Consumerization of IT Going Full Throttle in Talent Acquisition

There are a few conversations dominating the blogosphere these days: candidate experience, employer branding, social and mobile talent acquisition. However, one topic that has gotten little-to-no attention outside of the supremely nerdy circles is consumerization of IT.

In layman’s terms, the consumerization of IT has two facets: On the surface, it entails the pervasion of consumer technology (social media, smartphones and tablets, etc) in the workplace. Digging deeper, it involves the transformation of enterprise technologies to look and feel more like consumer technologies.

Sounds fun, right? It’s actually very interesting – and it is the macro trend that’s behind other micro trends in talent acquisition like the aforementioned social and mobile talent acquisition. The basis of both trends is the leveraging of consumer technologies to improve performance of enterprise processes. In fact, the consumerization of IT is even affecting talent acquisition in more subtle ways like candidate experience. Candidates who encounter a clunky, arduous application process are less likely to complete their application. They want the same amount of real-time feedback and interaction they can get on social networking websites like LinkedIn and Facebook.

Although you may not be giving consumerization much consideration this year, I guarantee solution providers are. A prime example of this can be found in today’s (Feb. 12, 2014) announcement from SmartRecruiters.

SmartRecruiters Announces Mobile Hiring App

SmartRecruiters, a hiring platform that combines free recruiting software with on-demand services “to make hiring social, collaborative, enjoyable and easy,” announced the release of a mobile hiring app for the iPhone.

The app – simply named “Hiring” – carries over the same ease of use that customers value in SmartRecruiters’ desktop version. By providing the core functionality that hiring managers and recruiters need to manage hiring workflows on the go, the app aims to facilitate faster, more effective hiring.

One of the more interesting features is a personalized feed (think Facebook or LinkedIn newsfeeds) that highlights activity within the user’s network: Alerts when candidates express interest in open jobs, notifications when a recruiter rates or submits a candidate, or updates when a team member responds to one of your candidate reviews. The “HireLoop,” as it’s called, keeps users up to date on developments in their network so they can respond and engage wherever, whenever.

In today’s hyper-connected world, that’s exactly the kind of edge that can make all the difference with top talent. “We all know how difficult it is to grab the attention of top talent,” says Maksim Ovsyannikov, SVP Product at SmartRecruiters, “so when they apply you must engage and keep them interested without having to re-engage them later. By collaborating in real time, hiring managers can engage and hire more effectively and much faster than ever before.”

A Lesson From Consumer Mobile Tech

While many solution providers are focused on making mobile versions of their products, SmartRecruiters has taken a completely different route by creating a mobile app. They’re not offering the full functionality of their hiring platform, the proverbial kitchen sink. Rather, they’re offering only the tools hiring teams need stay on top of things, and keep them moving along.

More importantly (at least for the sake of this conversation), the app looks, feels, and operates like a consumer app. By focusing on must-have functionality and wrapping it up in a sharp user interface, they are hitting on the most important components of consumerized IT. They’ve created an app that hiring teams will likely want to use – which you don’t often come across in enterprise technology.

Anyone who has read up on mobile apps (games, in particular) knows that this is the ultimate goal of mobile app developers. The more people want to use an app, the more positive reviews you’ll get, increasing downloads and boosting revenue. My first impression of SmartRecruiters’ Hiring app – influenced by the unique vision and approach to talent acquisition technology their leadership team has exemplified – is that this app will prove as valuable to hiring teams as one would hope.

The question, as I see it, is whether or not other solution providers will follow suit. We already have mobile apps for video interviewing tools (e.g. HireVue and WePow). I was also just briefed on a white label onboarding app developed by Appical. Will we see more applicant tracking and candidate relationship management apps emerging? Only time will tell. I, for one, am interested in seeing how well SmartRecruiters’ Hiring app takes off.

What do you think? Drop me a line …

Kyle Lagunas, Talent Acquisition Analyst, Brandon Hall Group

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