HR Technology Q & A with Jeremy Ames

With the HR Technology Conference (#HRTechConf) in full gear this week, we're inviting our Next Official Bloggers and other experts to offer their perspective on how technology is impacting the profession today -- and their predictions for the future.

The following is a Q & A with Jeremy Ames:

Q:  What do you think is the biggest  misunderstanding about social recruiting?

JA:  This biggest misunderstanding about social recruiting has to do with the word "network." I put "network" in quotes because they've burgeoned out of control to the point where they aren't really networks any more. They're people databases. Peruse your LinkedIn connections…you'll end up asking yourself, 'who are some of these people?' For instance, consider the person you met at a conference 3 years ago, haven't interacted with since and probably never will. We've built audiences, and social recruiting can undoubtedly tap into those audiences, but we have to be careful not to assume that everyone coming from these "networks" is truly connected the opportunity at hand. 

Q:  Now that everyone is using technology to find candidates, how can organizations use technology to attract them?

JA:  Imagine a rule that required organizations to match the way they present themselves externally via technology (social media, website, job boards) to their internal culture. They'd either attract the candidates that identified with that culture, or if they found themselves not attracting enough, or the right talent, they’d enhance the culture. In short, use technology to sell yourself to talent, but not to oversell yourself. 

Q:  Is an applicant tracking system still the single most important piece of technology an HR pro can have? Why or why not?

JA:  I have to say ‘no’ to this one. Don't get me wrong, you want to get the right people in the door…but in the end there have always been plenty of ways to make that happen absent technology. In the employee lifecycle, it's what happens from offer letter to termination that matters more. Getting the most out of your associates, while making them feel like they're getting the most out of you as an employer, that's #WorkSpaceNext.

Q:  What area of Human Resources profession (recruiting, OD/Training, comp/benefits, employee relations, etc.) do you see technology affecting the most in the next 5 years?  

JA:  I'm going to be optimistic and say OD/Training. It has been neglected so long that the whole concept of how to deliver it has changed drastically since most companies even touched it. I'm guessing that if it happens, the movement will be driven by the employees who demand that they have the tools and skills to improve at their job and in their lives.

Q:  Technology is enabling HR to look at how their strategy affects organizational performance, in addition to HR-specific problems. To what extent are today’s HR professionals able to step outside the box that has traditionally defined their role?

JA:  HR professionals have undoubtedly heard this one before…time and time again. The answer has a direct correlation to my last one about OD/Training. In short, they're not able to step outside that box unless they either have the propensity to do it on their own, or they've been trained to do so. Hopefully we've learned that you can't expect a profession to change without shepherding it through the process.

Q:  What are the advantages of combining both HR professionals and technology process experts to design software that will address HR’s future challenges?

JA:  The advantage is that you end up with software that checks off more of the boxes in terms on functionality and ease of use. That said, it's only an advantage if you have the right HR pros talking to the right techies. One side needs to anticipate how the system will need to support the business and the other will have to translate that correctly into a system that meets today's needs and anticipates the future Workspace.




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