The Conversation Paradox: Why 100% of Interviews Are Biased

The Conversation Paradox: Why 100% of Interviews Are Biased

In a recent New York Times article, The Utter Uselessness of Job Interviews, Jason Dana, Assistant Professor of Management and Marketing at the Yale School of Management, explores the biases surrounding the unstructured interview process. He observes that:

“…interviewers typically form strong but unwarranted impressions about interviewees, often revealing more about themselves than the candidates.”

Throughout the article, Dana cites, Belief in the Unstructured Interview: The Persistence of an Illusion, a study he conducted in 2013 with 140 student subjects. To test the effectiveness of interviews in predicting a student’s GPA, Dana broke students into two groups. While both sets of students used past GPA and course schedule to make predictions, only one group was interviewed. The results of the study showed that GPA predictions were more accurate for the students not interviewed. In other words, the interviews muddled the data and negatively impacted the decision-making process. 

Regression analyses of the accuracy GPA predictions

Conversations Are Biased

Something occurred during the interviewing process that led the interviewer to misidentify which interviewees were best qualified and thus most likely to succeed. This ‘something’ is the collection of biases that often come up through the course of conversation or what we, at Wade & Wendy, refer to as conversational bias.

Conversational bias is the set of biases that influence the quality and quantity of data extrapolated during the course of a conversation. At a high level, it includes two key components:

  • Set of biases refers to external factors, including everything from confirmation biases and preconceived notions to physical environment and mood, that influence how a person engages in a conversation.
  • The quality and quantity of data refers to the information learned during the course of a conversation and how helpful it is in facilitating good decision-making.

The data learned through conversation is inherently incomplete and/or misleading due to the external factors and biases that influence engagement and perception. This is clearly demonstrated in the study above, where subjects were better able to identify future success for students whom they had never met over students that they had met. While not explicitly referred to as ‘conversational bias,’ the issues it perpetuates have been studied time and time again.

Interviews Are Biased

There is information asymmetry between the data learned in a job description and the data learned from a resume. Former SVP of People Operations at Google, Laszlo Bock, says about this paradigm:

“[having] a taxonomy of skills and abilities that are hard to articulate, and resumes don’t do a good job of capturing them. Employers have a set of jobs, but are terrible at both articulating what they need, and actually filtering candidates.”

Essentially, the two forms (resume and job description) used to determine a job seeker’s ability to fulfill the requirements of a job both contain incomplete data. It is for this reason that a conversation — often in the form of an initial phone screen or a first-round interview — is necessary to resolve this asymmetry. This initial conversation allows candidates to better understand the requirements of the job and allows hiring managers to gather information not found in the resume.

It is at this point in the hiring process that conversational bias comes into play.

For example, imagine a hiring manager has a full day of interviews lined up. Throughout the day, he/she becomes increasingly fatigued and, as a result, asks poorer questions and takes fewer notes as the day goes on. Because the conversation and the subsequent data gathered about each candidate is different, it becomes impossible to compare candidate to candidate accurately.

The Problem

In Dana’s Belief in the Unstructured Interview study, GPA, course schedule and an interview were used to predict future success. Results showed that the assessments were less accurate when interviews were included in the decision-making process. In effect, the interviewers were counterproductive.

The Other Problem

To fill the information gap that exists between resume and job description, a conversation must take place. Applicants need clarification on the requirements of the role, just as hiring managers need to gather information not found within the resume.

The Paradox

These problems present two interesting concepts: 1) Conversations are biased and 2) Conversations are necessary. This is what we, at Wade & Wendy, call “The Conversation Paradox.”

Looking Ahead

While the very act of conversation has been proven to introduce numerous biases, it remains a critical part of the hiring process. To date, many solutions have been proposed, such as Dana’s suggestion to use structured interviews, but these solutions do not go far enough. Rather,

  • What if there were an artificially intelligent tool smart enough to have a conversation without bias?
  • What if there were an artificially intelligent tool agile enough to converse with 100% of candidates 100% of the time?

At Wade & Wendy, we are eagerly working on this solution. To join the conversation, chat with us on Twitter… We’re passionate about conversation, after all: @wadeandwendy.

About the Author:

Bailey Newlan is the Content & Growth Marketer at Wade & Wendy, a New York City-based startup on a mission to make hiring more human. Wade & Wendy’s artificially intelligent chatbot personalities bring clarity and simplicity to the hiring process. Wade is an always-on career guide for job seekers, while Wendy assists hiring managers throughout the recruitment process. To connect, reach out to Bailey via LinkedIn, Twitter or Medium and don’t forget to join the beta list.✌️


If you want to share this article the reference to Bailey NewlanWade & Wendy and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

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Solving the Job Application Black Hole with Chatbots

Written by Bailey Newlan, Content & Growth Marketer at Wade & Wendy.

ATS Black Hole

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are not inherently bad — for the hiring manager. They are critical to managing massive amounts of resumes and establishing an efficient workflow. However, the candidate experience suffers. A survey conducted by CareerBuilder found that 52% of employers responded to less than 50% of candidate applications. With such little communication, candidates are left frustrated and unsure of where they stand. This is referred to as the “ATS Black Hole.”

By incorporating Conversational Intelligence into the existing process, better engagement, better communication and transparency can be realized.

