The customer is always right – especially when it comes to what they want to see in the product they use every day. In this case that product is the iCIMS Talent Platform, and iCIMS has always been committed to taking our clients ideas and feedback, and turning them into our newest features. While our annual surveys, client user groups, Product Experience Panel, and daily interactions with clients help us garner an idea of our clients are looking for, iCIMS has also created the Customer Advisory Council (CAC) – a two day conference held each year where an elite group of clients get together with the iCIMS team to discuss ideas and improvements for the system as well as upcoming trends in HR.
This Monday, September 10th marks the start of iCIMS’ 9th Annual Customer Advisory Council . The CAC gives us the ability to work face to face with both everyday users in the system and their executives to not only hear what new features they would like to see, but also things that they feel might not be working to their full potential. It’s a simple, proactive way to keep a pulse on how clients are using the system, ways that we can better the user and candidate experience, and share with our clients where iCIMS is headed as a company.
This year’s CAC is slated to allow for even more free flowing conversation between clients and iCIMS employees. With the largest CAC head count to date, new conference tracks, smaller break-out sessions, and one-on-one meetings all being hosted at iCIMS’ brand new HQ in Matawan NJ, we can’t wait to see the feedback we gain!
The other day, I set aside some time to listen to HRHappyHour Episode 128, titled The Consumerization of HR. Having a background that has little to do with technology, I have found myself taking roles in companies that are very much technology driven. What I’ve consistently found in each of these roles is that you do not have to be an expert in technology to work in technology. In some cases, being a consumer with a passion for detail is just enough. While it takes the work of experts from various areas to build a successful product, I like to believe that consumers also play a big role on how technology evolves. So, as soon as I saw this title, I thought it might be right up my alley.
As a consumer, we all know that there are certain things that just catch on and spread like wildfire. Over the course of the last 10 years, social media is one of them, and I know we’ve only hit the surface. According to Constellation Research, 75% of the workforce is mobile – with 45% of that workforce retiring in 10 years. Those retirees are making room for a new wave of workers; most, who I’m sure, choose to make social media a part of their daily lives. With more than 800 million active users, the average Facebook user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events.
A few years ago I was tasked with working on a project that defined employee policies associated with social media usage. Those guidelines seemed more like restrictions. Shortly after, the company reversed its position, largely due to the fact that the Marketing Team jumped on board and began to create a social media team, with the goal of increasing the brand’s social presence. The guidelines that once stood as restrictions were refreshed and we were on a new task to actually build the organizations’ social media presence from within the company – starting with the employee base - our brand ambassadors. Designated brand ambassadors were identified and asked to lead the way and set an example for the rest of the organization to follow suit. While some thought this might open an area of risk for the organization based on what employees may post while on the job, the majority of employees took this as an opportunity to spread a good word about the organization.
With everything that is new, there is always an associated or perceived risk. However, as time marches on some of these items that were once risky, become the norm. I’m sure there were few people in 1903 who expected the Wright Brother’s invention of the first successful airplane to evolve into full fledged fleets of 747s with Direct TV access. While it’s hard to compare the airline industry to the infiltration of social media, it’s safe to say that social media is here to stay and will continue to expand our options for driving actionable plans in various sectors.
As organizations continue to find useful ways to put these personal and professional networks to work, I look forward to seeing how the landscape continues to evolve within HR. How does your organization utilize social media to build your employee brand and employee engagement levels? What successes have you seen by incorporating social media into your recruitment plans?
If you're into the newest tech gadgets or even if you turned on the TV this last week, you might be aware of a new tablet-based product that's supposed to remake the way we interact with the internet. Whether Apple's new creation will be a momentary trend in the evolution of the web, or a true game-changer, is yet to be seen; either way, as the role of the web gets larger, web applications are expected to cover more ground and look even prettier. This isn’t likely to change.
I'd like to pose a question in this post: Considering the above, how can Web 2.0 improve in the next few years? Like the certainty of death and taxes, graphic interfaces and performance will always be expected to improve. But in what way? iCIMS has always treated feedback as a cornerstone of its customer service. We work with both clients and non-users to keep improving the Talent Platform. In fact, iCIMS wouldn’t be celebrating its 10-year anniversary without some input and improvement along the way and we have no plans to stop. (If I’d stopped listening to advice when I was 10… well…)
Plenty of people have a grandstanding vision of what they see in the future of applicant tracking and software-as-a-service. I’ll start.
Personally, I would like to see SaaS grow alongside the same principles while retaining an openness that’s different for every user. Some systems might lock users in without the option to change or add to the software, but I think a healthy mixture of high-configurability and ease-of-use should be the de facto design choice. This configurability means that power users who would like to change their software a bit more can utilize a vast quantity of options while users with less tasks to perform in the system will have a much more defined set of tools for use – still powerful, but not confusing. All within one system.
We offer a configurable system in the Talent Platform, and that will only improve as the needs of the marketplace and our customers change. So what would you like to see? Where do you see Web 2.0, SaaS, or HR Software in the next few years? Please comment below!