Robots are not yet hiring and firing people, but artificial intelligence and a range of other technologies are being used to perfect talent engagement and retention -- especially as more positions require specialized skills.

Any tech recruiter will tell you that the search for talent has become challenging, with more jobs than qualified candidates. But few will tell you that they don't even understand some of the new job descriptions. Former tech recruiter Alison Daley just launched Recruiting Innovation, which helps recruiters decipher the positions they are trying to fill. To enhance their skills, recruiters can subscribe to short videos and access resources that translate tech-speak into English. Daley estimates that 550,000 tech recruiters currently work in the U.S. and earn approximately $18,000 per placement, so finding the right fit has become serious business. Daley is probably going to tackle medical recruitment next, because hiring grew by 6 percent last year.

Web video is a now playing a big role in hiring too. Video interviews have become commonplace, but now Alyss Analytics, is using facial recognition and voice analysis technologies to tell if a candidate is nervous, obnoxious, or simply unprepared. A 1-2 minute video will result in scores based on 20,000 data points, according to the company's site.

Perhaps your candidate has amazing talents but may not be a good fit with your team. Good &Co feeds traits through its model (still in beta) and then can assess whether a work team will become one big happy family or end up at war with each other. The website claims that they have "the world's largest psychometric database." Big data may ultimately help managers make big decisions.

Once you assemble a high-quality and peaceful work team with the help of machines, how do you actually get people to communicate with and trust each other?  Of course, they could speak to each other in the real world, but many work teams today are virtual. According to Crunchbase, about 122 companies are launching apps to help facilitate communication. New venture Betwixt has a chat bot named Zanie, calling itself "the digital equivalent of the world's best dinner party host." It integrates with collaboration tools like Slack and starts conversations (about things other than project status and kitten GIFs), encouraging people who are working together to get to know each other at a deeper level.

Will any of these new tools actually lead to greater workplace productivity, employee satisfaction, talent retention, and bottom-line results? It's too soon to tell. But perhaps the robot in the human resources department can run a report to analyze that.