Conversation with Wendy in Facebook Messenger screenshot
This is how a conversation with Wendy, our conversationally intelligent chatbot, begins in Facebook Messenger.

Here’s How the ATS Fails Candidates

When an individual applies for a job, his or her resume is sent into a company’s ATS. Through matching algorithms and keyword extraction, a shortlist of candidates is generated for the hiring manager to review. These algorithms fail to take into account spelling errors and deviances in word choice (explained in more depth here). Because matches are generated exclusively through one-dimensional data, hiring managers’ understanding of candidates is distorted.

The result: Very few qualified candidates make it past the ATS and to the interview stage.

This problem is further compounded by the ease of the application process. In response to mounting candidate frustrations with lengthy applications, many employers now offer “Quick Apply” or “1-Click Apply” options. While this significantly lowers friction for applicants on the front-end, they are actually worse off in the long run. Employers are receiving more and more resumes, but, due to the simplicity of new application processes, they now have less data from which to draw conclusions.

In a world where candidates expect engagement and transparency, they are getting less and less.

On average, a single corporate job opening receives 250 applications. With an influx of resumes to review and no uptick in resources with which to process them, hiring managers cannot possibly respond to each individual applicant. In fact, of those 250 applications, only four to six will be called in to interview. As a result, most candidates receive zero communication, experiencing what has ubiquitously been labeled the “ATS Black Hole.”

Here’s Where Conversational Intelligence Comes In

Conversational Intelligence transforms the application process from something static to dynamic. At Wade & Wendy, we believe artificial intelligence is at its best when used conversationally. Our two chatbot personalities are built with this in mind. By creating a space in which conversations can occur, chatbots have the power to drastically improve the application experience.

Chatbots can engage every single applicant at any point in time.

Immediately following submission of their resume, candidates are directed to have a conversation with a chatbot through either text or Facebook Messenger. This introduction allows for a much friendlier first point of contact. Rather than receiving a “Thank You for Your Application” message from a “do not reply” email address, you meet Wendy. Here, candidates can inquire further about the company and the job itself.

At Wade & Wendy, we have designed each of our chatbot personalities to be conversational and inviting. Conversational Intelligence has the power to make a notoriously stressful and automated process fun and distinctly personable, especially when emojis are involved 🙌.

Chatbots give every candidate an equal chance at landing an interview.

Chatbots provide context and depth around the static data gleaned from the ATS. Because every candidate can be engaged via chatbot, algorithm mismatches, various misspellings and differences in keywords no longer hinder a strong candidate from getting in front of the hiring manager. Chatbots, like Wendy, allow candidates to provide context to their resume; they have an opportunity to explain properly a successful project that would otherwise be summed up in a mere bullet point.

Candidate Chats with Wendy
Here, the candidate is able to give Wendy more details about her experience with open source projects.

A candidate’s experiences and skills cannot always be properly communicated in a resume. On top of that, the ATS responsible for gauging a candidate’s ability to do a job utilizes flawed algorithms and thus provides flawed recommendations. Conversational Intelligence allows candidates to best communicate who they are and what they can do, while also overcoming algorithm flaws within the ATS.

About the Author:

Bailey Newlan, Content & Growth Marketer at Wade & Wendy

Bailey Newlan is the Content & Growth Marketer at Wade & Wendy, a New York City-based startup on a mission to make hiring more human. Wade & Wendy’s artificially intelligent chatbot personalities bring clarity and simplicity to the hiring process. Wade is an always-on career guide for job seekers, while Wendy assists hiring managers throughout the recruitment process. To connect, reach out to Bailey via LinkedIn, Twitter or Medium and don’t forget to join the beta list.✌️


If you want to share this article the reference to Bailey NewlanWade & Wendy and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

Most popular HR software: How location and business size affects app choices

Most popular HR software: How location and business size affects app choices

Written by Karen McCandless, GetApp.

HR Employee Management

Once upon a time, the HR market was dominated by a few big name players. The likes of ADP, Oracle, or SAP were the main choices available to businesses, large and small. This has all changed, with cloud HR solutions becoming mainstream, and a raft of new entrants shaking up the status quo.

To find out more about exactly what criteria small to medium businesses in different countries are using to select their HR solutions, we turned to data from GetApp users to find out which were the most popular apps.

We found that businesses of 1-50 employees favor cloud-based HR software from startups like themselves, that are new to the market but that promise innovation, and simple pricing plans – often with freemium option.

There is some continuity with businesses of 51-500 employees, with these size of businesses still choosing smaller HR outfits, but ones that have more of a presence in the market, such as Jobvite and Greenhouse.

As businesses grow, it makes sense that they would favor companies that cater towards that end of the market, and that is exactly what we saw with GetApp users of 501-1000 employees. Another interesting trend was this was the first learning management systems featured among the most used apps.

In terms of country HR software usage, British and Canadian users favored apps either based in their own country, or that had a strong presence there.

HR software usage trends

With this in mind, we at GetApp – a startup ourselves with an agile, cloud-based HR system – wanted to find out just whether this would hold true for for our users – whether small businesses in different countries are really choosing these new entrants to the market over the big-name brands.

To test this theory, we used data from the “I Use This” feature on the GetApp website (screenshot below) to find out what is the most popular HR software among our users. (For a detailed methodology on the way that we collected and analyzed this data, see the methodology section at the bottom of the article.)

