Old HR Processes and Technologies are Becoming Irrelevant

Published on 12/31/2013 by David Webb

Categories: Recruiting Software Blog

Tags: brightmovegeneration ygen yhiringrecruiting

How has the evolution of the workplace affected hiring practices? From technological changes (i.e. mobile applications, social media) to the economy to generational changes (i.e. aging workforce, Gen Y integration), the world of talent management is unrecognizable from what it was just five years ago.

Brian Sommer, CEO of TechVentive and contributor to ZDNet, teamed up to interview prominent HR executives to find out how their strategies have evolved with the rapidly changing landscape we are in. The consensus seems to be that when it comes to "pre-2008 HR processes and technologies, they just aren't as relevant anymore."

HR Software and Processes

In an interview with Sungevity's Chief People Officer, Susan Hollingshead, Sommer's discussed with her opinions about current cloud-based vendors for HR and Talent Management. In the SaaS solution space, she argued that 'small-to-mid-sized businesses don't have the staff or budget to exploit new human capital technology.' She added, ''there are very few LMS solutions at a compelling price point.' HR departments are integrating current functions with more IT responsibilities as strategies and processes begin to revolve around cloud-based solutions and the results are costly. Non-traditional sites such as LinkedIn and Entelo are increasing in popularity with recruiters as well, with Hollingshead commenting that LinkedIn's "star is ascending. Classified ads are dinosaurs. The days of contract and retained recruiters are waning and they (recruiters) use LinkedIn, too."

New Age of Engagement and Retention


According to Sommer's research, some organizations have begun fully integrating HR and marketing when it comes to certain Talent Management processes. Alissa Rogers of BloomReach talks about how through the fusion of marketing and HR, she uses "marketing automation and other tools like Marketo and Salesforce.com to understand what job seekers are looking at online." She also has interesting ideas on sourcing and retention:


Alissa hosts evening sessions with job prospects - called a Big Brains meet-up group - to help establish her firm's brand, people, culture and more with job seekers. In her words, employers "must add value, get them to trust and hear you and then they'll listen to you."


When I asked Alissa how her firm retains people years longer than competitors, she quickly rattled off four factors:


  • Have a fun work environment

  • Hire the right people (i.e. hire for smarts and culture fit)

  • Have your smartest people develop the new hires

  • And, food trucks


That's right - she gets some of the best gourmet food trucks in the area to park in front of their offices every week.


Similarly, Zach Pino of Ancestry.com, has views outside of just competitive compensation packages when it comes to his firm's sourcing and retention.


Zach identified a number of factors that are serving his firm well these days. They've:


  • made a serious investment in culture

  • gotten very good at finding people who connect with their people/culture

  • created the next level of employee engagement


Zach went on to tell me about how the classified ads vs. the virtual water cooler worlds have changed. He said:

  • "days of posting a job and reviewing a resume are over"

  • "passive recruitment is the biggest thing"


When discussing the competitive and recovering economy, Zach said:

  • If you offer competitive pay and benefits, you get at very most a neutral attitude toward the company

  • Culture and career are the stuff that makes people stay


Further interviews conducted by Brian Sommer echoed the importance of the role of technology in hiring practices. Not just in the resources used to recruit, but in the overall innovation and technology used by the organization and how that reflects upon them. "Candidates look at how prospective employers use technology and then decide if they'd want to work for them," said Carlyon April, the author of a June 2013 COMPTIA report. From a workplace demographic survey of over 700 people, details about the younger generation entering the workplace seemed to be key. This new workforce tends to "consider training essential to their careers"; and not just classroom and textbook training. "Younger generation workers want training via mobile devices, including gamification techniques."


April's advice for employers looking to keep up with these changes? "Learn how to manage a multi-generational workforce." She warns that "within 5-10 years, the job force will completely shift from 45+ old workers to people in their 20s and 30s. That group of new workers have always grown up with technology."


It's no secret that recruitment and talent management are now in a constant state of change and the only way to win is to keep pace with the best. Top organizations have adopted new practices and processes and those that ignore these changes and resist innovation will ultimately be left in the dust. For a completed copy of Sommer's paper and interview information, click here.

About the Author, David Webb

David is the CEO of BrightMove and is a seasoned technology executive & entrepreneur noted for creating successful businesses. Over his 25+ year career, David has developed multi-platform expertise in the domains of computer science, data analytics & business transformation. Starting in 1995, David worked with his best friend, Jimmy Hurff, to develop one of the world's first Internet job board and resume bank applications. David is the primary architect of BrightMove and has an active role in the product's evolution to this day. From then to now, David has been consistently helping his customers to build great teams, using best practices and world-class technology.

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