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  • 2019-04-23 03:51:14 PM
    Meet The New Chief Human Resources Officer


    R managers at Unilever want their job candidates to play games—in fact, the global consumer-goods giant insists on it. But not just any game.




    As an initial step in its hiring process, the company asks recruits to play 12 neuroscience-based games developed by artificial intelligence (AI) software firm Pymetrics to measure focus, memory and risk aversion, among other behavioral metrics.

    Clear that hurdle and you get an interview—not with a live HR manager, but with an AI chatbot conducted via computer camera or smartphone. Developed by HireVue, the bot’s algorithm scans each answer for body language, keywords and tone. If the data suggests you’re a good match for the job and the company, then you pass go—you get to talk to a human being. 

    For chief human resources officers, AI and machine learning insights are proving to be game changers, not only in talent acquisition but in engagement, reskilling and retention—the full lifecycle of the employee experience. Today, 56% of CHROs say the ability to digitize HR processes will define their role over the next three years, according to a recent survey of 500 HR leaders. Just 6% surveyed believe that traditional HR practices will continue to be the status quo.

    Already, CHROs who are early adopters of AI are seeing their investment pay off. They are 19% more effective at reducing the time HR spends on administrative tasks compared to peers, 16% more effective at hiring for a competitive advantage and 13% more efficient at reducing candidate screening times, a 2018 Harris Interactive Media and survey reports.


    Fewer Needles, More Haystacks

    Attracting and retaining talent is the No. 1 concern of C-suite executives, a January 2018 survey of 1,000 business leaders revealed.

    “The organization needs the skilled employee much more than vice versa,” says Thomas Cser, senior director of EMEA at ServiceNow. “And you can also choose to work as a freelancer anywhere in the world. You can travel to Bali and work from there just by opening up your laptop.”

    Paradoxically, companies are inundated with more résumés than ever before, with roughly 250 applicants for each open position, according to Glassdoor. Of those, only four or five will actually get interviews and only one will be offered the job. The average time for hiring a candidate went from four months to four weeks. Time spent reviewing résumés dropped by 75%, and the rate of job offer acceptance increased to 82% from 64%.

    That’s where the talent “shortage” comes into play—and where AI can make the difference, says Margaret-Ann Cole, president of executive talent consultants Crenshaw Associates. “The talent that is applying to Google are in high demand because Merck and Target want those same people. They are skilled, they are agile and they understand the new technologies.”

    For CHROs, AI presents an opportunity to not just hire the right person for the job, but the right team, says Matt Hendrickson, CEO of intelligent talent acquisition and management company Ascendify.

    “In the past, you would say, ‘Hey, I need a developer,’” explains Hendrickson. “You’d write a job description, post it on Monster and hire somebody. Today you ask, ‘What team are they going on? What skill gaps does that team have?’ AI and intelligence can help make a smarter recommendation about the next person you hire based on dynamic teaming.”

    “The most important thing that CHROs have to be is agile,” she says. “They have to be committed to continuous learning because things change very quickly.

    What AI can do today is going to be very different than what it can do in 18 months because it’s moving that rapidly.”

    CREDITS: 10'000 Hours/Getty



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