Do you care about Ethical A.I. in HR and Talent Technology?

Or should you care, could have been an alternate title to this post!

The reality is, almost everyone in HR and TA will be using technology that has some built in Artificial Intelligence and/or some IA (Intelligent automation/machine learning), either currently or in the near future.

What does this really mean? It means, machines will be making decisions we used to make and that can be amazing and problematic all at the same time. My super smart friends, Madeline Laurano and Tyler Weeks discuss this concept with me in the video below.

Do these pants make me look fat?

I’ve got a bit of a problem.

I love buying new clothes, jackets, and shoes. You see, I’m kind of built like a fire hydrant. Picture a fire hydrant in your mind right now. Not very sexy is it!

So, I compensate, not by eating a great diet and working out constantly! Hell, no! That’s really hard work. I compensate by buying more clothes that I think will make me look skinnier than I really am!

Do you do this?

We do this in HR and Talent Acquisition all the time!

Just replace ‘clothes’ with ‘technology’. Yeah, we suck at HR, so instead of going out and fixing our foundational issues, let’s go buy a new pretty technology to cover up all of this fat, err incompetence!

Yeah, baby, with this new shiny technology no one will ever suspect we really suck as bad as we do!

The new stuff we buy screws with our heads. Every new shirt and sports coat I buy, I look at myself, and go “oh yeah! you’re going to look so awesome when you wear this!” Then I get on stage and someone tags me in a picture and I want to starve myself for a year!

Buying new stuff to make us look better than we are is the biggest lie we tell ourselves, ever.

So, before you go buy that new technology to fix all of your problems of why you suck at HR or TA, you have to know one truth. That truth is technology doesn’t fix why you suck. If you suck, great technology will make you suck faster. Bad technology will still make you suck, you just won’t be as fast as sucking!

Just like clothes won’t make me skinnier, new technology won’t make your function perform better.


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Talking Talent Acquisition Tech w/ Madeline Laurano (@madtarquin)

Madeline and I are back with our second “Vlog” as the kids like to say! We are Vloggers! Which is like one step below “Influencers” but you get to keep your dignity!

In this episode of Vlogging with Talent Nerds (not the real name, we aren’t naming it) Madeline and I talk Recruiting CRM technology. It’s part of the recruiting landscape that keeps morphing into other areas of the stack, and honestly, we find it pretty complex for the average TA leader.

Madeline Laurano and Tim Sackett – Vlogging TA Nerds!

Question: Do you use a Recruiting CRM? If so, about what percentage do you feel you and your team actually use?

Hit me with your answer in the comments!

The Future of Work, Is More WORK!

I’m sure you’ve read an article or listened to a podcast in recent weeks that had something to do with “the future of work”. It’s a hot topic to talk about, primarily because it’s all just a big fat guess and the best content is content where I just get to tell what I think will happen, but really have no idea for sure.

When I take a look at the HR technology landscape this week at The HR Technology Conference and see the tech that is hitting the market around work and performance, I think the future of work is actually just more work!

When I say ‘more’ work I really mean “More” work! Much of the technology that is being created and launched around HR Technology falls into a few buckets:

  1. How can we make workers more efficient at what they are currently doing?
  2. How can we monitor workers on what they are doing (tracking)?
  3. How can we leverage A.I. to do certain tasks workers are doing right now?

Don’t get me wrong, the technology doesn’t scare me in the least, I think it’s amazing, but the reality is much of it is designed to help us humans reach our full potential. If my couple of decades in HR has taught me anything it’s that very few of us humans want to reach our full potential!

Reaching your full potential means you are working really hard!

I have a great story about working in a union job the summer I first got out of high school. My Dad got me the job working in a grocery warehouse picking orders to be delivered to supermarkets. The warehouse just implemented a new software system that tracked the productivity of each worker.

Basically, I would be given an order and the system had estimated how long that order should take for me to complete. If the order was complex I got more time, it is was simply pulling a full pallet of one type of item, I might only get ten minutes or so to complete, some orders were estimated to take 75+ minutes to complete.

The union had negotiated that I only had to work 77% of the time. Yes, you read that correctly! If you added up all of my order minutes, in theory, to keep my job, I had to be 77% efficient. So, in an eight-hour shift of 480 minutes, once I reached my 369.6 minutes of work, I could actually just stop. In fact, I was encouraged very strongly by my union brothers to stop at the exact point!

