What happened in Vegas… 2021 HR Technology Conference showcases diversity, innovation and people empowerment
Each year, human resources professionals get together at the HR Technology Conference & Exposition to network and catch a sneak peek at the latest and greatest innovative hiring solutions coming out of the HR tech space. Leoforce had the pleasure of exhibiting at the event this past September in Las Vegas. And with this event being one of the first in-person HR conferences in a while (with sensible COVID precautions), it was exhilarating to meet and talk face-to-face with customers, prospects, and others in the industry — and even give away a few iPads.
Finally, we all got out from behind our Zoom meetings and got a personal, hands-on feel for what’s going on in the industry. Like any other year, the focus was on attracting, rewarding, and retaining the next generation of talent. But there was a new urgency this year, with digital transformation picking up speed and top talent being more in demand and more selective about how and where they work.
In our conversations there, a few key themes and challenges were on everyone’s mind.
Diverse recruiting and inclusive workplaces
“Companies have come to realize the value of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce, and they are looking for practical, affordable solutions,” noted Anthony Cassio, chief revenue officer with Leoforce. We launched one very significant advance: a suite of new diversity options built into Arya (add link to video, or embed just under this para) that helps organizations meet their individual diversity goals. Rather than constantly paying for premium diversity job boards, Arya customers can, at no extra cost, increase the diversity of their pipeline in their everyday sourcing tool and target candidates based on gender, ethnicity, and veteran status.
Engaging “deskless workers”
Misty Dobbins, senior director of product management at Leoforce, explored with attendees the challenge of recruiting so-called “deskless workers” who may not have a profile on the major job sites. “Many of the hourly/shift/deskless workers so vital to our economy don’t have resumes, and may not have email or smartphones,” Misty observed. “So how do you better engage this mass of candidates and keep them engaged once they are onboarded?” Everyone’s focused on how to bring deskless workers into the recruiter’s universe of talent, and helping them better connect and stay engaged after hire.
Enhancing employee experience
Most of the technology that employers use today focuses on tactical goals: completing transactions, delivering information, enforcing rules and standards, and optimizing processes.
Anthony identified a clear trend that increases the value of these tech tools. “The technologies presented at the event seem to be taking major steps forward to not only complete or automate transactions, but also help employees make better, more informed decisions.”
Anthony’s joining the Leoforce team earlier this year is a perfect example of technology helping our own Leoforce executive recruiters make better decisions. He didn’t even know he was open to a change in his career, but the Arya recruiting tool used People Intelligence to look at the subtle patterns in his work history and highlighted him as a “hot prospect.”
“Arya knew I was an active candidate even before I did,” Anthony shared with an attendee. This shows the power of technology in transforming a passive candidate into an ideal hire.
AI is enabling better decisions after hiring as well. Some of the solutions we saw surface learning and development modules when needed during employment, while others focused on supporting employee mental well-being. Using AI to automate these employee touchpoints helps HR professionals devote more time to human interaction, something AI isn’t designed to do.
Practical, affordable AI recruitment tools
“AI was everywhere, in every solution,” noted Anthony. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. The surprise came when we found that most of the more innovative hiring solutions were enterprise platforms built to support large companies. But Anthony assured attendees, “We at Leoforce are focused on delivering affordable, easy-to-implement solutions for every recruiter, from hiring managers and one-person operations to global HR teams and staffing agencies.”
At HR Tech, we demonstrated how Arya can integrate with the customer applicant tracking system (ATS) through the use of open application interfaces (APIs). Attendees were intrigued that they could improve their sourcing productivity without ripping and replacing their ATS or disrupting their workflows.
For infrequent hirers, Leoforce offers an on-demand, pay-per-job option called Arya Pulse. Instead of paying for agency services and premium job boards, hiring managers can save money by using the AI in Arya Pulse to get qualified candidates from multiple sites and even save time by outsourcing initial candidate engagement.
Technology innovation is strong in HR technology, and much of it is being driven by smaller startups with fresh ideas. Misty had a chance to swing by the Startup Pavilion and meet with some of them.
LoopingBack.ai, for example, is working to bring employee collaboration into the new digital, remote workforce with surveys, quick video stories, and ways to reduce meeting time and increase efficiency.
Blossom is using technology to make professional coaching accessible for all employees, not just executives. Or, as Misty Dobbins likes to put it: “Trainee and apprenticeship-type programs are making a comeback.” This is especially important today when trained talent is so hard to find and companies need to focus on in-house training and mentoring.
HackerRank has done some great work in matching job performance to specific degrees from specific educational institutions. The study uncovered the universities that were producing graduates performing in the top percentile in relation to various developer skills. The company then leverages AI to add higher weightings to graduates from those universities in recruiter job searches.
The impression among attendees was clear, though: startups are an essential player in our shared goals of addressing the barriers recruiters face every day
We were happy to be there!
We at Leoforce enjoyed being there and interacting with so many industry experts. Our broad and deep experience helped us understand how HR tech is enabling people to get better at their job every day, from sourcing, engaging, and hiring to employee engagement.
We met many new people who stopped by to see how our diversity options are addressing one of today’s top recruiting challenges cost-effectively. Two lucky draw winners also got to walk away with iPads.
Arya by Leoforce is here to help you target the right talent from anywhere in the universe of talent and avoid losing them in a very competitive job market. You can always stay connected to your candidates and develop a close and authentic relationship with your future workforce. With diversity options built in, you wouldn’t need to spend an extra dime to meet your diversity goals.
We’re working hard to deliver the solutions recruiters need today, and we look forward to joining everyone to showcase our solutions at next year’s HR Tech.
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