I was asked at a conference recently to give one word on how HR can make a difference in 2023.
What was my word?
What do you think? Hat or no hat?
I was asked at a conference recently to give one word on how HR can make a difference in 2023.
What was my word?
What do you think? Hat or no hat?
I’m in San Francisco this week at SHRM Tech 2023. This is SHRM’s first time holding a technology-specific conference in the US market. They have had a SHRM Tech conference in India for a few years. My session will be talking about the most disruptive HR technologies currently in the market and those coming in the near future.
Honestly, it feels like I could spend the entire time just talking about ChatGPT (generative AI), as that seems to be the topic of conversation everywhere in the tech industry, regardless of your function. Generative AI and the large language model AI will impact all technology, including every part of HR.
But generative AI isn’t the only disruptive technology in the HR space. Since HR is overly laggard as tech consumers, it’ll take a lot of organizations some time before they even adopt a lot of the artificial technology that will hit the market first. Also, many organizations will have to really work through the ethical side of using AI across their people technology stack.
What other technologies are currently disruptive in the HR industry:
Yes, ChatGPT will change how we work in HR. There is so much to come on this. But we also have so much great technology available to us that is proven that we don’t use, that we also should not be forgetting about.
I’ll be at SHRM Talent in Orlando and SHRM Annual in Las Vegas this year. Let me know if you’ll be attending and I would love to catch up and meet live!
Yeah, this isn’t something we like to talk about! We love talking about technology that helps our employees be better employees or technology that helps us find better and more talent. But the technology that helps us get rid of people, well, that seems a bit depressing, right?
In 2022 there have been public debates about what a recession is. We haven’t had one since the Great Recession of 2008-2009, so there is a very large part of our workforce that has never seen a downturn in the economy. We are on the precipice of an economic downturn, and companies will be laying off workers. Are you ready? How will you handle this? Spreadsheets?
Offboarding will be a major buzzword in 2023!
God bless the marketing pros who try and make termination software sound sexy! We don’t call it firing software or a termination process, we now call it “offboarding”.
At the HR Technology Conference this past year, I was a judge of the startup competition Pitchfest and one technology that was pitched was Onward HR. They actually did a great job and I really liked their pitch, but they were going up against a bunch of software that “helped” employees, not help you offboard them. Not fair to them, they had real HR software, helping solve a real HR and employee problem. A lot of the software pitched sounded positive and sexy, but it was mostly vapor. Onward had real HR stuff!
Big HCM software and payroll software will tell you they also do offboarding, but honestly, what they really do is basically just help you with the process. True offboarding should be about how do we humanely help our employees transition out of the company and quickly become re-employed. But also, a giant part of offboarding is ensuring those same employees actually might want to come back and work for us again at some point.
You see, layoffs, are an inexact science. Most organizations are bad at it because we don’t practice layoffs. We practice hiring. We practice developing employees. We practice performance management. We do not practice layoffs, so we mostly suck at layoffs. Quite frankly, I’ve never met a leader who wants to be good at layoffs!
That means the technology can help. For the most part, layoffs run like this:
The problem with the last step is we basically move on from those departing employees, and those employees feel that, and it becomes very personal. We try not to keep a connection with previous employees. Then, two years from now, you try and launch an alumni recruiting campaign because you’re growing again and can’t figure out why so many previous employees hate you.
What is my advice for your upcoming layoffs?
Be better. Treat people like humans. I mean treat people like humans you will once again in the future want to have a positive lastly relationship with!
Today on the Weekly Dose, I take a look at recruiting applicant ranking and automation technology SmartRank.ai. I first ran into SmartRank at the 2022 HR Technology Conference, and I was immediately interested in learning more.
I’m trying something new with the Weekly Dose, and I’m going to try doing these mini demos and Q&A. Take a look and let me know what you think:
TL;DW: (Too Long: Didn’t Watch)
SmartRank is a piece of recruiting technology you and your team have to demo! At first glimpse, it seems like it’s just an applicant ranking software, but it’s really a transformative way of hiring that is completely different than what you’re doing now. It’s one of the only recruiting technologies I’ve seen in the past five years that puts your recruiters in the driver’s seat to truly become Talent Advisors to Hiring Managers!
