As coronavirus has altered the nature of how we interact, it has naturally altered how we work and how we recruit. These trends have been developing for years, but in many ways, 2020 has been a tipping point, and some things will never be the same. Here is a look at the future of recruitment in a post-covid world. 

Remote work, video conferencing, AI candidate screening and other tech tools aren’t new. But 2020 has seen us rely on these technologies more than ever before, and adapting them to new and unexpected situations. Naturally, we are learning the strengths and weaknesses of these tools, which will inspire the next generation of advances. What can we expect from the next wave of tech in recruitment? 

A Greater Role for Artificial Intelligence

The uses and advantages of AI keep on growing. Here are some of the ways AI is affecting work and recruiting: 

  • AI in screening: recruiters spend an average of 5.19 days screening resumes for every job opening. Automated candidate tracking software saves some time, but not much, as it still requires a lot of manual inputs and human interventions in order to deliver results. There is a wide range of AI tools that promise to shorten candidate screening time, as these tools have the ability to learn over time and identify the right candidates more quickly. With AI that can be trained to source and screen candidates, human recruiters can spend their time on tasks that require human intelligence. 
  • AI in interviews: startup HireVue got a lot of headlines this year with its AI video interviewing system that pre-screens candidates and delivers detailed assessments. With HireVue, candidates “talk” with an AI system, which records the video interview and assesses candidates using behavioral science. This system saves time for both recruiters and candidates, since it simplifies interview scheduling and makes data-driven assessments of a candidates ability to do the job, work with others, and their working style. 
  • AI in onboarding: when a new employee is hired, it triggers what can often be a long, detailed, and time-consuming process. New hires need company policy information, benefits information, training information, equipment, ID cards, passwords, software, and the like, before they can ever start work and do their job. AI tools are increasingly taking over this process, allowing electronic communication of documents and signatures, chatbots that explain company training or benefits, and training on things like phone systems, printers, and so forth. 

Risks of AI in Recruitment

Artificial intelligence represents a great opportunity to increase diversity by considering candidates objectively, without regards to race, gender, age, or other factors. AI systems can be truly “blind” to these factors, eliminating unconscious bias from the hiring process. Using AI in the hiring process can play an important role in improving workplace diversity, when it is part of a broader culture that supports diverse employees. However, real-world examples have shown us again and again that AI systems often reflect and perpetuate bias, rather than eliminating it. Amazon famously had to stop using their AI screening tool, because it continually downgraded female candidates, despite attempts to retrain the algorithm. HireVue seeks to avoid perpetuating unconscious bias by continually validating their dataset with human intelligence. Any company adopting AI-based tools must be aware of the risks of bias in the system, and have a plan in place for continuous monitoring of the system to prevent bias from creeping in.

The Next Steps in Remote Work

Zoom and Teams meetings are arguably the defining experiences of 2020, and many companies were already using remote workers, communication tools, and cloud-based storage. What technologies are next for remote work? 

  • Productivity, scheduling, and administration: while many people are eagerly anticipating VR and AR workplaces, it turns out that’s not the priority. As more and more people are working remotely, from home, in different places around the world, and balancing work, child-care, and family responsibilities, it is productivity and scheduling that have become critical. In the absence of traditional working hours, commutes, and school days, individual workers are struggling to manage their own schedules for productivity, and team members and supervisors don’t have a lot of insight into productivity and workloads. A host of new tools are being used to help employees track time or business expenses, give team members and supervisors insight into tasks and workloads, and smart AI-driven apps are helping to coordinate remote and global team schedules. Workers are using AI-powered phone apps like Dewo to track their activity, minimize distractions, and share their schedule with others. 
  • Security. Remote workers can pose a variety of security risks to companies. Today, more than half of companies report that new users need access to 10 or more networks and applications in order to do their jobs. For remote work to be secure, access and authentication procedures need to be hardened, devices need to be managed remotely, and companies need to evaluate everything from VPNs and firewalls to physical device scanning and security. In a perfect world, every remote worker would have dedicated work devices, and use their personal devices for personal activities only. However, given the rapid changes inspired by Covid, many employees shifted to remote work before companies were able to fully assess and implement improved security and acceptable use policies. To date, companies have largely relied on training and compliance to protect corporate security with remote devices, reminding people to change their passwords and use secure networks, but those systems are inefficient and unreliable. Companies are looking for technology solutions that streamline access and authentication, protect company data and provide security, while also streamlining communication and collaboration. 

Risks of Remote Working

The myth that remote workers are less productive has been debunked over and over again. Remote workers are just as productive, just as collaborative, and just as innovative as on-site team members. The real risk of remote work is to company culture. Organizational culture is typically communicated informally, as new employees observe the behavior of coworkers and team members and learn how to fit in. In a recent survey, 30% of hiring managers reported less team cohesion among remote teams. In response, many companies seem to be instigating more and more video conferencing meetings and checkins, as a way to keep communication channels open. And yet, just like in the physical workplace, endless meetings are not always as productive as we would hope. Other strategies might include dedicated Slack channels to share jokes, tips, shoutouts, and other non-essential communications. Companies can create internal weekly department newsletters, sharing what the team is working on this week and any significant goals or accomplishments. Periodic all-company or all-department video meetings can also help people feel more connected to each other. 

As we can see, no matter how advanced our technology becomes, it’s human intelligence and connection that creates teams that will grow great brands, now and into the future. For help recruiting the best talent and building a workplace for the future, contact Grapefrute today.