This article is a summary of Hung Lee’s presentation during the ClubTalentsoft that took place in Amsterdam in June 2018.
He summarised the most important technology trends in recruitment, outlining the possible changes and consequences for the future, whilst sharing some brilliant tips on how you can prepare your organisation for them.
Get ready for some predictions and master tips.
Hung Lee argues that technology trends are changing our relationship with;
- our employers and
- our decision making.
Every single one of those is, or will be affecting recruitment.
Changing relationship with data
Back in the good old days when you hand-delivered your job application on a printed sheet of A4... (For the younger generation: this isn’t a joke. People really did that!)
You never thought about what would happen to your personal data did you? Were you concerned that someone would “mine” your data (with a pickaxe?) or misuse it in any other way? You probably just hoped that it wouldn’t directly end up in the paper shredder or used as a drawing sheet during boring meetings.
The post-GDPR world
It’s different today to say the least. All that you hear about is the importance of online privacy and security.
The European Union’s response to privacy questions, aka. GDPR, started an endless stream of discussions about the ownership of data and has changed the landscape of the Internet - once and for all.
Lee argues that it’ll cause a fracture of the Internet - something that we hoped would remain universal.
GDPR shapes the way we think about data. There will be different ways to understanding it, depending on the ruling regulations of different countries. Some providers overseas have already restricted their services to non-GDPR countries. They have given up business opportunities rather than taking the risk of possible legal consequences of improper handling of user data.
Needless to say, recruitment is immensely affected. Here’s Lee’s overview of the changes.
- Databases need to be converted into communities now. GDPR forces organisations to talk to their contacts and candidates. You have to delete your candidates’ data unless you get their consent to store it. There are lots of technologies that help you do that, such as Candidate ID and Hello Talent.
- A return to “talent communities”: When people identify with a profession they tend to join communities. Not those launched by companies though. They would much rather join brand-agnostic groups that are formed on a volunteer basis. Lee sees two social media platforms increasingly dominating the communication: Facebook and WhatsApp. LinkedIn groups seem to have lost their competitive edge.
- Rise of the digital embassy: GDPR will cause organisations to push responsibility of storing personal data to third-party platforms. This will give way to the rise of platforms like LinkedIn career pages, Glassdoor and Stackoverflow.
- The importance of reciprocal networks will increase: If you connect with people on a social network, then you’re expected to have a discussion. This is another way how platforms like LinkedIn will benefit from the new regulation.
- Return of old tech - A surprise: email newsletters are back. One-way communication still works as people are open to receiving information.
These changes will cause a potential organisational shift. Organisations will see an increase in the need for people in the following professions or with these skills:
- Community managers (audience builders)
- Brand advocates/evangelists
- Content curators/creators
- Inbound marketers
Changing relations with discovery
What’s the first thing you do if you want to learn something new? Open up one of the lexicons resting on the bookshelf? Ask your best friend? Call your mom?
You’d probably google it - ‘Discovery’ equals ‘Google’ in the online world now.
Google has an answer to everything. However, according to Hung Lee, there has been a massive shift in online habits over the last 10 years.
Web has transitioned from read-only (1.0) to read-and-write web (2.0). We users became more interested in the content that we create instead of institutions’ content. User-generated content took the lead and caused an immense growth in available online content.
It became too much. Even too much for Google to index.
What Google failed or was too late to index, has been picked up by other organisations. This is how Skyscanner, Booking.com and Indeed became data aggregators in specific fields.
Indeed.com became “the google for jobs” before the real Google for Jobs. An aggressive and innovative market strategy enabled them to collect and capitalise on super-aggregated recruitment data.
Their reign however, seems to have ended in 2017, when Google launched the real Google for Jobs. Their intention is clear: to reclaim the aggregator role in recruitment data. Google have made several agreements with strategic partners such as Career Builder, Glassdoor, Midget and Monster - painfully leaving Indeed out of the game.
A new world order seems to be forming in online recruitment, and Google is setting the rules. If you want to be part of the game, you need to follow them.
Google for Jobs: how does it work
Google has created a schema, a specific technical set-up, that job pages need to follow. The rules are strict, yet simple: unless you create your vacancy pages like that, they won’t be indexed. Unless they are indexed, they will never be featured in Google for Jobs.
