HR Tech solutions get personal


Another takeaway from the HR Tech Conference

One of the age-old knocks on the HR profession is that it attracted those who prided themselves on “being good with people.” I was never really sure what this meant when I selected HR / HR Systems as a career path way back when, but it seemed better than being good with hazardous waste. This notion was eventually borne out by the fact that my shortest corporate HR stint was with a Waste Management industry leader.

So how does this relate to the recent HR Tech Conference? Well, beyond what was discussed in my last post about smaller players doing their share to drive product innovation, another realization hit me: Dozens of newer HR technologies are not just “good with people,” but “really smart about people.” This means knowing personal if not unique drivers, how to engage and motivate, and leveraging that context for the benefit of both the organization and its individuals. Employing different talent management and employee engagement approaches for different talent pools (e.g., early career vs. later career or more experienced employees, high potentials, high-value candidates, change-resistors, etc.) makes very good sense.

Personalization significantly increases solution impact

The personalization theme was indeed ubiquitous at this year’s HR Tech conference, and since forms of personalization within HCM solutions are potentially limitless, I suspect we’ll be seeing more product innovations relating to this theme with each passing conference. The reasons are indelibly clear. Personalization in a user experience drives user adoption and system stickiness, which drives value realization and ROI. It’s also a key by-product of cognitive computing; e.g., the system determines what data, metrics, other content, activities or actions is most relevant for the individual, making them more efficient and effective. And both of these benefits lead to other critical business benefits like engagement, retention and productivity.

Personalization is “killing it” in the recruiting space

It’s no revelation that thousands of recruiting professionals are tripping over each other vying for the attention and interest of the same top talent, many of whom are not looking for a job change or even interested in discussing one. Overcoming these challenges requires not just shiny objects, but shiny objects with initials engraved on them so to speak.

Why all the fuss about engaging passive candidates? Well, the quality of job candidates is generally better within this group for a few reasons: They have not been displaced by their previous employer, they are likely well regarded by their current employer and treated accordingly, and the best opportunities come to them so they are less frequently on the market. Engaging anyone that generally doesn’t want to be engaged isn’t easy, let alone engaging people already bombarded by social media and other technology-driven interactions.

Below are four impressive examples of personalization I observed from recruiting solution vendors at the conference; and I’d also suggest checking out HfS’ recent research on the talent acquisition services BPO market. It provides solid examples of how vendors differentiate with respect to their ability to engage top talent. You can find it here:

  • ENGAGE’s customers source from one of the largest pools of passive candidates available anywhere; and based on continuously refreshed industry and company data points, insights and inferences, recruiters get alerted real-time when a target candidate is likely to be receptive to a job conversation based on relevant triggers. Timing and receptivity are everything when competing for the best candidates.
  • The Muse, a relatively new but well-funded player whose first wave of customers would make any established vendor envious, is a career development and employment tool that allows prospective employees to immerse themselves in the experience of working in a particular organization or even role in the way that satisfies their curiosity and interest. This is achieved while getting coached with employment / job search tips along the way that are also highly personalized.
  • GetTalent helps organizations craft the right (personalized) message and recruitment campaign to attract and engage customer-defined pools of candidates, easily assign target (largely passive) candidates to pools, and track the efficacy of the various communications and campaigns.
  • 1-Page also allows companies to find, qualify and engage passive job seekers; and breaking down technology and other common barriers to communicating with candidates — in the ways they prefer to be communicated with — is one of this vendor’s product strengths.

Not at all limited to Recruiting solutions

Certainly the personalization theme abounds outside the recruiting domain too. A company called Enboarder demonstrated how on-boarding is really meant to happen from a new hire engagement and emotional connection perspective. This is achieved using automated, highly personalized texts from managers and other colleagues based on personal info the new hire shares about themselves in a fun Q+A texted to their mobile.

Bottom Line

Almost all of the major themes swirling around the HR tech space these days seem to have some connection to the personalization theme, from user experience and solution design, to driving system adoption and usage, to – arguably most importantly — more effective ways to identify, engage, manage and truly leverage talent.

Posted in : human-resources-as-a-service


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