The approach we took to this was two-pronged: we looked at apps used by different business sizes – varying from solopreneurs to companies of up to 1000 employees – and also at software used in different countries (the U.S., UK, and Canada) to see what insights we could glean.

We grouped together HR apps of all flavors – from talent management, to scheduling, to performance management, and more – to analyze the approach that companies are currently taking towards managing their human resources.

Key Findings:

  • Businesses with 1-50 employees favor newer, more agile HR apps, with lower pricing points
  • Companies with 51 employees and more look for more well-known HR names, combined with innovation
  • Businesses are still adopting point solutions for areas such as recruitment, rather than all-in-one HR apps
  • Adoption of learning management systems is much higher in companies with more than 500 employees
  • Outside of the U.S., companies favor local HR solutions.

Most popular HR software by business size

When splitting HR app usage according to business size, what became apparent was that there is no clear market leader for companies of up-to 1,000 employees. Each size of business had its own preferences, with no runaway leader in any category. This differs from other industries such as accounting, where a few big-name vendors dominate.

There is also no mention of the legacy HR heavyweights that were initially built on premise, such as Oracle, ADP, SuccessFactors (now part of SAP) – or newer cloud-based market leaders such as Workday. Halogen TalentSpace is the only HR app popular among GetApp users to feature in analyst firm Gartner’s Magic Quadrants for HCM or Talent Management, which are focused on the enterprise market. Businesses across the board (up to 1,000 employees) are favoring newer, native cloud software for the HR market.

Where we can see a trend start to emerge is in the type of HR apps used by businesses of less than 50 employees, compared to companies of 51-500, and then again with organizations of 501-1000 employees. We’ll dive into these trends in more depth now.

Businesses of 1-50 employees: startups for startups

When looking at the apps used by businesses of 1-10 employees and 11-50 employees, the most used HR software is consistent, with Zoho Recruit, Breezy HR (formerly Nimble HR), Workable, and Crelate Talent all featuring in the top five for both company sizes.

Delving more deeply to find out why this may be, we noticed that all these HR apps all recent entrants to the market. Breezy HR was founded in 2014, Workable in 2012, Crelate Talent in 2012, and while Zoho as a company was founded in 1996, Zoho Recruit was a more recent addition in November 2009.

All of these apps are natively built for the cloud, cater to small businesses, and market themselves as relatively straightforward and simple software.

Pricing options

Another similarity with the most popular HR software for businesses of 1-10 and 11-50 is pricing. Several solutions offer a free option with limited features, making them useful for startups and small businesses with budget constraints.

In terms of Zoho Recruit pricing, it currently (as of April 2017) offers a free plan for one recruiter with basic ATS functionality, such as scheduling interviews. Even for the most expensive price plan, it’s only $50 per recruiter per month. Zoho can also be seen as a safe pair of hands, with its long company history and large suite of products.

Breezy HR keeps its pricing plans simple, with all of them including unlimited users and candidates. The plans differ according to the number of active jobs. As of April 2017, for one active job, the HR app is free.

While Crelate Talent doesn’t offer free options, its pricing is affordable for small businesses.

Hiring platform Recruitee – one of the most used apps by businesses of 11-50 employees- doesn’t offer a free version, but has competitive pricing options covering the varying needs of different company sizes. It’s still a very new company – set up in mid 2015 – but has already been garnering a lot of positive coverage in publications such as Entreprenuer and Inc.

Workable doesn’t cater solely for this end of the market, but its simple tools, mobile-first approach, and raft of integrations make it an attractive choice for small businesses.

All-in-one HR

Zenefits is the only piece of software on the list (third most popular HR app by businesses of 1-10 employees) that isn’t strictly targeted at simplifying recruiting or talent management. While it originally focused on benefits management, it has since expanded to cover onboarding and employee scheduling. Despite experiencing several scandals and setbacks in 2016, Zenefits emerged as the most well-funded HR tech company in 2016.

Key takeaway: Businesses with less than 50 employees broadly go for the same kind of HR apps that are cloud-based, have affordable pricing plans (often with a free version), and are relatively new to the market.

Businesses of 51-500 employees: innovative new entrants

As the business size grows, the trend swings towards HR software that, while more established than the above startups, is still making waves in the industry due to its innovation and high-profile customers. The most popular HR software for this company size also caters for a wider range of business sizes than the favored apps for businesses of 50 and under.

Jobvite and Greenhouse are two applicant tracking and recruitment apps that are popular with companies of between 51 and 1000 employees.

While Greenhouse is a relatively new entrant to the market (founded in 2012), thanks to a raft of positive media coverage and some high profile customers (Airbnb, Evernote, and Pinterest), it has already made a name for itself in the recruitment industry. Part of Greenhouse’s strategy is based around having an open platform that easily integrates with any other tool you might use for recruitment.

Analytics-driven recruiting platform Jobvite has been around longer (since 2006), and is aimed at both small businesses and enterprises. The app also boasts an impressive client roster, including LinkedIn, Spotify, Etsy, and Verifone. Jobvite’s product offering aims to cover everything from sourcing to hiring to onboarding.

The company continues to innovate by partnering and adding new features, such as integrating with Accurate Background services to allow companies to carry out employment background checks, drug testing and verification services from within Jobvite.

Workable is the one constant across businesses all the way up to 500 employees, as it is another app that caters for a wide range of business sizes.

