Published: Sep 27, 2018
Time to read: 6mins
Category: Insights

6 Takeaways for HR Leaders from HR Tech 2018

HR Tech 2018 is over, and the HR technology community is back at our desks. As we dig into daily tasks again, now is the time to look through session notes and see what we can apply to propel our teams to greater success in talent management.

Some of my top takeaways from conversations with industry analysts touch specifically on trends in talent acquisition and learning technologies. Others are broader signals resonating across the market that are—or will be—driving innovations in HR practices, processes, and technologies.

For those who missed HR Tech this year, here are six takeaways gleaned from the experts.

1. The Reign of Candidate Experience Continues

For talent acquisition leaders and recruiters, one of the overarching themes at HR Tech was candidate experience. Gartner experts in particular emphasized the importance of branding the application process and making applying interactive and even fun.

From their very first interaction on your site, job seekers are developing a relationship with your company—one that will continue (if they get the job) in the context of their career or (if they don’t) perhaps as a customer or client.

The best corporate websites—including GSK, who took top honors for its careers section, among other factors—make applying for a job more like choosing an adventure.

2. Total Workforce Solutions

Google “contingent workforce.” You’ll get more than 10 million results. Now search “gig economy.” 21.5 million. As signals go, that’s a pretty strong indicator of why companies are looking for talent acquisition and talent management solutions that can give them a handle on their total workforce.

By definition, total workforce solutions integrate the sourcing and management of contingent and direct-hire staff. They let you do things like

  • See where your temporary and SOW labor are sitting within the organization
  • Create and manage requisitions for contract labor and direct hires within the same system
  • Deliver an onboarding experience for employees and contingent staff that reinforces your culture
  • Manage certifications and other compliance needs for all staff, regardless of category.

By consolidating recruiting and talent management activities, enterprise organizations are looking to achieve efficiency and boost productivity.

3. Smart L&D Strategies Align with Brain Science

At the highest level, corporate L&D can be divided into cognitive skills and behavioral skills.

Think facts and technical skills—like product information or how to complete an expense report—and soft skills like interpersonal communication and collaborating with diverse colleagues.

According to experts from Amalgam Insights, cognitive and behavioral learning involve different parts of the brain. Cognitive learning demands attention, working memory, and mental focus. But acquiring behavioral skills demands interactivity and rewards.

To achieve learning objectives, L&D strategies must account for these fundamental differences and use them to drive learner journeys and learning technologies. This is key to finding the right blend of learning tools like scenario-based learning, video, e-learning, and gamification.

What is blended learning? Get the facts from gomo learning. And see why Imogen Casebourne, 2017 Learning Designer of the Year, recommends going beyond eLearning and workshops.

4. Video Learning is on the Rise

Chief Learning Officers, take note: Industry experts are doubling down on the power of video to support L&D.

Applications for video learning span the employee lifecycle:

  • Day-in-the-life videos can attract candidates more likely to fit your company culture.
  • Onboarding videos can make new hires feel welcome and accelerate their productivity.
  • Product training can get sales teams trained quickly on new launches and features.
  • Easily accessible videos—say, via QR code on an automotive part—can provide refresher training for technicians right when they need it.
  • Employee-generated videos capture tacit knowledge from those retiring or moving on, making that knowledge searchable and enabling collaborative conversations.

The value of video comes from its well-researched ability to boost retention and the now ubiquitous technology—and comfort with that technology—for creating video.

And the most promising learning management systems integrate video with user-friendly authoring tools so employees can generate and access content for informal, continuous learning, peer-to-peer coaching, and microlearning.

5. Service is the New Must-Have Feature

Talking with industry experts from Bersin by Deloitte, I heard a lot about an increased demand for robust services from HR technology vendors. While the immediate topic was learning technology ecosystems, the trend applies across the HR tech market.

As happens in a maturity tech market, modern talent acquisition, talent management, and learning systems offer largely similar features and functionality. And where they differ, vendors can tout a roadmap for closing gaps and matching capabilities of competitor solutions.

From a features angle, it often looks like a wash. So this is where great support and value-add services can shine.

As companies evaluate new technologies or consider renewing with their incumbent, experts are seeing things like onboarding support, ticket resolution speed, and overall service experience as deciding criteria. Clients need and expect a partner to support them through implementation and beyond, with support for integration and enhancements, close collaboration and consulting.

See how PeopleFluent’s Talent Management Essentials delivers out-of-the box compensation or performance management solutions in as little as 6 weeks.

6. Best-of-Breed is Back

In the long-running David vs Goliath debate across the HR tech market, the momentum is shifting toward point solutions.

According to IDC and others, HR leaders want more control over their technology stack. Recruiters want tools designed for recruiting. Compensation managers want tools designed for compensation.

Similarly, HR system needs vary by industry. For example, retail and quick-serve restaurants need talent acquisition systems that can handle high-volume recruiting. And financial services organizations need systems to manage complex compensation plans.

HR leaders want and need to choose the right technology stack for their needs. And companies are increasingly seeing the value of point solutions that specialize—and of HR solutions designed with integration of best-of-breed software in mind.

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At PeopleFluent, we keep a close eye on HR tech thought leaders so we can share insights with our clients and the HR community as a whole. Get more complimentary research and insights from leading analysts to help you accelerate HR processes, improve the employee experience, and elevate your employer brand.

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