Clarkslegal LLP - Solicitors in Reading and London

Legal Updates

The technology of talent management

05 June 2018 #Information Technology #Employment

Technology is rapidly changing the way businesses manage talent. Businesses, new and established, are launching solutions based on everything from artificial intelligence (AI) to blockchain to big data and augmented and virtual reality.

Broadly, two themes are driving development and adoption of these solutions. Firstly, current unemployment in the UK is at a 40-year low, and in the US, sits at an 18-year low. With competition for talent constantly increasing, prospective employers are turning to solutions which can help with everything from recruitment to retention to training to ensure the people side of the business runs as it is supposed to.

Secondly, technology is relatively cheap and continues to become cheaper, thus more accessible than ever. Despite the global economy fairing unexpectedly well in the last couple of years, global macroeconomic developments such as the possibility of trade wars with the US makes for an uncertain trading environment. The possibility of introducing technology to enable businesses to do more for less would therefore naturally resonate with those in the role of people management. 

The potential use of technology in the management of human resources is vast. Below are examples of use cases, some of which already exist and are being widely adopted.


  • Facilitating cross-border payments to international employees
  • Confirming identity, skills and education of prospective employees
  • Preventing fraud

Virtual and augmented reality

  • On-boarding new employees
  • Learning and training
  • Recruitment (for example, providing prospective employees with an immersive experience of the potential role)

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

  • Pre-hiring assessment
  • Matching projects with available employees with the required skills
  • Chatbots to interact with current and prospective employees

Of the three broad technologies above, AI is perhaps gaining the most prominence in the context of human resource management. The results of a global survey by Entelo of talent acquisition professionals suggests that 62% of businesses ‘plan to spend on AI-powered recruiting software’. Organisations such as Hilton and Unilever are now using AI to manage the millions of applications they receive for openings globally by matching required skills and qualifications to appropriate candidates and rerouting inappropriate candidates to other more appropriate roles available internally or at other employers also using the technology.

The use of technology in HR is in its relative infancy. Although, the human touch will inevitably play an outsized role in decision making, we will continue to see a proliferation of technologies which will support such decisions by enabling insights and efficiencies in current processes.

This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.

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