Talent Acquisition Trends with Friends! ATSs are buying ATSs and the Jobs Report!

Last week I sat down with two of the best in the business when it comes to TA knowledge, my partner in crime on HR Famous, Madeline Laurano, and our good friend, Kyle Lagunas. Jobvite acquired best-of-breed ATS Lever after acquiring a whole bunch of other great TA technologies over the past two years. This now gives Jobvite/Employ three ATSs under their umbrella of products!

TA Tech Trends with Friends!

The best part of this is this is exactly how we talk shop when we are together sharing drinks at some conference! The three of us will all be out at The HR Technology Conference on September 13-16. Come join us!

7 Things a Tech Startup Can Teach You About Your Own Success!

My buddy John Hill works for Techstars as the VP of Network. Go connect with him, he’s completely an awesome guy who will sit down and have a beer with you and talk about how to change the world for hours!  Last week he got to meet the latest crop of Techstar startups and came away motivated with some great learnings.

Here are John’s takeaways from the newest Techstar startups:

1. Nothing beats hustle. Nothing.

2. The world is full of good ideas, but only a few will execute them.

3. Relational capital is vital.

4. Networks matter. Surround yourself with those who can help you.

5. There are some wicked smart people in the world.

6. To build a great company, you need help with funding, talent, and connections to business/industry to scale and the understanding of how to navigate each.

7. Suspend disbelief!

I’m drawn to each of the seven for different reasons, but #2 jumps out because I witness this on a daily basis. There are two kinds of people in the world: those who execute and those who talk about executing. Hire those who execute. Understand that they are rare, and you should overpay for this ‘skill.’

Do you notice nowhere on his list does he talk about failure. John is a motherfucking doer! He gets shit done. Techstars will only take a chance on startups led by people who will execute. John talks about ways to succeed, not about just throwing caution to the wind and failing. The reality is most will fail. Setting yourself up for success is key.

I love that he ends his list with “Suspend disbelief.” The world is a critic. Those who make it big have that special combination of John’s list. Great idea, ability to execute, the right network to make it happen, super smart, etc. What they also have is true belief! At the end of the day, you have to believe 1000% of your idea is going to work. No part of you even questions that it won’t.

If it didn’t work, you would be destroyed because your belief was so strong that you never saw it coming when it failed. That’s how most great ideas actually make it. You find a combination of all of these things and you put money and resources behind it.

These seven learnings aren’t about how to make a startup successful. These are how you make anything successful that you’re working on.

The State of Hourly and High-Volume Hiring in 2022

It’s Friday. It’s the Summer. Blog traffic is crap on Fridays in the summer! You get my raspy, deep morning voice instead, enjoy! So, here’s a vlog instead:

It’s Your Boy!

Here’s the link to the report – The State of Hourly and High-Volume Hiring in 2022 by HR.com. Here’s the link to Matt Charney.

If You Could Choose 1 ATS Which One Would It Be?

One of the most asked questions I get over the last decade of writing and speaking is “What ATS should I buy?” I don’t have one, because there are so many variables at play, plus there are most likely over one thousand ATSs in existence!

My buddy, Hung Lee, at Recruiting Brainfood, had this study put together and I love it! Basically, it was asking users of ATSs (a couple thousand, worldwide, so statistically relevant), if you could choose an ATS which one would you choose?

The results:

https://insights.recruitingbrainfood.com/wdrw/2021

What can we learn from this data?

From the get-go, Greenhouse Software seems to be very popular with users! Greenhouse is definitely one of my top recommendations when people ask, and I truly think you can’t go wrong if you choose them.

You can also probably understand fairly quickly, that there isn’t a ton of big enterprise users that answered the survey because the vast majority of giant enterprise use one of the big 3: Workday, Oracle, or SAP. Taleo/Oracle and Workday are at the top of the big enterprise ATS world, with SAP/Successfactors coming in third, which seems to align with what I hear from enterprise Talent leaders.

You hear the big 3 enterprise recruiting modules get beat up a lot, but the truth is, when you’re hiring hundreds of thousands, if not millions of employees per year, you need a system that can handle that volume and complexity. Plus, you most likely need full global and you want something that won’t break. They tend to lower marks from users because they aren’t as feature-rich as the best-of-breed ATSs on the market, but all have a solid partner ecosystem that adds most of the features a big enterprise is looking for.

As you start to look at the lines that have more attractors than detractors, you see some interesting stuff. You see the large numbers of likes for SmartRecruiters, Lever, and SMB ATS Workable. All of which are great selections as well. Avature is a surprise, as they are an ATS, but were built as a CRM, but users seem to like the combination.

