Once again, several members of the NAS team attended the HR Technology Conference & Exposition last week in Las Vegas. We saw lots of familiar faces, met many new people and learned a ton. Here are some of the highlights:
The keynote address was delivered by Barbara Corcoran, investor and judge on ABC’s Shark Tank, who shared her secrets for success in a highly charged, very personal narrative of her storied career. She shared her five key lessons on building a successful business, which namely involves focusing on the power of your brand. Corcoran was able to build a brand from essentially nothing by pushing boundaries on advertising, thinking outside of the box, keeping employee satisfaction a priority and positioning her business (purposefully or by mistake) as the elite – and it paid off when she sold her company, The Corcoran Group, for an astounding $66 million.
New Players in AI
Coming onto the AI scene were many more vendors who seem to be well-financed and ready to capture their share of the upcoming automation surge. Many sessions focused on elevating the role of the recruiter with artificial intelligence and how to work with AI to make it a candidate-friendly experience. A pervasive point was the notion of instant gratification; everyone wants it and expects it when it comes to recruitment, therefore staying up to date with the latest technologies is critical. 54% of Gen Z candidates won’t apply if they feel that the process is outdated, so figuring out the best way to make the experience more personalized is critical.
Cricket, Eric, Matt and Ashley attend a session at HR Tech
Women in HR Tech
We attended the Women in HR Technology® Summit, where topics included “Why Mentoring Matters,” “Talent Mobility” and “Practical Strategies for Gender Equality,” among others. One particular session titled “The ‘Second-Shift’: Women and Well-Being” hit home for our own Director of Digital Services, Cricket Agneberg, who noted that “this is particularly impactful to me as a Director and an employee with an ailing parent.”
The panel suggested that women not only have their 9-5 job, but also are more likely to be the primary caregivers for children and/or aging family members; thus, there is a second-shift taking place in their lives that employers aren’t recognizing. The session addressed the idea of burnout and how managers and organizations should consider measures on how to gauge effectiveness of their employees who have some sort of external life situation happening. Points of discussion involved paying attention to people that you work with and their shifts in mood or productivity. Managers can ask about caregiving activities outside of the home and consider some flexibility to allow employees to maximize their working time when they are able.
Companies are beginning to understand the need to revise the FMLA to broaden the terms of “family” and build supportive programs for caregiving and even for grief counseling. Being more holistic in their approach may also improve their ROI for attraction and retention figures.
The State of Recruitment
Now more than ever, given the historically low 3.5% unemployment rate, candidates have more options and companies need to stay up to date with offerings. That includes figuring out how to deliver instant gratification without working their team around the clock. With so many platforms/products out there, finding solutions that work and talk together while getting the end result is difficult, and being able to streamline systems into one is critical.
What the Future Holds
Murmurs of an uncertain business climate in the year ahead were on the minds of many. We attended a session titled “The HR Tech Divide: What New Technologies Customers Want (But Vendors Can’t Quite Deliver).” This focused on how companies are trying to hire for the pain points now, but while they are addressing those issues, they must consider where they want to be from a recruiting standpoint 5-7 years down the line. If they don’t have that vision in place, now is not the time for HR technology, but to reimagine key processes that align with areas for improvement and determine if tech is the right solution.
The only constant is change. So once you think you’ve figured it out, continue to push forward and embrace the new. As candidate expectation evolves, so must our systems and processes. Don’t go on auto-pilot after a new implementation. Continue to think ahead to stay on top, otherwise you will quickly become outdated.