For the Best Tech Tools, HR May Want to Look to the Consumer Side of Things

For the Best Tech Tools, HR May Want to Look to the Consumer Side of Things
From Recruiter - December 7, 2016

Its an exciting time for HR technology, with new software, systems, and platforms arriving at a steady pace, but unfortunately, few HR departments get to take advantage of themost interestingof these developments. Instead of being on the cutting edgeof new technologies, many HR pros are limited to systems that serve their core functions, like HRISs, ATSs, payroll software, and so on.

In part, this is because few HR departments have people dedicated to keeping tracking of all the new tech that emerges, which makes it difficult for them to cut through the noise and determine which tools can actually deliver value to their organizations.

[HR departments] are bombarded with many different platforms and tech providers reaching out to them, says Annie Hammer, global technology and analytics director for the HR outsourcing company Pontoon. It can be hard to tell whether something is a shiny new objector if it is really something that is going to make a difference in their organization.

Part of what Pontoon aims to do is help HR departments understand what tech is out there and how it can fit into a given departments workflows and systems. That way, HR departments can move beyond their basic functionswhich are critical, but do not tap into adepartments full potentialand start focusing on things like candidate and employee engagement, which can create serious value but often go overlooked.

And in order for HR departments to move beyond their basic functions and elevate their value to stakeholders, Hammer says one of the most important things HR pros can do is start looking at whats going on in the consumer technology space.

If we want to engage with candidates or employees in a medium they are accustomed to, we really need to take a look at whats happening in the consumer side of things, Hammer says. How do people buy on Amazon? How do they interact with their friends or family members? We need similar platforms that enable the specific behaviors theyre accustomed to. Thats really the direction that were seeing things go when were partnering with clients.

Consumer Tech in HR in Action

As many in the HR and recruiting space are well aware, the power dynamics between companies and candidates have shifted in recent times. Thanks to more transparency and a wealth of information on the internet, candidates can dig a lot deeper when it comes to evaluating potential employers. The result is that candidates are becoming more involved in that process, so its more about the candidate buying the company, versus the company buying the talent, Hammer says.

We really need to be able to cater to those people by leveraging tech that allows them to ask questions, get enough information, and provide feedback so its not a one-way conversation, she adds.

This is one such scenario in which consumer-focused technology has been helpful to HR. For example, Hammer says that one of the tools Pontoons clients have used for employee and candidate feedback began as a platform for giving feedback at restaurants in real time.


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