The 2017 HR Technology Conference was packed with more than 400 exhibitors and thousands of attendees. It was my fourth time attending HR Tech, so by some standards I’m still an HR Tech newbie. But in these four years, I’ve seen the Recruitment Marketing category explode.
Recruitment Marketing Product Innovation—I counted nearly 50 exhibitors offering products and services for Recruitment Marketing. It reflects the growing need to improve how we market our employer brands, reach the right talent through all the digital noise and provide a candidate experience that treats candidates like customers. It also reflects that the innovation in recruiting is coming outside of the traditional applicant tracking system.
Below, I write about three demos I saw at HR Tech that are worth checking out: Brazen, Talentegy and Textio.
Recruitment Marketing Business Value—I was excited to see three awards going to Recruitment Marketing technology providers! It puts a much-needed spotlight on recognizing the business value that Recruitment Marketing products are bringing to the talent acquisition tech stack. Awards went to SmashFly, Textio and Beamery.
HR Tech 2017 Awards
Two out of the 10 winners of Human Resource Executive’s Top HR Products of 2017 Awards were products touting to help you deliver better Recruitment Marketing results:
- SmashFly Analytics captures applicant and candidate experience data to identify where the talent pipeline is healthy and where it can be improved.
- Textio provides an augmented writing platform that analyzes the language in job postings and uses machine learning and predictive analytics to recommend improvements to help you fill jobs faster. (See my write-up of my demo with Textio below.)
In addition, one of the four finalists for The Next Great HR Technology Company was recruitment marketing platform provider Beamery.
- Beamery offers a platform that combines recruitment CRM and marketing automation to source, attract and engage passive candidates.
It was great to see Recruitment Marketing technology receiving industry recognition and earning its place in the TA tech stack.
HR Tech 2017 Demos
I wish I’d had more time to visit every booth and see all the Recruitment Marketing solutions, but here are three demos I wanted to share with the Rally Recruitment Marketing community.
For most candidate journeys, all roads lead to Apply. Everything we do as Recruitment Marketers to raise awareness for our employer brands, to engage candidates through social media, to attract them to our career site and job descriptions—it all culminates with the CTA (call to action) to Apply Now. Typically, that application triggers a lengthy, resource-intensive and impersonal recruiting process managed by the ATS, and is where the candidate experience often breaks down.
But what if we offered candidates an alternative path? Rather than Apply Now, we invite them to Chat With Us at a scheduled time, to learn more about the job and our company, and so that we can learn more about them. It would weed out those candidates who are firing off dozens of applications without much consideration, and it would demonstrate a level of interest because the candidate is ready to speak with a recruiter.
Brazen does this by providing an alternative CTA through live online events, in an attempt to turn the Apply process on its head.
On the job description, instead of or as an alternative to Apply Now, candidates can opt to attend an upcoming virtual career event. When candidates attend, they can chat live with a recruiter. Brazen’s platform condenses the time to assess and screen candidates, and moves them to the interview stage faster. The platform also can be used to hold online meet-ups, which can be a strategy to attract and engage passive talent not ready to apply for a job.
How will you prove ROI?
Brazen has case studies showing that candidates that attend a Brazen live online event are twice as likely to reach the interview stage. That could make a big impact on presenting hiring managers with a slate of candidates faster, decreasing your overall time to hire.
I think Brazen is worth exploring for three scenarios: 1) high-volume positions like call center reps, to build a talent pipeline, 2) hard-to-fill positions, to engage passive talent through meet-ups, and 3) Millennials or other talent pools that are Mobile-first, to provide them with a chat-based experience. (Check out Brazen)
If you’re responsible for the candidate experience, or simply care about it (you do!), then check out newcomer Talentegy. It can identify and help you fix where your candidate experience is broken. Talentegy combines technologies used in Marketing and Customer Support into a clever solution designed specifically for the HR systems that power your candidate experience, including your career site, recruitment marketing platform, CRM and ATS.
To implement Talentegy, you will need to add their SmartAlert Tag into every web page that a candidate may touch. It’s very similar to Google Analytics. You can get help from your HR IT / HR Ops person, or Talentegy will guide you.
Once the SmartAlert tags are in place, you immediately will see what’s happening in each step of your candidate experience through the Talentegy dashboard. You can see if candidates are clicking on career site pages with errors, or if they’re abandoning your application process and why.
Talentegy doesn’t just alert you to the problem, it also shows you the problem. It will play a video from the candidate’s viewpoint of their actual keystrokes showing what they were doing when they encountered the issue or dropped out of your conversion funnel. This is similar technology that’s used in software-as-a-service (SaaS) products to help the Customer Support team replicate a user problem. Now you can replicate what’s frustrating candidates.
What happens after you identify what’s broken? Talentegy includes a collaboration tool that assigns owners to fix each issue and tracks progress to get issues resolved. It’s like Slack for HR.
Talentegy is also a backup support system for your recruiting technology vendors. You can reduce the finger pointing by sharing the videos with your vendors and hopefully resolve problems faster.
How will you prove ROI?
The ROI will be measurable by reducing errors in your career site and application process, by increasing the view-to-apply conversion rate and by getting more positive candidate reviews.
Imagine your team meetings when you start reporting on the number of candidate experience issues resolved and whether your candidate experience is red-yellow-green. And if it’s yellow, who internally are you not getting support from, or which vendors have dropped the ball. As you manage internal and external resources to get your candidate experience to “green,” you’ll be a hero. (Check out Talentegy)
As a Recruitment Marketer, chances are you’ve been asked to improve your company’s job descriptions. Or even if you haven’t been officially asked, you’re rewriting them anyway because they stink. There is an art to writing a job description to attract the right personas and convince someone to Apply. But now there’s also a science to creating job descriptions that result in hires.
This is what Textio provides. Its machine learning algorithms analyze the language in job descriptions and identify what keywords are most effective at making a hire for a particular job in a particular city. If you get writer’s block and spend 15 minutes thinking about how to phrase a key sentence, now you can let Textio tell you the best words to choose that will resonate with candidates.
The interface is super easy to use – it highlights word choices and you simply click to select from a few options which are statistically proven to result in a hire. As you click and improve, Textio’s score for the job description increases. The closer you get to 100, the faster your role will fill according to Textio’s predictive engine, which is based on its analysis of 300 million job posts, and adding about 10 million job postings and hiring outcomes each month.
One of the most interesting insights that Textio brings is whether your job descriptions are skewing more masculine or feminine. This could be a powerful platform to support your diversity hiring initiatives, because it uses data to ensure neutrality in the language you use to market your jobs.
How will you prove ROI?
Textio’s customers, on average, reduce their time to hire from 55 to 51 days (17%) and get more qualified diverse candidates (case studies show that Textio attracts 25% more people qualified enough to interview, and 23% more women). Textio will help you demonstrate ROI. They will compare the results of the Textio-improved job descriptions to your other ones – you just need to provide them with access to ATS applicant data by hiring stage.
What Textio doesn’t do (yet) is determine whether the hire was a good fit. But I have a feeling they’ll get there. (Check out Textio)
If you were at HR Tech, what did you think of this year’s event for the Recruitment Marketing category? Send me a comment below. Thx!