All you need to know about AI, VR and tech in HR

Are we all going to be out of a job soon?

We have had a look at some of the hottest technology trends in HR which are continuously developing and driving improvement in the industry.

Technology in recruitment

As time goes on and technology improves, HR Toolbox explains that, “modern recruitment management systems are increasingly relied upon. Companies can no longer afford to employ outdated strategies to discover, engage and nurture top talent.”

Technology and software can massively help recruitment teams by completing the time-consuming work that can be automated. It can also help to be more targeted in their search, allowing them to find the best candidates, much quicker.

HR Toolbox goes on to say, “The process will be optimised from start to finish, allowing HR to refine and perfect their onboarding process with less variation. In addition to learning management systems that foster better team training and communication, more companies will consider what machine learning and artificial intelligence has to offer. Chatbots and similar technology may take on more low-level tasks like scheduling and providing basic information. This will free up HR professionals to spend more time on important relationship-building activities with candidates.”

AI as a partner, not a threat

This is a biggie – embracing AI as a partner, not looking at it as a threat to us – which seems to be a growing trend across many industries. HR Dive talks about the shift in only the last couple of years to general attitudes:

“As Waletzke monitored conversations about tech throughout the last two years, he observed a radical shift. ‘The overall temperature of conversations completely changed. 2017 was robots are going to steal our jobs … now there is starting to be this embrace of technology,’ he said. “We’re really looking at ways we can use AI or machine learning to automate the talent acquisition experience so we can dive deeply into the one-on-one relationships.”

VR meets HR

Virtual reality is emerging as the hottest trend in the HR tech market – and it’s not a not passing fad. Virtual reality (VR) is a 3D computer-created world that allows you to experience and interact with things that aren’t there. It could prove to be revolutionary for the HR and recruitment world.

A blog from Sympa gives a great example: “A well-known example of the successful use of VR technology is The British Army, who already uses VR to overcome its recruitment challenges. It recently created four VR experiences based on combat training, adventure training, tank training and parachute training. These were then posted on YouTube 360 as a part of their recruitment strategy. The results were excellent, with an increase in applications of 65% in the first month the campaign ran and an increase of 41% in the second month.”

VR can be used in many interview processes, to allow candidates to prove their skill level and in training to give real-life on-the-job training.

What are the hot trends you’re jumping on? To discuss further, you can email me on

You can view more about James Cumming our change and business transformation specialist here.

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Using robots to make Human Resources more human…

Using robots to make Human Resources more human

I know what you’re thinking….surely that doesn’t make sense? How can robots make things more human?

RPA and AI are becoming more and more popular within shared services functions across the world, but countries have very different views on them.

In China, they want to use it for world domination. In America, they believe it will put businesses in the best possible commercial position. And in the UK…well, we still don’t want robots to hurt us or take our jobs.

I have to tell you guys, the least popular purpose for automation is headcount reduction. If your primary goal when automating is to reduce headcount or to save money, then it will more than likely fail.

Automation is used to enable better quality in operations and more workforce agility.

So, what is RPA and what is AI and why should you use it?

RPA and AI often get mistaken for the same thing, or organisations decide to use both. RPA and AI are two different technologies, with two different uses, and quite often you don’t need both!

The Lowdown on RPA and AI

AI is short for Artificial Intelligence. Artificial Intelligence replicates the human thought process. It takes the knowledge of a human and builds it into the application. AI deals with unstructured data, meaning that it self improves and continuously thinks and learns. It is the ‘brain and spine’.

RPA is short for Robotic Process Automation. RPA behaves like a person. It deals with high volumes of structured data to carry out repetitive tasks that humans do. The purpose of RPA is to remove those high volume, repetitive tasks that we hate. It is ‘the fingers’.

How do you decide?

Before you chose to adopt RPA or AI, as a business you have some big questions to ask yourself – as the decisions you make will affect the next 10 years of your business operations.

  • What business am I in?
  • How do I want to deliver services?
  • What do I need my operating model to look like?

The cultural impact of automation is significant. It touches every employee and manager within an organisation, so equally, the training and messaging around automation has to be key!

How to make it successful?

  • Choose your areas of automation carefully and then work with humans to identify what can be offloaded to automation and take their knowledge to create the automation.
  • Train your people on RPA and AI. Help them to understand what it is and how they can identify processes that may be suitable for automation.
  • Get your house in order! Automation only works with good, clean data.
  • Continually review your processes to make sure your automation is efficient and user friendly.

Automation is your friend. It isn’t here to take your job or make your life hard. On the contrary, the whole point of automation is to take the robot out of the human. To remove the high volume, menial tasks within your role or your team, freeing people up to contribute more value-add work to your business, so don’t fear it, work with it!

If you would like to find out more about re:find and how we can support you and your business then please get in touch.

