I spent most of this past week at the HRO Today conference in Las Vegas as a member of the blog squad, and what do I have to show for it? A new appreciation for HR and Recruiting technology innovation – that’s what.
On the personal side, new friendships were made and old bonds renewed. In short, a very good conference. I even had an opportunity to sing along with dueling pianos – talk about a Talent Show. Right up my alley. We had many laughs. What happens in Vegas is not always meant to stay in Vegas after all.
This week’s #TChat was a highlight of course. As I referenced earlierin the week, The HRO Analyst Study was pretty fascinating from my perspective. So while there’s plenty of HR technology out there, much of it is focused on talent management and recruitment. HR and recruiters just are not perceiving what’s out there as innovative, perhaps because most of what we’re seeing isn’t screaming cloud, mobile application. What the survey found, instead, was a gap in perceptions of innovation.
For example, 62 percent of technology providers think it’s vital to innovate in talent management technology – but only 33 percent of practitioners agree. Even more telling: 70 percent of providers surveyed think talent management technology supports work, while practitioners – 37 percent – view the technology as ‘just gadgets’.
But wait, there’s more – over 70 percent of practitioners surveyed say providers ‘rarely or never’ talk to them to gauge whether their offerings align with the practitioners’ business strategies and goals. Yikes, what a disconnect! As a “recruitment practitioner” (one of my hats) I’m hoping there are many more of us who see these innovative tools as a must have – I certainly fall into this grouping.
So let’s go to Door #1 and a review of my stint as a judge on the iTalent2 Demo Competition. The talented roster of hopefuls: BranchOut a solution that helps people tap into their Facebook friends network to find career opportunities; InternMatch a brilliant yet simple application that simplifies finding interns and marketing internship opportunities for organizations of pretty much any size; JobScore a social media-enabled talent management application; SmartRecruiters a winner (did I say it is free?) application with a great SaaS recruiting solution; Vivecoach with a way to engage employees through wellness challenges; Wednesdays a team building and employee engagement application built on social media networking, and Work4labs, with a very cool application that enables career sites on Facebook. Quite an impressive array of new technologies included here.
As a judge who ended up being closer to Simon Cowell than Paula Abdul as we first thought – I was way careful about the numbers I gave each company featured, never going past 8 on a scale of 1-10. Apologies to the contestants if that seems harsh, but we’re talking about my passion here: innovation meets matching people talent with new career opportunity.
I have a weak spot for technologies that do it well. In classic start-up form no company or application is perfect just yet. Innovation is truly about creating a culture of working and reworking ideas where it’s ok to make mistakes in the early innings. I found flaws in each application from either a usability or branding perspective. It will be exciting to watch their progression in the coming months. There were almost too many good things on offer for the judging panel.
SmartRecruiters won – it’s a free (yes, free), social-media enabled application that helps companies recruit top talent. The pitch was strong, the website is user friendly, it’s organized and the people are enthusiastic about it’s potential in the market.
I have a soft spot for InternMatch. I mentor as many interns as I can and many people know I’m an advocate for these programs. Pay it forward and all, interns are a great resource for any company – and actual work experience with actual companies is part of a complete education.
I’m so energized by the people I met, the ideas that were presented, the technology that is available right now that will make talent recruiting and hr management so much easier and more productive. I can’t wait to talk to people (and clients) about what I’ve heard about in Vegas and beyond. Onward we go.
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