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2019 HR Trends Q1 Review: AI for Candidate Experience and Employer Branding

Rachel Reed
4/8/19 5:06 PM

In January, we looked at five trends projected to sweep HR in 2019. Wrapping up the year’s first quarter, we look at which trends have maintained importance among top organizations.

The Candidate Experience

The Talent Board found that employer branding and candidate experience were among the top recruiting concerns for 2019 through its annual research to support its Candidate Experience Awards. 2018 saw a strong job market, and employers are beginning to turn attention to recruiting, hiring, and strengthening the employer brand in order to stand out as they compete for top talent.

While job seekers still use social media channels to locate opportunities for employment, the numbers are dwindling: just 15% of candidates look to Facebook for new job opportunities, and a mere 4% search Twitter. Seventy percent of candidates conducted their own research prior to applying for a job and 60% used employers’ career sites (or career pages) to learn more about the position. Linkedin career pages and job alerts followed as top research sources at 32% and 31% respectively.

Employer review sites don’t carry the same weight as they used to: just 22% of candidates found employer review sites helpful during their search and only half of candidates find job descriptions useful. In fact, job seekers are specifically looking for career path examples in job descriptions to get a better idea of their potential future within an organization, up 27% from in 2017.  

AI is replacing humans, just not in the way you think

Artificial intelligence (AI) is finding its place in HR. Recruiting and hiring requires special attention to detail in order to find quality candidates, especially during the rise of a highly competitive job market. As a result, the recruiting and hiring process has grown increasingly tedious and time-consuming. Today, nearly half of employers are using text-messaging campaigns to communicate with candidates, up from 28% in 2017. Careers site chatbots grew by 69% in 2018 and this year, more and more employers are turning to AI to streamline the process.

Chatbots are being used to answer general employment questions, freeing recruiters to have more hands-on time with candidates.

Hilton hotels and resorts, for example, looked to chatbots, data science, and predictive automation to hire more effectively and in less time. The new approach equipped Hilton with valuable staffing metrics, distilled what was once a six-week hiring process down to just five days, and the company says candidates even look forward to the experience.

"The most exciting impact artificial intelligence can have on recruiting and hiring is eliminating unconscious bias when assessing candidates, which will provide a more diverse and inclusive workforce for an organization," said Sherry Martin, SHRM-CP, employee relations manager at OmniTRAX in Denver.


Robots aren’t completely taking over the world in 2019, but the best employers are putting a little faith in AI to make HR lives easier.

Download: How Employee Recognition Influences Attitude & Behavior in the Workplace 

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