What Are the 20 Most Important Types of HR Technology?

January 30th, 2017 Comments off
HR Technology

Human resources technology refers to all of the software used to track, manage, pay, understand, find, inform, remember and deliver benefits to the people in an organization. As you might guess, the more people in the operation, the more complicated the HR software. For example, larger organizations have people problems that are unimaginable in small businesses.

There are between 70 and 100 discrete types of HR technology in total. This article will act as a cheat sheet to the 20 most important types of HR software.

Core HR Technology

Core HR includes all of the tools required to do the basics.

  • Payroll. There are often many bits of software combined to make the payroll system. It includes all of the elements and data required to make payday happen. Executive bonuses and sales compensation are the primary complicators of the payroll process.
  • Time and attendance. Time clocks, attendance and time keeping are the foundation of this area, which often includes scheduling.
  • Workforce management (WM). WM includes keeping track of time off, vacation schedules and the allocation of people to shifts. In highly technical environments (e.g., aerospace or nuclear), a specific set of skills may be required to have a shift.
  • Benefits administration (BA). The core challenge is making sure that benefits are effectively and equitably distributed. BA complexity grows when organizations decide to become self-insuring. Pension management falls under this category. When medical information is included, some of the data is governed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
  • Human resources information system (HRIS). The HRIS is the central repository for information about employees. Usually, the data is assembled in profiles that can include a skills inventory and personal contact information. The HRIS is often referred to as the “system of record”. The HRIS can serve as an employee directory.
  • Org charting. The more complex the organization, the more time is spent figuring out how to explain who works for whom. A good org chart helps everyone understand who goes together. Great org charting software is indispensable when the operation is required to adjust due to layoffs or changing business conditions.
  • Data and analytics (D&A). The depth and array of data in the HR department (and the company) make it useful to have tools specifically designed to illuminate the performance of both the HR department and the people in the company. Usually, installing a D&A toolkit requires solving a series of data integration problems. The project is often undertaken because the benefits extend well beyond simple data integration. It takes a clear data strategy to be able to effectively understand how the organization operates.
  • Employee communications (EC). In the old days, EC was as simple as publishing the employee newsletter and getting the benefits brochures right. Today’s EC function includes engagement surveys, email campaigns, feedback loops, recognition software and collaboration systems.

Talent Management Technology (TM)

The contemporary TM function is responsible for employees, from acquisition through disposition. Where Core HR technology focuses on administrative details (like inventory management), the TM function is focused on the match between employees and the actual work. TM identifies staffing requirements and is responsible for the development of employees.

  • Talent acquisition (TA). TA is the sum total of the technology required to identify, recruit and onboard a new employee.
    • Applicant tracking system (ATS). This is the heart of the recruiting operation. Most recruiting workflow is wrapped around the ATS. A good ATS ends up being a tool for tracking regulatory compliance on hiring issues. It usually contains a searchable resume database and the elements of hiring.
    • Sourcing (recruitment marketing). Sourcing is the discovery of potential employees. This area grows faster than any other aspect of HR technology. It includes over 35 discrete functions that range from job postings to email campaigns to database tools.
    • Pre-hire assessment and screening (A&S). Pre-hire processes range widely depending on industry, region and level of employment. Drug testing, background checks, polygraphs, personality tests and reference checks all have levels of automation and data flows. The data can be kept in either the HRIS or the ATS depending on the software.
    • Onboarding. Onboarding software is used to standardize the completion of regulatory forms, the allocation of software and passwords and, sometimes, to enhance the new employee’s move to productivity.
  • Performance Management (PM). PM technology is used to track goals and assess employee performance. These tools used to be executed on an annual cycle. Today, the PM world is being re-evaluated. Some very large companies have stopped using traditional PM tools.
  • Succession Planning (SP). SP software tracks and manages the decisions associated with the management of replacements. It contains the promotion plan and the executive succession plan. The idea is to understand what will happen in unforeseen circumstances as well as who the most promotable leaders are.
  • Compensation (Comp). Comp software houses market-based compensation studies, job descriptions and (sometimes) competency libraries. Comp management software is used to assure that the company is adhering to its compensation philosophy and offering wages that are competitive.
  • Learning and Development (L&D). The L&D (or training) department is responsible for the acquisition, development, design, delivery and recordkeeping of company training. The software used to do this is called a learning management system (LMS). This is often the largest function in the HR department. Technology changes are making this a dynamic part of HR.
  • Workforce Planning (WP). WP is the long-range strategic look at the company’s need for various kinds of people. It is a reality check on strategic plans. One aspect of WP is trying to understand how to help the workforce develop to meet those future requirements.
Now that you know HR technology basics, check out “Boolean Search Secrets to Make You More Effective

John Sumser is the founder, principal author and editor-in-chief of the HRExaminer Online Magazine. John explores the people, technology, ideas and careers of senior leaders in human resources and human capital. John is also principal of Two Color Hat where he routinely advises human resources, recruiting departments and talent management teams with product analysis, market segmentation, positioning, strategy and branding guidance. 

Recruitment Software Problems and 1 Solution to Fix Them

March 3rd, 2016 Comments off
Recruitment Software Problems and 1 Solution to Fix Them

The race to compete for qualified talent isn’t dying down any time soon, and you need to stay a step ahead of the competition to move your business forward. One of your biggest challenges is that you already have a full plate, so how can you add time back to your day to focus on the things that really matter? To gain a competitive advantage in the talent acquisition marketplace today, you need a single solution that removes common headaches from your daily life. Your system should also offer seamless integration into your current tools, so you can get the job done without skipping a beat.

Here are five common recruitment problems that Talentstream Recruit, a pre-hire platform, can solve.

1. Your recruitment software and sourcing solutions are disconnected, and it is frustrating to manage all of them.

Using a different tool for every step in the recruiting process adds time and complexity to your day. Keeping up with long, drawn-out processes leaves you feeling overwhelmed.

Talentstream Recruit is a holistic solution to make recruiting simple again with just one platform to handle all of your recruitment needs. Talentstream Recruit includes a candidate-optimized career site, automatic candidate re-engagement engine, resume profile search, job distribution, workforce analytics and real-time reporting — all in one configurable workflow. By eliminating logins to many different systems, your team will save time and streamline their workflow.


2. You spend too much time posting jobs, and very little time sourcing strategically.

HR and talent acquisition are no longer seen as a primarily administrative functions. You are being asked to place more candidates in a shorter time frame, but this requires that more time is spent on tedious tasks to pull in a higher volume of resumes (like job postings and resume database searches). These tasks eat up valuable time from your day and lead to stress, low performance and turnover.

Talentstream Recruit combines leading job distribution and resume database searching tools right within your requisition and applicant management software. Save time by sending a job posting to multiple job boards and sourcing candidates from your private database within the same tool you use to manage the hiring process.


3. You tend to overlook candidate information that you have already acquired.

Your organization sources a lot of candidates every year to continue filling positions. Between internal candidates, external resume databases, a talent network and past applicants, it can be difficult to ensure that every relevant candidate is considered — especially those that have been collected in the past. Logging in and out of disparate tools takes time and leads to duplicating efforts to find applicants.

Talentstream Recruit combines all of your talent pools into a single, searchable database and will return search results based on relevant candidates to fit the needs of your open position. When you access past applicants, talent network members and resume database members early on in your workflow, you avoid paying for the same job seeker twice through job postings. It’s like checking your pantry before deciding you need to go grocery shopping.


