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Trends are Dead – Here are The 5 Things we should REALLY care about in 2015


It wasn’t long ago only a handful of analysts and industry experts published reports on trends that human resource professionals would see in the coming year.  It was based on hundreds of hours of research we did through the year meeting with vendors, CHRO’s, investors, etc. 

This year, if you didn’t publish a list of trends – it is possible you are the only one.   From trusted industry experts to marketing experts who get SEO to vendors – everyone seems to have an insight into what is “disrupting” or happening in HR Technology this coming year.  Not surprisingly, they often support their paying clients products.

Could the biggest trend in HR Technology be the content marketing that is influencing the product purchases?

Trends are Dead.  At least in the way of valid, non-paid for predictions.  Real innovation that is getting listed in many of today’s trends lists, are actually things we looked at as analysts and expected 2, 3 or even 4 years ago.   My 2012 Trends report includes many of the trends that are on lists in 2015.  Why?

Adoption of technology trends in our space is slow. 

So, instead of posting another list of technology trends here are the top 5 things we need to talk about differently and really dive into as best in class hr leaders (and analysts, and vendors, and practitioners..and…)

1.  Candidate Experience.  But not like we are talking about it now.  Our approach and content is dated, not easily executed and not results based.  We need to shift the direction of the conversation away from “candidate” experience to overall process improvement – which impacts candidates.  A UX approach.  A “Mac” vs “PC” approach.

2.  Mobile.   This is a no brainer, but there isn’t a clear understanding for HR practitioners on exactly what this means.  On the flip side, what vendors are trying to pass off as a mobile solution shouldn’t be accepted by practitioners in their product search.

3.  Death of the ATS.  I want to be careful on how I talk about this, but basically – the ATS is going away or evolving to make way for a new time of applicant/candidate database that better meets the needs of todays market.  CRM’s or agency style systems are better for most companies, however – no vendor has really done this right, yet…but it is the single most inquired on topic by corporate HR teams at my firm, Accelir.

4.  Transparency.  Technology becomes an issue from every angle – our employees and future employees are more public, our data is finally available to us to create great metrics and decisions based on numbers, like every other department (from marketing to accounting) in our organizations .

5.  Process Matters.  Throwing (more) technology at a broken process is a guaranteed way to make your HR Technology Fail, waste money and make everyone more frustrated.

Its a quick list – but we will dive into each of these in a lot more detail every Tuesday for the next few months.



PS.  Also, one of the biggest shifts in conversation this year will be my name change from Sarah White to Sarah Brennan.   I got married to an awesome guy – it was fairytale like and awesome in Beaver Creek, Colorado.  


Sarah Brennan

Sarah Brennan is a recognized HCM industry analyst and advisor focused on improving the impact of technology on people, business and the future of work.  Sarah Brennan has been named a top global influencer in HR Technology by more than 50 publications and shared her insights at speaking engagements around the world. As Chief Advisor at Accelir, she partners with HR Technology vendors and investors as an advisor, interim CxO role and on engagements focused on growth strategies, product roadmap & market education/evangelism. She also works with corporate teams enhancing talent strategies.

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