HR suite adoption

One trend that we see solely with businesses between 51 and 200 employees is a higher adoption of all-in-one HR suites, with BambooHR and Namely both ranking in the top five.

This contrasts with the higher adoption of recruitment and talent management suites among smaller businesses, and a focus on learning management systems in businesses of more than 500 employees (more on that later).

Key takeaway: Businesses of 51-500 look for software that caters for a wide range of business sizes, and that may already have well-known clients. They also put more emphasis on all-in-one HR systems.

Businesses of 501-1000 employees: household names

The trend we see as company size increases is to go for software from more established companies that have been on the market for longer. One example of this is Bullhorn, which is favored by companies of 500 employees and over. Bullhorn originally made a CRM for staffing and recruiting firms, before moving into applicant tracking systems.

Further evidence of this is Halogen TalentSpace, which is the fourth most popular app among companies of 201-500 employees. This software, which came to market in 1996, is regularly named as a visionary in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for talent management. Testament to its success, it was acquired by Saba in early 2017.

Another data-driven recruitment app that is popular with larger businesses is JazzHR (fourth most popular among businesses of 501-1000 employees). Formerly known as The Resumator, it positions itself as a scalable recruitment system, suitable for small businesses but also applicable for growing companies.

Emergence of LMS

Learning management system software makes its first appearance in the most used apps among companies of 501-1000. Mindflash and Accord LMS’s appearance on the list at this points suggests that smaller businesses may be slower in their adoption of LMS.

Key takeaway: Businesses of 501 employees and up tend to favor more well-known and established HR software, and they also start recognizing the importance of learning management systems.

Most used HR software by country

Using data from the U.S., UK, and Canada across all businesses from 1-1000 employees, we found that Breezy HR and Zoho Recruit were particularly popular among GetApp users in all three of these countries.

Zoho Recruit was a favorite in both the U.S. and U.K. (even placing just out of the top three in Canada), while Breezy HR was popular among users from both the U.S. and Canada.

America first

Given the wide range of choices for apps headquartered in the U.S., it was interesting to see India-based Zoho Recruit there in addition to U.S.-based Breezy HR and Crelate Talent.

Canada’s choices

Looking at the choices for Canada, Toronto-based hiring solution Fitzii is popular among businesses in this country, suggesting that there is a preference for local software providers in the HR market, or at least those that have a strong presence there.

Further confirming this, Bullhorn is the second most popular HR software in Canada. While it may not be based in Canada, it has a strong presence in the country, through its partnership with Workopolis, which is Canada’s leading career website. It also already provides applicant tracking functionality to many leading firms based there, and has an office in Vancouver.

UK-based software

In the UK, aside from Zoho Recruit, Workable and Calamari leave management software are the most popular HR software in the country. While neither of these companies are British, both were founded in Europe and have a strong presence in London.

Workable was founded in Athens, but opened an office in London shortly after, before expanding to New York, Boston, and now San Francisco.

However, a plethora of British-based HR software companies such as CakeHR, CIPHR, WeThrive, PARIM, and Findmyshift just missed the top three position, further highlighting the preference for local companies in the market.

Key takeaway: In markets outside of the U.S., countries are showing a strong preference for local software to help manage recruiting and HR needs.

Conclusion

Our findings from analyzing data from GetApp users indicated that the original hypothesis was true: that small to medium businesses in the HR space are opting for new entrants to the market over the more-established brand names, and that they are choosing apps built for the cloud.

Our data also indicated that these companies prefer HR apps based in their own country, or that have a very strong presence there.

If, after reading this report, you’d like to invest in a cloud-based HR app for your business size or from your country, we can help. Here are the next steps.

From our list of HR apps, you can filter by country:

You can also filter by business size:

For a full list of the most popular HR software in these categories, or to reuse any of the charts above, please contact karen@getapp.com.

Methodology

To put together this report, we analyzed data from signed in GetApp users that had selected the “I Use This” option for a particular app on the site. We counted the number of individual users that had selected these apps and segmented according to business size and country. The sample size for each segment differed and we used absolute numbers on our graphs to represent the most used. We then looked into the three most used apps per country, and five most used per business size.


Source: Most popular HR software: How location and business size affects app choices (GetApp report)

How Conversation Bridges the Gap Between Job Description and Job Seeker

How Conversation Bridges the Gap Between Job Description and Job Seeker

Written by Bailey Newlan, Content & Growth Marketer at Wade & Wendy.

From Ambiguity to Clarity, Through Conversation

Resumes, social profiles and job boards are two-dimensional tools used to present four-dimensional individuals. Each is incapable of communicating your whole story. You are more than a string of keywords and you are more than the templated “Experience” section on LinkedIn.

When people are boxed into these two-dimensional frames, valuable context is lost, leading to a series of frustrating interactions between job seeker and hiring manager. On average, it takes 52 days to fill an open position — a drawn out process wrought with miscommunication and missed opportunities.

How do you communicate the abstract in one bullet or less?

For any given bullet point on a resume, there are a hundred ways to say it. For example:

  • Used Java to build features for a platform
  • Supported a platform with Java
  • Chose Java to build a platform on

Each effectively showcases experience with Java. But, what is a job seeker’s relationship to Java and how does that exhibit what they can really do? Yes, the Java requirement is met, but what kind of person is best-suited for the role? The keyword “Java” falls short of showing how a job applicant and the job itself fit together. This form of static representation is fundamentally limited due to the job seeker’s inability to provide context around their skills, passions, motivations and career goals.

