Talent Acquisition Technology in Search of Employer Problems: Do We Have It Backwards?
Last week CXR experimented with a new format to bring talent acquisition technology solutions in front of TA leaders. This new meeting included a few select vendors which is a departure from our exclusively peer-to-peer model. The format change was not done lightly and a surprising number of folks noticed, enough that we thought sharing a few observations was in order.
Here at CXR, we aspire to serve a community of TA leaders with a range of services including focused events that have a cap on the number of peers who attend. At these meetings, members share competitive practices around a range of specific topics without vendors, consultants, or others in the room. Our vision, however, places as much emphasis about what community means – how we share for the benefit of each other (not only at events but between events) – as it does on curating the quality of content that is shared. That said, we chose to create a meeting that included vendors at specific times during the day. In members-only discussions, our leaders articulated and discussed their talent acquisition technology challenges. The format was designed to acknowledge the experience and talent of our members without forcing them to sit through a vendor’s presentation of vision and solutions that don’t align with those challenges.
Talent Acquisition Technology Challenges
Our members – and the TA community at large – have often vented about pain points when it comes to talent acquisition technology solutions.
TA Professionals are overwhelmed with calls about emerging technology solutions. Each week they hear from a dozen or more vendors wanting time to present, give a demo, or share a case study. There are certainly some technologies worth giving that time but, even so, it would require a full-time job (or more) to do so. Our Vendor Ratings & Reviews section was created last year in response to this issue and our new Emerging Recruiting Technology Meeting was the next step. This meeting provided a format that gave the vendors the face time they sought while giving our members exposure to a lot of vendors in a short period of time. Vetting these technologies in advance to make sure they were either already being considered or worth consideration made sure the leaders in attendance weren’t wasting their time. It also made sure the vendors were in front of people with a genuine interest in their solutions.
Good leaders learn from each other. This isn’t a new observation but it’s one well worth repeating. TA Leaders who attended this meeting spent significant time participating in our peer-to-peer model where members openly share amongst themselves. Perhaps the most in-depth discussions revolved around both their opinions in the moment as well their own prior experience with talent acquisition technology vendors. As always, those discussions took place in a “safe” environment with no vendors or consultants present.
Transparency isn’t just good for candidate experience, it’s good for the CXR Community. There are plenty of “tech day” opportunities for talent acquisition leaders to attend throughout the year. Some of those opportunities require the vendors pay to play and rarely do they include transparency in how the vendors are chosen. CXR has always gone above and beyond to eliminate any real or perceived conflict of interest and this new meeting format was no exception. We presented a list of potential vendors to our members that were hand-picked by Chris Hoyt and myself. Members voted on who they wanted to learn from and those are the vendors we approached. There was no charge to the vendors and we didn’t earn a dime from them. The goal was learning – on both sides of the table. Vendors knew they were there to learn from experienced TA professionals about real challenges and needs. CXR members knew they were there to learn from each other while also learning about emerging TA technology.
Was it a successful way to address TA tech challenges?
The feedback surveys are still rolling in but first impressions were very positive – from both members and vendors. We think it was a successful first approach. Our goal remains to help talent acquisition professionals from around the world innovate, collaborate and lead. Providing new ways to address existing challenges is just one way we’re trying to work with our members to raise the bar of the TA industry.
A quick note of thanks
We’re totally indebted to our CXR members who were willing to experiment with us. This may have been our 113th event since we launched the CXR Community nearly two decades ago but we still see our collective vision as a constant work in progress to improve each year. Our member’s feedback, suggestions and insights this week were simply amazing. We will publish additional learning from c113 for all our members and look forward to sharing some of the meeting’s insights in a publicly available whitepaper later this spring.
We’re also appreciative for the 12 technology firms, the many founders who attended, and for the help we received from Talent Tech Labs and Madeline Laurano. We learned a lot about how to take talent acquisition technology challenges to another level for our members. Have more questions about the CXR Community and this trial format? Let us know.