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3 Big Takeaways from the 2018 HR Technology Conference
Monday, Oct 08, 2018

It’s the most wonderful time of year at iCIMS! Thirty-four employees have just returned from the 2018 HR Technology Conference in Las Vegas. From September 11 through September 14, iCIMS had a major presence in the HR Tech exhibition hall – but it didn’t stop there. Over the course of the four-day conference, iCIMS employees identified the following industry trends:

  • Job seekers want more than a streamlined, consumer-centric candidate experience.
  •  Candidates want potential employers to invest in their careers and identify opportunities for growth and advancement from the get-go.
  •  As organizations move towards leveraging emerging technology to help them achieve just that, new concerns and responsibilities have surfaced, making recruiting more complex than ever before.

So, what can employers do in today’s tight labor market? First and foremost, knowledge is power! Utilizing data and analytics to inform recruitment and marketing efforts is key in ramping up results. In understanding the latest technologies, such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and beyond, HR professionals can better grasp the scope of their responsibility to not only provide a strong candidate experience, but to protect their candidates’ data.

Several of iCIMS’ executives participated in speaking engagements on these industry-wide issues and trends, alongside global brands: 

HR: Always Be Marketing

First up, Susan Vitale, iCIMS’ chief marketing officer, participated in a panel discussion moderated by Katrina Kibben, founder and principal consultant of Three Ears Media. Other panel members included an iCIMS partner, Katherine Mobley, First Advantage’s global chief marketing officer, and Courtney Martinez, Houlihan’s Restaurant’s vice president of talent & HR.

This panel discussion focused on the massive impact that an organization’s marketing efforts can have on its recruitment process and results. They also discussed how recruiting is consumer-facing, and shared insights on how their teams are leveraging technologies like TextRecruit, for example, to provide a positive candidate experience through text messaging, live chat and automated recruiters. Here are so some standout quotes from Susan Vitale:

“There's a big compliance play with texting candidates, as well. One-to-one communication can be better managed with regards to compliance with the help of text messaging.”  

“Another big area everyone should be doubling down on – Google! Employers need to make sure they're including enough information and optimizing their listings to connect with relevant candidates.“

If the Shoe Fits…How Foot Locker Tied the Loose Knots in Recruiting          

Next up, Josh Wright, iCIMS’ chief economist, presented with Robert Perkins, vice president, global management at iCIMS customer, Foot Locker.

This session was dedicated to staring intel on the state of the U.S. economy and job market, and how Foot Locker has leveraged iCIMS to enhance its recruitment process to combat the complexities of operating in several different markets throughout the globe. Here are some key takeaways from the presentation:

“We are living in the golden age of search. Google is changing the way we search on the internet, and that is now moving into the labor market” – Josh Wright, chief economist, iCIMS

"One of the things I love about our new ATS platform is that our candidates have a direct line of sight to see where they are within the process." – Robert Perkins, vice president, global talent management, Foot Locker

Two Decades (and Two Years) Later – Why is Hiring Still So Hard?

On the final day of learning sessions, Susan, participated in another panel discussion moderated by Kris Dun, chief human resources officer and partner of Kinetix. Other panelists include Chris Cho, Monster’s chief product officer and Matt Singer, Jobvite’s vice president of marketing.

This session explored the notion that despite today’s technological advancements, recruiting remains a major challenge for many organizations. Here are some memorable quotes from the session:

"The composition of the jobs we have within each sector has shifted dramatically. There aren't enough people to fill the roles that we need to be filled." – Susan Vitale, chief marketing officer, iCIMS

"Recruiting is both an art and a science... recruiters are the ultimate life hackers. From a technological standpoint, we need to understand what they go through day in and day out. This is where AI and machine learning comes in." – Chris Cho, chief product officer, Monster

"There's a big data privacy component to the candidate experience that has long gone ignored." – Susan Vitale, chief marketing officer, iCIMS

Awesome New Technology for HR

Each year, the HR Technology Conference recognizes six solutions or services as Awesome New Technology for HR. This year’s winning innovations focused on the experience – whether it was for employers, employees or job seekers, it was all about working towards a strong experience.

As the offer process is a crucial, but often-overlooked component to securing the right talent, iCIMS Offer, a dedicated end-to-end solution for the job offer process, was among the six finalists named an Awesome New Technology for HR. As a result of this recognition, Al Smith, iCIMS’ chief technology officer, stepped on the big stage at the Palazzo’s Grand Ballroom to showcase iCIMS’ latest addition to its TA suite.

And just like that, another year is in the books. Congratulations to all involved – this year’s conference was a success, and the future of HR is bright.