How can you land your dream job when using vague language to apply to an equally vague job description?

Job descriptions are two-dimensional and fall short of providing job seekers clarity around a position. To cast a wide net, job descriptions are often written with vague requirements — carefully crafted with generic keywords, so as not to discourage anyone from applying. Naturally, this results in unclear expectations. Another issue arises when goals and needs shift, yet the job description remains the same. Unfortunately, this kind of moving target is all too common.

This widening chasm between what a job description says and what hiring managers are really looking for in an applicant causes job seekers to create vague resumes and profiles to ensure they will not be overlooked.

By summing oneself up in a string of bullet points, laden with just the right keywords, context is lost and true understanding is clouded. Having to position yourself to meet a set of vague requirements, neutralizes the magic of you.

What can we do about this?

On both sides of the hiring process, there are fundamental flaws. Only by bridging the information gap that presently exists between hiring managers and job seekers, can we:

  1. Facilitate better understanding of a job outside of its description
  2. Better understand a job seeker outside of his or her resume

This is best achieved through conversation. Flowing dialogue and follow-up questions are effective mechanisms for drilling down and extracting the “Why” and the “Who are you really?” Going past the resume and job description allows both job seekers and hiring managers to make better decisions. We must go beyond the two-dimensional modes of expression. We must find clarity. We need better conversations.

About the Author:

Bailey Newlan, Content & Growth Marketer at Wade & Wendy

Bailey Newlan is the Content & Growth Marketer at Wade & Wendy, a New York City-based startup on a mission to make hiring more human. Wade & Wendy’s artificially intelligent chatbot personalities bring clarity and simplicity to the hiring process. Wade is an always-on career guide for job seekers, while Wendy assists hiring managers throughout the recruitment process. To connect, reach out to Bailey via LinkedIn, Twitter or Medium.


If you want to share this article the reference to Bailey NewlanWade & Wendy and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

HR and Business Are Looking for Data Analytics and Insights

Stacey Browning, President of Paycor

Today our guest is Stacey Browning, President of Paycor.

Since 2001, Stacey has played an integral role in every aspect of Paycor’s operations. As president, she fosters collaboration across the business and ensures executional excellence in product development and service delivery.

Paycor is a trusted partner to more than 33,000 small and medium-sized businesses.Known for delivering modern, intuitive recruiting, HR and payroll solutions, Paycor partners with businesses to optimize their people management.

Paycor’s key areas of specialization include Payroll Management, Human Resources Solutions, Benefits Administration, Time & Attendance Solutions, Tax Filing & Compliance, Workers’​ Compensation and Employment Screening Service.

Recently Paycor announced Workforce Insights, a new data visualization solution that extracts rich and actionable insights from people data to bring valuable C-level and operational insights to key business stakeholders.

The interview is hosted by Alexey Mitkin, Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, The HR Tech Weekly® Online Media Co.

  1. Hi Stacey, and first of all thank you very much for this interview with The HR Tech Weekly®. Straight away, why you have developed Workforce Insights and how it will complement other Paycor products?

Our innovation is driven by uncovering ways to better serve our clients, and Workforce Insights is no exception. Last August we surveyed our clients about the features they wanted to see in future product releases. After reviewing more than 1,000 client responses, we found that the overwhelming majority were looking for data analytics and insights.

In addition to evaluating our client’s feedback, we also looked at industry trends that show HR professionals are striving to prove their strategic value to executives. One way we can help them is by organizing their key people data in a manner that helps with business execution.

For example, through the Workforce Insights overtime dashboard, information from our time platform is correlated to OSHA incidents reported on in our HR platform. Leaders can uncover safety thresholds exceeded by location, department or manager to home in on where a performance issue may be occurring.

  1. What key benefits and advantages does Workforce Insights have when compared with other tools on the market?

Most other tools on the market force standard charts and data visualization. Workforce Insights allows customers to view their data in the way that is most impactful for their unique business needs.

Another key differentiator is the one-click sharing functionality. Users can take their insights and share that information with the appropriate parties without having to import or export data. The custom reporting and one-click sharing allows users to not only have access to the data, but to make it meaningful and actionable.

  1. Why do you think small and medium-sized businesses need their own HR technology solutions?

Employees at small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are often forced to wear multiple hats, and sometimes that even means taking on responsibilities like payroll. HR technology solutions help relieve the administrative burden of payroll and benefits while ensuring reliability and security, while also protecting against the risk of compliance infractions.

What Paycor offers seems to be what’s desired most by SMBs – a platform or suite of functionality at the right per-employee-per-transaction and per-month price point that doesn’t require a customization. A solution that can be implemented and have value derived in three days to three months, and that can adapt with them as their organization grows.

  1. Paycor has run its operations since 1990. How have your clients needs during this period changed, and what is the secret sauce for long-term success?

Since 1990, the technological needs of our clients have changed dramatically. In 1990 computers were large and expensive, “the cloud” didn’t exist, and phones were connected to a landline or, for a select few, in a bag in your car. Since then, clients have had to react to the demands of their workforce; faster access from any device, and our products have had to evolve accordingly.

