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"Scale Up & Scale Down" — Headhunter Radio Interview

This is a director’s cut transcript of Elaine’s interview with Headhunter Readio’s CeCe and Joe Gonzalez.

1. You’ve launched a company focused on recruitment technology in one of the worst economic markets in history – we’re curious to know why now?

With 16 years of experience and a passion to see the human resources discipline valued, it just made sense. Our company focus is on the value that HR can bring to the broader organization, and that strategic advantage is necessary in any economy.

2. Let’s talk about the trends you’re seeing in technology, starting with the first one; what do you mean by consolidation and portability?

. In 2009 we experienced an influx of new vendors focusing on the ability to import your information from other products. An example of this would be in some of the new recruiting products that allow candidates to submit their linked-in profile as their resume submission. This portability gives the applicant the power to leverage information already created, vs. the need to recreate it for each submission. Much like a paypal for your money, there are products being introduced to manage your resume data in the same way.

Tied to these portability options there is continued consolidation in the market. When I say consolidation I mean the rich integration of data across multiple platforms. Talent Management as a suite of solutions is still evolving, but in many cases organizations have had to continue to bring 2 – 3 software applications together to achieve their TM strategic goals. In these cases, the ability for an organization to consolidate the necessary and foundational information is becoming increasingly easier. in 2010 we’ll continue to see vendors embrace more ways to share information across different applications to drive better business results.

3. How do these trends fit in with your next prediction of dynamic and predictive.

The one thing I can say is that we do not lack innovation in the broader technology market. The level of usability and guiding navigation has changed the way we use software for the better. All you have to do is pick up an iPhone and you understand what I mean. This level of navigation is making its way into the recruiting and hr applications. Products that now anticipating the next action, and guide someone through the process, to solutions that understand historic data and recommend future decisions. The first real entry of this information came in performance management systems with the ability to see salary ranges for a subset of people in a specific position. This then expanded to, not just company ranges but market ranges, giving the person doing the analysis the ability to gauge a competitive offer, bonus or increase. The same type of tools are being build and leveraged for recruiting and succession planning.

4. What about the last category – collaborative and social?

This is the area we’ve had the greatest advancement and where I think much of the attention will be placed in 2010. Collaboration comes in many models, from the basic form of instant messaging to the advanced and very dynamic tools like Google Wave – currently being beta tested. These products and features, enable real time events and connections, that might not happen any other way. Again these tools exist in the general market today… a great example are some of the airline online reservations. If you linger on a reservation page too long, you get the online – chat agent offering to help. This type of collaboration extends the one way online reservations to a two way online connection, driving up the probability of the booking and the accuracy. The same features/functions can exist in hr products.
Social is the newest frontier for HR and will be one of the greatest areas of change in policy and practice for most organizations in 2010. Social encompasses the ability for people to connect at many different levels, internal and external to the organization. Social recruiting is forging the way in how organizations present themselves, respond to the market interest and source for critical talent.

5. Give us some examples of social recruiting?

Where to start? I think the most basic models today are how organizations are recruiting from the profiles on Linked-in as an example. Some of the advanced and strategic social recruiting strategies I’ve experienced include an overarching campaign driving announcements and information through products like twitter networks and community and fan pages in facebook, or alumni networks on linked in. These programs blend and drive exposure to internal and external talent about the organization and/or the culture and the current opportunities and needs.

6. For organizations that have limited budgets to make changes going into 2010, what is your recommendation on what they focus on?

That’s a tough question – because every organization is unique. I think the most important first step is to take a true inventory of what you have. Create a solutions portfolio of what exists within the organization. Most companies have been drastically changed because of the economy… and as we start a recovery, we’ll need to rebuild. When we rebuild, we need to consider the materials we have and what we need and then identify tools and solutions to deliver better, faster cheaper for the coming years. There is so much overlap in technology software today, that often times without a consolidated solution portfolio, organizations spend far too much on duplicated solutions. If there is a need to replace or enhance the solutions that are in place today, don’t be afraid to experience some of the newer, creative, differentiating solutions. There are hundreds to choose from.