With this week's #HRTechChat, we took an interesting look at HR Technology, gaps that exist in the marketplace and who drives product innovation. The most interesting part of the conversation however was a look into technology trends that we are seeing and where we thought the most innovation would be occur.
While there were a lot of great ideas that were thrown out and mentioned, here are the 3 trends that I think will be the most important for recruiting in 2012:
Centralized Recruiting Metrics that are Predictive
One of the biggest trends in HR are metrics & data. Whether it's for workforce planning or talent acquisition, there is a need for accurate data to make better strategic decisions. For this need, I see 2 major trends in today's marketplace: centralization & predictive analysis.
Centralization: Most organizations today have multiple solutions where data is stored. Whether it's recruitment ad data in their job distribution solution, sourcing data in their Recruiting CRM or applicant / hire data in their ATS, there are a number of disparate solutions that contain data you need to make good decisions. The key is making sure these solutions speak to one another so you can take this data and make it all available in one central location. Data is only as valuable as how accessible it is to you when you make decisions. This makes centralization key.
On top of this, recruiting data will be for the entire recruiting funnel from first click to becoming a hire in an ATS. Data will be tracked by every source used and be displayed together in order to get a full view of the recruitment funnel and understand what recruiting initiatives provide the most ROI.
Predictive Analysis: Once you have your data centralized, it's time to analyze what's happening in your recruiting strategy. While there's value in providing raw data, an important value add vendors are pursuing is taking this data and providing their own analysis on top of it. The easier and more intuitive vendors can make their reporting solutions, the more value these solutions in the recruiting decision making process.
In addition, vendors will continue to do better at providing users with the ability to play with the data & create custom reports that are important to their organization.
Social Recruiting - Education & Value Add
The value of social media in recruiting is immense. Not only does it provide a great way to engage with candidates on a platform where they feel comfortable but it also provides a wealth of new data points to evaluate a candidate.
In speaking with recruiting organizations, I see that there is still a great need for education on the social recruiting basics. These organizations are looking for help anywhere they can get it and many times are looking toward vendors for this knowledge. This education will go past how to leverage the vendor's social recruiting solutions (which I'll expand on below) but more towards how to build a comprehensive social strategy which will include utilizing their solutions as well as many of the great social media marketing tools that exist in the marketplace.
Most importantly, vendors will need to understand & be able to communicate the inherent benefits & tradeoffs that come with a social strategy.
The problem today, however, is that a lot of the social solutions in talent acquisition technology don't necessarily add value to the already fantastic social media marketing solutions that exist in the marketplace (and should be used for any social recruiting strategy). It will be important for technology vendors to focus on adding value to the space and less on just checking the social recruiting check box on the RFP.
For example, solutions such as incorporating social data for contacts in your CRM or Talent Network or tracking social media job clicks alongside job board clicks can provide value and fill a need in a company's social strategy. Conversely, being able to post status updates from your recruiting technology in and of itself doesn't add all that much value.
Talent Network: Building your own sourcing database
Companies are increasingly looking for ways to capture and most importantly engage with qualified candidates. Talent Networks provide a tremendous way to build & cultivate these relationships and should see an evolution in 2012.
A few things I expect to happen to Talent Networks:
- Social Data: I expect social data to start being tied to candidates joining these networks. And candidates can even use their social profiles to join.
- Targeted Communication: With these candidates, communication is extremely important. Technology providers will find better & easier ways to target communications to specific populations in their solutions. This will lead to better engagement.
- Touch-point tracking: Talent Network provide a tremendous opportunity to touch candidates multiple times with your employment brand. Due to this, it will be very important to understand how many and specifically what recruiting actions drive conversion into applicants. Some of this data will be housed in other solutions.
- Community development: There has been a big push to create company owned Talent Communities that enable three way communication between candidates, employers and other candidates. It will be interesting to see how this develops and if it is worth the considerable effort to build.
Bonus: Integration across all solutions
Thought I was done? Not quite yet. With all the solutions that recruiting organizations use, it will be important to make sure they all play nice together. This includes with data, contacts, process flow and many other areas. I see vendors being very flexible in terms of their API and integration options so that organizations can leverage the right technology for their situations.
While centralized recruiting metrics, social recruiting and Talent Networks are the three main Recruiting Technology trends I see, there are a number of other trends including Mobile (which I will touch on in another post) that will play a big part in innovation in 2012. The key is to understand the key problems & gaps in your recruitment marketing process today and figure out the solution you need to fix them.