In a peer benchmarking session at the ReimagineHR conference CEB, now Gartner, is hosting in Washington, DC, recruiting leaders representing hundreds of organizations expressed uncertainty about the role of technology in their function and its impact on their work.
Previous conversations we have had with recruiting leaders have suggested that technology investments were mostly focused on the front end of the process—sourcing and branding—but participants in Wednesday afternoon’s session said managing the talent pool was actually the top priority for technology investment, with sourcing second and branding lagging far behind. Those who chose talent pool management were primarily high-volume recruiters looking for a more efficient way to sift through thousands of applicants per open position.
When asked if they thought applying text analysis to job descriptions would have a demonstrable effect on hiring for diversity, recruiting leaders were skeptical. Only 14 percent believed it could, while the rest said no or that they were unsure. Textio and SAP are working on text analytics solutions to aid diversity efforts, but this uncertainty from their potential customer base underscores the idea that technology is not a cure-all for diversity.
In terms of artificial intelligence, the outlook is even more uncertain. Just over 10 percent of recruiting leaders polled said they were either in the midst of a pilot to embed AI into their recruiting processes or had recently completed one. The most popular application of AI has been to use machine-taught programs to screen candidates using video interviews.
One type of technology that did seem to resonate with this group was talent market intelligence, with 38 percent of the room already having a market intelligence capability and another 20 percent considering adding one. One recruiting leader stated that it had helped their organization make the shift from a service-oriented mindset to one of leadership, as our research (which CEB Recruiting Leadership Council members can read here) suggests recruiting functions increasingly need to do. CEB Talent Neuron is one of several products that currently provide market intelligence to recruiting teams for this purpose.
Ultimately, these results paint a picture of uncertainty about what the optimal role of technology is in the recruiting function. There is also some hesitation to make these investments due to the rapid pace of change. At CEB, now Gartner, our researchers will be studying technology’s role in recruiting in depth throughout the coming year.