SmartRank also has embedded a ton of recruiter automation that they don’t really even talk about as part of their primary product, which is really state-of-the-art technology within the recruiting industry. Also, SmartRank has some of the best applicants to hire analytics on the market. Built by a former hiring manager, this is a product that will help you recruit higher quality and also one that will immediately get your hiring managers involved in a much more robust way within your hiring process.
The robots are definitely taking your job, at least my job! I got access to ChatGPT this week. ChatGPT is a chatbot that employs deep learning to produce text that resembles that of a human and is based on the GPT-3.5 language model. OpenAI’s Chat GPT can respond to numerous questions in a natural way, much like a personal tutor who is well-versed in all subjects.
Basically, it’s going to change the world as we know it!!!
As a content creator (that’s what bloggers call ourselves nowadays), I pride myself on doing research and offering up to my audience some knowledge and, hopefully, some intelligent opinions. With ChatGPT, you can basically ask it any question, and within seconds it delivers a very real life-like response that seems pretty well-educated. Of course, it’s a work in progress, so it’s not perfect, but let me give you some examples:
How will hiring be impacted in the United States in 2023? (An insightful question from Tim!)
The answer from ChatGPT:
The U.S. hiring landscape is constantly changing and evolving. In 2023, we can expect to see a number of changes in the hiring process. Here are some trends we can expect to see in 2023:
1. Increase in Remote Work: More companies will embrace remote work and hire remote employees, which will open up opportunities for workers across the country.
2. Rise of Automation: Automation will continue to grow and become more prevalent in the hiring process. AI-driven recruitment and interviewing tools will streamline the hiring process.
3. Focus on Diversity and Inclusion: Companies will continue to focus on creating a diverse and inclusive workforce. Diversity and inclusion initiatives will become a priority for many organizations.
4. Increase in Automated Job Matching: Automated job matching platforms will become more popular, allowing companies to quickly match candidates with the right job openings.
5. Increased Use of Social Media: Social media will continue to be a powerful tool for recruiting and engaging with potential candidates. Companies will use social media to advertise open positions, as well as to build relationships with potential candidates.
The Response from a real-ish Human (Tim)
God Damn, that’s pretty good!
Now, given this is exactly what you would find from major analyst houses that cover Talent Acquisition. But if you don’t have the time and want that same answer in a few seconds, it’s an outstanding answer!
Is it really groundbreaking thought leadership? No, it’s fairly vanilla, but it is accurate.
What will the future of the job of a recruiter look like? (by Tim)
The response from ChatGPT –
In the future, recruiters will continue to play a key role in the hiring process. However, the job of a recruiter will evolve and change over time. We can expect to see the following changes in the role of a recruiter in the future:
1. Increased Use of Technology: Recruiters will use a variety of technology tools to streamline the recruitment process. AI-driven recruitment tools, automated job-matching platforms, and video interviewing platforms will become more prevalent.
2. Greater Focus on Diversity and Inclusion: Recruiters will place a greater emphasis on diversity and inclusion in the recruitment process. They will use data-driven techniques to identify qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds.
3. More Strategic Role: Recruiters will take on more of a strategic role in the recruitment process. They will focus on building relationships with potential candidates and leveraging technology to find the best possible hires.
4. Increased Emphasis on Data: Recruiters will use data to inform their recruitment decisions and track the effectiveness of their recruitment efforts. They will analyze data to identify areas for improvement and make sure their recruitment processes are optimized.
The Response from a real-ish Human (Tim)
I have a bit of a different take, but this is still a very strong response that took like two seconds to produce! I think in the future, this blog will just be Tim and GPT talking shop!
Again, you can see the responses are fairly vanilla but also pretty accurate of what most people in the industry think. In the future, recruiting technology will allow recruiters to have more capacity, and with this capacity, recruiters will have more time to be more strategic, and have very specific focuses around talent, and data will be leveraged much more than it is today.
What did it miss? Recruiters of the future, with this extra capacity, will be able to spend more time with the best candidates. Also, AI will more consistently generate a higher quality of applicants for us to select from, as most bias will be eliminated and controlled for. But that is all opinion, so still a very powerful response in two seconds!
