Can professional recruiters & HR not care about technology?

Azmat Mohammed, event blogger for this week's Innovation in Recruitment Summit, tells us why the HR managers of today have to be tech-savvy.

Technology is without doubt a key transforming factor in business and information. HR and recruitment are major beneficiaries of this revolution that keeps on giving. Getting in the game is not really what a business needs from its HR team, it needs strategists.

There are so many approaches to how technology is being used in HR and recruitment which deliver varied results. The aim is firstly to be aware and stay aware of changes, while secondly creating your own strategy that fits your business need.

You don’t have to be award winning at everything; you just need to know what your business needs are and have a plan to get there. So you may be weak in some areas, but stronger in others, but it’s all part of your carefully considered strategic plan.

Don’t buy what you don’t need

Data plays a huge role in supporting good HR decisions, so to be more effective you have to be an adopter of technology and in some cases an early adopter. Many solutions don’t offer the complete picture and will never be everything you need in one box. You need to compose your solution and build the answer to your data need.

I remember when I first saw an iPad. I knew I wanted one but never knew why, it just looked so cool, and this is the trap you do not want to fall into. If you go to any recruitment or HR conference, every other stand is selling shiny new IT and data solutions. Working out which is the right solution is very difficult, and could even lead to an expensive mistake. The key is to know what you need in advance in terms of features and data, yes; I am back to the strategy again. Technology moves at such a pace that it can be hard to know what to invest your time in. You need to find a solution to meet your needs, not the other way round.

Don’t be afraid to ask

Peer to peer networking and learning has never been easier to get involved with. Learn to engage with you peer group and find out what they are using and what to avoid. If you want an honest answer, ask a user not a seller.

I know one particular applicant tracking solution’s CEO. When I see him he tells me how he is doing and it’s all great news, taking over the world and all that jazz. Whenever I read about software in the recruitment forums I frequent his solution is always presented in a negative light. I am sure he sees these but I have never seen his company respond, to try and make a case, or show they are listening. I hear their strategy is to hard sell and then lock people in. Sad but that is the truth I guess.

So to ensure you get a more open review you need to learn to interact with others like you. And that means giving and taking when it comes to knowledge.

Simplify your world

Did I tell you about the time a software sales person showed me a new recruitment solution and before he launched his software he said, “Don’t worry about the dashboard, my clients love it”? Well, when I saw the software dashboard I was amazed. It was the worst I had ever seen, I think I laughed. You don’t want solutions that complicate your life and are so hard to use they become a drag. Technology is supposed to make your life easier, it’s not like an all you can eat buffet, you need to be selective and be sure you know how it will impact your business. One of the worst things I ever found about technology solutions in business was the fact that when you become a user your can’t easily get going. People are using software they hate because to untangle themselves and start again is worse than keeping what they have.

There is no right and wrong answer except when it comes to strategy, if you don’t have one then you are simply shooting in the dark.

Azmat Mohammed is one of the chosen blogger for the Innovation in Recruitment Summit 2014 on the 18th September.

About Azmat Mohammed

Azmat Mohammed is the Institute of Recruitor's Founder and holds the position of Director General at the IOR.

Understanding people management from the CEO’s perspective, Azmat oversaw the internal recruitment and HR processes of the ID group in the UK and USA for 15 years, as well as studying various aspects of HR management at undergraduate level. He is an innovator and this challenging role sees him creating exciting new IOR partnerships (national and international), creating and managing the IOR’s sector leading technology and infrastructure, as well as working with his team to create a service offering that is ‘best in class’. He also has the daunting task of ensuring the IOR has all the required internal technology, as well as internal expertise in its teams to meet the IOR's exacting operational mission, vision and values. He has the gift of being able to create something exciting, new and innovative from the ground up, a real 'can do' attitude with years of expertise and knowledge, and is a great motivator and leader.

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