4. You can’t make recruitment strategy decisions without real-time data.

Talent acquisition professionals work hard to fill every position. You post open positions to every available job board, search every resume database and check social media. These steps are often taken as a result of habit, training or perceived success of the tools in the past. Sometimes, you just can’t find a qualified candidate, but ask yourself: Did you make tactical recruitment decisions based on proven results or gut feelings?

Want to know how easy or difficult it will be to find candidates for your position based on the number of active job seekers in comparison to the number of job postings in a given market? You can get insight into competition for talent in the area, other locations with a higher concentration of job seekers, suggested job titles to enhance your search, average compensation for a given position and more. Stay five steps ahead of the competition by creating a recruitment strategy based on market data.


5. Candidates have no way to stay engaged and easily interact with your company when new positions are available.

Building a pipeline of talent for future positions is essential, but most recruiters don’t have enough time in their day to keep candidates engaged. As a result, you are forced to post every open position on job boards to attract new job seekers — causing recruitment budget and time-to-fill numbers to suffer. You’ve already paid good money to build a pipeline of candidates. Without an easy way to keep them informed, you will probably never hear from them again.

Talentstream Recruit includes a candidate-optimized career site and built-in talent network to acquire and engage your pipeline. Whether a job seeker elects to apply to a position or simply join your talent network, they are instantly subscribed to receive email alerts of new opportunities at your company. Using CareerBuilder’s proven recommendation engine, developed from over 20 years as a leading job board, candidates receive relevant opportunities to keep them interested in your organization — leading to an email click-thru rate that is five times the industry average. Your entire talent network is also searchable within Talentstream Recruit’s applicant database. Even if a candidate didn’t apply to a job, you can easily engage the right job seekers with new opportunities.


ONE Software Environment to Simplify Your Process

Talentstream Recruit was developed to simplify your process by bringing together everything you need to hire — from a career site to applicant management to job distribution — into one software environment. The system will help your company connect, and stay connected, with as many job seekers as possible by eliminating challenges in your current system.


How Stryker Created a Candidate-First Career Site

February 19th, 2016 Comments off
Why Stryker Created a Candidate-First Experience

It’s no secret that Stryker is passionate about the candidate experience. And when it comes to people — both their own employees and their candidates alike, Stryker takes that responsibility very seriously.

In the words of Stryker’s CEO, Kevin Lobo, “We believe talent is essential to our success, and are proud to have some of the most talented business leaders in the industry.”

Candidates were top of mind for Stryker when they decided to redesign their site. As Brittany Thompson, senior manager of talent acquisition at Stryker, said, “At Stryker, we really pride ourselves on candidate experience and taking care of the candidate from the very beginning of the application process all the way through the interview process.”

Why a New Site – And Why Now?

The team at Stryker knew they needed to provide a better candidate experience, and their current site just couldn’t effectively support that objective any longer. It was affecting everything from their employment brand, to their relationship with candidates to the quality of their applications. They needed a completely fresh site, and the time was now.

Stryker really wanted the new site to exceed candidate expectations: They not only had a fresh, updated look as one of their goals, but also wanted improved search capability, better-managed content and mobile responsiveness. Above all, Stryker knew their new site needed to be centered on an experience candidates would love.

For their recruiting strategy to be successful moving forward, Stryker also needed a career site that would make it easier to search, find and apply for jobs, be responsive on mobile devices, drive more applications through the site, focus on diversity and inclusion to a greater extent, and enable the team to continuously engage with talent who were interested – but not quite ready to apply. The site also needed to look and feel like Stryker from start to finish – down to the last detail.

Did you know? 3 in 5 candidates will not finish a tedious application process, and the majority of candidates who have a negative experience with a company will no longer do business with them as a consumer.

The Redesign Dream Team

Partnering with CareerBuilder was a natural next step for Stryker. As Brittany Thompson, senior manager of talent acquisition at Stryker, said, “It really was a partnership between the businesses to make the website what it is today. There was a lot of work and effort on both ends.”

Stryker and CareerBuilder worked together to bring the vision into reality. Stryker relied on CareerBuilder’s candidate experience expertise and job seeker insight to achieve the search goals of the new site. CareerBuilder’s algorithms for custom search were critical in delivering the right talent, and products like Talentstream Engage gave Stryker a way of communicating and engaging with candidates and keeping them warm.

Where Are They Now?

After seven months, Stryker’s new site is a strong success. A few highlights:

  • The new site uses CareerBuilder’s search technology to make it easy for job seekers to see all the company’s available jobs. The result? They’re getting more exposure and, more importantly, more applications to their jobs.
  • Applications are up almost 200% monthly, year over year.
  • With Talentstream Engage, Stryker is re-engaging with candidates who are interested in the company but not ready to apply; so much so that the member count has exploded to over 70,000 people in just 7 months!
  • The response from both senior leaders and employees across the company has been extremely positive.


How and Why to Replicate Stryker’s Success

In today’s job market, the “why” of replicating Stryker’s decision to create a career site centered around the candidate’s experience is obvious: The unemployment rate is down, 3 in 4 full-time workers are open to or actively looking to leave their jobs this year, and hiring is more competitive than ever.

Job seekers are busy, and they have a lot of options when it comes to finding the right job.

The average application process has a startling 90 percent drop-off rate, according to Career Site Market Research’s 2012 study. The last thing you want to do is put additional barriers between you and your ideal candidates with a website that’s turning them off and making it difficult or even impossible for them to apply.

Make it a priority to modernize your own application process in 2016, and increase the quality of applicants with an experience candidates will love.

See Stryker’s redesign in action: Visit their careers site now.

Feel like Stryker’s experience hits a little too close to home? Don’t be stuck as the “before” of a site and brand makeover: Check out Talentstream Engage here to see the possibilities for your own site and to contact our CareerBuilder recruitment experts about how you can drive more applications and improve your candidate experience in 2016 and beyond.

A CTO Shares the Keys to Successful Recruitment Tech in 2016

January 13th, 2016 Comments off
Recruitment tech from the mind of a CTO

We recently spoke to Matt Miller, CTO at CyberCoders (a division of On Assignment – a leading global provider of in-demand, skilled professionals) about his role leading an in-house software development team, as well as his thoughts on the biggest keys to driving tech adoption, the newest trends in tech for staffing and recruiting in 2016, what really makes a third-party vendor rise above the others – and more.

CareerBuilder: As a CTO, how would you advise others to implement new technology within their company?

Matt Miller: If you are fortunate enough to be CTO and have a software development team in-house, you can build solutions that cater to your company’s unique needs. The other option is a third party that can layer into your organization’s software needs. I prefer an in-house team to cater to the unique needs of CyberCoders. Over time our team is able to expand and optimize our products based on the needs of our company.

If you are looking to save time and outsource, a lot of third-party technologies allow you to integrate some of the unique features or needs of your business. The bottom line is to maximize internal resources for your core competency and leverage third parties for the outer layers of your business operations. Keep in mind, a third-party vendor could be a long-term investment, so it’s important to ensure it can grow with your organization.

Our best third-party vendors are the ones that can integrate with our ATS – those who cannot are not always the best partners.

CB: What would you say are the keys to driving new technology adoption within a company? 

MM: Fluid integration with current technologies is vital, as is the ability to grow and change with the company. Big changes take time. Build a core group of evangelists who will support the integration – as well as a pilot group within an organization (to conduct a pilot test of your new tech) to determine if it should roll out to your organization as a whole.