Our secret sauce for long-term success may be the only thing that has remained the same since 1990 – putting our clients first. We were founded because our CEO believed there was a better way to serve the needs of our clients, and it’s that passion that still drives us today.

  1. Achievements in big-time sports are based on grassroots sports. What can you recommend to HR Tech startups on how to get into the highest league?

The energy around new HR tech offerings through start-ups informs the entire industry. For some of these startups, success looks like being acquired into a larger company and human capital offering. For those wanting to progress into a higher league more independently, I recommend having an openness to partnerships and distribution options, and feedback to the offering itself. The best emerging technologies in HR are built and market-tested quickly.

  1. Since its founding, Paycor has grown to 1,460 people onboard. What do newbies need to know about the company in order to have a successful career with you?

First, excel at the job you are given, and then look for ways to take on more responsibility. It can be dangerous to be too eager to move to the next level without first nailing the task you are given. At the same time, becoming complacent doesn’t allow you to be a change agent in the organization.

To take on that next challenge and excel to the next level it is critically important that associates know and own their personal brand. Your personal brand is what people say about you when you leave the room. Think about the impression you want to leave, and make it.


If you want to share this interview the reference to Stacey BrowningPaycor and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

Is AI Really A Threat To Jobs?

Artificial Intelligence | The HR Tech Weekly®

Has the future obliteration of jobs by automation been over-exaggerated? At the end of last year Bank of England Governor Mark Carney warned that up to 50% of UK jobs could be wiped out by automation. A recent report suggests that so far the AI-jobs apocalypse has yet to materialise.

Recent research from the Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF) together with CV-Library found that two thirds of businesses had not yet witnessed job losses due to automation. Over a third believed that automation had actually increased the number of jobs available.

This is a view broadly supported by Deloitte. In 2015, it highlighted the benefits of automation and its ability to create better quality jobs by removing tedious and dull work which increases the potential for errors due to boredom and distractions. Its research also noted that as a result of automation:

  • 3.5 million low risk jobs have been created since 2001, compared to 800,000 high risk jobs lost.
  • Each new low-risk job pays a salary £10,000 higher than the high risk job it replaced.

This does not alleviate concerns over automation. The CIPD’s Employee Outlook Survey also notes that nearly a quarter of employees are concerned that their job – or parts of it – may be automated within the next five years. Similarly, PwC’s UK Economic Outlook predicts that 30% jobs in the UK are at risk from automation by the early 2030s. Like Deloitte, however, it notes that the nature of available jobs will change. Sectors at highest risk of job losses through automation include transport, manufacturing, and wholesale and retail. Education and health and social work and education are at the lowest risk of being replaced.

Ongoing resistance to AI

The CIEHF/CV Library survey reports a ‘resistance’ among employees to automation as employers are failing to communicate its benefits effectively and HR remains one of the most reluctant to positively embrace automation within talent management strategies. Deloitte’s 2017 Human Capital Trends Survey found that progress towards people analytics in the last year remains stubbornly slow. This is perhaps unsurprising as nearly half of recruitment professionals are still not using applicant tracking software in hiring processes.

HR must first acknowledge the advantages of automation in recruitment to communicate its benefits more effectively. In hiring processes, this means the automation of mundane procedures, including personalised e-mails to job applicants, effective, streamlined screening to reduce unconscious bias and insights into key hiring metrics that impact your ability to hire. It also enables hiring teams to create a more effective onboarding processes to improve retention of new hires.

But why is HR so reluctant to embrace technology?

An article in the Harvard Business Review suggests that the resistance to AI is twofold. To accept and take advantage of automation, consumers must trust both in the technology and in the business delivering the innovation. In recruitment that means HR must have confidence in the supplier of recruitment software and its ability to deliver benefits to its hiring process.

The article also highlights three key points which are essential to gaining that confidence:

Cognitive compatibility : In other words, make it easy to understand. The more complex the nature of the technology, the less likely consumers are to trust its ability achieve desired goals. For HR, that goal is to streamline hiring processes to ensure not only faster hiring but a better quality of hire.

Trialability : A trial of potential new technology helps to understand the benefits and reduce any reluctance to embrace technology.

Usability : To encourage buy-in among tech-resistant hiring teams, technology, especially HR software, must be easy to use.

Recruitment software aside, as companies continue to invest in technology it is vital to maintain employee buy-in and foster trust by investing in upskilling employees to equip them to use digital skills in the workplace. The UK faces a significant digital skills crisis in addition to a wider talent shortage but employers are failing to invest in the necessary training to equip employees with vital skills. Training and development is essential for businesses that wish to not only retain but to continue to attract talent to their brand. It will also go some way to overcoming ‘resistance’ to technology in the workplace.

Ethical concerns

Overcoming ethical concerns is an issue that HR must consider in the future.

The EU[1] has proposed the creation of a European agency to provide technical, ethical and regulatory advice on robotics and AI, including the consideration of a minimum income to compensate people replaced by robots and a ‘kill switch’ for malfunctioning AI systems. A similar concern was recently expressed by the International Bar Association which warned that AI could ultimately lead to the introduction of legislation for quotas of human workers in the future[2].

While the debate over the benefits of AI at work continues, there is no doubt about the struggle that employers face to hire and retain qualified candidates. HR software is HR’s first step towards embracing the benefits of automation and creating more effective talent management strategies.

