hrt_logo_2lFor leaders in talent acquisition, the HR Technology Conference in Las Vegas next week is a prime opportunity to get a pulse of the state of recruiting technology – both from the perspective of solution providers and from some of the most successful hiring organizations. While you could certainly learn plenty from this year’s Recruiting Track, there are sessions on other tracks that would be worth your while.

In preparation for my own attendance, I’ve curated some of my favorite sessions from the agenda – as well as outlining some of the important conversations and terms being discussed this year.

HR Key Terms & Conversations

A lot is changing in the world of talent acquisition these days. While micro trends vary by industry and company size, there are some macro trends that are having a much larger impact on the space as a whole. Many of the sessions will probably touch on these bigger trends, so I’ve penned some high-level notes to give you context:

  • The War for Talent. The continued popularity of sites like LinkedIn and Glassdoor is giving people unprecedented access to information about new job opportunities, salary and earnings potential, and more. Meanwhile, recruiters are aggressively pursuing passive candidates with targeted outreach. Together, these two trends are driving competition for talent to an all-time high, and employers are struggling to retain their most valuable employees—and attract the best candidates.
  • Candidate Experience. One of the most important trends in talent acquisition has been the shift in focus from efficient hiring to quality hiring. As many employers have learned, however, high-quality candidates expect a high-quality process—wherein recruiters and hiring managers are transparent, responsive, and treat candidates like valued customers throughout the various stages of the talent acquisition lifecycle. These expectations—or, more specifically, an employer’s ability to deliver—have come to be known as the candidate experience, and a primary driver of success in talent acquisition.
  • Social Talent Acquisition. Social technology has swept through the enterprise, driving deep change in the way we do business—and the way we attract and engage talent. Social talent acquisition started as a sourcing method, as recruiters began leveraging social networking websites (primarily LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook) to share open jobs and find and interact with qualified candidates. Today, it has evolved to encompass all stages of the talent acquisition lifecycle, especially as they relate to employer branding, recruitment marketing, and candidate experience.
  • Mobile Recruiting. Mobile technology is also driving big changes in talent acquisition. The number of mobile users continues to grow, as does the number of candidates using mobile devices to search and apply for new job opportunities. As a result, mobile-friendly career sites with simplified application processes have become an essential component of successful talent acquisition strategy. Though mobile recruiting is still in its infancy, it’s quickly become a primary consideration for employers and solution providers alike.
  • Recruitment Marketing/Employer Brand. Rather than mere process administrators, today’s most successful recruiters are leveraging consumer marketing principles to attract and engage talent across various channels and mediums. Recruitment marketing techniques vary, but often entail a blend of email and content marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and candidate relationship management (CRM). Additionally, cultivating a healthy employer brand is an important part of recruitment marketing. The look and feel of company career pages, the language used in job postings, and overall candidate experience play a critical role in employer brand. As employer brand affects a company’s ability to attract talent, it’s become a primary focus for many employers in recent years. 

An Expanded Track for Talent Acquisition

Conference attendees interested in learning new use cases for talent acquisition technology – and how leading companies have leveraged technology to improve talent acquisition performance – will have their fill at this year’s conference. The problem, though, is that there are only five slots for breakout sessions across eight tracks.

I’ve managed to narrow my favorites down to six (a serious improvement from the 12 I was struggling with yesterday). In the end, I’m going to flip a coin to decide. This year’s co-chairs – Bill Kutik, David Shadovitz, and Steve Boese – have outdone themselves. 

Monday

  • 11:00a to 12:15p – Hilton Checks-in With Digital Recruiting Technology (Recruiting). An interesting case study on how Hilton has used social, mobile, and video technology to transform their talent acquisition process. Of particular interest is how they’ve delivered a better hiring manager experience.
  • 3:15p to 4:30p – Procter & Gamble Assesses and Hires for Life (Talent Management). Stepping away from the Recruiting track, this is one of the more compelling breakout sessions on my list. For a company where all positions middle management and higher are filled internally, you’d better believe they have a sophisticated assessment process.
  • 3:15p to 4:30p – Keen on the Small Screen: The Power of Mobile for Candidate Attraction (Recruiting). Full-disclosure: Ed Newman is a friend of mine, so I may be a bit biased here, but this session promises to be a real doozey. Forget what you think you know about Mobile Recruiting, and come ready to be schooled by the masters.

Tuesday

  • 11:00a to 12:15p – Novo Nordisk Turns Its Candidate Pool Into a Talent Pipeline (Recruiting). In this session, Jennifer Bennett, VP of Talent Acquisition at Novo Nordisk, talks about how she broke the company of their reactionary recruiting habits, and used CRM tools to transform a static resume database into a thriving talent pipeline.
  • 11:00a to 12:15p – The Recruiting Technology State of the Union (Strategic View). Stepping away from the Recruiting Track again, this session is not your average overview of the vendor landscape. Elaine Orler, Co-Founder & President of Talent Function, will take attendees through the good, bad, and ugly of talent acquisition technology.
  • 4:00p to 5:15p – A Primer on How GE Learned About Strategic Workforce Planning (Workforce Analytics). If even the title of this session intimidates you, you should probably attend. Workforce planning continues to be one of the most difficult components of talent acquisition. With a growing skills gap, however, it’s becoming more critical to ensuring continued success. Definitely a must attend – especially for folks in medical, manufacturing, and high-tech.  

I’ll be spending much of my time in the briefing room this year, but would love to meet with any of you who are also attending. Feel free to contact me via email: kyle.lagunas@brandonhall.com

Kyle Lagunas

As the Talent Acquisition Analyst at Brandon Hall Group, Kyle heads up research in key practices in sourcing, assessing, hiring, and onboarding - as well recruitment marketing, candidate experience, and social recruiting. Through primary research and deep analysis, he keeps today's business leaders in touch with important conversations and emerging trends in the rapidly changing world of talent. Kyle has spent the last several years offering a fresh take on the role of technology as part of an integrated talent strategy, and focuses on providing actionable insights to keep leading organizations a step ahead. Previously the HR Analyst at Software Advice, he is regular contributor on SHRM's We Know Next and TLNT, and his work has been featured in Forbes, The New York Times, Business Insider, Information Weekly, and HRO Today.

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