CB: What are the key characteristics of a good software vendor?

MM: Integration is important – but so is someone who understands your business and suggests things to help move your business forward and fit your unique needs, versus pitching random software that’s ultimately not right for you. Smart advice and relevance is key; in other words, understanding your pain points and having solutions for them. The longevity of the company and their history/reputation definitely also plays a factor in our selection process.

CB: What are some of the new technologies for staffing and recruiting you foresee for this next year?

MM: Here are a few of my top predictions: More intelligent search on job boards/websites. Predictive analytics around what activities people do online that reveal how likely they are to start looking for a job. Improved semantic search, and an increase in mobile and social integration.

CB: What do you think staffing and recruiting has to be in 2016?

MM: Tech-enabled, for starters. Those in the industry must also be agile and able to move with the candidate economy – both in pulse and culture. Staffers and recruiters must have a pulse on what’s new, different and relevant.

Lastly, having a deeper understanding of the changing workforce and how to adapt to fit candidates’ evolving needs is crucial – and that’s not going to change anytime soon.


Put insight into action: Learn more about adopting and implementing the right recruitment technology solutions.


True HR Leaders Care About HR Technology

October 21st, 2015 Comments off
Why True HR Leaders Care About HR Technology

When I speak to HR and talent advisors all over the world, they consistently tell me one thing:

I wish I had more time to do this “added value” stuff that they all talk about, but you know what? I’ve got too much paperwork to think about it.”

You know, it’s true. I get it, I really do.

When I started working in HR, we had a typing pool that you took handwritten memos to, and they would type them out. Then we sent them in the internal mail for someone else to take action on. If you wanted to make a change in the HR information system — and we’re talking black screen with scarily aggressive white text — you’d complete a form. Then you’d send it to the HRIS assistant, who’d make the change… and sometime in the next 24 hours it would show up. But of course, it wasn’t connected to payroll. It was the ’90s, after all. And that’s before I even get into recruitment and resumes being sent in the post and photocopied.

At home, if I wanted to know what was on TV, I had to look in the paper. If I wanted to buy something, I had to go to a shop. And if I wanted to find someone for a date, I had to go to a bar or club and hope that my luck was in. Not to mention having to go to the doctor’s office if I thought I was going to die, rather than Googling it and convincing myself that my sore throat was indeed the Avian Flu.

And you tell me you don’t have time!

So here’s the thing: Our social and private lives are so intrinsically linked to technology these days that we forget what we used to have to do and where we used to be. We’ve hardly moved on at the office. Our employee experience is closer to the world of memos and forms than it is to Amazon, Tinder, and Facebook.

The real shame is that there is a genuine win-win here. HR technology has moved on and is closer to the consumer-based technology that we experience in our private lives — and the price points are better too. Employees are more technologically savvy and willing to engage with nicely designed systems with a good user experience than ever before. And good technology implementation takes the process, bureaucracy and paperwork out of the HR ecosystem and systematizes it.

So the next time you’re thinking you don’t have enough time, rather than do nothing, do something. Go and look up 10 HR tech vendors and get them in to talk about what they could do to help you. Have a look at what is out there and how you can use it. Embrace technology at work as you do at home. Innovate, experiment and play. The future of HR has technology embedded completely within it.

And the future talent advisor completely understands this and is doing something about it already.

Throughout the month of October, our resident talent advisors are focused on all things HR technology. Subscribe to Talent Advisor to stay on top of the latest blog posts and discussions and learn about the latest trends in HR tech.

I’m a VP of HR: Tech is a Game-Changer for Culture

October 14th, 2015 Comments off
I'm a VP of HR: HR Tech is a Game Changer for Culture

Have you ever felt left out? Like, not being invited to that company party or golf outing? Or not seeing that merger coming? Or working two months on a succession plan and then realizing that another team just rolled one out? Or being left out of conversations with your CEO because HR is just too out of sight? Of course you have.

Good news: Implementing HR technology platforms can help you and your HR team. Here’s how tech has helped my company and my team feel less “left out.”

  • It has brought more intimacy to our expanding workforce.
  • It has brought more intimacy to cross-functional teams where natural silo’s are dying to pop up.
  • It has helped create intimacy between my HR department and Daxko team members.

Intimacy. In HR. You read that correctly.

This post may not be for you if you bristle at the literal word combo of HR and intimacy. I believe that modern HR teams who support a modern workforce understand this crucial equation:

Intimacy + Access = Trust.

If your employees do not believe in your HR team, your HR function is dead in the water. In my experience, our company has facilitated more personalized conversations and has given folks more access to other team members and business information through HR technology.

Employees no longer feel left out.

Want in on a little secret? For years, my company’s HR tech was mediocre at best. Why? We didn’t need PeopleSoft when we had 50 people, and the mediocre tech did the trick. Why fix what isn’t broken? We had a culture of feedback that for the most part hid our HR tech cracks.

But Daxko grew. Quickly. We had 12 consecutive years of 20 percent growth, increasing headcount and geographies. Glad-handing and water cooler convos weren’t enough to bring clarity and, most importantly, intimacy to any interactions.

So how has tech helped?

  • HR tech is not just for HR. The term “HR tech” is a misnomer. It is for all employees. Instant connection.
  • It makes a large world smaller. HR technology platforms are following the formula social media has established. Simple, lightweight, transparent.
  • It removes the administration burden away from all employees in an organization. Daxko colleagues have a better chance of focusing on the right things with proper HR tech.
  • It enables employees to be treated like adults. It gives employees autonomy. For instance, our new applicant tracking system allows hiring managers to interact directly with candidates. We allow leaders to review their candidates at their pace and customize questions that make sense.
  • Our tech provides our employees with real-time feedback, too. New HR tech is allowing us to switch from “backward-looking” reviews to real-time “check-ins” to propel goal progression.
  • It provides senior leaders with real-time feedback as well. Our new tech pushes out one-question “pulse surveys” through an email. Our CEO can ask, “Did our midyear retreat provide the clarity necessary to achieve your annual goals?” Within a few hours, leaders get results and then act. Quickly.

Our results:

  • Controlled turnover.
  • Higher engagement scores (4.2 out of 5 corporate-wide).
  • Highest new sales in the history of Daxko.
  • Ability to grow 20 percent year-over-year through successful acquisitions and new product development.


So, remember: Intimacy + Access = Trust.

If you believe in that formula, don’t do all the heavy lifting. Implementing a few high-quality and cost-effective HR tech solutions can — and should — help change your game.

Throughout the month of October, our resident talent advisors are focused on all things HR technology. Subscribe to Talent Advisor to stay on top of the latest blog posts and discussions and learn about the latest trends in HR tech.

HR Technology Trends: Beware Of Shiny Objects

October 12th, 2015 Comments off
HR Technology Trends: Beware of Shiny Objects

Fall is in the air. Year-end is in sight. As happens every year, the buzz begins to build around what’s hot right now in the area of HR technology, and what will be anointed the next big thing for the coming year.

My focus is on the future of work and on what talent advisors must do to ensure the talent needs in their organizations are met. I’m always interested in learning about the latest product launches and the new cool tools on the block.

I try not to get distracted by shiny object syndrome, and to keep in mind that technology is often not the best — and rarely the first — solution to every challenge that we have within human resources and recruiting.

Unfortunately, as humans have evolved to include a smartphone as an additional body part, it’s become the norm to assume that “there’s an app for that.” The world provides instant solutions to practically any problem that we have, question we need answered, or decisions we must make.

