The Majority of Employers Say Some Roles in Talent Acquisition and Management Will Be Completely Automated Within 10 Years, According to New Research from CareerBuilder

CHICAGO and ATLANTA – February 21, 2017 – While technology will never be able to replace the human factor in human resources, it will likely take over certain functions on talent acquisition and management teams. A new survey from CareerBuilder shows that 72 percent of employers expect that some roles within talent acquisition and human capital management will become completely automated within the next 10 years.

The national study was conducted online by CareerBuilder from November 16 to December 1, 2016 and included a sample of 719 HR managers and recruiters at companies with more than 250 employees across industries in the private sector.

The rate at which companies with 250-plus employees are adopting automation varies considerably. Although more are turning to technology to address time-consuming, labor-intensive talent acquisition and management tasks – that are susceptible to human error – the study shows a significant proportion continue to rely on manual processes. One-third of employers (34 percent) don’t use technology automation for recruiting candidates, 44 percent don’t automate onboarding and 60 percent don’t automate human capital management activities for employees.

“When companies expand and add more and more employees, there’s a certain tipping point where things can no longer be managed efficiently and accurately by hand,” said Rosemary Haefner, chief human resources officer for CareerBuilder. “Automation needs to be incorporated, so the HR team is free to focus on strategies versus tasks, and focus on building relationships with employees and candidates. As certain functions on teams become more automated, we’ll see those workers’ roles evolve and concentrate on the strategic, social and motivational components of HR that technology cannot address.”

What’s Being Automated?

The study shows that most of the automation is centered around messaging, benefits and compensation, but there is room to increase efficiencies across a variety of basic functions. Among employers who automate at least one part of talent acquisition and management, here are the percentages who do so for the following areas:

  • Employee messaging automation: 57 percent
  • Set up employee benefits: 53 percent
  • Set up payroll: 47 percent
  • Background screening/drug testing: 47 percent
  • Archiving candidates: 37 percent
  • Centralize candidate profiles: 31 percent
  • Interview scheduling: 30 percent
  • Search third party resume databases: 29 percent
  • Performance reviews: 29 percent
  • Employee learning and development: 28 percent
  • Request candidate feedback from hiring managers: 27 percent
  • First day orientation: 26 percent
  • Continuous candidate engagement: 21 percent
  • Tailored career site experience: 20 percent
  • Employee referral process: 20 percent

Benefits to Automation

Of employers who have automated a part of their talent acquisition and management processes, the majority said automation has saved the organization time and money while decreasing the number of errors and enhancing the employee and candidate experience.

  • Saved time and increased efficiency: 93 percent
  • Improved the candidate experience: 71 percent
  • Reduced errors: 69 percent
  • Saved money and resources: 67 percent
  • Improved the employee experience: 60 percent
  • Improved employee satisfaction: 40 percent
  • Improved employee retention: 28 percent

How a Lack of Automation Can Negatively Impact Organizations

Employers who perceive a currently underutilized amount of automation for their talent acquisition and management processes pointed to longer turnaround times, higher costs, frustrated team members and issues with company leaders among other concerns:

  • Everything takes longer because of manual processes: 61 percent
  • High level of stress/frustration on the HR team: 50 percent
  • Loss of candidates because the process takes too long: 46 percent
  • It ends up costing the organizations more money because of inefficiencies: 43 percent
  • Higher incidence of inaccuracies: 39 percent
  • Poor candidate experience: 39 percent
  • Strained relationships with company leaders and hiring managers: 33 percent
  • Poor employee experience: 29 percent

To help companies find, hire and manage the talent they need, CareerBuilder has extended its product offering beyond recruitment and background screening. Moving into post-hire solutions, CareerBuilder offers everything from benefits administration and onboarding to performance management compliance and wellness. For more information, visit

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by CareerBuilder among 1,010 talent acquisition and management HR professionals ages 18+ at companies across industries in the private sector (n=719 of which are at companies with more than 250 employees) between November 16 and December 1, 2016. Percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions. With a pure probability sample of 719, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have sampling errors of +/- 3.65 percentage points. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

About CareerBuilder®

CareerBuilder is a global, end-to-end human capital solutions company focused on helping employers find, hire and manage great talent. Combining advertising, software and services, CareerBuilder leads the industry in recruiting solutions, employment screening and human capital management. It also operates top job sites around the world. Owned by TEGNA Inc. (NYSE:TGNA), Tribune Media (NYSE:TRCO) and McClatchy (NYSE:MNI), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, South America, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit

Media Contact

Ladan Nikravan
312.698.0538 x70538