Every aspect of business activity has been touched by digital transformation. What has it meant for the talent discipline so far? And what happens next?
The digitalization story so far…
Think back a couple of years and you’d probably not notice a great deal of difference between the technology ecosystems being offered on the market then, and what’s available now.
Not that talent technology hasn’t evolved. Most platforms now are easier to use, simpler to integrate, better at reporting, and are probably ‘mobile-first.’ At first glance then, you’d probably conclude that talent platforms have improved in their essentials, but are they more or less the same. Right?
Wrong. That’s not even close to the pace of technology evolution has gone over recent years—but you need to look around the periphery of the technology platforms on the market.
So far, the digital revolution in talent has happened in the margins
Artificial Intelligence (AI), chatbots and blockchain have all played their hand in improving talent systems in the last two years. We’ve seen AI used to analyze and report on background checks, and improve the effectiveness of chatbots used to ask frequently asked questions. We’ve also seen it used to remove bias from candidate vetting.
These are not areas of workforce management that are particularly highbrow or game-changing, but each one offers marginal improvements represents savings in manual processing, reduced errors, and lower operational risks. Many of these solutions geared towards finessing more economies out of daily operational tasks are not being offered as core platform improvements; they’re more commonly arriving to market as best-in-class Software-as-a-Service.
While this services-oriented approach is immensely appealing to enterprise buyers, to leverage these options requires a plug-and-play cloud technology ecosystem that equips firms to ‘plug-in’ best-in-class innovative technology components as they emerge on the market.
Talent sourcing is moving to hyper-automation at speed
The transition to a plug-and-play services approach, exampled by technology vendors like SimplifyVMS and others, is allowing organizations to automate at speed—without the traditional constraints of hard-coded data and systems integrations.
This is leading talent industry commentators to suggest that we are moving into a period of hyper-automation, where manual human-in-the-loop tasks are being rapidly phased out by software robots in the form of AI-driven decisioning platforms enriched technologies such as blockchain, chatbots, open banking, and big data flat-file repositories.
Manoj Agarwal, CEO of USTECH argues that we are at the very beginning of a new phase in talent systems automation.
“Technology in our industry originally focused on mechanical automations such as the ‘req-to-check’ (i.e., Requirement to Check Payment) and the ‘hire-to-onboard’ lifecycle. Over the past decade, we’ve seen a big shift in the administrative resourcing model made possible by automation; facilitating delivery models like offshoring/near-shoring, and shared service centre (SSC) operations. What we’re moving to is the evolution of on-premise software applications to plug-and-play cloud-based talent services ecosystems, where technology itself is wrapped into outsourced service delivery on-demand. Large firms are losing their desire to adopt technology per se, what they want are solution outcomes that are optimized and driven by digital technology.”