Tech Insights: Falling Behind On HR Technology Is Not An Option

A history of recruiting looks something like this:  It was all newspaper ads and paper resumes, so we built our systems around that.

Then, that got blown up by jobs boards and applicant tracking systems, so we rebuilt our systems for the new paradigm.

Sadly, it wasn’t long before we were told the new paradigm was out-of-date and we needed pools of candidates, social networks and analytics. Have you rebuilt your systems around this new model yet? Or are you worried about what’s coming around the corner next?

For a taste of what’s coming around the corner I spoke to Gild. I wrote about them a couple of years ago under the title “Scariest in Show” and they continue to scare me by pushing the envelope of recruiting technology.

One of the big ideas is that we no longer live in a world of a “sort of up-to-date” pool of resumes; we live in a world where up-to-date information is available about millions of people thanks to their online footprint. The situation we are heading for, if you’ll excuse my hyperbole, is one where we automatically know everything about everyone.

A specific illustration of knowing everything is that, in Gild, as you write a job posting, the system can instantly check any keywords against the resume database to let you know if the skill is common (in which case you can be more specific in your requirement) or if the keyword is rare (in which case you might not find anyone). It’s an obvious thing to do once you think of it, but we don’t because  we’re not tuned into the idea of being smartly and instantly connected to everything.

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We have moved far beyond the days of posting a job and praying we got good candidates. We know who is out there. We’ve got a good sense of what they’re paid. We can guess if they’d be receptive to an offer. We can easily test different messages (A-B testing) to find what will attract interest. We can hand the routine work off to automation.

The potential is astonishing and that potential is being realized at an impressive rate by the vendors who live and breathe this stuff

What is interesting?

  • Not only are analytics helping humans make better decisions, increasingly analytics can be used to automate the decisions.

What is really important?

  • If we really are competing for talent we can’t wait for a convenient time to upgrade recruiting systems and processes. We have to run fast.
  • It’s hard to know where to run, given all the new things that are happening in the industry, so we need to invest resources in staying on top of where things are going, and what that means to our organization.

David Creelman, CEO of Creelman Research, is a globally recognized thinker on people analytics and talent management. Some of his more interesting projects included:

  • Conducted workshops around the world on the practical aspects of people analytics
  • Took business leaders from Japan’s Recruit Co. on a tour of US tech companies (Recruit eventually bought for $1 billion)
  • Studied the relationship between Boards and HR (won Walker Award)
  • Spoke at the World Bank in Paris on HR reporting
  • Co-authored Lead the Work: Navigating a world beyond employment with John Boudreau and Ravin Jesuthasan. The book was endorsed by the CHROs of IBM, LinkedIn and Starbucks.
  • Worked with Dr. Wanda Wallace on “Leading when you are not the expert” which topped the “Most Popular List” on the Harvard Business Review’s blog.
  • Worked with Dr. Henry Mintzberg on peer coaching, David’s learning modules are among the most popular topics.

Currently David is helping organizations to get on-track with people analytics.

This work led to him being made a Fellow for the Centre of Evidence-based Management (Netherlands) for his contributions to the field.



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