So, will AI be taking our jobs? Probably not tomorrow, but a day is coming when your job, at the very least, will be changed by AI like ChatGPT. We made the switch from laborer to creator in our society pretty well. I think we’ll make the transition from creator to “narrator” as well in a similar fashion.
On episode 107 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Jessica Lee, Madeline Laurano, and Tim Sackett come together to discuss all things 2022 HR Tech!
Listen below and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (iTunes) and follow (Spotify)!
1:30 – Tim has recently been on the conference circuit and he’s loving the in-person energy!
2:00 – JLee was recently speaking at an event and she was asked for pictures after her talk. She asks the crew what to do in that situation.
7:30 – Tim and Madeline went back to HR Tech and felt the big energy at the conference. Madeline says the expo was bigger than she’s ever seen
11:45 – Madeline says that the Women In Tech sessions were so packed that they couldn’t let anyone else in!
14:45 – Tim asks JLee what would get her to come to HR Tech on a regular basis. She says that she doesn’t know if she would since she’s so inundated with content and pitches from vendors and it would feel duplicative for her to go to a vendor event.
17:40 – Tim thinks it’s a mistake by vendors to try and influence big VPs and CHROs rather than talking to director and manager levels about their products who are actually in the trenches.
21:45 – Tim and Madeline are really excited by some up and coming texting technologies, especially for frontline workers.
25:45 – Madeline calls out some providers who are doing the work around skills but she notes that there are some start-ups and ATS’s who are lumped in that maybe shouldn’t be.
29:00 – Tim asks the crew what these HR conferences are missing. JLee thinks that the conferences should provide a deck for attendees to take back to their teams and share what they learned.
34:20 – Can we pick a better place for HR conferences? JLee is sick of Vegas but Tim and Madeline think it’s hard to host anywhere else because of the size of the conferences.
35:30 – Tim shares a story about the “BFF Happy Hour” where Kyle Lagunas came in and started the whole party. Tim and Madeline had to play mom and dad in order to keep the event in check.
This week CrossChq released a report titled”The CrossChq “Q” Report” that was loaded with some research and data around the quality of hire. The quality of hire metric is like the holy grail of HR and Talent Acquisition! Everyone talks about it, but no one really feels like they know what it is and where they can get it!
Let’s dig into what they found
The one that will jump right out and make you question your own existence is this:
“Internal Referrals have a Quality of Hire -26% below the industry average”
What? The What?!
Since the beginning of time or at least the beginning of HR, we have all lived by one unbending truth! Referral hires were always of higher quality than some hires out of the general population. You get taught this in the first hour of the first day of HR and Recruiting school!
Turns out, we’ve been lied to or at least led to believe that referral hires were better when they weren’t. How could this be the case? Well, we love to believe in this one premise, which was probably never proven. We want to believe someone who works for us would never refer a candidate who wouldn’t be a great worker!
The reality is most people just refer friends or family, and they have no idea how that person works, nor do they really care. They just want to hang out all day with people they like, regardless of how they work!
Another thing in the report that was somewhat shocking:
“Interviews show only a 9% correlation rate to Quality of Hire!”
Okay, we all know that our hiring managers suck at interviewing. In fact, almost everyone sucks at interviewing! Why? For one, 90% of hiring managers don’t interview enough to ever sharpen that skill. On top of that, we are all too gullible and believe what we here and don’t dig in. BUT, this number is shocking!
I think most organization should be testing “no-interview” hiring. That doesn’t mean we don’t talk to people or try validated assessments (more on this in the study), but formal interviews with a 9% success rate are a giant waste of time!
This study is definitely worth a download and read. I’m always skeptical of vendor-based research, but I really like the effort, data, and quality of this one. I think it has some true merit. We all know we need to select better, but we mostly keep doing and believing the same stuff, without really any merit.
If you’re in HR or TA and read this blog on a regular basis, you know I’m all for making our recruiting process as efficient as possible! Primarily because so many of us are woefully inefficient in using our technology and the belief that a more involved process must be a better process.
I’m a little nervous about the future and recruiting efficiency.