James Cumming is our MD, Interim and Transformation Search specialist. If you’ve got a hard-to-fill role and need some help, get in touch. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Automation is dead…(long live HR recruiters)

Automation is dead…(long live HR recruiters)
Automation is dead…(long live HR recruiters)

Automation is dead…long live HR recruiters! “Recruitment is dead… automation spells the end of recruitment as we know it… recruiter jobs replaced by chat-bot…  interviews no longer needed – we have a fully automated hiring process…”


Heard any of these lines before? I bet you have (apart from the last one – I made that one up but it doesn’t seem that far-fetched if you believe the news)!


LinkedIn is currently awash with stories telling us that it’s the end of recruitment as we know it, as companies are increasingly pouring money in to direct sourcing and automation – and not HR recruiters.


But here’s the thing, recruitment isn’t dying, far from it. In actual fact, spend on agents has increased and evidence shows that the industry grew rapidly in 2017.


In 2008 during the height of the recession, companies had the power, but this balance is now shifting back into the candidate’s favour, and they are noticing. Wages are on the increase, people are getting multiple offers and buybacks are now becoming more prevalent.


This makes hiring more challenging and will put pressure on retention rates, as people’s confidence and the benefit to move increases. This will ultimately impact time to hire metrics, cost per hire, and more importantly in my mind – business growth.


But how is this?


The problem with automation is that people are variable by nature, and not to mention emotional.


Nothing is going to beat picking up the phone and having a conversation with someone. A good story beats data hands down every time. In a growing economy with talent shortages and unemployment at an all-time low, people will be swayed by the business that has the most compelling story and makes it the easiest for them to join.


When you consider how many companies use technology badly, it’s easy to see why candidates get frustrated whilst applying for jobs.


Let’s put it simply – if you had 2 jobs with the same salary, same role. One had you communicate with a chatbot, and the other with your potential boss… guess which one would be more successful in establishing an emotional connection with a potential employee?


It’s not rocket science, is it? And before you say, yeah but recruiters are crap as well. Some are. But they are also very good at getting people interested and building an emotional connection – I think tech is a little way off on this front.


Still think that recruitment’s dead? I wouldn’t be so sure…To discuss further, you can email me on

You can view more about James Cumming our change and business transformation specialist here

Is ‘robotic process automation’ taking recruiters jobs?

Is 'robotic process automation' taking recruiters jobs?
Is ‘robotic process automation’ taking recruiters jobs?

Is ‘robotic process automation’ taking recruiters jobs? If you’ve worked in shared services, then you’ve probably heard about RPA.


But what exactly is Robotic Process Automation? RPA refers to a growing trend across shared service centres all over the world whereby we now have robots that can perform more and more intelligent tasks. Whilst automation has been around for a while, thanks to the rate at which technology is changing we now have intelligent software systems that can process and data quickly and more efficiently than their human counterparts.


RPA is like a software robot, or artificial intelligence, that can perform human tasks and is designed specifically to perform a vast range of repetitive functions and communicate between other systems, in much the same way that humans do.


Once implemented, this software is a cheaper, more accurate and more efficient option for many businesses. Robots don’t sleep so they can work through the night, they won’t call in sick or be late on Monday morning and you don’t have the expense of having to provide them with benefits.


In some areas headcount can be reduced by more than double land with human error eliminated, it’s a no-brainer for most onshore…


More than 50% of shared service centres have plans to implement RPA in the future. But why? The main purpose of companies creating SSC’s, is to eliminate costs and improve efficiencies. Robots perform better than humans once rapidly trained, so it’s no wonder the stats are so high.



Some of the benefits of RPA include:

  • Reduced costs – between 30% and 80% savings
  • Improved efficiency
  • 24×7 work
  • Agility
  • Increases customer and employee satisfaction
  • Improved compliance
  • Human error eliminated


Robotic process automation will be the future of Shared Services. It will eliminate manual processing, reduce errors and inevitably saved time & costs. It will also provide a better service; software robots act in the same way as human beings and are trained extremely quickly to process data in a certain way, although they don’t make errors. Over time this software becomes more intelligent as it is self-learning and identifies trends, meaning that any unusual information that may have previously gone unnoticed will be flagged up by the robot.


RPA won’t work in everyone’s favour. It reduces headcount within a SSC, meaning redundancies for some, and initially, these transformation projects will be a big cost for businesses. Also, because of the complexities of changing existing systems, they don’t always work. There needs to be a solid strategy behind it with all stakeholders engaged in the project, as most transformation can fail if not implemented correctly. This is something that we’ve previously highlighted in these blogs ( &


Not all suppliers are in favour either, as sending invoices electronically may cause issues to supplies current accounting processes.


Some examples of how RPA is used.


Finance & Procurement

  • 3-way matching.
  • Invoice processing.
  • Cash allocation.
  • Credit status
  • Parsing



  • Processing starters and leavers
  • Applicant screening
  • Recruitment feedback/rejection emails
  • Data management
  • Saving on recruitment costs



  • New starters/leavers
  • Contractual changes
  • Attendance/absence records
  • Holiday records
  • Deductions such a pension, salary sacrifice etc.
  • Expenses


What are your experiences with robotic process automation? Has your business benefited from new technology, or has it caused problems in your workplace? To discuss you can email me at

You can view more about Sam Perry our Shared Services Executive Search expert here.