Now the “new” computer system didn’t account for the extra effort. So, if I had an order that was supposed to take 60 minutes, but I worked really hard and completed it in 45 minutes, I just earned myself an extra 15 minutes. By the end of the summer, I was efficient enough in getting orders completed that I spent about three hours a shift playing cards with my union brothers in the back of the warehouse until my shift was done!

The new HR Technology that is in play right now, based on AI and machine learning, would have made these corrections individually within a few shifts, knowing I could do that work more efficiently than another person and soon my orders would have been adjusted. The technology would have ensured that my ‘extra’ effort turned into my normal effort.

We already know that my warehouse work will be replaced by robots, so my example is already dated. But what about that office job? Will a robot replace you? No, not right away, we are a ways off from that, but that same AI/Machine learning technology will track and measure everything you do and soon you will feel as busy as ever, because ‘down time’ is unproductive time and the tech can compute that!

The future of work is more work.

 

The Weekly Dose: @Pandologic – The Job Advertising Platform

Today on the Weekly Dose I review the programmatic job advertising platform, Pandologic. Programmatic job advertising has been around now for a decade, but still, it hasn’t caught on as it has with our Marketing peers who have been using the technology successfully to lure customers for decades.

95% of Talent Acquisition job advertising budget is still mostly spent on traditional types of job posting products: Indeed sponsored jobs, LinkedIn job postings, ZipRecruiter, other job boards, some radio, some TV, billboards, a sexier career site no one sees, etc. 95%! 

For the most part, TA hasn’t changed how we advertise for jobs in decades. 

While there are a number of programmatic job advertising tools on the market, Pandologic has truly gone all-in on utilizing artificial intelligence to make their technology more efficient and easier to use. One of the reasons so many great TA shops haven’t yet tested using Programmatic Job Advertising is that it quite frankly seems complex. And while the science behind can be complex, Pandologic has made a simple and intuitive platform that any TA pro can easily use to get better results on their job postings.

I like to think of Pandologic as Programmatic 2.0. It’s not just about distribution (traditional programmatic – put the job everywhere at once), but the utilization of AI-driven decision-making of when and where. Precisely placing your jobs in front of the kind of job seeker you’re looking for when they’re engaged on the internet.

What do I like about Pandologic?

  • Really the only fully-automated programmatic job advertising platform. You can set it and forget it, many of the programmatic tools take some constant watching.
  • Pandologic’s AI will constantly make micro-adjustments to get the best results, including constantly testing and making small language changes to your posting to get the best results.
  • Full AI, no human in the loop. You set your campaign goals and it goes out and gets the applicants.
  • An overall reduction in job advertising spending for the same traffic you have now or increased traffic for the same spend.
  • Easily integrated with your ATS to pull in job postings.

I’m a big fan of programmatic job advertising technology. I think too many TA leaders continue to play this game trying to figure out which “site” is the best one for them, getting into long-term relationships that cost too much money and quite frankly are inefficient. At the end of the day “advertising” is about the best results for the lowest cost.

One word of caution that I constantly try and educate TA pros and leaders on. Programmatic isn’t a silver bullet for hard-to-find talent. If you need Software Engineers in a market where there are very few Software Engineers, Programmatic technology can’t magically make Software Engineers where there are no Software Engineers! But, it can help get your job advertising in front of those few, for less money.

Pandologic for the most part is an enterprise-level TA tool. More than likely they are best utilized with organizations that hire at volume, 500+ hires per year, or it also would work for organizations hiring less, if the vast majority of roles are similar in nature (I.E., we hire 200 Nurses a year, etc.) I think every enterprise and large volume TA shop should be testing Programmatic in 2021.

The Weekly Dose: @OurTilt – Leave that doesn’t suck!

This week on the Weekly Dose I take a look at the startup employee leave technology Tilt. Tilt is reimagining Leave Management to help companies improve retention, streamline processes and reinforce corporate culture.

Let’s face it, most organizations use an Excel Spreadsheet to track company employee leave. No judgment! The vast majority of organizations have tracked leave this way since the invention of Excel! Before that, it was written files. But, now, thanks to Tilt there is a more elegant way to administer employee leave that helps all the stakeholders.

You might be thinking, “do we really have a problem tracking leave?” Maybe not, but leave is more than just HR tracking it. You also have the employee who is on leave, and the manager of the employee who is on leave, who often feel in the dark the entire process.

What I like about Tilt:

– One easy platform to streamline all of your employees leaves into one place where all parties can log in the get the information they need. Super easy to add an employee to leave, and each employee has their own access to track and get answers they need while on leave.

