This week I had the pleasure of attending the HRO Today Forum in Philadelphia as SmashFly was selected as a finalist for their iTalent competition.

The conference provided some great content around employer brand, fostering positive RPO relationships and the talent acquisition technology ecosystem.  Here are snapshots and observations from sessions that I was able to attend.

Strategy dictates success in RPO

A common theme among all the sessions were how a RPO relationship provides value by enabling organizations to execute and build a talent acquisition strategy that helps them consistently meet their talent needs.  Strategies that they would be hard pressed to support fully internally in most cases.

Integral to these strategies, is about understanding the touch-points between your RPO partner and internal talent acquisition teams and determining the best ways to involve other internal business partners from leadership to hiring managers into your recruiting process and strategy.  It’s about leveraging the expertise and knowledge of your RPO partner to build a better strategy that provides more transparency into your hiring needs and the external labor market and the initiatives that need to be executed to marry the two.

A great example of this was Linde’s session on their partnership with Randstad Sourceright.  By taking a critical look at their strategy and through use of Randstad Sourceright’s labor market data, they’ve been able to transform their workflows and overall recruiting process to improve transparency into their talent acquisition efforts.  This has led to improved hiring manager satisfaction, reduced time to fill, increased candidate quality and a more accurate visibility into the realities of the labor market.


Evolving Technology Ecosystem for Talent Acquisition

On Day 3, Elaine Orler provided a great keynote on the changing ecosystem of the Talent Acquisition technology space.  It was great to see the changing nature of her technology models for talent acquisition over the years dating all the way back to 2009.  In viewing the massive change that happens annually, it was clear that technological innovation in the space is moving at a faster clip than at any other time.

With this innovation, it’s also becoming focused on the front end or pre-applicant side of recruiting.  With recruitment marketing solutions popping up at different stages and to combat different needs such as sourcing, mobile, social, job posting, employment branding, etc.  Although there are also a number of innovations appearing in the assessment and background checking space as well.

The clear point is that your ATS is not suited to solve many if not any of these processes.  It’s still integral for compliance and management of applicants but it’s ability to find, attract and engage candidates is mostly lacking.

The other point that is quite interesting is that on average organizations use 8-12 technology solutions to execute and measure their recruiting strategy.  A number that seems awfully high as we look to get clear insight from our data and make the execution of our strategy easier for recruiters.  And to Elaine’s point, if the systems you use seem fragmented and disparate on your side, how do you expect to provide a seamless experience for the qualified candidates that go through your recruiting process.

Elaine also shared her 3 most important future trends with the audience, which were CRM, Mobile and Video.  These 3 trends will continue to push how organizations engage with candidates and internally with one another.


iTalent competition heavy on the Analytics

The iTalent competition brought together 5 of the most innovative technologies together to present to the audience with SmashFly, Joberate, Jibe, Glassdoor and 1-Page all giving their 7 minute pitch.  With the illustrious Matt Charney as MC, who did a great job.

SmashFly CEO Mike Hennessy kicked off the competition with his vision for Total Recruitment Marketing and shared the dramatic shift that is happening for organizations looking to make recruiting a competitive advantage.  The way many recruit is broken because it focuses on recruiters managing the entire funnel and doesn’t have the technology Platform needed to centrally execute and measure.  With recruitment marketing professionals focused solely on getting qualified candidates to apply and the centralized analytics to continuously improve, organizations will begin to more consistently meet hiring goals.  I will make sure to share video of the presentation once I receive it.

All 5 companies presented well and on common thread with them all is the focus on using analytics and data to improve strategies and overall selection outcomes.  Analytics and Big Data will continue to be a huge focus for technology companies as we continue in 2014.

In the end there could be only one winner of iTalent.  After tallying of votes, Joberate won the competition with SmashFly and 1-Page a close 2nd and 3rd respectively.  In the end, we were proud of the result and happy to share our vision with the HRO Today crowd.

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