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The Wolf of HR Tech: Market Volatility

The stock market is a really interesting system to watch. While I won’t claim to know a ton about finance, even I can tell there’s a ton of volatility. It’s up, down and sideways every time I look at a news feed or see a headline on the news. That volatility in combination with a really low unemployment rate has created an interesting situation for both candidates and HR technology vendors.

On the candidate side, this mix of signals has created a candidate market. They’re the ones in the driver seat now more than ever, insisting on niche experiences and personalized engagement. They want to be the one, not the one in many – or at least they want the technology to make them feel that way.

To date, that hasn’t been the motivation of many tech vendors. Instead, their product road map was driven by corporate client demands alone. But this current market isn’t complying with the candidate standards of earlier generations and creating some volatility in the tech market, too.

Cautiously Optimistic: Change Drivers in HR Tech

Proof: the recent influx of investment from venture capitalists into recruiting, human resources and sourcing technology. This cash has brought a wave of new technologies and companies to the market. Yet, it’s fascinating to me how so many of these ideas cluster into traditional categories so quickly, trying to reinvent the wheel over and over (and over). It’s a seemingly never ending cycle of ATS, CRM and management tools promising to offer the next big thing – whether that be functionality based buzzwords or a roadmap full of strategies we still haven’t thought of. These are the companies with the most buzz (read: well-funded) and therefore the ideas practitioners hear the most about.

Yet this new generation of practitioners are craving creation. The volatility runs deep. They represent a powerful shift in our industry where the next generation of HR and recruiting leaders are tech savvy and driven by curiosity instead of subscribing to technological complacency. They’re going to be the people who challenge that 18 month implementation and push back on limited APIs. The people who are building new wheels and fixing the fundamentals of what, at times, seems like a broken system where candidates are treated as second class citizens.

Market Indicators: Evolution of Events

Yet many are curious about where to learn that information with such a wide array of new information and platforms on the market. As a response to that demand and the shift in interest, new events and information models are beginning to launch in our space. It’s really exciting to see new market events like Unleash and Talent Tech Now popping up that support these innovators. They’re promoting and creating safe places for new entrepreneurs to learn from practitioners and leaders alike in pitching environments. There’s no more hiding in the booth. Instead, they’re behind the mic – telling their story and learning in real time from the customers they want to serve.

We’re finally creating a world where it’s safe to go beyond the demo. This is a shift to serve this new demanding audience who will write the future of the industry. While I don’t want to know what all of this volatility is doing to my retirement funds, I am looking forward to seeing this shift take over.

*Quick plug* The next Talent Tech now is happening April 12th. 12 NEXT technology solutions will be on deck in a demo-style presentation by members of the respective company. You’ll ask the questions and you’ll choose the winners. Learn more here. 

 

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Katrina Kibben

Katrina Kibben is the Founder & Principal Consultant of Three Ears Media. For most of Katrina's career, she has been a marketer living in a recruiter's world - listening to both sides of the talent equation to understand the real issues and find solutions for engaging and hiring better people. Today, she uses her technical marketing know-how and way with words to help both established and emerging brands develop and deliver content that fuels smart recruitment marketing that makes the right people apply. Katrina has written for Monster.com, HR.com, RecruitingDaily and many other digital publications. She is a recognized leader in recruiting and employer branding who speaks regularly at conferences around the world.

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