Don’t believe me? Check out these handy apps related to bathroom activities: Places I’ve Pooped, SitOrSquat and Potty Training Time.

We may have reached the tipping point in seeking new technology solutions for problems we already had the ability to solve when even our bodily functions have been geo-located, socialized and gamified.

There are plenty of new or improved HR technology solutions that promise or aspire to address your data analysis, employee engagement, applicant tracking, talent management, workforce planning, legal compliance, or onboarding challenges. I recommend that you do the following before considering a purchase:

Explore unused capacity or options with technology you already have.

We use a fraction of the capabilities of technology available to us today. Why? Because we typically purchase tools or software with a specific need in mind, such as time tracking, performance management or maintaining a database of employees. Often, these products can do much more, but many systems are never fully implemented, or the latest upgrades and enhancements are ignored.

It’s also possible a system or product that’s already being used in another area of your organization may be a viable solution for something else.

I’ll give you an example. A couple of years ago, I worked as an interim executive with a company that had some serious internal communication challenges. After doing some research, I discovered a cool HR technology product that functioned much like a corporate Facebook – threaded comments, discussions, groups, instant messaging, etc. I signed up for a free trial. We piloted the software with a couple of teams in the organization. Everyone loved it. The only problem was the price tag – $75,000 annually. (But it was super cool, y’all.)

Eventually, the IT director approached me and asked why we didn’t consider Google+ instead of looking for yet another software solution. (The company was already a user of Google Apps.) There wasn’t a real reason other than I didn’t like it – and as a result, I’d never really explored it. He scheduled some time with me to show me the capabilities of Google+ and even created a fairly adorable short video story of how a skeptical consultant (me) discovered all of the capabilities of the product. He helped me to see that although Google+ wasn’t perfect, it met our needs, and could be implemented right away. And it didn’t cost the company any additional money.

The reality is that you may already have the solution – or a viable answer – to the workforce challenges you’re facing. So pull out that user’s manual and reacquaint yourself with your account rep. Ask peers in other companies how they’re using the software or tools that you already have. If all else fails, have a conversation with the geeks in IT.

You may be surprised at what you’ve been missing while window shopping for the latest industry darling.

A Bentley is nice. But a Hyundai also gets the job done.

Throughout the month of October, our resident talent advisors are focused on all things HR technology. Subscribe to Talent Advisor to stay on top of the latest blog posts and discussions and learn about the latest trends in HR tech.

How Small Businesses Can Use HR Tech

October 5th, 2015 Comments off
How Small Businesses Can Use HR Tech

I am a big believer that small business HR teams can do nearly everything that large business HR teams can do. The trick to emulating their larger counterparts rests in doing a few different things differently.

First, a small business must be able to scale. There are plenty of examples of what big businesses are doing with large recruiting budgets to attract talent. Smaller businesses can use many of the same strategies, but they will have to scale them down as far as size and budget.

Second, small businesses must be able to hire HR people who can react and adapt very quickly. Smaller HR teams often have individuals doing multiple roles, and this can slow their ability to react and adapt to changes that occur while their focus is on a million different things. Recruiting and hiring talent with a natural ability and desire to react and adapt quickly to the changing needs of a growing business is crucial for HR roles in smaller businesses.

Third, small businesses must embrace, leverage and fully utilize the amazing amount of HR tech that is available to them. Fortunately, new technology and innovations enter the marketplace on a seemingly daily basis. Unfortunately, it is also the one area that small businesses assume they can not afford or simply do not want to embrace.

And that is killing their ability to do those first two things well.

While businesses can use HR tech in many ways, these three are the most important to highlight:


It is mind boggling how many HR teams are still using an abundance of spreadsheets and manual processes to manage daily HR functions such as payroll, time-off tracking and more. There is a new world out there. Apps, “freemium” tech applications (which usually do just enough for small businesses) and a move to monthly subscription services for software has made HR tech much more affordable. HR teams that can automate regularly scheduled daily or weekly tasks will open their time up to focus on more business growth-oriented work.

Align with Business Objectives

Large businesses with large budgets have the ability to purchase tech that does everything for them. They can automate nearly every function and don’t have to pick and choose which tech makes the most sense. Scaling for a smaller budget, however, means that smaller businesses do have a choice to make. That choice should be based on business objectives. Let’s say a company has the budget to invest in only one type of HR tech. If the main business objective includes a plan for explosive growth in the employee population over the next year, a quality applicant tracking system may be at the top of the tech wish list.

Fully Use or Expand Current Tech Applications

One surprising fact about many businesses is that even if they have invested in HR tech, they are not fully using all the features they are paying for. Often this happens if there is a change in HR staff after the initial implementation. HR teams in small businesses should be fully aware of everything offered with their investment and be prepared to utilize it to the fullest. Any areas not utilized should either be used or reallocated to the technology that makes sense for the business.

They also do not realize that for just a few dollars more, their current tech could be expanded to meet an even bigger need. More and more HR technology companies are offering starter packages in the hopes that they can grow with a small business. A few bucks can get you a feature that can greatly reduce the amount of manual work an HR team is doing.

Consider the above three methods a starting point, and then scale from there.

The Future of HR Tech

HR technology is only going to get bigger and better. Companies are going to continue to automate many of the traditional HR tasks that bog down smaller HR teams. Businesses that assume they cannot afford tech — or that refuse to get on board with doing things a new and different way — are going to struggle to grow and innovate.

Your budget may not allow for a robust HRIS system, but it may allow for basic payroll automation that tracks several manual processes and costs one low monthly fee. The key is to assess your need, research options and invest in the area that makes the most sense for the business.

The alternative is ugly. You will continue to drown in spreadsheets and manual processes, the cost of which is greater than technology could ever be.


Throughout the month of October, our resident talent advisors are focused on all things HR technology. Subscribe to Talent Advisor to stay on top of the latest blog posts and discussions and learn about the latest trends in HR tech.

Bad HR Technology Gives Me a Headache

October 2nd, 2015 Comments off
Bad HR Technology Gives Me a Headache

Albert Camus said that autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. For me, autumn is all about sweater weather, pumpkin spice lattes and apple picking here in America. Honeycrisp apples are supposed to kick major booty this year. Who’s thrilled?

Unfortunately, I developed an allergy to apples while I worked as a recruiter in Chicago. I am also allergic to horrible human resources technology and the complicated ways we are asked to sort through what works and what doesn’t.

Bad HR tech gives me a headache!

There are a proliferation of solutions on the market — that promise to help companies do everything from acquire great talent to create diverse talent pools — and it’s tough to know where to start. How do HR consumers evaluate all the talent acquisition solutions out there? Where do you find unbiased resources that you can trust?

Those are important questions, which is why the month of October is all about technology for our esteemed group of talent advisors. The world-famous HR Technology® Conference & Exposition takes place in mid-October. We will feature articles from seasoned talent advisors and leaders who understand what it’s like to use technology from the moment you acquire a resume to the minute you extend a job offer.

Our writers know the talent acquisition space. They will advise on how small teams can use HR technology more efficiently, and how your company’s culture can be enhanced by using talent pools and cloud-based solutions to win the war for talent.

I’ve also asked our writers to break down HR technology concepts — from analytics to contextual search — and talk to you about significant trends using manageable and concise language. We promise to help you understand why HR technology matters and see the sexiness behind payroll software without having an allergic reaction to buzzwords and jargon.

