounts of dollars in travel expenses for employers.

Nevertheless, one of the most important trends in HR in the past decade is the change of generations. Millennials and their children, known as Generation Z, are slowly taking over businesses, either as employer or employee. The different mindset of the newer generation can be seen in recent research. The vast majority of young employees are already looking for the job of their dreams. And they're willing to go the extra mile if they need to. As such, almost 90% of young employees are already looking for a new job while they're employed on their current job. For the HR departments and employers, this means that jobs and perks will have to be different and more attractive, while potential conflicts should be minimized as much as possible.