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3 Ways Technology Has Changed Recruitment for the Better (and Worse)

shutterstock_378771547-compressorFrom professional networking sites and job boards to online applicant systems and recruitment software for in-house processing, technology has revolutionized recruitment, profoundly changing how employers and recruiters find potential candidates.

But, while technology can offer easy solutions, it often has a way of creating new problems in the process, doing a fantastic heavy lift of quickly sorting through candidates, but with a risk that non-traditional candidates or candidates with unusual experience that might be a very good fit could get stuck in the filters.

That’s just the obvious Good News/Bad News example. According to (a digital trade publication for Chief Information Officers), here are 3 ways technology has forever changed recruitment, and how the recruitment and information officers will need to adapt to overcome some of the problems that come from them.

Data overload in recruitment

Businesses can’t get enough of big data – and it’s certainly valuable in recruitment – but there is such a thing as too much data (we’ll even attest to that).

More data and high volume data sifting can allow tiny details to amplify, ultimately skewing the process enough where missing good candidates is statistically too possible for comfort. And while

the analytics and systems are becoming so finely tuned that they can boil a pile of resumes down to one applicant who will be the best fit, these increasingly sophisticated systems become more complex to maintain.

That’s why information experts suggest hiring a data scientist or analyst to help make sense of the information, and to maintain the software and hardware used to collect and store the data. Otherwise, businesses run the risk of finding themselves with more data than they know what to do with, which can create more chaos and waste resources.

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.

This obviously makes it much 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.

No downside here, except the additional data is part of the phenomena described in the first point.

Eliminating, or introducing, bias

There is a laundry list of reasons why unconscious bias in hiring hurts companies, but

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.

It can also help companies evaluate their job descriptions to identify any biases in the phrasing. Studies even show that “gendered wording” in job descriptions can unintentionally encourage a hiring bias. Because no matter how much a recruiter or HR rep tries to be unbiased and balanced, there often is some level of selection bias present. AI-based systems, assuming there are no biases in the algorithm of course, will have none.


From Sara K. White, Senior Writer, CIO. March 2017.

[ Related story: Top 10 recruiting software platforms ]

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