It’s our collective goal to help you learn more about the best trends in HR technology. Are you stressed about the seemingly endless tech solutions out there? Are you allergic to HR tech drama? Are there other headaches as an HR professional that you need to get out of your system?

To gear up for the 18th annual HR Technology Conference, we’d love for you to share your biggest HR problem with us on Twitter and include the #HRHeadaches hashtag. You’ll feel better, and you’ll be eligible to win some sweet prizes during the conference.

The more tweets you share, the more chances you have to win!

4 Ways to Streamline Your Recruiting Process

August 7th, 2015 Comments off
4 ways to streamline your recruiting process

I’m a big believer in work-life balance, and I suspect many recruiters and talent advisors are their own worst enemies. The pressure to appear busy is huge, and we add unnecessary steps to processes such as recruiting — instead of trying to figure out how to streamline and simplify our days.

I want you to be as busy as you need to be but have enough time left over for your personal lives and families.

Here are four ways to streamline your recruiting process.

1. Plan your day around the recruitment lifecycle, not the requisitions.

Maybe you are a talent acquisition professional with a million open requisitions. Or maybe you’re a human resources business partner who has a key leadership role to fill in the next 30 days. You will fill your positions by being efficient with your time and tasks:

  • Open your calendar and block off time for key tasks.
  • Screen resumes in one fell swoop.
  • Schedule meetings and calls for specific periods of time.

Diving in and out of your duties is disruptive and wreaks havoc on your day. Avoid manic Mondays where you fling your mental energy from one requisition to the next. Plan your actions around the important aspects of the recruitment lifecycle, and congratulate yourself on being orderly, organized and in sync with your client’s needs.

2. Pick Your Channels Wisely.

People like to joke that the “post and pray” era is over, but they are wrong. Even the best talent advisors think too broadly when it comes to marketing a requisition. They’ll exhaust all avenues and post a job description everywhere. The law of diminishing returns kicks in, and they get fewer and fewer results for all of their effort.

Not everybody needs to know you’re hiring for a cost accountant or a sales representative. Pick your channels wisely, and invest your time and energy in marketing your jobs to the right audience.

3. Begin with the end in mind.

If you know it takes 12 weeks to fill a job, and two of those weeks are eaten by interviews and two more weeks are killed between the time an offer is extended and when a candidate starts, you can begin to backfill dates on a calendar. If the job is open today, figure out now when you need to interview candidates for the first round and second round of interviews. Block off times on your hiring manager’s calendar today. Don’t wait for the perfect candidate to arrive before ensuring the hiring manager is available for interviews. Act like Oprah and embrace the laws of attraction. See it. Feel it. Close that requisition.

4. Pick one platform and stick with it.

There’s too much energy wasted in the process of advertising jobs, searching for candidates, interpreting actionable analytics, offering a solid candidate experience, scheduling interviews, and extending an offer to a candidate. If your current ATS isn’t agile and doesn’t offer the benefits of a CRM, you may want to rethink your recruiting platform. We’re in a war for talent, and linking seven different technologies together with chewing gum and dental floss won’t cut it.

The best talent advisors in the industry are proactive and look for opportunities to remove obstacles and make their days more productive and efficient. I’ve given you four examples of how you can streamline the recruiting process, and I would love to hear more ideas from you.

What works for you? What advice do you have for other talent advisors? Leave a comment, and let’s start a conversation about how we can work smarter, not harder, by offering a new version of recruiting and human resources in our organizations.

Throughout the month of August, our resident talent advisors will be discussing issues around the biggest recruiting issues right now and getting you ready for CareerBuilder’s Empower 2015. Subscribe to Talent Advisor to stay on top of the latest blog posts and discussions, and find out more about Empower 2015 here.

Bring on Big Data: Q&A with Correct Care Solutions’ SVP of HR

July 8th, 2015 Comments off
big data

Big data is more than just a buzzword, and the HR team at Correct Care Solutions, the nation’s premier correctional health care management company, knows it. CareerBuilder interviewed Scott Pustizzi, senior vice president of human resources at CCS, to learn more about why the organization invested in CareerBuilder’s Big Data Analytics Suite, or BDAS, to help strengthen their recruitment strategy.

CB: Tell us a little about your history and current partnership with CareerBuilder.

SP: I have successfully partnered with CareerBuilder over the past several years to develop and enhance an employment brand as well as a diversified presence online. CareerBuilder has become a valuable source in connecting qualified candidates to our open jobs.

A significant percentage of our placements are sourced through CareerBuilder, and our Talent Network continues to grow at a fast pace. The Talent Network allows us to keep candidates engaged with our opportunities across our system. Supply & Demand reporting has been a valuable tool in our labor pricing for our proposals when we go into new markets.

CB: Why did your organization decide to invest in BDAS?

SP: Workforce analytics is so important in our business. CCS is a private provider of public health care services to the government sector, and our staffing decisions are constantly under a microscope. CCS is usually contracted out by state, county or municipal governmental agencies to manage various correctional health care services within a unit of a prison or jail or within secure hospital settings. As a steward of taxpayer dollars, CCS must show efficient and effective staffing plans that are established to provide quality patient care.

BDAS will provide CCS with timely metrics associated with the talent acquisition process, as well as in-depth statistics on recruiter efficiencies, measures of success with candidate sources and return on investment information for managing a diversified recruitment plan.

CB: How are you planning on rolling BDAS out to your HR/talent acquisition team?

SP: BDAS will be a valuable tool for managing the talent acquisition team and telling our story to the senior leadership team. Along with job distribution, BDAS will be part of the recruiter’s day-to-day responsibility. Productivity metrics will allow our mangers to work closely with each recruiter to ensure that appropriate transactions and interactions occur daily. The recruitment team communicates with our hiring managers several times each day. It is important for them to convey activities associated with their critical openings and to give them a sense of ease that there is meaningful activity associated with the open position.

CB: Once implemented, what impact do you hope BDAS will have on your organization’s recruitment strategy?

SP: Staffing is a primary component of our overall business. Clients come to us to resolve their challenges as it relates to the management of their health care operations. It is important to have the right people in the right position at the right time.

BDAS will help us achieve this and will further strengthen our value proposition to our clients. CCS will continue to grow at a substantial rate if we are able to retain current clients and continue to acquire new clients. BDAS will also be valuable to our business development team in showing prospective clients the activities associated with talent acquisition and CCS’ ability to do it better than its competitors and, in most cases, the clients themselves.

CB: When previously discussing BDAS, you said that you had “foresight and vision about what this means to the organization;” can you expand upon that comment?

SP: As I mentioned above, I truly feel that BDAS will end up being a valuable tool throughout the organization at all levels and not just within talent acquisition. CCS is a public health care provider and competes for talent across all disciplines of providers. Our business can’t succeed if we are not acquiring qualified talent across the system in the most efficient manner. BDAS will help us drive day-to-day decisions on the best sources for talent and allocating resources to the most productive people searching for that talent.

BDAS will not only be prevalent in reports, but also in real time via television monitors displayed proudly on the walls within the recruitment department. Touch screen monitors will be available for hiring managers, executives and clients touring the facility to pull up real-time information and candidate data within seconds.

Find out how BDAS can help make sense of your recruitment data:

 BDAS landing page image

What Does Candidate Relationship Management Actually Mean?

May 4th, 2015 Comments off
Happy Business Teamwork

I recently bought a new car. During the sales cycle, I visited the dealer’s website. I inquired about an individual vehicle on the website, and you can imagine what happened next.

