Companies' Approach to Digitalization in the Recruitment Process - A multiple case study on Swedish firms

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Graduate School

Abstract: Currently companies' HR departments find themselves in a rapidly changing technological environment due to the changes driven by digitalization. Digital tools that support the recruitment process are constantly increasing and the technologies on which they are based are becoming increasingly reliable. This master thesis aims to understand how HR managers in Swedish companies approach themselves to this digital change and the reasons for this approach, investigating the advantages/disadvantages and opportunities/challenges involved. The research data were collected in 2020 by interviewing four HR managers from four Swedish companies. They manage the processes related to the approach that the thesis seeks to find. The data were processed using a comparative case study methodology so that the results could be generalized. In spite of the diversity among the companies interviewed, interesting generalizable results have been found. In Sweden companies, although they are in a highly digitalized country, still do not use new technologies such as AI or Big Data in their recruitment process. They rely heavily on web-based platforms such as ATS (Applicant Tracking System) and social media. Only larger and developing companies are testing other technologies. Moreover, to justify this choice, a number of advantages and disadvantages of using such digital tools in the recruitment process have been identified. Common advantages such as the increased speed of the process and the lower cost of operations emerged, and other interesting ones include the unexpected advantage of creating an inclusive and cyber-protected environment. The disadvantages, however, were not much emphasized; only the risk of dehumanization that digitalization brings has mainly been underlined. In addition to this, companies in Sweden do not believe much in a total automation of recruitment activities, still giving much weight to human rationality.

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