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4 ways technology has changed recruitment -- for better (and worse)

Sarah K. White | March 16, 2017
Technology has influenced and changed the way recruiters and hiring managers do their jobs. Here are 4 ways tech is already impacting the hiring process.

 

Global reach to find potential candidates

Technology hasn't just made it easier to apply to jobs, it has also made it easier for businesses to find qualified candidates anywhere in the world. Recruiters can now scan job boards and professional network sites, like LinkedIn, for qualified candidates with the right skills - without the limits of geography.

According to research from Global Workplace Analytics, it's estimated that nearly half of the US workforce holds a job that is "compatible with a least partial telework" and that 20 to 25 percent of the workforce "teleworks at some frequency." Meanwhile, 80 to 90 percent of the US workforce says they "would like to telework at least part time" for two or three days a week.

With so many eager candidates looking to telecommute, it makes it easier for recruiters to reach out to candidates they may have overlooked due to location. And it opens a recruiter's reach to find professionals with a specific skill set that they can't find locally.

"Recruiters are no longer limited to newspaper distribution and a file of known candidates; this means tapping into a significantly larger talent pool, a more diverse pool - both of which help competitiveness of companies and expand their abilities to innovate and service customers," says Mills.

 

Eliminating, or introducing, bias

There is a laundry list of reasons why unconscious bias in hiring hurts companies, but beyond the obvious implications around equality in the workplace, a strong case can be made that diversity can make a business more successful. In one study, Intel cited diversity as a "massive economic opportunity" - to the tune of $470 to $570 billion. Intel estimates that better diversity in tech could add anywhere from 1.2 to 1.6 percent to the national GDP.

And new technology can help businesses not only remove unconscious bias by eliminating anything from a resume that might identify gender or race, but it can also help bring a specific bias into the recruitment process. For example, if a company looks at their workforce and realizes they have predominantly male developers, they can use technology to target female developers in the recruitment process, says Mills.

It can also help companies evaluate their job descriptions to identify any biases in the phrasing, says Mills. Studies even show that "gendered wording" in job descriptions can unintentionally encourage a hiring bias.

"No matter how much a recruiter or HR rep tries to be unbiased and balanced, there often is some level of selection bias present. The AI-based systems, assuming there are no biases in the algorithm of course, doesn't suffer from the same tendencies," says Fauscette.

 

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