At the HR Tech conference this week, a panel of recruiting executives moderated by Xroads Founder and Chief Navigator Gerry Crispin took questions on their experiences implementing technology around the globe.
A key theme: the fact that recruiting is still essentially a social, people-oriented business. “We’re in a people business and when we take the people out of a people business that’s a slippery slope,” said Chris Hoyt, PepsiCo’s director of global talent, engagement and marketing .
Talk Less and Listen More
“Technology without people can be pretty worthless,” Hoyt said later. There are a lot of tools we can use, but “if you’ve implemented a solution without adoption, you’ve failed.” Recruiting leaders shouldn’t just pick up the next big thing, they need to work with the people involved to find what really works.
When you’re going global, one of the first things you learn is to talk less and listen more because “all of the great ideas don’t come from North America,” said Kent Kirch, Deloitte’s global director of talent acquisition and mobility .
Deloitte has a global recruiting council made up of 25 leaders from around the world who help the decisionmakers understand what’s going on in different countries and regions as they work towards technological and procedural changes, Kirch explained. Sometimes this takes longer, but the outcomes are better because people are engaged in the process not just told “this is what you have to do.”
Both recruiting leaders and technology companies need to spend more time talking to the people using the tools, and then use what they learn to make those tools better, said Manulife Vice President of Global Talent and Recruitment Maureen Neglia.
When Technology Is an Obstacle
Cisco HR Partner and HR Director Danielle Monaghan says she has been frustrated with efforts to integrate non-Western characters into the recruiting system. Chinese and Japanese characters communicate deeper meanings that are lost when you transliterate them into Western characters.
This means that as a company you can never actually get a person’s real name into the system, explained Mongahan, which is “disrespectful.”
Neglia says she’s is concerned that many recruiters get so worried about collecting and handling the data involved in the recruiting process that they push candidates away and create barriers to connecting with them and moving them through the hiring process.
Social Networks Are Communication Channels
The panelists all touched on how their companies have been integrating social media into the recruiting process, and an attendee asked how that worked and whether it really helped in their recruiting efforts.
“Good recruiting has always been social,” Hoyt responded. Social networks are just communication channels, another way to connect with people, including job candidates, he explained. At PepsiCo, they are trying to return to that place where recruiting was human and based on genuine connections, and social media is part of that effort.
“We wanted to be where our candidates were and get involved in the conversation,” said Hoyt. They used a candidate survey to ask where people go to look for information about a potential employer, and it helps steer them to social networks where the people they want to connect with are spending time.