Attendees at the 16th Annual HR Technology® Conference in Las Vegas got to “hear the stories from the practitioners themselves,” as moderator Gerry Crispin put it at Wednesday’s “Panel on Global Talent Challenge: How Can Recruiting Technology Span the Globe?”
Sharing their experiences and challenges — from needing to be better aware of recruiting cultures and characteristics to finding ways to communicate more effectively with candidates and recruiters in non-English countries — were Chris Hoyt, director of global talent engagement and marketing for PepsiCo; Maureen Neglia, vice president of global talent and recruitment for Manulife Financial; Kent Kirch, global director of talent acquisition and mobility for Deloitte; and Danielle Monaghan, HR partner director, technology services for Cisco Systems.
In one country where Neglia and her team rolled out a recruitment-management system, they were confounded by pockets where adoption was simply not occurring. “We had completely missed the fact that technology was not in the hands of recruiters” in every corner of every region, she said. Some were literally following candidates around on bicycles, she added.
Lesson learned? “Identify what it will take for recruiters in every region to succeed with your new system,” said Neglia. “Automate where it makes sense, but do it strategically, and don’t automate where it doesn’t make sense.”
And go slow, step by step, said Kent. In Deloitte’s upcoming projects, “we’re going to turn on capabilities in stages so we know people are comfortable with each one before we go on,” he said.
In terms of applying social media, know what you’re planning to do with it going in, cautioned Crispin, principal and co-founder of CareerXroads. Follow the conversations, “the collaboration of questions and answers, and see where they’re coming from,” he said.
Hoyt agreed. “Those social-media vessels are just more channels of communication,” he told attendees.
Going futuristic for a spell, Crispin shared one vignette about a meeting he attended recently where an employer “actually brought out a robot intended to eliminate recruiters.” The robot demonstrated its ability to read body language and mine individuals, making real-time assessments — clearly, “raising broad issues for global recruiting down the road.”
In response to Crispin’s anecdote, Hoyt shared a gem: “When you take the people out of the people business, you’re on a slippery slope.”
Asked for their parting advice to other HR practitioners struggling with global-recruiting issues, each panelist gave the crowd some additional gems to chew on.
“HR professionals are so worried about every little data point, they end up pushing job candidates away,” said Neglia. Global recruiting, she added, is about “constantly conversing, with candidates and your global-recruiting teams.”
And simplify, said Monoghan: “Don’t ask job candidates to fill out 40-page questionnaires. Have your recruiters pick up phones and talk to the candidates.”
Lastly, said Crispin, do what one recruiting professional he knows did. “Go through your own process; apply for your own job at your own company,” he said. “You really should be testing [the system] yourself, as a job candidate to find out what needs fixing.”