I use Loxo, so I’m excited to see them in a very positive light on a list with all these big brands and established ATSs. At the end of the day, the best thing that can happen for any brand or service is the people using you would choose you to use it again if given the option.

SHRMLab’s Better Workplace Challenge Cup HR Tech Winner! #SHRM22

This is the second annual Better Workplace Challenge Cup competition that SHRM has put on. The BWCC is an HR Technology Startup Competition that goes through three rounds of vetting over one hundred new HR Technology startups. The final four make it on stage at the SHRM Annual Conference and they get to pitch who they are and what they do, then an expert panel of judges decides a winner.

The winner receives a bunch of stuff including a $50,000 first-place prize! But honestly, the recognition and promotion alone of being the winner at SHRM is probably worth more than the $50,000! That means really, all of the final four are winners because they all get great exposure.

The 2022 Final Four are also unique in that all four were led by female founders! This seems appropriate given that 80% of HR professionals are female, we need more females developing the technology we use every day to help make our workplaces and our workforces better!

Let’s take a look at the Final Four:

Vinco (Your 2022 Winner!) – Lissy Giacomán, Founder and CEO based in Monterrey, Mexico.  

Vinco is an ed-tech company whose primary mission is to serve as a bridge between employers who wish to upskill, individuals who want to earn credentials, and institutions who want to drive their enrollment online. Vinco works to assist HR teams in upskilling their employees through connections at over 2,000 top educational programs.

Automation Workz – Ida Byrd-Hill, founder and CEO based in Detroit, MI (so you know I was rooting for Ida!)

The Automation Workz Life Culture Audit is a mobile app assisting HR professionals and corporate leaders to motivate front-line workers to digital career and training success. The Life Culture Audit reduces turnover and absenteeism by coaching front-liners through coding games and creation of their life vision so they realize they have the skills and potential success for new digital careers. 

Included – Laura Close, co-founder and chief business development officer

Included helps companies hire and retain a diverse workforce and drive measurable progress on diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) goals. The platform provides step-by-step guidance based on your own people data trends. Included makes sure you never miss an opportunity to hire the most qualified diverse talent. 

Inclusivv – Jenn Graham, founder and CEO

Inclusivv is a technology platform that brings people together for courageous conversations. Our conversation design process combines thorough research, psychology and the power of storytelling and follows a simple but powerful framework for hosting small group conversations: three big questions, one voice at a time, and equal time to share. 

Shoutout to the SHRMLabs team, led by Guillermo Corea, they have done an amazing job with this competition, but beyond that, they are truly bringing an in-depth focus to HR Technology that has never been at SHRM and it’s impressive.

Last year at SHRM Annual 2021, SHRM CEO Johnny Taylor, said he wants the entire HR profession to think of SHRM when they think about HR Technology and the SHRMLabs team is truly taking purposeful steps to make this happen.

Are there HR Tech buyers at #SHRM22 #CauseTheEffect

Sunday afternoon in New Orleans, the location for the SHRM Annual Conference 2022 and the Expo is open. If you haven’t come to a SHRM Annual Conference the expo hall can be a bit overwhelming. There are 800 or so vendors with booths, most are in the HR Tech space, and some are services, but it’s a lot!

Today in 2022, 99% of those attending SHRM are coming from companies that are struggling to hire more workers. Hourly and salary alike, the funny thing is there are a relatively small number of recruiting technology companies in the expo!

Why?

Well, the recruiting technology vendor community will tell you there are no buyers at the SHRM Annual Conference, so I wanted to see if that was true. I set out to speak with ten expo attendees that were Director title and above and ask them why there were attending the expo, did they have the budget to buy, and if they did, how much was that budget.

Here are the findings:

I was able to easily find ten folks to talk to at those titles. The company size ran from 100 to 100,000. Most were under 1000. 90% were in the expo looking at “what was new in the tech space”, visiting current vendors, looking to replace a current vendor, and one was looking for swag!

The big question was did they have a budget they controlled to buy and if so, how much? Here are some of the people I found at the expo –

Mary, HR Director from Illinois, of a 250-person marketing firm. She had $15,000 to spend and was looking for some technology to help with engagement and connection for remote and hybrid workers. Also, anything that could help in recruiting.

Mark, VP of HR from Denver, 2500 person medical manufacturing company. $50,000 of budget he had discretion over to buy technology. Needed help with getting more hourly workers and retaining hourly workers.