A mountain of communication came down upon me over the next few weeks. I was inundated with email, snail mail, and phone calls. I was somewhat shocked I didn’t get someone knocking on my door, “Hey, we were just in the neighborhood driving this new car and thought you might want to take a quick look!?”

I bought the car, but the follow-up didn’t stop. I received more communications about how I liked my new car, how I liked the dealership, and things I could buy to enhance my car. I also received special offers on how I could get my friends and family discounts by just referring them.

What I just described to you? That’s CRM.

If you are in the talent acquisition function, CRM is the new acronym that has taken over the industry during the past couple of years. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, but the recruiting/tech industry turned CRM into “candidate relationship management.”

In reality, it’s the same thing. Recruiting is a sales cycle.

In recruiting, just like sales, we have a target audience. In sales, we sell a product or service. In recruiting, we sell an opportunity to come work for our organization. CRM is a system that keeps you in contact with someone who is a possible target for a sales opportunity.

In talent acquisition, a candidate relationship management system helps you find, build and keep relationships alive with potential candidates whom you might want to hire now and into the future. Just like selling a car, you can turn a dial and choose how aggressive your CRM process is, or how laid back.

The great part is that CRM allows you to both personalize and automate most of your communication. It looks and feels like you are pursuing candidates, when in reality, it is almost all being done by the CRM system.

The best CRM software will transform your talent acquisition department to be one of the best in your industry. Even the worst system will put you in the top 10% because nobody is taking full advantage of this software’s robust features.

CRM allows you to offer concierge-like services to candidates in your ATS. Have 500 applicants for a job? A strong CRM tool will tell you which ones clicked through to your site and looked around. What pages did they go to? How long did they stay? Which ones should we reach out to with a follow-up message, or maybe even a call?

The answers are in the system.

It will also tell you which candidates are already in the process of interviewing. It is helpful so you don’t accidentally send a ‘hey we like you’ message and look like an idiot! The system also will keep periodic contact with candidates, keeping them warm for you when you need to pull the string and have a hiring need.

Candidate relationship management technologies allow you to reach and keep in contact with applicants and potential candidates for your organization — all without you having to do much of anything but turn it on.

Most ATS vendors try to make you believe they do CRM, but most don’t. It’s worth your time to check out a real CRM tool and see the difference. For talent advisors, a simple demo is key. I believe the education will be invaluable to your development!

5 Common HR Headaches (and How to Relieve Them)

April 30th, 2015 Comments off

Talent is the single most important asset for any organization to achieve success. Of course, while the entire company may rely on HR for this crucial piece, most HR departments aren’t given limitless resources find and hire the best talent the workforce has to offer. High stakes and not a lot to work with – that’s a recipe for a real headache.

If this sounds familiar, there’s good news – you’re not alone. Many of your peers and competitors are faced with similar recruitment challenges. Here are 5 of the most common HR grievances, and some ways to help relieve the stress they cause.

Headache 1 – Increasing complexity

Placing the right candidate in the right position at the right time is no small task. And while recruitment technology is meant to simplify your job, the sheer number of tools available in today’s marketplace can make recruitment more complicated and time-intensive than ever.

In this case, the saying “you have to spend money to make money” can also apply to time. Customizing your tools and alerts may take up a solid portion of your morning, but it will save you time and stress in the long run.

Headache 2 – Leaders expect increased efficiency

Where HR was once considered almost an afterthought, as companies recognize the importance of finding the right talent, it is now taking on a larger role in organizations’ strategies. A step in the right direction, to be sure, but many organizations now expect more out of their HR department without giving them much more to work with.

Increasing efficiency often boils down to improving time management. Successfully prioritizing the various duties and functions of your HR department, and automating simple or menial tasks can help free up your time to focus on the bigger picture.

Headache 3 – Losing information between multiple databases

The talent market is made up of many types of candidates, including existing employees, candidates in the pipeline, and new applicants. The right candidate may come from any one of these sources, but pinpointing them can often prove difficult. Information on candidates is often housed in separate databases or tools depending on which type of candidate they are.

Ideally, you’d be able to access all of your potential candidates’ information from one place. With limited resources, this may not always be an option, in which case finding tools that can communicate with one another can also help clear up confusion.

Headache 4 – Lacking the right data

Data is essential to making smart recruitment decisions and increasing efficiency. Today, recruiters have a greater ability to gather and analyze relevant data than ever before. Having the right recruitment data and knowing how to glean insights from it can be the difference between successfully attracting top talent or being surpassed by the competition.

Headache 5 – Losing contact with potential candidates

Recruiters are tasked with keeping track of myriad candidates from varied sources, often all stored in different databases. It’s not surprising, then, that great candidates sometimes slip through their grasp. For many recruiters, one of their greatest challenges is staying in touch with candidates they turned down, but want to keep track of for potential future positions. In fact, many HR departments don’t track these candidates at all.

Think of all that potentially great talent down the drain. Whether they are rejected, not ready to apply or just showing interest, you need a way to stay connected and engaged with potential candidates.

The Evolution of Staffing Firm Technology and Identity

April 15th, 2015 Comments off

An interview with Andrea Edwards, vice president of marketing and communication at Staffmark

Resumes used to come on paper that had been through a typewriter. Then there were job boards. And now?

In the past 20 years, staffing firms have undergone drastic changes to keep up with technology and the evolving workforce—and it hasn’t been easy. In an interview with Andrea Edwards, vice president of marketing and communication at Staffmark, CareerBuilder asked the secret to client satisfaction (something they have recently been awarded for), how to work for both clients and candidates, and what technology has been crucial to keeping up with the competition. Here’s what Edwards had to share.

Marketing yourself for clients and candidates

Internal marketing strategies are a hot topic at staffing firms: It’s no easy task appealing to both clients and candidates. How do you focus on each without losing site of the other? What approach do you take in defining your staffing firm brand?

For Staffmark, Edwards explains that the invitation to both clients and candidates is, “‘We want to be your partner.’ Staffmark’s promise to their clients is, ‘If you need people, we want to partner with you to find you the best people.’ The promise to applicants is similar: ‘If you need a job, we want to partner with you to help you find the best job.’ While that’s communicated differently to clients and candidates, the overall message is that Staffmark is there to help.”

Making a positive impression is essential, as often, the largest driver of referrals is making a memorable connection with those you’re helping. Crowd-sourcing is a game changer for everyone. “When is the last time you booked a hotel without reading reviews online? It’s the same for staffing firms. People are checking you out online before working with you so it’s important that you engage with people in a way that makes them want to share their positive experiences with others.”

Keeping up with demand and anticipating needs

Prioritizing satisfaction is something Staffmark does well— this is their fourth year in a row to win Inavero’s Best of Staffing award for client satisfaction. To what do they owe some of their success? Balancing both sides of their customer base. “The best staffing firms are the ones that really have the balance and can see that both groups—clients and candidates—are equally as important and can cater to each set’s unique needs and preferences,” Edwards says.

The best practices to recognize the needs and preferences of client and candidate needs have evolved just as much as the staffing industry itself over the past twenty years—and both Edwards and CareerBuilder have been here to see that evolution. Edwards has more than two decades of industry experience, and has a key focus on website and mobile branding for their two audiences. “When job boards first appeared many years ago, a lot of people didn’t embrace them because they thought their candidates weren’t there. The same thing happened when mobile presence emerged. Today, 50 percent of people are connecting with you and applying on a mobile device so you have to adjust. People don’t have time to read two pages of copy—you need to get to the point.

