How Technology is Changing HR and Recruitment in New Zealand

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Author: Jane Sandwood

Technology has always been at the forefront of recruitment efforts for highly competitive New Zealand employers. Laura Maxwell, Chief Digital Officer for NZME, said, “I believe automation, machine learning, and artificial intelligence should be embraced. If you’re not looking at ways to implement them in your business now, then get your skates on.” Those in “the know” recognise the importance of utilising all available resources when it comes to attracting and retaining the best quality employees. So how will new technology affect HR and recruitment practices in the coming year?

Advancing Recruitment Technology

Depending on the economy, recruiters can have it easy or rough. With new tech emerging all the time, the old days of placing ads for current openings and waiting for the applications to roll in have fallen by the wayside. Recruitment efforts in New Zealand are being remodelled, especially now that we’re seeing artificial intelligence, robotics, and chatbots playing a role in talent management.

Recruiters are now taking a “Find & Engage” approach in which they use data science analytics to dig around in candidate pools. In many cases, they have to dig deep, pulling patterns and gauging interest from otherwise passive candidates. It’s the “Engage” element that reminds us of the old way of doing things. Recruiters still have to form relationships with potential candidates to guide them in the right direction.

Technology Affects Retention

Remote workers are a growing part of the workforce in New Zealand. The innovations we now possess makes it easier than ever to stay in contact with a supervisor and co-workers by using technology from the comfort of home. In a recent study, 79% of IT professionals said “the opportunity to work from home or other flexible working options” was a solid strategy for retaining staff. As technology advances, this number will likely go up, far exceeding the age-old strategies of increasing salaries or offering advancement opportunities.

The Fear of Job Displacement

Most employees recognise that automation and advancing technology will eventually affect their careers. Displacement is a very real threat to many workers in New Zealand, especially those in companies that have already begun incorporating artificial intelligence into their daily operations. Looking at other countries, in 2015, the ABC reported that over 40% of Australian jobs are at risk of being affected by technological advances such as automation and computerisation over the next few decades. Some experts predict that number could rise to as much as 70%. Even with just 40% of jobs being displaced, Australia could see more than five million people jobless, putting recruiters in a bind as supply and demand spirals out of control.

The good news is that while many jobs will be affected, others will be created. With new equipment comes the need to maintain and repair it. Smart workers have already begun adapting to the changing times by upskilling for the future. HR professionals are searching for workers with the technological know-how to advance along with technology. Regardless of whether you look at it through the eyes of a recruiter or employee, there’s no doubt that technology is here to stay.