Goodbye to HR tech, hello recruitment consumerisation

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With technology transforming the way we attract, engage and inspire potential hires, Adam Shay explains why keeping up with the latest trends in HR tech is outdated thinking.

Fifty-two HR tech trends for 2020. Five HR trends today that shape tomorrow. Tech Trends from yesterday we’re still using now in HR. The next big thing in HR Tech after the last big thing in HR Tech… you get the idea.

The current market is riddled with articles, insights and “thought leadership” that are enough to make your head spin. It’s happening for good reason, that’s the world today. But when it comes to recruitment, I think the sentiment is all wrong.

With the rapid adoption of all things tech disrupting our daily lives in weird and wonderful ways, HR tech undoubtedly has its place. HR managers are responsible for so many different processes within an organisation. It’s no surprise that there’s a growing market for tech that automates processes, schedules emails and texts interview reminders – taking the pressure off teams and leaving more time to spend on meaningful tasks.

Technology has given us the power, not only to purchase products and services, it has enabled us to become more savvy, informed and educated, all on our own terms. Why should the candidate experience be any different?”

But the market is moving beyond that. It used to be that we waited for tech companies to invent things, then we figured out how to use them and bought them. Now, HR professionals themselves are becoming the disruptors. The era of the candidate experience is here. And they think like consumers.

It’s not difficult to see why. Today we live in a world where everything we want is at our fingertips. We can track the toppings as they’re placed on our pizza, take a virtual tour of our hotel rooms and ask robots to turn up our heating. Technology has given us the power, not only to purchase products and services, it has enabled us to become more savvy, informed and educated, all on our own terms. Why should the candidate experience be any different?

Think about it, people don’t know if they’re engaging with your consumer or employer brand. To them, it’s one whole same thing. In an ideal world, a company’s employer and consumer brand should offer a frictionless experience between the two.

Every interaction with your brand either builds or destroys perceptions. Everything you do that makes your business visible to the public is going to affect your image, from the tech you use on your careers website, to the speed of your selection processes. So there needs to be a shift in mentality when it comes to experimenting and exploring with technology in HR.

A recent whitepaper by Resource Solutions, Candidate Expectations in the Experience Economy, reveals the gap between candidate expectations and the reality of what employers and talent acquisition teams are delivering.

It tells us that chatbots like Mya are taking the candidate experience to whole new levels of engagement. Brands like Winter Circle are beginning to build talent pools that operate like members-only clubs. And there are algorithms from companies like Workday that can determine which candidates are most likely to change jobs.

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The point is, it doesn’t need to have the label “HR tech” to form part of your HR tech strategy.

Take Glassdoor for instance, the peer-to-peer website for honest insights into a company by employees past and present. A study I conducted back in 2016, Talent trusts Glassdoor, and here’s why showed that even then, Glassdoor was the second most trusted source of finding a job, after friends and family.

Glassdoor’s own research today says that it has 64 million monthly users and of those, 88% of visitors go on to use the site to apply for a job. Yet a staggering 86% of global companies surveyed in the Resource Solutions report are not integrating Glassdoor reviews into their recruitment communications. Why not? It’s madness.

Being an actively engaged employer on Glassdoor is a quick win that’ll give you tremendous insight into everything from how your salaries compare to your competitors, to improvements needed in your culture.

Reaching outside of your comfort zone goes both ways, with HR tech becoming attractive to the biggest players on the market such as Facebook and Google. People analytics is a massive trend and it’s no surprise that these giants are using their vast amounts of data to install nap rooms, or ramp up LGBTQ initiatives to make their people happier at work. They’re opening their eyes to how the power of the consumer mind-set can make them better employers. We should too.

I think that HR teams that begin to see their roles as creating an employment experience, rather than structuring employment, will be on the leading edge of consumerisation of the workplace. The result will be past, present, and future employees who have the same experience and perception of a company as its customers do

But no amount of new HR tech will help if the people in charge won’t change.

Adam Shay

About Adam Shay

Adam Shay is global marketing director at Resource Solutions.
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