Yolanda, Director level from California, 500-person warehouse and trucking. She had $5000 she could spend and was looking for something to help with retention.

Barb, CHRO out of Atlanta, Law firm, 300 total employees, $25,000, but maybe more depending on what she found. She needed some compensation help and sourcing help for her recruiter.

Robert, Director out of Dallas, 5,000 person electronics manufacturing company. $10-25,000 and he was looking for something like internal mobility but sounded more like just internal job board help.

The one enterprise buyer I spoke with wouldn’t give me a number and realistically, she told me, anything major would have to go to RFP, but she was here looking at everything, especially things that she could add onto their SAP stack.

Across the board, everyone I spoke to was in the market at different levels and many mentioned while they might be able to make this decision on their own, this was the “just shopping” phase to see what is out there. They would take back ideas and findings to their team and decide who to demo.

So, I followed up with many with the question, “What about all those that aren’t here?” The resounding answer was, “Everyone is here, or if they’re not, we probably wouldn’t be interested” assuming those were only small players. There was an assumption all the major players in the HR Tech space were there, which we know is far from true, but it was an interesting finding!

The HR and Recruiting Tech space assumes SHRM only has SMB buyers so why come, and if I’m honest, there are a lot of those types at SHRM, probably 65% or so are in the SMB space. But, it doesn’t mean SMBs don’t have money to spend.

So many of the best-of-breed recruiting technology companies are not in attendance and I know for a fact their average deal size is under $20,000. Seems like a massive missed opportunity as these buyers were looking at a lot of lower-end techs and believing it is the next greatest thing!

It seems like with most HR Technology buys, outside of enterprise system buys, the add-on market is about being seen, being found, and delivering to an audience that needs you, but they don’t know they need you until they see you. With thousands of HR pros and leaders all in one location, it leaves me scratching my head on why these vendors don’t make the investment to come.

Are there buyers of HR Technology at the SHRM Annual Conference? The simple answer is, Yes!

Greenhouse Adds Sourcing Automation to ATS #Open22

I’m out at Greenhouse Open this week, and Greenhouse made a major product announcement adding Sourcing Automation to their core ATS solution. What the heck does that even mean?

From the press release:

Introducing Sourcing Automation: a new outbound sourcing solution that helps users find, reach and engage top talent quickly and effectively – all with Greenhouse. Sourcing Automation improves email deliverability, scales outreach through personalized and automated campaigns and gives hiring teams the insights they need to become sourcing experts – and turn more candidates into hires.

What does it all mean?

So, isn’t this just Interstellar, the CRM they purchased, finally just launching? A little bit, but to call this “CRM” is a misnomer. CRM in the recruiting space is really designed for large enterprise TA teams that have a team that can run the CRM and gets the value out of it. Greenhouse’s Sourcing Automation is more marketing automation designed for individual recruiters to use daily.

Does this replace HireEZ and Seekout?

No, this is more of a complementary product. How so? Sourcing Automation isn’t a sourcing engine like HireEZ and Seekout are. You use those tools to find the talent you can’t find anywhere else. Sourcing Automation makes it way easier for you to actually connect with those people, plus easily add in candidates from your own database to connect with as well. The reality is one of the biggest challenges we face as recruiters is connecting with candidates as fast as we can, at scale, and this type of automation allows individual recruiters to do that effectively and efficiently.

Do your recruiters need this?

The short answer, in today’s world, yes.

Long answer, it depends on how you want to recruit. If I’m totally honest, way too much of the recruiting we do is a simple post and pray, inbound candidate processing. If that’s what your recruiting is, and that’s what you want to continue to do, save your money. This product is not for you. If you want to give your team a tool to do more outbound recruiting and add capacity to your ability to recruit more candidates quickly, then this product is worth a look and a demo.

I don’t say that in jest. The reality is some of us aren’t in a position to do outbound recruiting for a number of reasons. We are all on various levels of our recruiting maturity, so it really depends on where you are at and where you want to take talent strategy. Sourcing Automation is an amazing tech, but like any tech, you must use it to get the value out of it.

It’s well worth your time to dig into Greenhouse’s sourcing automation product and compare it to full-blown CRM recruiting tech and understand what sourcing automation is and isn’t. I think you’ll find that Sourcing Automation is a tool your recruiters can use every day in their day-to-day outreach and connection.

Here is the Average Time to Fill a job for most employers in the U.S.!

I gathered data from around 13,000 sources to get the most accurate Days to Fill metric that I could. It is one of the most asked questions I get from the audience!

