AI And The Future Of HR: More Iron Man And Less Terminator


Randstad Sourceright is a global talent solutions leader with offices around the world. We help companies drive their talent acquisition, human capital management and business strategies. At Randstad Sourceright, we’re able to leverage our innovative technologies and expertise to find the solution that is right for each of our clients.

In the realm of HR technology, we’ve recently developed our Talent Velocity platform, which integrates a number of previously disparate technologies. The platform includes tools such as automated matching of candidates to opportunities, engagement via chatbot, talent pooling and curation, a freelance management system for companies who are engaging with the ever growing number of freelance and gig workers in the economy, and workforce analytics tools. By combining these technologies, we’ve been able to place ourselves at the forefront of the HR technology space. But what truly sets us apart from others is that, outside these technologies making HR more manageable, we still know that human beings are the focus of our business and most others. This combination of human insights with technology is what gives Randstad Sourceright an edge in the HR tech space.

Talent acquisition and talent retention are some of the biggest challenges that CHROs face. How can HR technology tools, data analytics, etc. assist CHROs in these processes?

Given the increasingly tight labor market, most companies are beginning to feel the squeeze when it comes to an expanding business that needs to compete for talent with other companies. But while human capital leaders often cite figures on the time it takes to hire a new worker and worker retention rates, these numbers are not great indicators of the quality of new hires.

What CHROs should be focused on is attracting high-quality candidates and improving their recruitment effectiveness, which in turn, impacts retention and employee effectiveness.

Data analytics can identify the attributes of a company’s top performers. Then, advanced matching and screening tools like the AI toolset we employ can quickly identify and engage candidates with these attributes.

Traditionally talent was sourced from within the city/local area where the company was physically located. But in the post globalization scenario, geographical boundaries are fast disappearing when it comes to workforce mobility. What are some fundamental guiding points that CHROs should take into account when looking for talent globally?

We know that over 75 percent of employers say that the right person for a role could come from anywhere in the world. This is due, in part, to the rise in what we like to call the “human cloud,” a digital space where CHROs can find and engage with freelancers, independent contractors and part-time workers at the local, national or global scale .

When looking to hire globally, companies should keep in mind they may need to break down preexisting silos within their company, i.e. if full-time and contingent (or temporary) talent are managed separately.

Managing talent in silos, as opposed to deploying talent based on business needs means that the total talent workforce is not being optimized. When all roles can be considered for all forms of work arrangements, CHROs will be able to deploy their workforce as needed and better understand global talent for a role in their company.

Various organizations maintain a contingent workforce, to serve on-demand as per the needs of the company. What management policies should a CHRO practice to ensure that the contingent workforce is cost efficient and effective for the organization?

When working with a contingent workforce, companies should ensure they are implementing and maintaining a holistic approach to their talent, whether they are contingent workers, contractors, freelancers or permanent employees. This means a shift from saying, “I need a contractor or an FTE” to saying, “I need a skill or additional capacity,” no matter how the talent may prefer to work.

By approaching talent holistically, companies will be able to shift their workforce to address the changing needs of the market and better achieve their business goals – saving money and maximizing efficiency.

This approach also allows the CHRO to spend less time worrying about the type of talent, and instead use the best talent available, regardless of whether they are a contingent worker or a permanent employee.

AI, machine learning, deep data science and chatbots are some of the hottest topics in the HR Tech landscape. Does the development of these technologies lead to an extinction of the “human” part in Human Resources?

Recruiters ask me this a lot and the analogy I use is that the shift we are seeing is less “Terminator” with machines taking over the world and more “Iron Man” where the humans who get the power of these tools become far more powerful and productive. The suit will need a pilot.

The idea is to have machines do what machines do well, repetitive tasks that can be stated as rules; and have humans do what they do well, interacting with other humans, using empathy, etc.

The widespread adoption of AI and machine learning will actually allow companies to retain a personal touch in their hiring process . By expediting time-intensive processes, like sourcing and screening, human resources officers can instead focus on creating genuine connections with candidates and take on a more career advisory role.

Great Employer Branding attracts good talent. Very often organizations ignore the significance of Employer Branding. In your opinion, what steps can CHROs take to improve their Employer Branding?

Employer branding is becoming more and more important to attract, retain and motivate talent. One of the first steps CHROs can take to improve their brand is to understand what it is their workers want. Surveying the workforce regularly on what they’re looking for to make their experience better is key to having them act as company brand ambassadors . Whether it’s options for more flexible schedules, or, providing new tools that would make their daily tasks easier, it’s important to first understand what workers want from of their employers.

CHROs should also regularly communicate with talent, by providing business updates to employees or keeping applicants apprised on the progress of their candidacy. This will not only keep talent feeling connected to the company, but, will also make it easier to reinforce the value of the work.

The foundation of a positive experience is the feeling that what employees are doing is important to the organization, peers and the company’s leadership.

What trends in the HR Tech world and within Randstad Sourceright are you personally excited about? Would you like to give our readers a “sneak peek” into any upcoming projects/solutions at Randstad Sourceright?

We are at the precipice of this AI journey. Pushing the envelope of how Talent Advisors can leverage these tools is really exciting. We are training our teams through an internal program called “Robots do my bidding” in how to use bots to maximize their own effectiveness. I can’t wait to see all of the creative new uses the teams come up with. At the same time, these technologies are all brand new. They are smarter every time I see them. Machines literally learn at an exponential pace. We are at the very beginning. Back to the “Iron Man” analogy, what we have today is the Mark I suit like Tony Stark put together with spare parts in a cave. Mark IV will be a significant leap forward.

About Randstad Sourceright:

Randstad Sourceright is a global talent solutions leader, driving the talent acquisition and human capital management strategies of some of the world’s most successful employers. They help companies to develop a winning business strategy by leveraging a Human Forward approach that balances the use of innovative technologies with expert insights.

As an operating company of Randstad N.V. — a €23.3 billion global provider of HR services — Randstad Sourceright’s subject matter experts and thought leaders around the world continuously build and evolve solutions across Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO), Managed Services Programs (MSP) and integrated talent solutions.

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