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Recruiting Trends Conference Recap: In the Age of Automation, The Human Element Still Shapes Talent Acquisition

Cornerstone Editors

Each year, Human Resource Executive (HRE) puts on the Recruiting Trends & Talent Tech Live! Conference to explore the latest and greatest recruiting trends shaping the talent acquisition landscape. Emerging technology, namely automation, was top of mind for presenters and attendees from the start, but the people that actually use this technology every day to draw in candidates were in the spotlight as well. The consensus? The human element is alive and well in the world of recruiting,

Hosted at Caesars Palace in a surprisingly snowy Las Vegas, this year's conference weather had us expecting the unexpected right from the get go — and it did not disappoint. In case you missed it, we're sharing our two biggest takeaways from last week's event.

Hiring Automation Has Left the Station

From virtual assistants and recruiting chatbots, to bias detection and candidate sorting algorithms, a new wave of smart recruiting technology is bringing about huge changes to the talent acquisition industry. While a panel titled "Where's the Humanity? Is Recruiting Tech Making Us Less Human?" determined that a standard definition for "artificial intelligence" and "machine learning" in recruiting have yet to be agreed upon, there's no doubt that recruitment process automation has evolved beyond early adoption.

As this technology becomes more available (and also, more affordable) Cornerstone's own principal consultant Tom Boyle took the stage with Michael Olsen, Talent Acquisition Manager at Good Samaritan, to discuss the company's journey to automate the hiring process. Olsen described how Good Sam revamped their application process and added mobile capabilities, reducing average time to apply from 30 minutes down to five.

"This transformation alone helped them see a 33 percent increase in new applications," Boyle explained. "A variety of organizations spoke at the event about how they had streamlined the candidate experience while increasing the level of automation within their existing recruiting process."

Candidate Engagement Is Everything

With the U.S. economy booming and a near-record streak of low unemployment, the conference did not shy away from highlighting the challenges of today's labor market. Workers are now firmly in control of the recruiter/candidate dynamic, forcing employers and hiring teams to reevaluate their approach to recruitment.

The recruiting tech industry has responded with a new crop of products and services focused on allowing recruiters to deliver improved candidate engagement and amplify their employer branding. During the event's opening keynote, Glassdoor's Rusty Rueff described that candidates are seeking greater transparency and have new expectations for employers. This means recruiters need to leave behind traditional post and pray job boards tactics, and instead embrace the idea of delivering incredible candidate experiences.

Beyond the unique trends that emerge every year, there's always one constant at these events — and that is the critical importance of recruiters to their organizations. People are the lifeblood of a company, and recruiters are the heart that keeps pumping talent into the company.

Photo: Creative Commons

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