– Fully compliant, in every state, so a perfect solution for those organizations that are multiple states and find it hard to keep up on changing legislation. Tilt helps ensure you stay in compliance and don’t’ find yourself in legal hot water.

– Tilt guides help employees and managers through the process, lowering the amount of time and questions leave administrators have to deal with on an ongoing basis. Also, integrates auto-nudges to ensure both employees and managers do what they need to do, when they need to do!

– Direct communication from employees, managers, and leave administrators that are logged within the platform to ensure all communication is tracked and documented. Plus, great, ongoing manager education around the do’s and don’ts in having an employee on leave.

– Tilt works with every client to review and update leave policies and plans, to ensure your leave plans are built on what’s best for your organization and your culture.

I really like what Tilt is doing. Organizations big and small struggle to administer leave in a really easy way and most of the time all the company leave knowledge is usually stuck in one person’s brain. Also, administering leave is a complicated job, the more employees who have on leave, and the more states you must administer it in.

Pre-leave, leave, and post-leave, you, your employees, and your managers will have the information they need when they need it. All the while the tech helps you stay compliant, saving you time and money. Well worth a demo, especially for those companies managing leave in multiple states.

Buy Game Stop! No wait, get back to work!

Everyone is talking about Game Stop and AMC and a bunch of other companies that no one should really be talking about! Why? Because a bunch of remote workers are sitting at home, not working, and playing around on Reddit and their Robinhood brokerage accounts!

Yeah, I said it!

You have employees you’re paying to work remotely who are messing around thinking they’re day traders by buying crappy stocks off Reddit suggestions. Also, they think they’re sticking it to the “man” by doing this, so in their mind, they’re really saving the world. All while you’re paying them to sell more Saas software…

This is why Remote Work doesn’t work! 

Everyone loves Remote Work. Why wouldn’t you. You get paid to do the same work in half the time, and you get to do it sitting on your couch with Netflix running in the background and you’re still wearing the same stretchy pants you woke up in! God Bless America! Am I right!?

Remote Work fails when leaders feel like even one person is taking advantage of the system!

Look I get it, I get that Timmy is sitting in his office, at the office, and still not doing anything, but Mary, your CEO, can walk by Timmy’s office and scare him enough into thinking he should probably do some work.

Most organizations suck at having measurable performance indicators for every position, or any positions, besides sales. Most performance measures that employees have, would happen regardless if they actually did their job or traded crappy stocks all day, or ran an Etsy shop out of their cube.

Can’t we all just be adults!? 

Apparently, no.

You don’t want to be micromanaged at work, but the true future of “Remote” work is we are going to micromanage the sh*t out of you! (No, not me, all the other bad folks!) The bigger the company, the better the technology they’ll be able to afford to ensure you’re actually working and not acting like a wannabe revolutionary taking down the stock market by buying bad stocks.

If you have over 500 employees working remotely right now, at least 3% of those people are amateur day trading on your dime. It’s just a numbers game, at this point. Depending on what your business does, you can probably raise or lower that number 1-2%.

“But, Tim! You don’t get it! I work a flexible schedule, so I’m putting in more hours and still being a bad day trader!” No, you’re not. You’re an idiot who is going to cry you got wronged when you get fired because your company found out a part-time seventeen year old can produce more than you, without any formal college education.

Gawd, I actually love being the voice of reason! 

Man! I’m not a life coach, but what I wouldn’t do to punch some stupid 35-year-old dude in the mouth who’s trying to explain to me why Game Stop is a good investment, ‘really’! Turns out, no one needs a brick and mortar store to buy online games! Thanks for the advice, Trevor, how did all those folks at your company respond to that analysis in the company Slack!?

Okay, you don’t have to work forty hours a week, because when you’re home you have fewer distractions and you get your job done in thirty. The question you should really be asking yourself isn’t if America is considering you a hero for buying Game Stop stock, but if you can do that all day and still get your job done, who else is thinking they probably don’t need to be paying you any longer?

I can guarantee you, Game Stop doesn’t care about your job!

What is the Top Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) in the U.S.?

Okay, you guys know I love my guy, Rob Kelly over at OnGig and his team, for putting together data around the most used ATSs. OnGig recently released their latest report and I wanted to share some highlights and reactions.

First, let’s answer the biggest question – is this real? Yes, Rob and the team looked at over 1,000 companies and dug into which specific ATS they are using. Most were Enterprise level, but there were also a number of SMBs.

