By Neelie Verlinden

So this week there was the HR Tech World event in London. On their website it says that the event has grown from 400 to 6000 attendees in five years time. That’s great of course, it shows a growing awareness among HR professionals about the importance – and advantages – that technology can have for different HR functions.

At the same time, these are some pretty sad stats. The fact that five years ago – in other words in 2012 (!) – only 400 people went to an event about HR technology shows once again that the industry as a whole is lagging behind. It demonstrates HR’s late adopter attitude when it comes to matters such as recruitment tools, mobile platforms and data for example. So although we’re well into the 21st century, many HR departments seem to be stuck in stone age.

On that note: Let’s take a closer look at your recruitment process in terms of using technology; is it a yay or nay? Here are 4 indicators.

1. Mobile

When it comes to the mobile issue there really are no excuses. Personally I got my first mobile phone in 1998, which means they have been around for over twenty years now. Twenty years people! Sure, mobile apps haven’t been around that long, but long enough for them to become fully intertwined with our everyday lives – that is our professional lives included. 

Any modern recruitment function should have a good working, easy to use mobile platform both for its applicants as well as its staff. Desktop computers are a dying breed; Millennials and Generation Z folks (also known as the iGeneration) predominantly connect to the internet on the go. They’ve grown up with mobile phones & tablets and are used to the personalised, quick – and super easy – customer experience they get from online retailers. You need to make sure that applying for a job at your company, via any mobile device, is as easy as buying a pair of trendy sneakers.

The same thing obviously goes for your recruitment team. In this day and age, people want to be able to work whenever and wherever. They want to check their emails on the commute to work, or maybe even during the weekend. Staff expects the same user experience at work as at home. They automatically assume that your company’s recruitment tools are cloud based and accessible at any given time or place. A lack of a decent mobile platform for your employees will most certainly cause frustrations and may even be a reason for potential candidates not to come work for your organisation. That’s how important the mobile issue has become in twenty years time. For more information on how to implement a mobile strategy go here.

2. Data

If we’d have one Harver mantra, then ‘Use data instead of your gut feeling’ would probably be it. We get it, choosing data over your intuition doesn’t happen overnight. But if you get it right and combine the two of them, you’ll see that selecting the right candidates will become less like a game of roulette and more like a science.

Now, there are data driven tools for every aspect of your recruitment process, from the moment you place the job advert to the moment you make the hiring decision. You can find a detailed, step by step overview here. In this post, we’ll just have a closer look at the preselection phase of your recruitment funnel.

Particularly when you have a high volume – anything from several hundreds up to a few hundred thousand applicants a year – of people to deal with, it’s impossible to do so manually. This is where a data driven preselection tool such as TalentPitch can come in handy. This type of recruitment software uses predictive analytics in an online assessment. Predictive analytics combine statistical, machine learning and modelling techniques to create a model that estimates the likelihood of a future outcome. In English, this means that candidates get a realistic preview of ‘a day in the office’ while at the same time their intelligence, personality and different skills are assessed. Once the applicants have successfully finished the online experience, you’ll get a prediction on how well they will perform in the role they applied for. For you this means you can make hiring decisions based on solid data instead of gut feeling alone.

What it boils down to is this: data can make your HR life a lot easier. It’s not about if you should use data, but more about why haven’t you used them yet?

3. Track & Analyse

If you’re a regular on our HR Tech blog, you know that using fancy data driven tools is worth nothing if you don’t analyse your data. Too often still, companies are actively gathering data only to store it in different systems and pretty much leave it untouched. What a shame – and an incredible waste of money and resources. In short: make sure you define a clear strategy before you start using data driven tools. That includes a central storage system for all your data and most importantly, people that know how to analyse it.

One of the things you should track for sure are (new) employee performance data. The tracking results can help you improve your recruitment process and the quality of hires. Eventually this will bring down your turnover rate and increase employee engagement. Measuring how your staff’s doing can get you valuable insights. For example: If after nine months it turns out that 87% of the people that scored high on stress resistance perform extremely well, you can decide to let stress resistance weigh heavier in your preselection and optimise your recruitment process step by step. Needless to say, it’s time to start tracking people.

4. HR (Recruitment) Technology

This one is obvious. If you currently don’t use any HR technology at all, you’re pretty much stuck in the stone age. We live in a mega connected, highly digitalised world. It wouldn’t surprise me if a lot of people already spend more time in their own little virtual world than in the real one. As sad as that might be, it’s something we need to work with. Especially if it’s your job to hire a lot of these digital natives. If you want to stay competitive and be an interesting company for 21st century job seekers – and employees – to work at, you need to start going digital as soon as possible. Explore some of the new HR technologies, find out which ones suit your business best, define a game plan and get going.

Keep Calm

I don’t want to end this post on a dramatic note. The good thing about the HR industry being an ultra late adopter is that it’s not too late yet. If you haven’t done anything on the data or technology territory yet, you’re not the only one. Things are definitely moving though, so you might want to pick up the pace. After all, those 6000 HR Tech World attendees from last year are expected to hit the 10 000 milestone this year…


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