HR Tech Conference Highlights through a Talent Acquisition Lens

Everyone knows the HR Technology conference is a whirlwind of activity with numerous traditional and emerging solution providers showcasing their solutions to HR Professionals.  This year’s conference in Chicago was no different. Providers outdid themselves with extensive booths, presentations, and strategy. shutterstock_398047129

As the principal analyst for talent acquisition for Brandon Hall Group, I get a unique perspective of what is going on in this market. I had 30-minute sessions with 32 solution providers in the media room, plus, when I could pull myself away from the media room, I had the opportunity to speak with others in the Expo Hall.

Here is a brief sampling of what I learned during my sessions.

  • Lots of new mobile applications: Finally, providers are realizing the importance of making their solutions mobile and intuitive. SmartRecruiters conducted demos of its Hiring App for Android, which enables recruiters and hiring managers to collaborate with each other, review and rate candidates based on their resumes, and engage with candidates in real time. SmartRecruiters also spoke about a new Field Recruiting App, which helps recruiters and hiring managers capture resumes/applications at events/in store/in campus. Both mobile apps are integrated into the applicant tracking platform. Other providers speaking about their hiring manager apps include Jobvite, iCIMS, and Greenhouse.
  • Research galore: Lever has just released their “Little Grey Book of Recruiting Benchmarks” which contains insights based on data across millions of candidates considered by 1,000 Lever customers. Here are just a few of their data points: the median time-to-hire for engineering is 38 days; for customer service it is 27 days. Additional metrics include average number of interviews, average interview time, and more.

Glassdoor’s chief economist, Dr. Andrew Chamberlain, just published research on interviewing difficulty and found that the more difficult job interviews are “statistically linked to higher employee satisfaction across six countries: U.S., UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, and France.”  One possible explanation, per Glassdoor, is that one interview may not be sufficient to screen and qualify the candidate.

  • Great sourcing information: Smashfly provides clients with source of influence data to help them understand the influence of all their investments that touch candidates, and not just the last touch point that leads the candidate to the online application.

Entelo Stack uses algorithms to rank resumes based on parameters set by the organization. Newly introduced, Entelo Stack Mobile enables recruiters and hiring managers to either approve or reject candidates with a swipe on the mobile phone (similar to Tinder). Entelo also has a unique name anonymization feature to reduce unconscious bias.

  • Talent acquisition solutions for niche markets: Several organizations I spoke to do a great job on providing talent acquisition solutions for niche markets; Hireology and BirdDogHR are two of those companies. Hireology focuses on the franchise market and helps ustomers with predictive analytics to recruit, interview, assess, and hire the right candidate. BirdDogHR focuses on skilled trade across a variety of industries (construction, government, engineering, etc.), and provides them with quite a few solutions from an applicant tracking system to onboarding to learning and performance management. BirdDogHR even provides outsourcing solutions for this market.

It is great to see so much innovation in talent acquisition!

Daria Friedman, Principal Analyst, Brandon Hall Group





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Mike Cooke

Chief Executive Officer of Brandon Hall Group Mike Cooke Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Mike Cooke was the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of AC Growth. Mike held leadership and executive positions for the majority of his career, at which he was responsible for steering sales and marketing teams to drive results and profitability. His background includes more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, management, and operations in the research, consulting, software and technology industries. Mike has extensive experience in sales, marketing and management having worked for several early high-growth emerging businesses and has implemented technology systems to support various critical sales, finance, marketing and client service functions. He is especially skilled in organizing the sales and service strategy to fully support a company’s growth strategy. The concept of growth was an absolute to Mike and a motivator in starting AC Growth, in order to help organizations achieve research driven results. Most recently, Mike was the VP and General Manager of Field Operations at Bersin & Associates, a global analyst and consulting services firm focused on all areas of enterprise learning, talent management and talent acquisition. Tasked with leading the company’s global expansion, Mike led all sales operations worldwide. During Mike’s tenure, the company has grown into a multi-national firm, conducting business in over 45 countries with over 4,500 multi-national organizations. Mike started his career at MicroVideo Learning Systems in 1992, eventually holding a senior management position and leading all corporate sales before founding Dynamic Minds. Mike was CEO and Co-Founder of Dynamic Minds, a custom developer of software programs, working with clients like Goldman Sachs, Prentice Hall, McGraw Hill and Merrill Lynch. Also, Mike worked for Oddcast, a leading provider of customer experience and marketing solutions, where he held a senior management position leading the company into new markets across various industries. Mike also serves on the Advisory Board for Carbon Solutions America, an independent sustainability consulting and carbon management firm that specializes in the design and implementation of greenhouse reduction and sustainability plans as well as managing the generation of carbon and renewal energy and energy efficiency credits. Mike attended University of Phoenix, studying Business Administration and Finance. He has also completed executive training at the Chicago Graduate School of Business in Chicago, IL.