So, what’s the number? 37*.

Cool, now can we stop asking? Did that just solve all of your hiring problems?

No, it didn’t. Why?

Because Time to Fill is a worthless recruiting metric for the most part. There is zero correlation between how fast you fill a job to how well your talent acquisition function is performing.

37 days is meaningless out of context, as a comparison, every job is different, every organization is different, and every market is different.

So, if you are currently at 37 days time to fill a job, and in 2022 you magically get to 36.2 days to fill, are you better at recruiting? Are you? Maybe you hired too fast and now your turnover is increased. Maybe the economy went south for a bit and increased the labor pool and now you have more candidates applying. Zero. Correlation. To. Talent. Acquisition. Success.

So, why do we use it? Frankly, and this hurts because you know I love talent acquisition and the pros that work in it every single day, we’re lazy. We’re too lazy to measure what really matters. That hurts. That should make you mad. We are better than this.

Can your Time to Fill matter at all? Yes, as a health metric of your TA function. If your industry average is 37 days, and you’re at 54, your function might have cancer! That being said, you have to support that with other stuff. Your 54-day hiring process might have reduced your turnover to 15% in an industry that has 50%, then your 54 days is understandable. But, what I usually find in most industries and jobs are fairly close to the mean on time to fill. So, it can be used as a universal health TA metric.

But, once you start trying to reduce by .4 days or .3 days, you’ve lost your way.

*For those wanting to now use “37” days as the average time to fill in the world, I totally made that metric up! Stop it! Be Better!

The Human Resource Executive 2022 Top HR Tech Influencers! Do Lists Matter?

A big list got released yesterday and I wouldn’t be writing about it unless I’m on it, right?! Well, I might write about it if I wasn’t on it. I mean, it feels great to be recognized for something you have passion for and enjoy. Recognition at any level tends to feel good, which is why it’s so powerful.

There are so many people on the 2022 Top HR Tech Influencers that I admire and call friends including my two HR Famous podcast partners – Jessica Lee and Madeline Laurano! They both made the list. Also friends like: Steve Boese, Sarah White, Laurie Ruettimann, Jeanne Achille, Stacy Zapar, Jackye Clayton, Torin Ellis, Kyle Lagunas, George LaRocque, Trish McFarlane, Erin Spencer, Joey Price, Jason Averbook, and so many others.

What the heck is an HR Tech Influencer?

I know, personally, probably 65% of the Top 100 list. So, I can only speak about those individuals, but I’m guessing the rest of the list is fairly similar. First, they are super passionate about HR technology. We are all super nerds for this stuff and when we get together the talk gets deep into nerdy. Second, they all care about making technology and the function of HR, and all the sub-functions of HR, better.

Some do this through working as an actual practitioner in the weeds of day-to-day HR. Some do it by working on the vendor side to improve and create the next generation of technology we will come to rely on. And others work in the analyst space building a bridge between the vendor and practitioner improving the knowledge base about what we buy and why.

Every single one of these folks is a 1%er when it comes to HR Tech knowledge. Meaning, on average, they would know more about HR Tech than 99% of the other folks working in HR. They are the definition of Gladwell’s 10,000 hours. They made themselves into experts and that by itself is a pretty amazing accomplishment. Not many folks in the world could call themselves an expert at anything!

Who has the “real” juice?

Damn! That’s the million-dollar question! And I literally mean, a million dollars! Because vendors and conferences are trying to figure out who has the juice! What’s the juice? It’s that something special that a person has, through a combination of a lot of factors, where they command a large audience of potential buyers. It’s a combination of expertise, personality, access, charisma, honesty, giving back, etc. No two folks have the same factors or create the same juice.

In the HR Tech World, there is one person who has more juice than anyone at the moment. That guy is Josh Bersin. Josh is like the gallon-size bottle of juice and most of the rest of us are like the 6 oz glass of juice in comparison! That’s just a fact. I’m lucky that Josh invited me to be a faculty member in his academy, but I’m not saying this because of that. The reality is he moves the market like no one else in our space.

Vendors are always trying to figure out who has the juice. Who is going to bring buyers into the tent? Honestly, if you can’t afford Josh, it’s probably a combination of a lot of folks on that list, as well as a bunch of folks who aren’t on the list but still have juice (William Tincup, Matt Charney, Kris Dunn, Deb McGrath, Rob Kelly, Hung Lee, Guillermo Gorea, Chris Hoyt, Gerry Crispin, Erica Young, Chris Harvilla, etc.).