[1] MEPs vote on robots' legal status - and if a kill switch is required

[2] Rise of robotics will upend laws and lead to human job quotas, study says

A version of this article first appeared on Advorto’s website.

 

TLCon: Talent Acquisition and Retention in Retail, E-tail & Hospitality

TLCon: Talent Acquisition and Retention in Retail, E-tail & Hospitality

More so than in any other industry, retail, e-tail and hospitality are utilizing HR technology in order to service large volumes of recruitment, whether it’ll be retail staff, waiters in the hospitality industry or STEM professionals to recruit, manage and retain staff. So much so there are dedicated apps created just for this industry that places talent acquisition professionals at the forefront of innovation in recruitment.

On the 11th May, talentleadersconnect. will be hosting one of our most popular sector-specific events, TLCon: Retail, E-tail & Hospitality giving 70 ‘Head of People/Talent, in-house recruitment, HR and talent acquisition professionals’ the opportunity to learn, share and network around a theme that is getting more and more important each year. The agenda will have case studies, research and thought leadership from the likes of Caffe Nero, Sofology, Exsurgo, 106 Communications, The Chemistry Group plus more.

We kick the day off with Ben Gledhill formerly of Sofology (now Manchester Metropolitan University) addressing the distinction between the tech candidate of 2005 and 2017. The talent acquisition strategy has changed significantly as we go a more direct sourcing route and he will be sharing what works well and what does the future look like.

We’ll then get more traditional with Nikki Brain from Exsurgo, looking at the importance of the store associate role and how the expectations around their knowledge as well sales through service is ever key to the entire customer service relationship. Candidate & employee experience has a huge impact on the customer service and can be costly if not implemented right.

Which brings us on to bots! Henry Davies, founder of 106 Communications will be talking you through how bots can make your employer brand work harder to attract and retain the right people. In many ways they can make you a more engaging employer (e.g. here is Yasar Ahmad, Wipro’s Head of Strategic Hiring recruitment bot) and Henry will talk through this in more detail. I’d bet a bot would be really handy for high volume recruitment. To back this up, Will Hamilton from LaunchPad will be discussing the impact of AI and Machine Learning in recruitment and what this all means for your profession.

We shared cut-e’s dedicated talent assessment app for the retail industry above; Howard Grosvenor will talk you through how some of the world’s best companies are doing talent assessment and how you can apply it to your own organisation. Furthermore, Nicky Brimmer from Chemistry Group will be talking on predicting people performance with the retail sector and how you can go beyond hiring for attitude using an objective data-led approach.

Finally, Shereen Daniels, Head of HR for Caffe Nero will be talking about how she fosters belonging at work. A really intriguing talk that will discuss how the baristas at Caffe Nero call work their home and not their job, this is one not to be missed.

There’ll be a buffet lunch and plenty of time to network with your peers around all these topics so join us on the 11th May with your complimentary ticket at TLCon: Retail, E-tail and Hospitality.

Useful Information:

Date: 11th May 2017, 8:15am to 1:30pm

Venue: Foyles Bookstore, 107 Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0DT

Theme: Talent Acquisition and Retention in Retail, E-tail & Hospitality

Contacts: Edie Kalman, Events Manager, edie@talentleadersconnect.com

Twitter: @TLCon_

Hashtag: #TLCon

talentleadersconnect. is the largest Talent Acquisition & HR event series in the UK & Europe. The events combine industry leading keynote talks, interactive discussion sessions and relaxed social networking opportunities

Benefits Of Working From Home | The HR Tech Weekly®

Benefits Of Working From Home

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Working from home is not an easy walk. It’s different from what other people think about a remote worker. It requires more discipline and responsibility, more self-motivation, self-engagement, and self-control. It gives you less freedom while many think opposite. And finally it may give you more working hours in fact with an early start, later end and less breaks.

So, why a lot, lot of people make their choices for working from home? Why companies tend to hire remote workers? What benefits it gives to both sides? How it is influenced by the economy and technology? What is the best way to organize the remote work both for employers and for employees? A lot of questions…

Gig-economy or on-demand economy and digital technologies give people new exciting opportunities, from one hand, and determine their choices from the other one. Relations with remote and contingent workers and organizations became more contractual, more entrepreneurial, and more like with the third parties before the world of work has changed.

Modern HR technologies allow organizations to keep people engaged, stay connected, let them feel on board and be a part of the team while staying miles away. But it’s harder than just control over the process and results. It requires new hard and soft skills from HR and line managers.

The new infographic from Nucleus gives us an overview on a phenomenon of the remote work as well as some insights about new challenges for managers and workers, and technologies that could help to organize it better.

Nucleus Smart Office Solutions


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3 Ways HR Will Evolve in the Future

3 Ways HR Will Evolve in the Future

Believe it or not, automation is changing our entire lives, the way we live, think and work. As quoted by Mr. Abhijit Bhaduri, author of Digital Tsunami, “Humans resist change, machines don’t.” We are at a age where we no longer can nor should resist change. That said, technology is also massively impacting the HR functions. Most of the traditional support functions of HR, such as payroll, attendance etc. are being automated. Adding to the progression, chatbots are further driving more engagement with its personalized attributes, and is further adding up to redefining the HR role.

Ripples in the Water

One might wonder, will the rapid pace of digitization re-define HR? Of course yes, with millennials making up more than half of the current workforce — and predicted to make up 75 percent by 2020 — HR has to embrace technologies to keep at par with employee and business demands.

