Back to the Future: HR and Talent Acquisition Technology On the Horizon

December 27th, 2016 Comments off
HR and TA Technology

In 2016 I demoed over 100 different HR and TA technologies. I started doing this three years ago with a goal to demo one new piece of HR and TA technology per week – 52 demos a year. My goal was personal development as I thought I was pretty naive when it came to HR technology as a whole.

Now, I’m full blown HR tech geek and I love it! I love the interaction of technology and people, being that what we do is such a people-oriented business. Technology is great, but when you add in people, it can get crazy!

Those companies that are building the latest and greatest HR and TA technology on the market truly get this complex relationship and the new stuff that is coming just blows me away. As I look out into the future of HR and TA technology, here are some of the trends that I’m most excited about:

  • Video, Video, Video. It’s no secret at this point that we all, especially the younger generation, consume massive amounts of video! On our phones, on a plane, on a train, on a boat and on a goat, we are a world that lives in video. The video trend in HR and TA I’m most excited about is Video Job Descriptions. No longer the lame, boring text-based job descriptions that have been around since dirt. You can now have an employee doing the exact job you’re hiring for – or a hiring manager – tell the applicant via video exactly what the job is and why it’s awesome.
  • Artificial Intelligence (A.I). Right now this is mostly really smart chat bots. I’m hoping eventually I’ll get my Will Smith iRobot to fire employees for me, but until then I’ll make do with great tech that’s on the market. We are to the point where A.I. can actually take a candidate from pre-apply all the way to the first in-person interview without ever being touched or communicated to via a real human on your team. That’s super exciting!
  • Recruitment Marketing. Customer relationship management technology within the talent acquisition space continues to evolve and improve at a tremendous speed. The CRM technology on the market will soon be able to tell you when a great candidate is even thinking about maybe beginning to look for a job, when they stopped by to look at your career site, where they went after looking at you, and how you should go about getting them to come back and finally apply. It’s scary Big Brother stuff, and it’s so cool! Just know if you’re at work and you are looking for a job, everyone is now watching you.
  • Employee Experience. It took a few years, but we finally remembered that our employees are important. Sure, candidate experience is still important, but let’s not forget those we already have! To that end, there is awesome technology helping us communicate better with our employees and collaborate better as teams. Also, I love the fact that I think we’ve finally reached the tipping point of organizations understanding that once a year employee reviews have gone the way of the dinosaurs. Our employees expect and deserve constant, ongoing feedback on their performance, or they’ll leave to find it somewhere else.


I get that the trends and technology are moving at an incredible rate of speed. The changes we are seeing on an annual basis within HR and TA now would have taken three-five years to take hold just a decade ago. Make a goal to yourself in 2017. You don’t have to be crazy like me, but do yourself a favor and demo one new technology each month. That’s one hour per month, twelve hours for the year, for your own development. You’ll be amazed at the difference it will make!

CareerBuilder’s CHRO and CTO discuss what they see as some of the biggest 2017 HR trends

The Future of HR: Trends to Watch For in 2017

December 9th, 2016 Comments off
HR Trends to Watch in 2017

As an HR professional, you need to have a pulse on the latest trends in the labor market so you can advise your leadership on talent needs to meet their business objectives. Google “HR trends” and you will find yourself scrolling through hundreds, if not thousands, of search results that tell the same old story year after year. That’s why we wanted to shake things up and do something different: Offer up the HR trends you’re going to see over the next year from the perspective of the C-suite.

As the chief human resources officer and chief technology officer at CareerBuilder, we have the opportunity to think about trends from a unique perspective — one that will help you understand your own leadership’s asks and objectives better. So let’s dive right in.

We’ve narrowed it down to five key HR trends we believe will shape the space in 2017.

1. Treating the candidate experience and hiring manager experience as consumer experience.

Candidate experience continues to be a significant factor. In certain markets and industries, job seekers can be selective about where they apply. That means any barriers we place between job seekers and employers will only drive job seekers to your competitors. Think about how you can treat candidates the same way you would cater to consumers. Candidates are increasingly adopting a consumer mentality and expect to “shop for” jobs. For instance, they want to be able to sort, filter and save jobs that they can circle back to at a time that’s convenient for them—just like a consumer using a shopping cart online.

There will also be an increased focus on enhancing the hiring manager experience and treating hiring managers as customers.

Recruiters are the key facilitators between candidates and hiring managers, and need to improve this experience for both sides. Why has the communication loop disintegrated among these two parties? It’s time to expand or reopen the lines of communication with both candidates as well as hiring managers to ensure a seamless talent acquisition process.

2. Bringing a sense of purpose and consistency to data across the board.

Collecting data is not new, but you need to ensure you are gathering and analyzing the correct data points. Take a step back and evaluate whether you are paying attention to metrics that matter. Instead of focusing on big data, focus on rich data — or data that is used to predict behavior. Ensure that you are measuring your identified KPIs across all areas of the business so there is some consistency. And once you have integrated data and analytics into your processes, don’t be afraid to run A/B tests and use the data to keep improving your processes.

3. Adopting a hybrid approach when it comes to HR structure.

HR structure tends to be cyclical. HR teams have moved from being centralized about a decade ago to being decentralized as of about five years ago, and back to being centralized in the present day. The right fit may be somewhere in the middle. A hybrid approach facilitates better partnerships between HR business partners, talent acquisitions teams and the business units they support. The result is a holistic view of the target talent needed, the most successful approaches to engage and retain top talent, and the ability to leverage internal talent across an organization well into the future.