Juice has little to do with the social footprint, but you can’t ignore a large audience. Some folks might have a ton of juice on Twitter, but nothing on LinkedIn, or IG. No presence on Twitter, but a great following on Facebook. The key is interaction on whatever platform they are on. Like, are you really on Twitter if you tweet and no one engages?

TL;DR – There’s Josh Bersin, then there is a cliff, and then there are the rest of us at the bottom of that cliff. Also, no one wants to see their real “juice” number, it’s humbling.

Do these lists matter?

So many people will say, No. I get that. But, for the millions of HR pros out in the world, this is a great start if you are trying to educate yourself about technology within HR. So, in that vein, these lists do matter. I got into HR Tech because of a conversation I had with William Tincup seven years ago! I met him through my interactions with other influencers on the list. I became an expert in this space because of that interaction.

Because of lists, like the Top 100 HR Tech Influencers, I have people reach out to me daily with questions they have about the technology in our space. A list like this gives people an avenue to pursue and access expert opinions.

Are these lists inclusive of every voice that should be heard? Of course not, that would be impossible. It’s also super hard to get minority and young voices on these lists, based on the demographic of HR Tech nerds in general. But this list does an exceptional job at adding these voices, especially around female voices (which make up the majority of HR pros!). It’s a snapshot of a moment, and the list is ever-evolving. Also, vendors rarely make it on because of conflict of interest with selling, but some of the best minds in HR Tech are working at vendors. But they do matter to a great number of people who are trying to better their HR Tech knowledge.

Shout out to the HR Exec team, including, Elizabeth Clarke and Rebecca McKenna for putting in the work to create and edit this list. It’s a thankless task usually that only comes with criticism.

You can check out the full list right here.

Digital Transformation of Work & Wellbeing – @SHRMLabs Report

I got invited recently to be a part of a think tank of sorts on a project with SHRM Labs and Techstars Workforce Development Accelerator discussing what technologies are needed to help navigate the new digital world of work. What the heck does that mean? Good question!

If you haven’t checked out SHRM Labs they are doing some amazing work around innovation, technology, and work. Led by Guillermo Corea, SHRM is working to take a leading stance on the technology that is built for HR. This isn’t your grandmother’s SHRM! Shout out to Hadeel El-Tashi, she has been amazing as well on the SHRM Labs team.

Basically, we have three types of worker environments right now:

  • Full On-Premise work
  • Hybrid
  • Full Remote

Full on-premise work we’ve been trying to build tech and processes around wellbeing for a long time. To limited success, for sure, but still, it’s been a long focus for technologists and HR for decades. Hybrid and Full Remote, while not new, were limited in use, so the focus was not there, then the pandemic thing happened and this had to ramp up really fast.

What we found is there are limited options for organizations to truly and robustly support their team’s well-being when they work remotely and in hybrid scenarios. Here’s the basis of the report:

This report highlights participants’ voices on each of these points. It proposes ways to foster work/life integration in remote- and hybrid work environments, followed by an exploration of elements that constitute a great employee experience and effective employee culture, closing with a discussion of how companies can attract (and retain) the best talent in the face of a tight labor market and the Great Resignation.

You can download the report here

What were our main findings:

  1. All organizations need to find ways to embrace flexibility in the workplace. Not just white-collar workers, but all workers. Flexibility and “All” is a difficult undertaking.
  2. Give employees agency and develop accountability. I call this one, treating employees like adults, but smarter people in the think tank had better words than me!
  3. Drive efficiency and asynchronous communication tools. Stop the non-stop stream of zoom meetings thinking that’s how you’ll communicate effectively with hybrid and remote workers.
  4. Personalize benefits and improve the employee experience. We still deliver benefits mostly like it’s 1970. Everyone gets a 401K match, even if that’s not your priority and you have student loans or want to buy your first house. Or we offer student loan repayment, but you graduated thirty years ago and paid off your loans, twenty-five years ago. One size fits most, is a crappy experience.

We also had findings around building digital culture and attracting more workers – you can download the report to check those out.

Overall, we’ve got work to do in HR as a total function, including TA, Talent Management, Learning, Benefits and Compensation, etc. This is invigorating for the field and there are so many passionate technologists in our space trying to help us develop great solutions for our issues.

I’ve been studying the technology in our space for the past decade and I’m always amazed that the process of what we need and what’s available is ever-evolving. The pandemic while awful, has opened up the world of work in ways we’ve been pushing to make happen for decades with little movement, then this tipping point happened and it’s like HR is being reinvented all over again.

It’s an amazing time to be in our profession!