The Effect of Big Data

A lot of work in HR used to be related to adherence to compliances and therefore, huge amount of work related to paperworks was involved. But, now things have changed. Online portals and platforms provide HR with all the information that they need. Today’s technology gives HR professionals access to the power of Big Data and changes the way businesses understand their customers, build their own brands and communicate to prospective employees.

One of the boons of Big Data is Predictive Analytics. In big corporations, it is very difficult to keep a track of each employee. Predictive analytics enables HR to understand which employee needs an additional training.

High Up in the Clouds

Another technology which is impacting HR in a big way. Gathering and storing of information has always been a major function of the HR department, and the stack of files not only waste office space but are very difficult to trace as well. Can you even imagine, a millennial, who is always glued to his smartphone will have the patience to go through all the piles of paper?

High Up in the Clouds

Thanks to cloud technology, all of this information can instead be stored in the cloud. No longer does an employee need to tick the boxes while filling up a feedback form which again runs the risk of getting lost. All the employee information like tax documents, payroll, feedback etc can be stored online securely.

Cloud-based systems and Big Data go hand in hand. With Machine Learning emerging steadily, all these data will make a lot of sense few years down the line, it all depends how well can one derive relevant information out of it.

Chat with the Bots

There are some information which are very subjective in nature, like how to fill the Form 19 or file for the income tax returns. It makes no sense if the employee walks up to the HR managers for day-to-day queries or any concerns they might have regarding their pay, leaves, performance etc. To narrow down the gap of communication between the employees and the HR, PeopleStrong recently launched India’s first HR chatbot ‘Jinie’. From a transactional interface with employees to a conversational interface, Jinie the India’s first HR Chatbot will be able to provide the next level of experience to its employees.

In the era of smartphones, this will be a great boost in employee engagement.

These are few of the many ways in which the HR domain will change and adapt itself to digitization. With the burden of a lot of paperwork gone from the shoulders and with new data in hand, HR department will be fully equipped to make the employees life much easier and will add more value in business.


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Google Hiring Space

Google Enters the Hiring Fray

Google Hire | The HR Tech Weekly®

It looks like Google was serious about entering the jobs space.

The Google Hire website appeared this month, and while it hasn’t been officially announced, the world’s largest data aggregator could be gearing up to launch an application tracking website which could rival LinkedIn, Greenhouse and Jobvite.

While this new website seems to be still in early stages of development, you can’t help but wonder: how is this new technology going to affect the jobs and recruiting space?

It makes perfect sense that both Facebook and Google would actively seek to gain control of a larger chunk of the jobs market. These platforms are already a definitive part of many people’s daily lives, so it is not surprising that they want to play an increasingly important role in the job search process. As we know, there are enormous possibilities where there are lots of people, and Facebook and Google have their markets comfortably cornered. Why go elsewhere when you’re looking for your next position?

So: how are they going about it?

Google, with the relatively recent introduction of their Cloud Jobs API, looks set to make a big impact, as their latest algorithms and intelligent data interpretation solutions set out to bridge the gaps between employers and job seekers in an unprecedented way: carefully matching the skills, experience and personal preferences of job seekers with the title, position, description and expectations of employees advertising specific job opportunities.

The Cloud Jobs API also has the ability to define the importance and level of various skills, as well as put such skills into the right context, in relation to any particular job requirement or opening available.

This happens through the use of various proprietary ontologies, which are meant to encode insights and information about different skills and occupations, as well shedding light on how such skills interact and correlate with each other. In short? Google will gather and assess your jobs data and match you with appropriate openings. Conversely, recruiters could potentially find perfect matches with pinpoint accuracy.

Interestingly, Google Hire openings have been listed on the bebop website, the VMware enterprise application development platform Google acquired in 2015. VMware’s cofounder, Diane Green was appointed to lead Google’s cloud push efforts that same year.

For Friendships Or Job Searches?

When I look at my Facebook feed, I’ll often see my friends using their status update to ask their network for job openings.  Now, Facebook has confirmed it had begun experimenting with recruiting features: “We’re running a test for Page admins to create job postings and receive applications from candidates.” The company is also actively investing more in functionality for recruiters and employers, giving them the ability to share job opportunities that are specifically visible to an audience that matches their standards (for example, the level of education required).

From a recruiter’s standpoint, Facebook is a goldmine, because it is such a huge repository of information about people. Individuals share a wide variety of data about themselves on their social media, from their basic information to their education level, their current employment, and their personal interests. If you want to gain an exhaustive profile of a candidate, you can’t do much better than Facebook.

As Facebook is already a definitive part of our daily lives, it’s not surprising that it could play an important role in the job searching industry. But do they run the same risks as platforms such as LinkedIn, where personal information becomes more curated to attract a certain job? Will people be pumping up their own profiles, not always accurately? The beauty of Facebook’s “raw and real” data may be quickly lost once people know recruiters are able to mine their information.

As both Facebook and Google enter the space, it confirms yet again that the rate of developments in our space is blinding, and that the new year might bring a few more tricks to learn yet.

About the Author:

Megan Flamer

Megan Flamer is an organizational development specialist who is fascinated by how people find and interact with their work and each other. She writes about recruitment, HR, human behaviour, and the future of work at 1-Page.com

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