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What we learned at Unleash, the world’s most influential HR tech conference

December 21, 2023
4 min read

The feeling you get after attending an industry event is incredible. You built new connections. You shared ideas and learned from fellow professionals, many of whom are experiencing the same challenges and headwinds. You leave feeling inspired, invigorated and ready to jump into action implementing our newfound knowledge.

But if you’re anything like us, it doesn’t take long for reality to set in. Soon enough we’re right back in our routine. The learnings we were so inspired by a few days ago feel distant and harder to execute.

It’s important to remember that there’s no time limit on improvement, and often, gradual change can be more effective in the long run.

It’s been a few months since iCIMS partnered with UNLEASH World 2023. Here are our learnings from the world’s most influential HR tech conference – and how you can continue implementing them into 2024 and beyond.


With AI hiring comes great responsibility

It’s no surprise that AI and skills-based hiring is at the forefront of talent acquisition this year. AI roles like machine learning specialists and data scientists are in demand worldwide (they’re both in the top 10 list of jobs expected to grow fastest in the UK between 2023 and 2027). AI is the latest innovation in business proving to improve operational efficiency, increase productivity and cut costs.

AI may not be a new topic. But what is, is the industry’s approach. Leaders are placing emphasis on how we can execute it responsibly, and it’s clear that to be successful, AI hiring must begin and end with people. At UNLEASH World, Andrea Wade and Darren Crowder presented their approach to AI hiring, highlighting the importance of a human-centric method that balances both hard and soft skills.

While technical proficiency is paramount in driving companies’ AI strategies, it is essential that this alone is not viewed as the key to success. Soft skills like creativity, communication and problem-solving are imperative in improving a candidate’s ability to learn and transfer skills – which are necessary when it comes to adapting to new technologies like AI. To execute it in the safest way, AI must be used as a tool to augment the things that make us human, rather than replace them.

We recently launched iCIMS Copilot, the GenAI-powered recruiting assistant purpose-built for talent acquisition. Leaders like you are using it to accelerate hiring velocity, reduce costs and build a competitive edge. Implementing AI in your talent acquisition strategy is the way forward when it comes to staying ahead of the competition.


It’s never too late to improve the candidate experience

Candidates have higher expectations than previous generations – and employers no longer hold all the power. Making your candidate experience a positive one is essential in shaping a lasting impression that resonates beyond the application process. This was prevalent throughout UNLEASH 2023. with company culture and connection top of mind.

For candidates interacting with your employer brand, your career site often serves as the first point of contact. Luckily, data from our European Talent Experience Report reveals that most employers do, in fact, understand the importance of an effective career site. Thirty-three percent of corporate career sites rated 5 out of 5 in terms of ease of use. And when asked how easy it was to find the career page on a corporate site, nearly half (48%) of candidates rated 5 out of 5.

Top talent wants simple tools that showcase a real representation of what it’s like to work for you. And this is especially true when it comes to hiring younger talent. iCIMS Class of 2023 data shows that 36% of UK final-year university students specifically look for a diverse workforce represented on career sites and social media pages when doing their research about you.

In 2024, thriving employers will have one thing in common — their career site attracts candidates by promoting exactly who they are. It’s never too late to look at the experience candidates have with your employer brand. Your career site is the first place to start.


People analytics is bringing HR closer to business

Data is everything when it comes to iterating and improving – and this is especially true when hiring your winning workforce. Each year, people analytics become more advanced helping us understand our candidates, people and talent acquisition strategies better. But what if it could help us understand the entire business better?

A recent survey of over 1,000 companies showed that if an average business improved its employee experience from the bottom quartile to the top quartile, revenue increased by more than 50% and profits by nearly as much. This year, leaders are looking even further at people analytics and how it connects with overall business analytics.

iCIMS Analytics harnesses unparalleled insights at every step of the recruiting journey so that you can leverage key reports to get a full-picture view of metrics like open positions, source of hire, cost per hire and time to fill.

At the end of the day, we know that hiring the best talent boosts the bottom line. And a strong people analytics strategy is key in achieving this.


HR tech for the future

Each year we see new tech, trends and innovations hitting the market. Talent acquisition moves fast. And this year has been no different.

It’s never too late to take the first step in building on your talent acquisition strategy. Learn how you can better your recruiting tech and build a business case for change.

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About the author

Rachel Findlay

Rachel is responsible for bringing the iCIMS brand to life with compelling copy in the Northern European market. Based in Scotland, Rachel has a knack for storytelling and enjoys writing global content. After earning her undergraduate degree at Edinburgh Napier University, Rachel spent a number of years marketing products and services in the tech and recruitment spaces leading her to iCIMS.

When not writing, Rachel enjoys playing trad music on her violin, learning new languages and spending time with friends and family.

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