I think in our rush to become ever more efficient. We might miss out on some great talent. At this point in the recruiting tech stack, I can actually automate every single piece. Anything you have a person do in recruiting, I can automate. I can even ensure that candidates “don’t” get dispositioned if that’s how you like to play it! I mean, about 50% of you don’t do that now, so it seems like that is probably the way you like it.
If recruiting was only about taking a requirement, matching that requirement to available talent, screening that talent, interviewing that talent, assessing that talent, and onboarding that talent, well then, technology can do that better and more efficiently than humans at this point. But, I think recruiting has always been about getting the best talent for your organization.
Available vs. best is where the technology starts to fall down if talent truly makes a difference in your organization. Honestly, for many, “best available” will work just fine, and it has for decades. The vast majority of organizations are hiring the best available at this point.
Technology is exceptional at hiring the best available. Technology hasn’t figured out how to hire the best talent that isn’t openly available at this point. If you don’t have that talent in your database, and that talent isn’t active on LinkedIn or other job boards, technology has a really hard time getting your message in front of them.
The future of recruiting isn’t about efficiency. That is already here. The future of recruiting is about your organization’s ability to actually go out and discover who is the best talent for your organization. That person might not actually be on the “jobs internet,” or they were, but that was five years ago, so you’ll never see them as someone you want because the five years ago person isn’t the person you need today.
Efficient recruiting is great until it isn’t. If you suck at recruiting, then becoming more efficient at best practice recruiting (which recruiting technology can definitely make happen) will elevate your function for sure. But efficient recruiting isn’t world-class recruiting. It’s just efficient.
The best talent acquisition in the future will be able to go out and discover the talent that hasn’t been discovered by everyone else. We like to believe that everyone who is anyone is on LinkedIn, Indeed, or you name the site. But they are not, or they haven’t been active for a long time, so this is a hidden talent.
Too many TA shops are currently working too hard at becoming efficient and not hard enough at becoming experts of the talent for their industry and their marketplaces. You know I love technology. So, be great at technology, but don’t forget to be great at recruiting.
I’m out at the world’s largest HR Technology Conference this week, learning a ton and having some amazing conversations with peers and practitioners. One, in particular, is sticking with me about how we measure success in HR and Talent Acquisition.
With the increase in the capture of data across our technology stacks, we have more information than ever to give us insights and really give us better robust measures of success. But we tend to hang on to old measures that have little correlation to actual success.
There are a bunch of things getting in the way of us successfully determining what should be the measures of success in our functions:
We will never admit the truth above.
From the HR Technology standpoint, your technology vendors assume you are much more sophisticated than we really are. I don’t mean that in a way that is meant to slight our expertise and knowledge. If I had HR and TA leaders rate their own skill competencies, almost always, technology would come in dead last. Most of us have this as an area of massive improvement.
Why does this matter?
Our technology will drive our success measures. Our technology vendors believe we know what success looks like. So, they build our measures, even when they know there are actually better measures of success that they can pull and put together. True, black and white measures that are not subjective and can’t be manipulated.
The first thing that would help with creating real HR measures of success would be to decouple our bonus compensation and measures. Having a person design their own measures of success and tying it to a compensation outcome is a recipe for failure and underperformance. If anything, HR and TA should have their bonus tied to business success outcomes and measure functional success separately. In the long run, a highly successful function should help the business achieve better outcomes.
This one practice frees us up to really dig into our data and our technology and redefine what success looks like around the HR umbrella of functions. To really use our data and our insights to reach new levels and better understand how we can make an impact and improve. We should feel like we can build measures of success and fail at those measures without killing our livelihood. That’s the only way we can hope for true change and worthwhile long-term measures that help us succeed.
What I’m finding is the HR technology community is ready to help us do this. We just have to ask them! We have to ask them to define our success using a data analytics approach and understand the outcomes and insights we can gain from these new measures. This also takes a big of courage because we’ll be leading not following and that’s always a vulnerable spot. But, one I think separates great leaders from average leaders.