Here’s the breakdown: (click on the pic for a larger version)

 

Tim’s Reactions:

– In 2018, Workday had a 4.20% share in the enterprise ATS market. In 2020, that has grown to 21.92%, and they have thousands of customers going through and waiting on implementation. Workday has taken over the recruiting market at the enterprise level as of right now and I don’t expect that to change anytime soon.

– In 2017 Taleo’s market share was 25.51%, in 2018, 19.11%, and in 2020, 14.68%. Still a giant piece of the market, but it shows how Taleo didn’t react quickly enough to the changing marketplace to keep or grow their huge advantage. Keep an eye on Oracle Recruiting Cloud and the impact that will have for those Oracle customers looking to move to the cloud and away from Taleo.

– iCIMS share at 8.94% is extremely impressive, given they totally retooled their software over the past year or so, and basically pioneered the recruiting “App Store” marketplace concept which allows users to build an integrated stack with the features they want fairly easily. Also, this number doesn’t include many of the mid-market, SMB customers iCIMS have.

– Along with iCIMS, Greenhouse, SmartRecuriters, and Jobvite are all top best of breed ATS plays on the market and we are beginning to see this separation of organizations who are choosing the Best of Breed recruiting technologies, to those who are using the Giant HCM recruiting modules (Workday, Oracle, SAP).

What does any of this mean to Enterprise TA Leaders?

If I’m a current TA Leader working for an F1000 organization I better be ready to answer this question:

“Why can’t you, or can you, use the recruiting module for our large HCM stack?” 

Every single CFO, CIO, and CEO, if they haven’t already are going to be looking at their financial, operational, and supply chain stack and making a decision, most likely, between Workday, Oracle, and SAP (there are some others, but these 3 own 90%+ of the market).

These leaders are being sold on the power of one platform and the ability to leverage all of that data, and part of that decision will be HR and TA explaining the benefits and drawbacks of going enterprise module solution versus best of breed.

By the way, and this is very important, your input to this decision, as a TA and HR leader, will be weighted by the overall cost of the combined organizational solution and decision. Don’t be confused and think you are an equal player in this decision. The reality is, we (HR/TA) are not, as our portion of this contract is peanuts compared to the rest. The CFO and CIO are the big players, so if you want leverage around what you need, make friends fast!

Final Thoughts:

Many of you will not be given a decision on the TA tech stack you are given. I find that unfortunate, but that is a reality at the enterprise level. HCM Recruiting Module, best of breed ATS, an Excel spreadsheet, they all work, if we make them work.

Workday has a tremendous partner network with some of the most advanced recruiting technology on the planet. You can build a great Workday TA stack. You can build a very strong Oracle TA stack. The key is getting the decision-makers to understand, no matter what system you choose, the core ATS is only the foundational piece, and each of us will have other pieces that we’ll need to add to that stack to make it most effective for our organization.

Those pieces will cost money, on top of the money that is spent on the foundational ATS. Try not to allow yourself to be handcuffed with a new ATS (at any level) and be told this is all you get. Modern-day recruiting and talent attraction take way more than just an ATS.

One last shoutout to Rob and the OnGig team – keep up the great work!

Why Don’t We Make HR Simple? (hint: we might possibly have deep psychological issues!)

Have you ever wondered why HR Departments continue to make complex processes?  In reality, all of us want things simple.  But, when you look at our organizations they are filled with complexity.  It seems like the more we try to make things simple, the more complex they get.  You know what?  It’s you – it’s not everyone else.  You are making things complex, and you’re doing this because it makes you feel good.

From Harvard Business Review:

“There are several deep psychological reasons why stopping activities are so hard to do in organizations. First, while people complain about being too busy, they also take a certain amount of satisfaction and pride in being needed at all hours of the day and night. In other words, being busy is a status symbol. In fact, a few years ago we asked senior managers in a research organization — all of whom were complaining about being too busy — to voluntarily give up one or two of their committee assignments. Nobody took the bait because being on numerous committees was a source of prestige.

Managers also hesitate to stop things because they don’t want to admit that they are doing low-value or unnecessary work. Particularly at a time of layoffs, high unemployment, and a focus on cost reduction, managers want to believe (and convince others) that what they are doing is absolutely critical and can’t possibly be stopped. So while it’s somewhat easier to identify unnecessary activities that others are doing, it’s risky to volunteer that my own activities aren’t adding value. After all, if I stop doing them, then what would I do?”

That’s the bad news.  You have deep psychological issues.  Your spouse already knew that about you.

