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‘Human Resource’ is the phrase that has a high impact on organizations within today’s globalized competitive world in order to stay ahead in the game. With the globalization and the increase in the talent pool, the complexity of workload and responsibilities assigned for the job title ‘Recruiter’ has increased drastically over the years. Along with the other business processes, the process of talent acquisition in organizations has also evolved over the years in order to yield the best resource for the best-suited position of the company. Today, Recruitment and Selection has also rhymed up with ‘Business Process Re-engineering’ and ‘Industry 4.0’. So, let’s take a look at what drastic improvements are brought together with these three words combined together.

What is ‘Recruitment and Selection’?

Recruitment and Selection process ensures the bringing of best-suited employees into the company. The process has not shown any rapid development over the past few decades. Even at some of the world’s leading organizations, the process still depends on the CV screening. Over the years traditional recruiters have been able to master the art of selecting the best candidate by screening thousands of CVs but this traditional process of recruitment comes with the price tag of time waste, huge cost and the total responsibility falling on the recruiters for the selection process. Hence, the need for re-engineering the recruitment process has been identified.

Business Process Re-engineering (BPE) for Recruitment?

Business Process Re-engineering has been defined as “The fundamental rethinking and radical redesign of business process to achieve dramatic improvement in critical contemporary measures of performance, such as cost, quality, service and speed”. In simple terms, it is the redesigning of a process in order to achieve a drastic improvement in the area of development required or targeted.

BPE has been used within various industrial sectors in order to achieve success by overcoming the barriers and bottlenecks. One such example is the field of manufacturing: that has enabled the overall function to increase productivity and the quality simultaneously while the decrease in the costs and wastages associated within the process.

In order to increase the efficiency and the effectiveness of the Recruitment process, it is suggested to keep the process simple by eliminating the unnecessary interviews and non-value adding process while focusing and prioritizing the necessities by leveraging on the technology to develop the communications with potential talent crowds. Also, it is suggested to place the candidate in control by adjusting according to the candidate requirements. In order to carry out the suggested development scenarios one special requirement has to be fulfilled; availability and adapting to Disruptive Technology.

Hence we can see that the current recruitment process has also fallen into the same track which was followed by manufacturing sector decades ago and has identified the relative barriers, loopholes and phases where new technology should be incorporated into the process. So we are looking at a phase where talent acquisition is taking a more technology-oriented approach.

Industry 4.0 for Recruitment and Selection?

Industry 4.0 is “the profound transformation of business models by enabling the fusion of virtual and real words and the application of digitization, automation, and robotics in manufacturing”. In simple terms, it interconnects the technical world and real world in order to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of process like Recruitment, manufacturing, logistics etc.

Application of Industry 4.0 technologies can be used within the scope of the end-to-end talent acquisition process to increase efficiency. Various veterans in the business world have predicted and defined ways for levering technology in the phases of the talent acquisition process.

Let’s analyze the combined effect of the 3 words: Recruitment & Selection, Business Process Re-Engineering and Industry 4.0 in order to identify the re-engineered process and the cutting edge technologies associated with.

Traditional recruitment process involves several phases which start from the initial job posting that goes through the candidate filtering up to the final candidate selection finalizing point. In the current scenario, the recruitment process starts with the initial organizational branding. As stated by Prakash Rao from Harvard University it is a necessity to establish Sourcing Center of Excellence (COE): a resource group with the focus on identifying the exact source of the candidate and the required process can be carried out by the most accessed non-paid channels: social media. Social media acts as the platform for organizations to brand themselves by means of various tactics such as corporate social media pages, mobile marketing that involves accessing potential candidates via various technological channels like mobile, email, video etc. and creating a free whitepaper, eBooks etc. Job posting can also be carried out with the help of cutting-edge technologies to prevent the job descriptions to come up with any misleading or gender biased information. One such technology is the Textio: a data-augmented writing platform that monitors around ten million job posts per month to analyze the job advertisement developed in order to provide suggestions that will, in turn, increase the reach of the advertisement and will prevent any hints of gender discriminations.

When considering the initial candidate filtering it is mainly based on two factors: technical skills and soft skills required for the relevant job role. In the current world, many organizations place a higher importance on the soft skills of the employees. Hence, organizations incorporate technology enabled initial candidate filtering techniques such as Pymetrics: fun games that are used for assessing the candidates’ soft skills. These are developed as a result of years of research in neuroscience and have beenbeen enhanced by Artificial Intelligence to assess a candidate’s soft skills by benchmarking against organization’s current top-end performers in the relative field. When considering the technical skill assessment various organizations use different technology enables solutions depending on the posted job role and the organization’s business area. One such technology enables technique is the usage of HackerRank: a platform that enables the real-time assessing for the candidates in engineering and software arena. This platform enables the recruiters to assess candidates for different programming languages and also enables real-time engagement with the candidates.

Within the candidate interviewing phase various cutting edge technologies has been developed and through BPE many organizations were able to identify various non-value adding bottlenecks in the process. Typeform has re-engineered their recruitment process to eliminate some of the initial non-value adding steps and both Type form and Google has eliminated the strategy of having large number of interviews that incurred higher amount of costs and time wastage for the companies and instead Typeform has resolved in to hosting their major interviews on a single day and Google has followed the path of limiting their interviews into only four interviews for process as it is the maximum efficient and effective number identified through research.

One of the most disruptive tools used for the interviewing phase is the HireVue technology. This technology is currently practiced in many of the largest organizations within the world such as IBM Watson, Unilever, Vodafone, Hilton etc. HireVue enables the candidate to record a video of them answering a set of basic questions issued by the organization at candidate’s convenient time slot at their ease. This software incorporates knowledge gained over years of neuroscience research and technology along with AI in order to analyze the candidate based on factors like their facial expressions, voice variations etc. and in results provide predictions on the soft skills job performance etc. This software acts as a huge helping tool during the assessment of a large number of candidates and during the situations where the recruiters or the interviewers are dispersed around the globe and has been able to reduce the recruitment process of Hilton from reported 42 days of time to just five days.

According to former Global Head of Recruiting for Accenture, various future recruitment trends will merge and one such point is the end of the era of resume which will be replaced by various cutting-edge technologies like LinkedIn’s Talent Insight that helps the recruiter in making smarter decisions which are highly based on data analysis. Also, the expert predicted eliminating gender-based recruitment thus committing for the enhancement of gender diversity by the use of machines to power intelligent inclusion. Another future trend will be the assessment of the candidates based on their LQ: Learning Quotient which is the ability to learn and adapt and will be used as a basis for analyzing the candidates.The process HAS changed and IS changing. As candidates Have you???? 

Exposition Magazine Issue 14

Erangi Widyathilaka


Department of Industrial Management

University of Kelaniya

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