Techsploration: Skipping the Weird Science of Recruiting Technology

“Hey Siri, how tall is Mount Kilimanjaro?”

“You have no appointments for tomorrow.”

I love new technology, especially in recruiting. I love getting demos and getting reminded that all of our jobs are temporary because we’ll be replaced by robots very soon. I’ve read glowing case studies, big funding announcements, and coverage of new releases. 

And I’m skeptical. 

I want to believe. No recruiter wants to manually go through thousands of resumes every week! I have been that recruiter. If there were a better way, I know every recruiter would be shouting it from the rooftop. I’ve talked to many of you and know you want technology to solve the stickiest problems you face as a recruiting organization.  

Not Another AI Talk

So, when I was thinking about what to talk about at ERE Digital (May 25-27), I wanted to talk about topics of interest to the people I talk to in recruiting. 

Sure, it would be fun to talk about the European Union’s proposed regulation on AI technologies and its impact on HR technology. (By the way, John Sumser covered that in his most recent column, and there are some great parallels to GDPR regulations that you must read about if you’re following AI trends). But for many organizations, AI tools outside of the solutions they already have — or easily plug into what they have — are inaccessible. 

For smaller companies, very few providers have useful tools outside of application ranking and matching. For larger companies, internal talent acquisition and technology providers have to navigate a maze of technologies and red tape to get anywhere beyond a trial. 

Are there success stories? Of course. But cutting through the hype and figuring out what I could talk about with confidence was daunting. Why chase down unicorn stories that sound unbelievable when there was already something better?

Focusing on the Real 

Nobody needs to hear me prattle on about how things should work in talent acquisition technology. I get to talk to you every month about that here. We can dream together and dream of a day when a bot named Harvey fills reqs and deals with angry hiring managers while you sip tropical drinks on the beach. 

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At the upcoming event, I want instead to bring on two practitioners who could talk about the real in talent acquisition technology. What does real innovation look like? Where are solutions actually making a difference? How are they looking holistically at the way technology, people, process, and culture all play together in getting real jobs done? 

We have two recruiting leaders from very different organizations ready to give the real down-low on what’s making an impact. Erin Stevens is a corporate recruiting leader for Jasper, Ind.-based MasterBrand Cabinets, a company with more than 14,000 people that has been around since the 1950s. Richard Cho is head of recruiting for Robinhood, the financial services disruptor with more than 1,000 people based in Silicon Valley. 

While the workforce, company, geography, industry, and approach may be different, what you’ll find is that there is a sharp focus on pushing their recruiting technology to the limits and taking practical steps to meet their organization’s goals. 

No Siri Fails Here

I can’t wait for this discussion later this month. Talking shop with talent acquisition leaders is one of my favorite things and getting to, “No really, tell me what actually happened?” is when keeping it real gets real. 

My promise is no AI talk, no Siri fails, and hopefully just a sliver of my take on how all of this is coming together across recruiting teams. 

I hope you’ll join me, Erin, and Richard at ERE Digital for our discussion, “Skipping the Weird Science: TA Pros Reveal How They’re Actually Using Tech in the Real World.” Get 10% off your ticket price when you register here.)

Lance Haun is the practice director of strategy and insights for The Starr Conspiracy, where he focuses on researching and writing about work technology. He is also a former editor for ERE Media, broadly covering the world of human resources, recruiting, and sourcing. 
 
He has been featured as a work expert in publications like the Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, MSNBC, Fast Company, and other HR and business websites.
 
He's based in his Vancouver, Wash., home office with his wife and adorable daughter. You can reach him by email or find him off-topic on Twitter.

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