The good news is, you can stop it!  How?  Reward people for eliminating worthless work.  Right now we reward people who are working 70 hours per week and always busy and we tell people “Wow! Look at Tim he’s a rock star – always here, always working!”  Then someone in your group goes, “Yeah, but Tim is an idiot, I could do his job in 20 hours per week, if…”  We don’t reward the 20-hour guy, we reward the guy working 70 hours, even if he doesn’t have to.

Somewhere in our society – the ‘working smarter’ analogy got lost or turned into ‘work smarter and longer’.  The reality is most people don’t have the ability to work smarter, so they just work longer and make everything they do look ‘Really’ important!   You just thought of someone in your organization, when you read that, didn’t you!?  We all have them – you can now officially call them ‘psychos’ – since they do actually have “deep psychological” reasons for doing what they’re doing – Harvard said so!

I love simple.  I love simple HR.  I love simple recruiting.  I hate HR and Talent Pros that make things complex, because I know they have ‘deep psychological’ issues!  Please go make things simple today!

The HR Technology Conference 2020 ReCap & Top HR Product Winners! #HRTechConf

For the past decade or so, the HR Technology Conference has been one of the top conferences I attend every year! I’ve spoken and many covered all of them as a blogger or analyst, so when HR Tech went virtual for 2020, you knew I was going to check it out!

Let’s face it, virtual conferences are not the same as in person. It’s a very small percentage of folks I know who like virtual over in-person, so I think we are all hoping that HR Tech 2021 will be live in person back in Vegas! All that said, the HR Technology Conference team put a really good virtual event, using the technology platform Swapcard, and I’m sure some behind the scenes production.

The content was exactly what you normally expect from the HR Tech show – my buddy Steve Boese in a fancy suit, looking great, but from his living room, the keynotes this year were a little less big-name celebrities, and more inside baseball HR Nerd celebrities, which I loved (shout out to Josh Bersin, Stacey Harris, John Sumser, Stacia Garr, Jason Averbook, Dr. Tolonda Tolbert, Marcus Buckingham, Lisa Buckingham, and Ken Solon – go follow of these folks – super smart and they all share great stuff!).

Everyone did very well, but of course, once again, Marcus stole the show! He’s ridiculous, great speaker, sharing “wow” content is always a show stopper. This year, Marcus shared some new data from an ADP study on Resilience (and boy in 2020 do we need more resilience!).

Go check it out, turns out, those who go through more change tend to be more resilient. This seems to make sense, but yet we move mountains and constantly make dumb decisions in our organizations because we believe our employees can’t handle change! Also, age/generational differences have zero impact on resilience!

Who won the award for Top HR Product in 2020? 

-Accelerated Coaching and Scaled Mentoring Program

PILOT, New York, N.Y.

pilot.coach

-Dayforce Wallet

Ceridian, Minneapolis, Minn.

ceridian.com

-Fuel Marketplace

Fuel50, Laguna Niguel, Calif.

fuel50.com

-Language Learning Solution

GoFLUENT, New York, N.Y..

gofluent.com

-Manager-on-the-Go

Paycom, Oklahoma City, Okla.

paycom.com

 Microsoft Teams, Outlook Integration

iCIMS, Holmdel, N.J.

icims.com

-Moodtracker

Workhuman, Framingham, Mass.

workhuman.com

-Next Gen Pay

ADP, Roseland, N.J.

adp.com

-Opportunity Marketplace

Oracle, Redwood City, Calif.

oracle.com

-Paychex Flex Remote Workforce Enablement

Paychex, Rochester, N.Y.

paychex.com

-People Experience

Workday, Pleasanton, Calif.

workday.com

-Pluto

Pluto, New York, N.Y.

pluto.life

-Remote Hiring Solution

HackerRank, Mountain View, Calif.

hackerrank.com

-Skills Graph

Cornerstone OnDemand, Santa Monica, Calif.

cornerstoneondemand.com

-Workforce Insights

pymetrics, New York, N.Y.

pymetrics.ai

-WorkVue

Willis Towers Watson, London, U.K.

willistowerswatson.com

Very awesome list of winners and products as you look to 2021 you should be setting up demos to keep yourself up on what’s the next latest and greatest technology in the HR space!

Big shout out to the LRP team for pulling off a great virtual event, it’s not easy to do this right and you guys certainly did! Thanks, Steve Boese, Jeanne Achille, Tim Burke, and Elizabeth Clarke! Can’t wait until 2021!

The HR Technology Conference is going to do another virtual event in March – HR Tech Spring which is a free event, so go save your spot now!