James Mayes

Posts Tagged ‘Human resources’

Why doesn’t HR care about disruptive technology? #hrtecheurope

In Conference, Human Resources, Recruitment, Software Development, Start-ups on October 30, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Over at HRTechEurope last week and as per the previous year, one of my highlights was the iHR contest. A handful of young tech firms with the potential to disrupt get a time-limited “pitch n demo” opportunity, with points awarded from analysts and VC’s. All obviously get some great exposure and while the winner is by no means guaranteed success, it certainly can’t hurt.

I know I can fall prone to living in a social/recruiting tech bubble and that my news feed is heavily US/UK biased.  I therefore take this as a great opportunity to look at things either from the wider HR market, or from regions which perhaps I don’t watch as carefully as I might. There were certainly a couple of competitors who stood out for me:

  • IntuneX of Finland have some fascinating ideas which I want to research further
  • ScioMino (home side advantage, team from the Netherlands!) have a social data mining product – currently available for companies only, but I’d buy a personal license as soon as it becomes available (possibly end of this year I hear…)
  • TalentBin of the US were worthy winners (imho, based on the tech they’ve built, the solidity of business model and the commercial progress made) – if I was a dev-focussed recruiter, I’d buy this over almost any other product)

Actual companies aside though, my main observation concerns those not in the room.  The contest was held in the main auditorium.  I reckon there were around 1,000 people at the conference…  but a large majority were hanging around exhibitor booths and the bar in the conference hall. In the main auditorium for the contest, less than 200.

These were companies from the US, Middle East and Europe who plan to disrupt traditional HR technology over the next 2-5 years. The vast majority of the attendees were either HR buyers or corporate vendor/exhibitors. Those outside the room chose to miss out on a focussed, rapid-fire view of the future.

Are they so secure as to believe the status quo will ensure? If I’d been in either group, I’d have been scouting future purchases, acquisitions, competition, etc. As it was, the bloggers and independent consultants showed the most interest.

Technological change has never hit this pace before. Established markets such as travel, publishing and music are being forced to reinvent in accelerated timescales, from threats they’d never imagined.

HR as an industry needs to wake the hell up and take a good look at the future when the opportunity is so beautifully presented.

Blog: Submarines, flying, context and Talent Acquisition!

In Human Resources, Recruitment, Social Recruiting on January 10, 2012 at 11:15 am

Reading Wired on the train home this evening, ambling through an article on AI. Great reference to the old question of whether computers can think. Dykstra explained it thus:

“Whether computers can think is like the question of whether submarines can swim. In English, we say submarines don’t swim, but we say aeroplanes do fly. In Russian, they say submarines do swim”.

I experienced a similar translation issue when in the US a few years back. In the UK recruitment market, we speak of Vacancies – yet in the US, this refers most often to empty hotel rooms. Continuing this debate with a colleague, I question whether such difference are purely a dint of language. Initially, with the fly vs swim debate, there’s an organic difference. “A ball can fly, if hit hard enough” – but swimming implies natural movement, something organic in origin. Is this the explanation, some gut reaction that attaches to one kind of movement more than another? Nope. On further debate, it’s more a combination of context and historical comfort with the construct.

Talent AcquisitionMy real interest lies more with words and phrases that are relevant to my professional life right now. Human Capital is one. Talent is another. I see both becoming ever more commonplace, and mixed feelings about them. I have my own strong views on both, but as I’ve explained previously, sometimes I want to use this forum to gauge the reactions of others. A kind of sanity check, if you like.

With that in mind, I’d really love your first reactions to these two, both from an employer / recruiter perspective and also considering them as a job seeker. Do you have a Talent Acquisition team? How would you feel if you were hired (or indeed rejected) by such a team? Does Human Capital accurately reflect the way your organisation thinks of people? Or would you rather a more personal approach was taken?

All views gratefully accepted – comments as always unmoderated, but please, if you disagree with someone else, do so respectfully…

Blog: Turning one recruitment hotspot into three?

In Community, Human Resources, Recruitment, Social Recruiting on September 23, 2011 at 1:05 pm

I’ve had some great exchanges with my new colleague Gautam in India recently, one of which sparked off by an article he produced discussing talent communities.  I wanted to share some of this.

Gautam’s starting point was a Venn diagram, showing two groups of potential candidates – those who have the skills to work for your company and those who are interested in working for your company. The overlap of both gives you a great recruiting hotspot.

However, we’re interested specifically in what can happen if we bring a third group into play – existing employees.  Most referral programmes try to use existing employees to bring in new candidates with the right skills – so the overlay we see here gives us two recruiting hotspots, not just one – by using existing employees to create an interest in working for your company where previously, there was none.

Let’s go a step further though, and look again at that first group. They’re interested in you.  That’s huge.  I can’t count how many times I’ve heard the phrase “hire for attitude, train for skills”. This is where we see huge potential.  If we can help companies leverage the skills of current employees and maybe some of their existing training material (and don’t tell me all of its commercially sensitive – I’ll buy that argument for maybe a third of what companies have, but not the whole amount!) then maybe we can create three recruiting hotspots.

This gives you an indication of what we’re building at BraveNewTalent.  If you want the concept pitch or the tech demo, do get in touch.  If you want to read more about this kind of thinking, I’d strongly suggest exploring Gautam’s blog!


Blog: 5 key recruitment lessons

In Human Resources, Recruitment, Social Recruiting on June 9, 2011 at 9:15 am

After many years working on various parts of the recruitment industry, there are a few choice lines that I hear crop up regularly.  These are the ones I see proved right time and again…

  1. People join a company, but leave a manager
  2. Hire for attitude, train for skills
  3. Make connections on-line, but build relationships offline
  4. You have two ears and one mouth. That ratio is a usage guide.
  5. Success lies in the part between what the hiring manager wants, and what he tells you he wants.

Feel free to disagree – or better still, let me know what you prefer!

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