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HR Demo Show Vegas – Humanizing Employer Brands Makes Me Happy

Meghan M. Biro
  • On May 4, 2011
  • http://www.forbes.com/sites/meghanbiro/
Meghan M. Biro
by
May 4, 2011

There are technologies that transform an economy (railroads), and technologies that lead to an industry (and an economy) treading water (railroads.) HR technology is a transformative set of technologies, one I can’t wait to dig in to. The place to see what’s coming up for us HR and Recruiting practitioners is the HR Demo Show, to be held May 24-25 at The Venetian in Las Vegas.

Did I say Las Vegas? Yup. I will be making an appearance on a blog squad that includes friends like Maren Hogan Craig Fisher and Geoff Web. I also look forward to meeting Jessica Miller-Merrell IRL for the first time. Fun times.

In this case I’m talking about new technologies for the workplace and talent management, not trains. Technologies have transformed many businesses and industries and displaced others. But its value as a creator of strategic value has been under attack for some time.

Flashback way back yonder to the year 2003 Nicholas Carr published ‘IT Doesn’t Matter’ in the Harvard Business Review, followed by a book, Does IT Matter? in 2004. His argument (to paraphrase the article, and some of Carr’s rebuttal of various criticisms): because IT is structural, built in to a company’s operations, it is no longer a strategic differentiator or source of advantage to businesses. Sure, it helps with competitiveness – you need to be on par with those in your industry in your use of IT to survive – but it’s no longer a source of tremendous advantage. IT has become a commodity.

Back to the present. Not so fast. Technology is very much transforming industries. In Recruiting and HR specifically, technology is a transformative power because today’s social tools have the power to enable emotional connections between employers, employees and job seekers (future employees). This is a hugely important tool for connecting with and hiring the right talent. And it’s no sceret I love any valuable tool that helps employer’s humanize their workplace brand when recruiting new people to teams. Job seekers “buy into” a workplace culture when they accept a job offer – it’s an emotional connection made with people first and foremost.

Things are changing fast in the world of software tools designed to support Recruitment and HR functions within a workplace. As Kevin W Grossman says, the next five to 10 years should be an interesting time for talent management technologies in our space. Cue the flash and sizzle: be at the HR Demo Show to hear what’s changing.

So much is exciting. I am going to look at things that promise much improvement for talent management in the workplace:

  • Humanizing talent acquisition—by facilitating human interaction and establishing emotional connections between employers and job candidates. Taleo looks like an interesting option here.
  • Helping to build an employment brand—by creating talent communities via social, mobile, cloud and collaboration technologies and activities.
  • Going beyond standard applicant tracking system features—by reaching into the CRM realm to keep the pipeline filled with truly qualified candidates, to grab and nurture candidates’ interest, and to empower global recruitment and multi-lingual outreach. Kenexa has an interesting set of offerings, as does Epicor.
  • Getting social networking to work effectively by driving applicants back to companies’ career portals; giving companies a clearer picture of their social media efforts/effectiveness, and helping them track and manage referrals more efficiently.

I’ll be attending talks on RPO, HRO and MSP practices and IT solutions, and reporting back to you. There’s a ‘demo’ in the show name, so I’ll be going to demos of various interesting and geeky offerings – right up my alley. I’ll be separating the very cool from the not-so-cool and on where we can use new technologies for strategic, competitive advantage.

It’s Vegas, so there will definitely be a stroll and a dance (or five) down the Strip (no cards, please) or a stop at the Red Square. There will be opportunity to connect with my fellow HR and Recruitment practitioners and purveyors of HR systems. And there will be lots of opportunity to find out about talent management, and how systems will help our industry make this a priority to stay innovative.

Join me in Vegas. Or check in here and hear what I’m hearing. HR/Recruiting technologies are on the cusp, and I don’t want to miss the opportunity, the transformation, the prospect of creating competitive advantage.

IMAGE VIA Flickr

  • http://leadchangegroup.com Mike Henry Sr.

    It will be interesting to learn about your thoughts after the conference. I believe we can only underestimate the changes social technologies will bring to the talent acquisition and talent management areas of HR. It will be easier to find people with particular talents, vet those talents, and get “references” (in quotes because I don’t know what you’d call a virtual reference). It seems many roles will change.

    I’ll also be interested to see if the technology world embraces the technology and brings it to the organization, or if the HR or operations areas of the business do. Many times technology people become defensive and miss the opportunity to leverage their knowledge for the benefit of the org. So I wonder who the people will be that leverage the new tools and create the competitive advantages. Keep me posted…