Last week we saw another massive HR Technology Conference wrap up. It was a massive event with many great exhibitors, discussions, and great ideas shared. All the latest ideas and trends in HR tech were discussed. With so many panels and conferences going on at the same time, it was difficult to keep track of everything going on.

Part of our team were at the HR Tech Conference, in the Startup pavilion. They were on the ground to bring you the top 10 takeaways from the conference. But to start, here’s HR expert, Bill Boorman, in a HROnboard conference shirt:


Organisations need to grow their employer brand for recruiting

There is an ongoing war for talent in the current working world. Employers need to do more than putting up a job ad to attract first class candidates. Organisations need to build an employer brand for talent on top of their regular brand for recruitment purposes.    

Being aware of the wider talent pool also gives employers a competitive advantage, knowing what skills are out there and how to attract that talent. You can read Duke Daehling’s complete list for marketing for talent here, and discover how to attract the best employees through marketing techniques.


90% of organisations are not ready to use data

Only 60% of organisations use more than one metric in the recruitment process. Most organisations use none at all. Data is still an intimidating concept to most HR departments, with over 90% not being ready to use data in their talent decisions at all. The workplace of the future will be data driven in multiple ways, and HR departments need to start implementing data-driven strategy now to keep up.


Look past the hype and focus on tech that can help you now

This panel looked at what’s really important in HR Tech today. There is a lot of talk about innovations that are too far off to be practical at present (machine learning), and trends that no one seems to know what to do with (big data). With the revolving door of technology in the workplace, you can’t get too caught up on a single new piece of tech.    

The best approach to the latest trends in HR tech is to keep an open mind, be willing to innovate in new areas, and be willing to let go of old process as it gets replaced with technology.  


Use this framework to build your HR technology strategy

Creating a HR technology strategy is a hands-on process. It can be time-consuming, draining, and even intimidating to think of how much is required of you. But your technology strategy needs to be done. Use a copy of your organisation’s overall strategy to guide what HR tech you need, define the mission and values of your HR department, take stock of every process you need to include, and map it all out so you can see what you’ve put down so far.

Scoping your processes and software makes creating your technology strategy easier, you can read the full framework for creating your strategy here.

The ROI of employee engagement is retention

Employee engagement and retention were two of the biggest themes at the conference this year. Laurie Ruettimann did a great piece on how to measure engagement, and the secrets to holding on to your best employees. Benefits are your secret weapon against turnover, and engagement can be measured by how strong your retention levels are.

Engagement is a growing factor for retention in organisations, paying top dollar is no longer the sole draw-card.

The candidate experience is at the top of recruiters priority lists

Developing a strong candidate experience is at the top of the HR tech action list for most recruiters. Onboarding employees is no longer a procedural black hole that new hires are expected to navigate. The first couple of weeks are no longer an awkward transitional period, as new employees feel their way into their position.    

Having a strong candidate experience leads to more engaged employees down the line, and can even lead to employees returning in the long term.

Learn to ‘listen up’ with engagement surveys

Sony faces the problems around keeping their employees engaged that any large company does. How do you reach 6,500 employees in 30 locations, and ensure their needs are being met? Sony chose to partner with Modern Survey to reach out to their employees, and receive feedback to help them manage up.

Sony developed their ‘continuous listening strategy’ to enable the company to have an ever evolving approach to employee engagement. Sony are now always on the lookout for opportunities to develop their employees, and follow up on employees at all stages of the employment cycle.

Analytics must justify their existence in HR

HR is beyond the stage of discussing whether analytics are necessary or not. The question has now become, ‘what analytics are necessary?’ It is too easy for vendor dashboards to fill up with pointless metrics that distract from business decisions. You need to decide what HR analytics will work for your team, and vendors need to be able to explain the value of their data in human terms.

Learning must become more flexible to improve employee growth

E-learning has been one of the biggest developments in the employee development side of HR. Induction, training, and talent management have all become fluid and on-demand. Yet e-learning still has a way to go to be truely engaging for employees. Social elements and flexibility must be included for employees to maximise their experience from e-learning platforms.

Vegas is a crazy place for a conference!

You can tell a conference is big when the tag is buzzing on Instagram. Attendees were sharing the latest insights into HR on Twitter by day, and sharing the crazy party attractions Vegas has on offer by night. Even the conference got some love on Insta, with some amazing company stalls and exceptional conference swag on display.

  Vegas #hrtech #launchday   A photo posted by Abhi Chaudhuri (@uxabhi) on

We are at the #hrtechconf come see us in the #startup pavilion. #vegas #hrtech A photo posted by HRonboard (@hronboard) on

What was the biggest takeaway from the HR Tech Conference for you? Comment below with any big points we missed.

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