3 talent & recruitment trends changing HR technology

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Pundits and commentators have been talking about the ‘war for talent’ for some years now. If we run with that metaphor, then there’s only one thing that determines the winner in any war and that’s technology. Whoever has the best tech has a decisive advantage on any battlefield. Perhaps that’s why of all the HR disciplines and niches, recruitment has always been the most ‘tech-friendly’. So, with that in mind, what talent and recruitment trends are influencing innovation in HR technology?

1. Collaborative hiring

Traditional recruitment is all about managers (and HR advisers) choosing the person they think will be best-suited to the job. Recent years have seen an increased buzz about involving the whole team in the hiring process. After all, anybody who will work (or come into contact) with the ‘newbie’ is a potential stakeholder in the recruitment decision.

As the 21st century matures, we need a more specialized focus on engaging people with HR technology tools that address their individual work needs.

There’s an impeccable logic in involving these stakeholders in the choice of candidate. In fact, this isn’t such a new idea. Ricardo Semler, in his 1993 book “Maverick”, described the innovative policy of having job candidates be interviewed by their future colleagues as well as managers. It worked more than twenty years ago, it works now. The difference now is that workplace communications technology can make that broader involvement so much easier and quicker.

2. Empathy in the workplace

If ‘sympathy’ can be defined as feeling for someone else, then ‘empathy’ is feeling with someone. A starker contrast would be the difference between pity and understanding. However great your job and employer, we all experience tough times at work. It is no wonder that a core leadership trait is the ability to understand how the people you lead are feeling… and act accordingly, of course. So, in talent management, developing the leaders of tomorrow, any technology that can help boost empathetic leadership is a boon.

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Often, technology works against empathy. The more we communicate online, the less fact-to-face contact there is and, usually, the more scope for misunderstanding. However, as always, we have only to spot a need and an HR app becomes available to address it. Software such as Crystal, Conspire and Watson aim to enhance our empathetic communication: tailoring our emails to the personality of the recipient, providing analytical reports on our email habits, and analyzing the tone of our written communications.

3. Goodbye to talent management

After making software vendors a lot of money, some say that the concept of “talent management” is on the way out, to be replaced by… “people management”. The ubiquitous Josh Bersin suggests that seeing employees as ‘talent’ involves too narrow a focus on their productivity and what they can do for the organization.

As the 21st century matures, we need a more specialized focus on engaging people with HR technology tools that address their individual work needs. This enables them to feel engaged, supported, listened to, etc. Which in turn, will lead to them applying their ‘talents’ and contributing more fully to the organization; each person in their own unique fashion. If this shift in focus is real (and it's early days yet) then expect software that is more flexible, mobile, and customizable by the individual employee.

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Dave Foxall

About the author…

Dave has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years, he now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music, and, of course, the HRMS software market.

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Dave Foxall