4. Personalizing automated technology.

Ensuring you have effective touchpoints at every stage of the recruitment process will be key, as candidates are now aware that most communication is automated. Also, this trend of increased usage of automation for recruiting interactions is here to stay. According to CareerBuilder’s recent Automation Tech in Talent Acquisition and Management survey, more than two-thirds of organizations (69 percent) using technology-led recruitment automation say its use has increased in the past year. That same survey found 72 percent of professionals responsible for talent acquisition and management expect it to increase even more within the next year.

If you want to take it one step further and differentiate your company by giving candidates what they are looking for, consider including contact information for a real person. According to CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior Study, 81 percent of job seekers would like the contact information of the person who posted the job before applying, while 7 in 10 (72 percent) said they want to talk to a recruiter or hiring manager.

Candidates feel that the entire process is becoming increasingly impersonal, and want you to bring the human touch back to recruiting. So start thinking like a marketer.

Do more with your social recruitment channels and figure out how to bring the value of your product — whether it’s working at your company, your culture, your benefits, etc. — to life for candidates. Don’t just use stock photos on your career site — give candidates a glimpse of what your real-life employees are like. Take a cue from Sweden’s tourism board, which publicizes a telephone number that’s answered daily by Swedes themselves who take turns as ambassadors of the country and offer callers advice on where to go and stay. Stop and think about that for a minute: You can just call Sweden whenever you want and talk to an actual resident.

5. A renewed focus on retaining top talent through engagement, career development and flexible working models.

Workers are constantly seeking ways to move ahead — in terms of title, compensation as well as acquiring a broader skillset — but it doesn’t always mean they want to leave their current organization in order to find new opportunities. Successful companies will make note of the eager candidate pipeline within their own organizations and better leverage that for healthy growth of the business and increased employee engagement.

Additionally, employees are seeking more flexibility in their work life, and employers will need to become increasingly creative in their staffing models to attract and retain the talent they need. A workforce that comprises full-time and part-time workers, flexible work schedules and venues, as well as incorporates aspects of the growing gig economy will be key to having a robust and productive employee base to set them up for long-term success.

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Stay Ahead of These HR Trends

May 29th, 2015 Comments off
7 ways to stay ahead of HR trends

A company’s most important asset is its people, and it’s HR’s job to take care of and manage that asset. As companies continue to battle over skilled workers and applicants, an HR department that loses its edge can lead to serious problems for the rest of the business.

Here are seven current HR trends to help you attract and retain top talent:

  1. Strategic Approach

In order to compete for the best talent, companies now must look at their hiring decisions on a long-term, strategic level. HR departments need to be looking ahead to what their company’s hiring needs will be down the line and have a strategy ready to meet those needs.

  1. Data-backed Decisions

Virtually every aspect of business is being refined and reimagined using data, and HR is no different. Smart companies use the wealth of recruitment data available to them to make better business decisions and improve efficiency. But be careful — making decisions based on data without fully understanding what the data is saying or how to ask the right questions can lead to even more problems. Take some time to understand how recruitment data is gathered, what it means, and how to analyze it.

  1. StreamliniNG

With a heavier focus on big-picture strategic functions, today’s HR professional’s time is more valuable than ever. Automating, delegating or all-out removing time-wasting activities is crucial to staying competitive. Improve efficiency by consolidating the tools and services you use for various HR functions, particularly those that don’t communicate well with the others. Navigating through multiple tools and keeping track of vital information found across incompatible products is like navigating multiple mazes simultaneously. Take a step back, look at your arrangement, and find ways to simplify it.

  1. Employee Investment

Historically, HR’s focus has been more focused on the front-end of the employee life cycle: recruiting, hiring and onboarding. Talent is hugely important to a company’s overall success, but bringing in new highly skilled workers isn’t the only way to develop a strong talent base. Putting more emphasis on developing employees benefits not only the individual employees, but also the company overall.

  1. Diversity and Inclusion

As the population continues to grow more diverse, it’s increasingly important for your company to keep pace — and that doesn’t just mean hitting a hiring quota for diverse workers. Improving organizational diversity isn’t just a PR move. There are legitimate business upsides as well, including increased creativity and ability to effectively communicate with different markets. Put a big-picture strategy in place to not only add diversity to your overall headcount, but also to include a more varied range of workers at every level of your organization.

  1. Candidate Experience

As we move out of the recession and employers are looking to expand their business with highly skilled workers, job seekers are finding that they can be more selective when it comes to where they apply. They’re in demand, and if you want to get their attention and recruit them to your organization, you need to understand how they feel about applying to jobs, what their expectations are, and what’s important to them.

  1. Responsive HR

What HR does can have repercussions to the bottom line in ways you might not expect. In a recent survey, 58 percent of job seekers reported that they’d be less likely to buy from a company who they didn’t hear back from after submitting an application. In terms of things job seekers hate, never hearing back from a potential employer is right at the top.

HR’s role will continue to grow as companies place more emphasis on acquiring and maintaining top talent. Being able to bring in the best workers is vital to creating a competitive business advantage. Stay ahead of the curve, or risk falling behind.


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