Talent acquisition is more than a click-and-select tech task: Experts


Many experts have an assumption that solely depending on HR technologies for recruiting may sometimes result in selecting the wrong candidates. They say technology has significantly transformed and helped HR, but talent acquisition is more than a click-and-select tech task.

Tarun Sinha, CEO, OLX People, a tech-powered HR platform, believes HR Tech helps in parsing and screening CVs faster. Digital tools allow HR managers to effortlessly zip through applicants’ content and databases, access a larger pool of candidates, bring down the hiring costs and speed up the hiring process, he said.

Sinha further said, “For white-collar vacancies, candidates can be screened on the basis of their academic performance and years of experience, but that alone will not guarantee the best results till there’s been a one-on-one interaction.”

For the blue and grey collar segments, he asserted that tech can shortlist and help on a matchmaking basis: set basic selection criteria like location, pre-requisite skills and also help with interview preparation.

“From here on, it’s the HR manager who ensures the selected candidates have the right cultural fit, skill and motivation required for the job. In summary, tech and HR complement each other to help onboard and retain the ideal candidate,” Sinha added.

Vicky Jain, CEO, uKnowva, an HR automation software, believes, apart from reduction in screening costs, another benefit of the HR technological tools in candidate screening and selection has been the reduction in human dependence.

“Humans often bias their decisions on issues like age, sex and race rather than merit or experience. HR professionals are also known for making decision-making errors, like placing too much importance on unverified and negative feedback,” Jain said.

However, he said, in the end, there is a risk that non-traditional candidates or candidates with unusual experience that might be a very good fit could fall through the rules-based system of a human resource management tool. But “a healthy combination of both human and digital interaction can create a memorable candidate experience and, in the end, that’s one of the main ways to attract top talent,” Jain added.

Increased automation will give rise to a new generation of HR specialists

HRMS (human resource management system) tools offer highly automated services. So, does that mean the role of the HR person will be minimized in future? This is one of the traditional and pertinent questions.

Refuting the overall theory of digitalisation snatching jobs, Ajay Trehan, Founder and CEO, Authbridge, said automation will not eliminate all jobs and rather it will eradicate mundane tasks where chances of human error are “high and the output bears little to no impact on the bottom line.”

Trehan further said, “The increased automation will give rise to a new generation of HR specialists armed to impact areas like business strategy, organisational effectiveness, change management, employee engagement.”

“These areas will further embellish the presence of the HR in the CXO layer, as their work will become even more strategic and critical to organisational growth,” Trehan added.

Taking a different approach, Sinha, OLX People, opined the HR functions have two aspects: transactional and transformational.

“While we find a new slave in tech to help in the transactional tasks, like the screening of candidates, recording attendance, tracking leaves, and so on, the HR functions are more dynamic today,” he explained.

According to Sinha, the dependability of different HR Tech software will undoubtedly increase over time, as companies ramp up hiring and grow rapidly. However, he said, human intervention would be required regardless of judging whether the candidates possess the qualitative skill-sets required for the job.

“Alarm bells being rung over automation are vastly exaggerated. In smart, tech-enabled environments, skilled workers and AI have been known to work together, to learn and improve efficiencies in hybrid workplaces,” he added.

HR Tech will become more adaptive now

After experiencing the Covid induced disruptions, experts expect a massive shift in HR and the related technology. They say new types of HR professionals will be needed over the coming years.

“Some HRs will continue to transition from transaction-based generalists to internal consultants who can help align the HR practices with the business goals. HR generalists also will need increased skills in change management and business process management. Another continually evolving role is that of the HR content expert,” said Jain, uKnowva.

Similarly, Sinha, OLX People, believes HR Tech will be focused on Remote Onboarding, Learning & Development, Performance Management and Employee Engagement.

“Whereas earlier innovations in HR Tech were made to help with functionalities, technology will become more adaptive now to the dynamic needs of the hybrid workplaces, and not the other way around,” Sinha said.

Trehan, AuthBridge, said there is no going back from this Black Swan event, and called “Digital HR” the new HR.

“This means that the use of HR tools, technologies and systems to support remote work will only widen under a well-thought strategy. The new hiring, verification and onboarding journeys will reflect design thinking, making it easier for the workforce to find and leverage information and tools,” he explained.

“The HR playbook will abide by the rules of agility and empathy in dealing with employees in a changing world,” added Trehan.

 Abhishek Sahu

Source: Economic Times

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