With AI the future of work is in your pocket

If you want to know what the future of recruitment will look like, take a look at your smartphone and other devices around the home. Mobile and internet of things (IoT) technology, driven by artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and robotic process automation (RPA), have been transforming the way we live our lives. They are increasingly changing the way we connect with prospective employers, apply for roles and get hired. Much of the innovation is occuring with the help of  mobile devices, and in the near future, this pervasive platform, along with other advances in consumer technology, will usher in an entirely different perspective on talent and employment.

“AI and consumer technology is helping people transform recruitment as we know it. The Future of Work is literally in your pocket, states Michel Stokvis from Randstad Sourceright.”
Tweet this!

There’s no question about the transformative impact of technology on our lives and work. According to Ericsson, the number of smartphones has reached 7.9 billion globally, , enabling the majority of the world’s population to connect. In just 25 years, Amazon has managed to transform the way commerce had been conducted for thousands of years. AI and internet connectivity are now embedded in a countless number of digital products powered by AI.

“AI and consumer technology is helping people transform recruitment as we know it.”

Employers are no longer bound by geography as workforces spread across the globe can still operate as one, thanks to the cloud. And analyst firm IDC predicts that data will grow at an accelerated rate over the next six years, expanding from 33 to 175 zetabytes (1021 bytes) by 2025, leading to a huge demand for analytics services.

Possibilities of the human cloud

All these developments are having a tremendous impact on the future of work and recruitment. Many consumer technologies are leading the way for the back office. By making the customer experience transparent and seamless, consumer businesses are influencing the workforce technologies that will redefine what recruitment and employment will mean in the coming years.

When it comes to talent, the human cloud is giving many industries access to people resources in ways never before possible. Through online platforms, workers seeking specific types of employment can readily match their skills, desired hours, pay and other preferences to a growing list of employers seeking the same work parameters. The proliferation of different marketplaces – Uber for drivers, DoorDash for food delivery, Toptal for web programmers, for example – means employers and labor can more efficiently find the right match at the right time.

According to Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), the global gig economy is estimated to have reached $3.7 trillion in 2017. Of that, $82 billion were generated by the human cloud. The largest portion of the Gig Economy came from the employment of independent contractors, which accounted for $2.1 trillion.

“In just a few short years, capabilities have grown from delivering hiring reports to providing predictive data to prescribing advice on how to manage the workforce.”

For employers, technology is also giving them greater visibility and control over all types of labor. The growing sophistication of applicant tracking systems (ATS), vendor management systems (VMS) and other talent engagement platforms is powering talent analytics, giving companies the ability to not only understand how they’ve used people in the past, but also what they will need in the future. In just a few short years, capabilities have grown from delivering hiring reports to providing predictive data to prescribing advice on how to manage the workforce.

Beyond analytics, recruitment technology is delivering a stronger user experience for both employer and job seekers. Innovations around mobile application, video interviewing and chatbot texting are enhancing the success rate of recruiters, whose roles are being transformed into nurturers and advisors of talent. Many tactical tasks that used to occupy a recruiter’s day are now performed by technology, which means they can work more closely with hiring managers and candidates to help achieve mutually beneficial goals.

Unbiased video interviewing – is that possible?

For instance, Canadian retailer Hudson’s Bay has been using Montage video interviewing to  enhance its recruiting process and candidate experience. By offering recorded video interviewing on demand, it provided tremendous flexibility to candidates and hiring managers, both of whom can conduct the interview and review according to their schedule. This innovation is especially appealing to millennial workers, who have come to expect such flexibility in other aspects in their lives.

“Video interviewing was a perfect fit for Hudson’s Bay because it needed to hire high volumes in a short period of time.”

Video interviewing was a perfect fit for Hudson’s Bay because it needed to hire high volumes in a short period of time. The platform has built-in functions to minimize unconscious bias by masking the candidate’s gender, racial and ethnic background. Montage can record the interviews, create a transcript and have it read back to the hiring manager through a neutral, Siri-like voice. This is just one of many innovations consumer technology is able to deliver to the back office.

While many recent innovations have lessened the tasks typically associated with talent acquisition, some employers with limited budgets or limited technical expertise have trouble keeping up with competitors that have deeper pockets. Implementing a VMS or setting up analytical dashboards may be beyond the capabilities of some organizations, but the good news is that these tools are still within reach through the use of third-party service providers.

Recruitment Innovations

A growing number of mid-sized businesses are turning to outsourced solutions such as recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) or managed services programs (MSP) that include an integrated technology stack. Because service providers have economies of scale, and can negotiate a price spread across their broad portfolio of customers, the cost per installation is significantly lower than a company buying and implementing technology on its own. An external talent acquisition solution also comes with application expertise, which minimizes the internal investments needed to oversee a successful implementation and rollout.

Although the pace of technological change is accelerating, employers that can quickly adapt and leverage a suite of tools to enhance their talent attraction strategies are well-positioned to pull ahead of competitors Whether employers achieve this on their own, or through a third party, talent leaders know they need to embrace today’s rapidly developing recruitment innovations.


Michel Stokvis | MD Global Talent Innovation Center Randstad Sourceright 

Michel StokvisWith more than 20 years of experience in the HR industry, focused on international large-scale hiring of permanent and flexible staff through Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) and Managed Service Programme (MSP) models, Michel has studied the further application of HR technology and data analytics solutions within the industry.

As Managing Director of the Talent Innovation Center he focuses mainly on the deepening of these service models, the further deployment of technology driven applications and data analytics. The impact of Data Science, Machine Learning and Robotics are part of this.


AI-conference for managers

On April 11th Michel took us in an expert session through the works of AI and recruitment. Missed it? During a Two-day masterclass ‘AI for managers’ you can learn all there is to know about AI and how to start within your company.

More information about the masterclass