Hey kids! I’m out at the HR Technology Conference this week, and I have 26 meetings set up with HR Technology companies to do briefings. My buddy, KD, says I do a hundred crappy HR tech demos a year, so you don’t have to. That means this week, I’ll knock about 25% of those! It was 27, but I had one cancel because they felt like I didn’t do enough “HR” tech, and I only know “Talent Acquisition” Tech. That made me laugh! Thankfully, I’ll survive. They most likely won’t.
If you are an HR or TA Leader, the biggest budget purchase you’ll most likely ever make in your position is technology. What I find is that even though this will be one of the most important leadership decisions you’ll ever make, most leaders really have no idea how to buy the technology that runs their business. By the way, as leaders, almost know functional leader knows how to buy technology, so we aren’t alone!
Because we lack this knowledge, most of us will either let our IT department make this purchase for us (a super bad idea!) or pay a giant consulting firm a giant fee to help us make this decision (not as bad of an idea, but not great). Your IT department doesn’t know HR/TA. You do. That should be enough said about IT choosing your functional technology. The giant consulting firms are paid millions of dollars by certain vendors for “research.” So, guess who they will recommend you buy?
Since I get to do a lot of demos and briefings, I like to think I most likely have some good insight into how to do this. Wait, what the heck is a “Briefing” with an HR Technology company? Basically, “briefing” is analyst-speak for speed dating with a tech vendor. In 30 minutes, they’ll tell you why they’re awesome, what they have built recently, and what they plan on building in the future. Then I get to ask them what their favorite movie is, where they’ve traveled, etc. You know, all the normal dating questions. If they really know what they’re doing, they’ll bring diet Dew to butter me up!
How Should You Buy HR Technology?
Step 1 – You actually use your current software fully and truly figure out what it can’t do that you desperately need to do your job better. I find almost no one does this first step. They just want something better, even though when asked, they struggle to verbalize what better is.
Step 2 – Once you know what you need, you figure out who the best players are in the market who do that thing. That takes some research and a hell of a lot of demos. For anything you need, figure out at least twenty vendors selling that solution. Based on your size, that will limit your selections, but at least 5-6 will always be in play. Think about Enterprise-level HCM alone; you have: Workday, Oracle, SAP, Infor, Ceridian, ADP, UKG, and I’m sure others that I’ve missed. This is why I got to the HR Technology Conference every year, to keep up with the market. Every HR and TA leader should be doing the same.
Step 3 – Depending on your size, you’ll have to RFP. For many SMB and Mid-enterprise buys of point solutions, you’ll just be on your own trying to find a partner. In this case, step 2 becomes super important for you because I find that most HR/TA shops buy what is “Sold” to them, not what is available. Turns out, HR Tech companies are super good at marketing and advertising to potential buyers. Those companies marketing to you might be the right choice if you’re lucky, or it could be an awful choice. You need to know your options!
Step 4 – You need to talk with users of the technology you decide to buy before you buy it in three ways: 1. Users currently going through an implementation. 2. Users who are through implementation for at least one year. 3. A user who has left them within the past year. If the vendor doesn’t give you these references, walk away! You need to know how much pain you’ll be in and the realistic timing of implementation, you need to know what learnings others had during their ramp-up of the technology, and you need to know what could go very wrong as a worst-case scenario.
Step 5 – Network in the community for other users who use the same technology you want to use and find out what they are paying for that same technology. I find tech vendors charge as much as they can, and some buyers are better at negotiating than you’ll be. If you can come back with some hard numbers, the vendor will work with you. If you have no idea, you’ll pay a much higher rate than another company using the exact same solution. Also, if the big giant consulting firm that you’re paying six figures for can’t give you these introductions, you’re paying them too much!
There are obviously a bunch of steps within these steps, but this framework will give you a good start and make sure you don’t make a bad purchase. Also, remember the old technology buying saying, “no one ever got fired for buying IBM.” That was said because, at the time, IBM was the gold standard and the most expensive. So, while you might be able to find a good technology cheaper, you also have more risk of it failing.
The same goes for HR/TA buying decisions. There are over 10,000 HR Tech solutions on the market. You can find some amazing technology where the vendor will almost give it away to gain you as a client and get more users, but that comes with some big-time, unproven risk. For some, that risk will be worth it because you’ll be able to get and use the technology you could never afford without taking that risk.