“On a parallel path—there is an increased expectation from clients and candidates that their firm is going to look out for them. They may prefer you stay in touch electronically, but they want it to be meaningful and personal. And they want a variety of ways to connect with you. That’s one of the things we really like about Talent Network. It allows us to reach out to passive job seekers and then engage in communication when they are ready.”

Getting the most out of software solutions

CareerBuilder’s own role in developing talent pipelines and moving staffing technology forward has been a component of Staffmark’s success in connecting with clients. “We put your engine in our car and it was a much higher performance engine,” Edwards says, referring to using CareerBuilder’s job search engine to power their job listings. “We also launched a new job search app for candidates. They can download to their phone, and they can apply in two touches if they are already registered with Staffmark. The whole point is to make it quick and easy for them to work with us.”

Before using some of CareerBuilder’s products, Edwards said that, “The challenge was, how can we interact with and start dialogue with those currently working but not loving their jobs? There was a big, untapped audience of passive job candidates that was very challenging to reach—and Talent Network allowed us to connect. People only have to supply a little information in order to join.”

Staffmark found three direct benefits from using CareerBuilder’s Talent Network product:

  1. Increased applicant volume
    “It definitely gave us an entirely new pool of more passive candidates. And in our branch offices they are so busy—the increased applicant flow and a new recruiting tool overall” were beneficial.
  2. More ability to find qualified candidates
    “We are very happy with it; it’s hard to find new recruiting sources.”
  3. Higher brand exposure and opportunity
    “More visitors to our website and the CareerSite. Our team saves time because they can post on both in one. You made it easier for people to find and access our jobs.”

The only way to maximize your organization’s time and resources is to ensure you are choosing the best software solutions to their full potential. Focus on the challenges your staffing firm has and the technology and resources available to answer those needs will be a key factor in the success of your firm.

What Is a Pre-Hire Platform — And Why Do You Need One?

April 7th, 2015 Comments off
What Is a Pre-Hire Platform — And Why Do You Need One?

The race to compete for qualified talent isn’t dying down any time soon, and you need to stay a step ahead of the competition to move your business forward. One of your biggest challenges is that you already have a full plate, so how can you add time back to your day to focus on the things that really matter? You can start by figuring out how you can streamline your recruitment activities. A pre-hire platform can get the job done — quickly and effectively.

Here are five reasons why you need a pre-hire platform to solve your most pressing recruitment needs.

1. You need to align your candidate experience with the way job seekers are looking today.

Did you know that as many as 65 percent of job seekers said they would rarely return to a job on their desktop after trying to apply via mobile? And 29 percent said they only sometimes do, which means a mere 5 percent of all potential candidates always consider it worthwhile to re-visit a job on their desktop.

Meanwhile, only 38 percent of employers say their company offers the ability for candidates to apply using a mobile device.

Interestingly, employers don’t seem to be aware of just how many potential applicants they may be missing out on by failing to offer a mobile experience. When employers were asked if they believe they are losing out on potential applicants because they don’t have a mobile process, only 10 percent said “yes” while 90 percent said “no”.

Today’s job seekers are searching via their mobile devices, and assume they can apply to your open position at any time and from any device — phone, tablet, laptop or desktop — so you need to be where the candidates are.

2. You must think long-term and create a strong talent pipeline that you can tap into down the road.

Not every job seeker is looking to apply right away; some want the power to apply on their own time. In fact, nearly 2 in 5 job seekers say it’s important to be able to come back at a later time to apply to a job. But unfortunately, not many organizations offer the ability to do so.

Today fewer than 1 in 4 (23 percent of) employers use a shortened lead form or application that enable job seekers to do this.

Consider the fact that as many as 85 percent of candidates would be willing to join a talent network even if they weren’t ready to apply. That’s huge! Think of all the potential A-players you might be missing out on without this capability. You need automated candidate remarketing to keep candidates engaged and informed so that when the right roles pop up in the future, you can easily re-engage them.

3. You will to be able to source and manage your entire candidate pool from ONE database.

Nearly a third of employers say they do not re-engage candidates who have not been offered a job — because they don’t have the time to do so, plus they have already moved on to the most current applicants.

But imagine if you could manage all of your candidates from a single dashboard. That’s what many of your peers are looking for. Most (69 percent of) employers say they need to able to quickly find and rearrange current applicants in their system.

Now, candidate management has never been easier. With intuitive search, you can quickly and easily search the databases you already have, and leverage all of your existing candidate pools to make your next great hire.

4. You will have the power to post to all of your recruitment advertising channels in a few clicks.

Nearly 4 in 5 (78 percent of) employers say they prefer to have one overall platform solution from one HR software systems vendor because it’s more convenient.

Save time and keep your workflow simple by posting to more than 6,000 job boards around the world in just a few clicks. Now you can finally have everything you need in one place — so you can post, source, manage and onboard from ONE platform.

5. You can build a requisition strategy in seconds and measure the ROI of your recruiting efforts.

Only a quarter of employers say they use external labor market data to inform their recruitment decisions, while 18 percent admit they don’t use any data to inform their recruitment strategy. As many as 21 percent of employers don’t even know what their average cost per hire is, and only three-fourths currently track the source of hire.

Still, nearly 2 in 3 (64 percent of) employers agreed that they need to have accurate source of hire data to do their job most effectively.

You need one dashboard to see how all of your sources are performing. Get access to a robust suite of real-time data and analytics so you can evaluate the effectiveness of your talent strategy and sources as well as the efficiency of your recruiters.

From Acquire to Hire — All in ONE Platform

CareerBuilder is making recruitment easier and more efficient to enable you to hire more candidates faster … with CareerBuilder1.

CareerBuilder1 is an HR software solution that brings advertising, data and technology into one pre-hire platform.

It delivers candidate experience, recruiter efficiency, and intuitive data and analytics in a single platform. Now you can maximize your sourcing investment with a premier mobile, career site and reengagement tool that retains more talent than any other in the industry.


Twitter Chat Recap: See How Technology is Evolving Recruitment

January 28th, 2015 Comments off
See How Technology is Evolving Recruitment

In CareerBuilder’s monthly #TalentAdvisor Twitter chat, which took place on Tuesday, we discussed how technology is redefining the recruitment landscape — and what that means for talent advisors moving forward.

What is a talent advisor, you ask? It’s someone who takes a proactive, strategic role in their organization’s talent management needs. More about that here. And mark your calendars: Our community gets together from 2-3 p.m. Central time on the last Tuesday of every month for a Twitter chat.

Here are highlights from January’s #TalentAdvisor Twitter chat.

Missed last month’s Talent Advisor Twitter chat? Here’s a recap so you can get up to speed.

Special shout-out to our amazing  team:  and  for the work they do to evolve the profession. They rock! We welcome all human resources professionals, recruiters and talent acquisition leaders to become part of the evolution! Sign up now to start getting Talent Advisor in your inbox, and while you’re at it, be sure to check out this treasure trove of recent Talent Advisor content.

10 Ways Technology Can Make You a Better Talent Advisor

January 14th, 2015 Comments off
10 ways to use tech to be a better talent advisor in 2015

Let me start by telling you that technology by itself won’t make you a better HR or talent advisor. Technology will make you faster; however, if you are a bad HR leader, technology just makes you a bad HR pro faster. The trick is to add technology to your already awesome HR skills. Then you can become unstoppable.

