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Seven hours. That’s the average amount of time each day people spend immersed in technology. A number that’s increased almost an entire hour since 2013.
At first, this may seem surprising. But tech has so seamlessly made its way into our businesses, homes, and even relationships, that it’s now intricately intertwined in our everyday lives. So intertwined that we can easily spend 7 hours in front of a screen without even realizing it.
However, as technology becomes part of who we are, there’s a growing concern that it is slowly minimizing human connection. And in the world of business, this concern is especially high as technology takes over tasks people were once hired to do.
This begs the question: are technology and human touch at odds? Or, can technology actually help us feel more connected, not less?
We’d argue the latter.
In fact, as technology expands, we’d suggest that the future of work is becoming more human, not less. How so? Let’s explore top ways that technology cultivates connection.
Digital transformation was kicked into overdrive in 2020. It’s a moment that is ingrained in our memories. People were sent home to work in a place completely void of in-person conversations, team collaboration, and office get-togethers. How would this work?
It was tech that was the true hero, bridging the gaps from isolation to connection, friction to productivity.
Video calls replaced in-person meetings. Chat-based messaging replaced office banter. Even office happy hours were moved online.
But more than that, tech invited us into a space that seemed unreachable. We met new colleagues spanning across counties, cities, and countries. Unfamiliar cultures and experiences were invited into our homes. Family pets were welcome (and adored) at meetings. We were able to connect on whole new levels, with people we likely would never have interacted with before.
For talent teams, this meant adjusting their hiring strategies from in-person to online — replacing phone screens and face-to-face interviews with live and on-demand interviews. Despite the drastic change, online hiring transformed the way we find new employees — for the better. It opened up candidate options outside of normally restricted boundaries. Remote workers could find jobs in different cities, states, or even across the globe. And hiring teams had a wide-range of choices, creating a workforce where diversity stands out.
Now, most people don’t want to live a life that’s purely remote. But tech gives us more options. Connecting with people is no longer all or nothing. Today, as tech continues to shape our perspectives and create new relationships — all from behind a screen.
Like it or not, technology is taking over. In fact, the World Economic Forum estimates that tech will replace 85 million jobs by 2025.
As shocking as this seems, technology is not leaving humans jobless. Instead, it’s creating the space for people to collaborate on new types of work, like problem solving, relationship building, empathy, and creative thinking.
When done right, technology and humans do not compete; they complement.
Let’s consider what “done right” looks like.
We know that mundane, repetitive tasks take up a considerable amount of time at work—up to 10 hours a week, according to one report. When companies automate these tasks, they are free to redesign jobs and allow their employees to connect in more meaningful ways.
Processes that were once extremely time-consuming can be done quickly and efficiently while employees focus on human-centric tasks, more collaboration, and deeper connections—enabled by technology.
In the world of hiring, this is truer than ever. Digital assessments have taken over time-consuming phone screens. Conversational AI has replaced long, drawn-out email conversations. And automated interview scheduling has replaced calendar back-and-forth scheduling—just to name a few. Removing time consuming tasks from recruiters’ to-do-lists means they can spend more time building candidate connections rather than scheduling interviews or catching up on emails.
As jobs are being reinvented, it’s critical to hire for strengths and abilities that align with the success of job roles. But how do you ensure the alignment of skills, while removing the tendency to create subjective opinions?
You guessed it—automation. With skills-based assessments, you can easily prioritize candidates based on potential, work style, and how they work with others.
Tech is no longer used as a tool to simply support work productivity. It’s now center-stage—the driving force behind how and where companies get work done.
This facilitates a level of interaction never seen before.
Let’s use cloud-based collaboration tools as an example. Services like Google Docs or Microsoft SharePoint allow teams to draft, edit, and make comments on documents without ever physically touching a single page or meeting in person.
It’s created a new world where location is no longer a barrier. You can literally carry your work in your pocket and make changes at any moment. Not only does this create well-functioning teams, it also increases productivity by 30%.
Bottom line: technology is rewriting how we work and putting people at the center of everything we do. When companies fully embrace tech and automation, employees all across the world will work in unison—regardless of time zone, device, or location.
Just like technology fosters better connections in the workplace, it can be used for the same purpose even before an employee is hired.
When talent teams allow hiring tools—like HireVue’s text-powered solutions or automatic interview scheduling—to replace their most mundane tasks, it gives them more time to nurture real relationships with top candidates. This moves them from source to hire—much faster.To learn more about HireVue’s talent experience platform, schedule a demo.