This year I approached my attendance at the conference with several live TA Transformation consulting projects in mind which did impact the sessions I attended and the vendors I sought out in the expo hall.
TQ Consulting is currently working with a number of larger global clients and their technology enablement strategy is critical to the project, therefore I dialled down my interest in ‘Start-Up Alley’ and focused mainly on enterprise grade technology vendors who are fully integrated with the Big 3 core HRIS players. Out of interest there were 100 or so Start Ups and about 400 other vendors presenting in one of the largest Expo halls I have ever seen – it was amazing.
So what did I observe, what did I learn?
1) There was much excitement about what Josh Bersin called ‘Internal Talent Mobility’ – for a number of years TQ has been hoping that vendors would develop technology that provides a backbone to Career Development and Internal Career Mobility. I am pleased to report this appears to be happening and there are multiple vendors working on these products including Bridge, Fuel50 and my find of the conference Gloat (not sure about their corporate name but their product Innermobility is fab!). Gloat’s Innermobility platform allows companies to build an internal open talent network where managers can promote opportunities, secondments, projects, gigs and employees are empowered to manage their own careers, find mentors, develop career paths and explore learning initiatives. What excited me most was the client base Gloat has already rolled out too including larger enterprises such as Schneider Electric and Unilever and a soon to be announced major international bank. Certainly worth exploring this platform as well as Fuel50’s new product, FuelMobility. I think this segment of the vendor market is set to explode and it opens up huge opportunities for corporates to better manage Internal Hiring and Mobility in general. Very very exciting.
2) Inspiration from an unlikely source – Those that have dealt with TQ in the recent past know we are not fans of Workday’s Recruitment System. It’s with this backdrop that I begrudgingly went to a Workday / Beamery session on TA Transformation. I am so glad I did because this was my favourite session of the week. Abakar Saidov, CEO Beamery CRM introduced the session which was delivered by Workday’s Global Head of TA, Charles Mah, who shared his story and journey of transforming Workday’s TA function over the past few years. I could write a blog on this case alone and will save some of this for another day. However, Charles and TQ are really aligned with our thinking – TA Transformation is not just TA’s problem, it’s a whole of business issue. You have to work on changing the mindset of the business towards talent as much as the mindset of TA itself. I will share a couple of snippets with you, feel free to contact me to find out more…..
- TA KPI’s moved from traditional metrics to those revolved around connections made, networks grown and relationships nurtured.
- Everyone in the company is a recruiter and responsible for connections, networks and relationships.
- Service is NOT equal to speed, Service is equal to Experience.
- “Recruiters are network connoisseurs, the curators of connections.” (Charles Mah)
3) Interestingly, the major assessment providers (Pymetrics, Hirevue, Modern Hire etc) are all working on more audio and text analysis based assessment tools. It appears there is increasing concern about bias associated with video interviewing, whether its bias of people viewing the videos (understandable) or AI training that introduces new bias associated with certain features such as face-shape, accents and people who struggle to articulate or express their thoughts on camera (could impact neuro-diverse candidates). The question posed is that increasingly we can introduce AI to this part of the hiring process, but should we? and who is training the AI? Are there unintended consequences?
However, the cases provided by Modern Hire and Hirevue for how they are automating the screening of High Volume applications (think Walmart, Fedex and Hilton Hotels) were really interesting and very impressive.
4) It’s all about Experience, if you are not designing your HR infrastructure around experience you are failing. The consumerisation of the workplace is happening and HR has been too slow to move. Before HR blindly selects tech and tools, it needs to stop and think about its strategy, the services it intend to provide and the experience it want to create. Think all users, the successful Candidate, the unsuccessful Candidate, the Employee, the Contingent worker, the Hiring Manager, HR and Talent Acquisition. For some companies e.g. Delta Airlines, they are designing for the 1.2m disappointed job applicants, they start with “people over process and seek to humanise the recruitment experience.”
5) The omnipresence of AI and Chatbots in HR Tech, this is really just the new norm, its expected of the vendors and is allowing us to augment TA and become Human+ in our work (Accenture). There are obvious degrees of AI, but at its heart machine learning is opening up some wonderful opportunities. As an aside to this the Proctor & Gamble Careers site was profiled and its chatbot (Olivia by Paradox) was great to play with, worth taking a look. https://www.pgcareers.com/. One point regularly raised was to be very sceptical of vendor claims when it comes to AI, validate as much as you can and speak to other clients of the vendor to learn from their experience.
6) Increasing use of Virtual Reality in HR & Recruitment – the CEO of Strivr and their clients Fedex and Walmart shared their cases of using VR in Learning and Hiring. The companies are using VR to provide virtual office tours, realistic job previews and assessing how people are responding to certain situations e.g. having to deliver a coaching conversation. Walmart have really double-downed on VR and have just purchased 16,000 headsets for 200 or so locations. This is not a cheap strategy but one whose ROI is looking strong.
Overall, I am super excited about the future of HR and TA in particular, we are really lucky to be working in such interesting and innovative times. However, we must remember there are no silver bullets, no quick fixes and the hard work still needs to be done.
Successful TA Transformation does not come easily and will require as much work performing on the business as it does the TA function itself. TQ is committed to this cause and looks forward to sharing its thinking with our clients and broader network in the months to come.
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