Therefore, your most important task is to make sure that developers understand how they need to structure your jobs.
When the technical set-up has been done correctly, career pages will get a big boost from Google for Jobs. This will be the Big Career Page Revival.
Google’s de-duplication guideline (canonical indexing) will make sure that duplicate content effectively disappears from the web. Credit, indexing and thus discoverability will be given to the original source of the information: the career website.
As Lee said:
“You’re probably going to have to start putting your money in your career website.”
Lee predicts the following related trends:
- Career page builders will emerge
- ATSs will include CRM-like features.
The difference between an ATS and a CRM: ATS’s only track a person when they have already applied. CRM’s on the other hand, are able to track prospects - before they actually apply for a position.
This will give a competitive edge to companies in the race of finding the right talent. ATS’s are already developing CRM-like features. If you’re buying one, make sure it includes these features.
The related organisational shift in people and new skills:
- Career pages managed by TA/HR, not marketing any more. You’ll need a savvy data person in your recruitment team.
- Questions will arise about employer branding. Who owns it?
Changing relationship with the desktop
Lee foresees major changes in how we will use desktop in the future as a consequence of Microsoft’s aspirations. It seems as if they just might have some new ideas that’ll we’ll see coming to light.
Lee pointed out a few significant acquisitions by the organisation: they have recently purchased Skype, GitHub and LinkedIn. He also noted that Microsoft passed Alphabet (Google’s mother company) in revenue in 2018.
So what’s going on?
- Microsoft already dominates the office technology field. Now they are aiming for dominating the modern workspace. For example, they are now developing teamwork tools instead of individual work tools.
- Rapportive-like features in Outlook such as shopping cart and Resumé Assistant in MS Word (linked to LinkedIn) might indicate Microsoft’s aim for making a move into the field of recruitment. Can these features be precursors to a matching product? If MS manages to structure job data, they can do something powerful like Google with Google for Jobs.
- Microsoft has entered into the ATS business - think of Microsoft Dynamics 365.
Lee’s advise on how to prepare your organisation for new skills and new people:
- Double down on LinkedIn
- Increase emphasis on online collaboration
- Hire not just individuals but individuals with a network. They will bring that network into the company. You’ll need it.
Changing relationship with our companies
First of all, every recruiter should read Deloitte’s report on Human Capital Trends 2018, Lee suggests.
What’s going on?
- Workforce is no longer looking for “just an employee”.
- There is a transition going on towards a modern relationship with our companies, where people, collaboration and well-being become the focal point.
The changes include the following:
- Tools are appearing to find flexible labour: Toptal, Upward, LinkedIn Profinder, Hacker Rank, Geektastic
- Collaboration tools such as Dropbox and Stackoverflow are appearing
- Tools that support workforce well-being are gaining room
- Insight tools on workforce eco-system are being used more widely. Organisational network analysis is becoming more important, which reveals real relationships within your network.
- There are entirely new ideas for organising labour. Questions arise like “Why aren’t we just all networked freelancers instead of working for a company?”
One of the new skills that organisations will need in order to respond to this change is workforce resourcing.
Changing relationship with decision making
As an industry we’re seeing that data is becoming more and more relevant when it comes to making informed decisions. That however leads to a new problem, what is the point where too much data leads to inactivity and how can we process it faster?
The emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is helping to alleviate this problem as it gives companies the capabilities to process huge amounts of data in a short of period of time. An emerging technology but one that we see has huge potential.
Our conclusion from Hung Lee’s session
Technology is forming our lives in intricate and indirect ways. There are tech giants out there leading the changes and setting the pace of innovation. New needs arise in the wake of the changes, which organisations need to adopt to, both organically and in terms human resources as well.
Agility will make or break an organisation. Talent is becoming increasingly valuable and scarce, and recruitment needs to find new, creative and effective ways to be the first to grasp it.
The best way to prepare yourself for the race is by staying informed. Start by subscribing to our blog, follow thought leaders in recruitment, talk to peers and keep looking for effective ways of working. Embrace new ideas and... get comfortable with technology.
Do not fear; you are not alone in this turbulence. Everybody in recruitment is searching, looking and learning. The world of recruitment is opening up. It’s exciting; make the most of it!