Here are some ways you can use technology to enhance your HR and talent advisor skills:

1. Use applicant tracking. 

Spreadsheets are not your friends, and they make you look like an ancient HR professional. There are so many inexpensive systems of record and applicant tracking systems out there today. There is no reason not to use them.

2. Invest in the technology behind employee referral programs.

The only time I’ve ever seen an employee referral program work is when technology is involved in running it on an ongoing basis.

3. It’s time to upgrade.

Ten years ago, we didn’t change because the pain of having to change was too great. In 2015, technology companies know how to upgrade our systems in ways that are almost painless and extremely fast. Stop using primitive technology.

4. Use the technology you have.

Most talent advisors never fully utilize the technology they have. Make it your mission to wholly understand the capabilities of your technology and use it entirely.

5. Embrace online open enrollment.

This isn’t 2001; it’s 2015. Whether you have ten employees or 10,000 employees, your annual open enrollment should be online. If your broker says they can’t do that, you need to change brokers.

6. One or two clicks.

How many clicks does it take someone to apply to a job on your careers site? We are no longer in a recession. You don’t need a hundred filters to screen candidates. If a candidate can’t apply to your job after one or two clicks, you are losing great talent.

7. Demand accountability.

Technology gives you data. You need data to make strategic decisions. You also need data to hold people accountable to do what they supposed to be doing. Leverage the technology you have to increase accountability across your organization.

8. Own employment branding.

I am not asking you to become a marketing department. I’m asking you to have an eye of the consumer. Look at five of your competitor’s career sites. Are they better than yours? What needs to better about your site? Work with IT and your local marketing department to make that happen.

9. Tackle the candidate experience.

You don’t need to go crazy over candidate experience, but you do need to treat candidates with respect. Use technology to ensure every candidate receives a response that is appropriate for your company and the level of position. If you wonder what you should be doing, ask yourself what you would expect from an organization.

10. Don’t allow technology to be a wall between HR and employees.

You are still dealing with people. People like to see you face-to-face and get hugs. (Well, some won’t like hugs, but some will!) That email you sent with the smiley face and the winky face isn’t a hug. Use technology to eliminate most of your administrative work, and then use that extra time to connect in person with your employees.

One Last Word

I love HR technology. The options we have at our disposal are endless. The key is choosing technology that fits your organization and links with what you are trying to accomplish. Sit through as many product demonstrations as you can. They will give you such great insight to what is available and what you need and can afford.

Like what Tim Sackett has to say about technology trends and HR? Don’t miss his webinar on Jan. 22 at 12 Noon Central, “Recruiting Silver Bullets for 2015.” Register now — and find out more about it here.

Why Talent Advisors Must Be Curious Observers of HR Technology

January 9th, 2015 Comments off
Why talent advisors must be curious about HR tech

In the constant flurry of information that one faces on a daily basis as a talent advisor, it seems HR technology is the area making the most noise.

HR technology is important, and it’s a reality. When it comes to HR tech, what knowledge is truly needed in a talent advisor role?

In my current position, the needs of my role don’t always fit the software platforms out there. My role covers multiple locations and I work with a variable, part-time workforce. We don’t quite have the scale to take on larger HR technology platforms — plus, we really need to have things that are more customized than what is normally available on the market.

It doesn’t mean I shy away from HR technology, even though there are challenges with my current workforce structure: In fact, far from it. HR professionals tend to avoid what they don’t understand if things don’t fit easily. As a talent advisor, I have an obligation to see how the various systems can, or can’t, fit what I do. If there is a technology that can make our company better, I need to see how it can work versus throwing up my arms and saying, “Well, that won’t work!”

Being a talent advisor isn’t a passive role. As we head into 2015, I’d like to encourage you to be a curious observer of HR technology. Curiosity is a characteristic that is necessary for talent advisors. To be able to peek, poke, and experiment gives you more context around what HR tech has to offer because you are taking the time to understand what various systems bring to the table.

It is up to you as an integrated business professional to make a recommendation to your company as to whether HR technology is a good investment or not. The key thing to remember is that you are making a business decision when you add HR technology to your company. You shouldn’t just be purchasing the next set of bells and whistles because the marketing pitch was attractive.

I would also encourage you to think about technology outside of your personal role. If you consider and review the technology your employees use to make their jobs better, you are even more integrated.

Remember, we have a chance to develop talented employees in our organizations, rather than simply making sure they have a great hiring and onboarding experience. Technology that develops an employee’s strengths only makes them a more valued asset of your organization.

So, I am keeping my eyes open as to what HR technology will continue to offer our profession and our broader organizations. I am sure that I will find some vendors who will be interesting, and I’ll make sure to meet with them to see how they can make our company more successful.

Curiosity leads to intrigue, and intrigue leads to decisions. This year, be curious!


Throughout the month of January, the Talent Advisor Portal will feature HR leaders who will help you win the war for talent by interpreting technology trends, breaking stereotypes and rethinking your approach to technology. Check out our first posts of the month, “Win the War for Talent With Technology” and “Job Seekers Are From Mars, Recruiters From Venus.”

Win the War for Talent With Technology

January 2nd, 2015 Comments off
How to Win the War for Talent

The War of 1812 was a serious war. America fought the British on land and at sea, and had a secondary war at the Canadian border and with Native Americans. The Europeans were fighting among themselves, too, and Napoleon was wreaking havoc at home and abroad.

That was a war.

What about when your HR department can’t find someone to fill an opening in procurement? Or when you can’t fill a VP of manufacturing job in Ohio? That’s not a war. That’s a failure of your recruitment and employer brand strategy — but don’t tell that to your CEO. According to everybody who knows anything about talent, we’re back in a war for talent.

Some say you win this war with a solid compensation philosophy. Others believe that you win by offering a great place to work with strong benefits. I think you win this war by implementing a comprehensive recruiting strategy based on technology that removes clutter and makes you faster and more efficient.

Here’s how to use technology to win the war for talent:


You can buy books and movies online with one click of a button. So why can’t you post a job to multiple career sites with one click? You shouldn’t have to recreate the wheel — and break the plane of your browser by going into a new window — every time you want to post a job outside of your company’s website. Demand simplicity. Stop bouncing back and forth between an ATS and external social websites. Harmonize your ATS and job posting processes and gain an advantage over your competition.


All the best things in life come from my smartphone. I learned about the birth of my nephew via my mobile phone. I witnessed the election of the first African-American president of the United States while in London. And my husband sends me pictures of our cute cats via text message when I travel. So why do companies make it so difficult for applicants to express an interest in open requisitions with a smartphone or tablet? If you can both buy a television and watch television on your phone, you should be able to apply for a job the same way. Update your career website with a mobile-friendly infrastructure and your candidates will thank you.


Recruitment technology can do more than help you attract talent. The infrastructure exists to help talent advisors understand what they are doing right, what they are doing wrong, and how to avoid repeating the same hiring mistakes. If you take a stats class and learn to read the data right, you can win the war for talent with math. Marry your broader HRIS platforms with a shrewd strategy that knits global talent trends together with your historic HR data. Learn how to decipher the trends that drive behavior in your existing talent pools. Read more about national and international compensation trends and broader economic issues. And don’t talk about winning the war for talent without having numbers to back it up.

Throughout the month of January, the Talent Advisor Portal will feature HR leaders who will help you win the war for talent by interpreting technology trends, breaking stereotypes and rethinking your approach to technology. We look forward helping you improve your skills as a talent advisor in 2015 and beyond.

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