What I’ll Be Watching for at This Years HR Tech Conference

Well it’s almost here.

Another year has past since we last left Las Vegas when words like “A.I.” and “chatbots” rang repeatedly from the lips of many HR tech vendors. So what will this year bring?

As a veteran of the HR tech world and frequent podcaster on the subject I have a few ideas of what to expect we’ll be seeing and hearing at this years event.

I am a bit biased towards recruiting technology (Rec Tech) versus things like employee engagement or HRIS system so I’ll stick to that angle for this post.

Automation Not Artificial

Many vendors on the expo floor will no doubt be touting their artificial intelligence features but in many cases this is a misnomer. It’s more like ‘automated intelligence‘ rather than true AI. Vendors like Entelo are differentiating themselves as ‘recruiting automation’ companies because as they see it, recruiters spend an average of 13 hours per week on tasks that can be automated such as sourcing and scheduling.

In fact at the Entelo booth (#1342) they will be giving away copies of their new book “Recruiting Automation for Dummies” written by their own Mike Trigg. The book is designed to help recruiters better understand AI, machine learning and predictive analytics and learn how they can be leveraged in the form of recruiting automation technologies, to recruit high quality talent, at scale.

Automation will also be the focus over at AllyO one of the many “virtual recruiting” solutions in attendance. They claim to have a complete ‘hello to hire’ tool that promises to free recruiters of nearly the entire process. A bold claim to be sure, but definitely a technology to watch. These types of recruiter assistant technologies are getting better every year.

I’m, just waiting for the voice enabled version that actually makes calls!

HR Tech Marketing

I recently spoke with Lisa Holden, Director of Communications for Entelo on the latest episode of my RecTech Podcast. In it, I asked her a pointed question; Is it getting harder or easier to market to HR people? If your job is marketing to HR folks today you probably guessed her answer.

“It’s getting harder”, she said. There has never been a more truer statement.

The amount of “noise’ in the HR tech space right now is mind boggling and is merely serving to confuse the average Director of HR or TA. I will be curious to see which vendors do a good job at not only explaining their product to attendees but how they designed their marketing materials, booth presence and giveaways. The idea of writing/giving away a book like Entelo will, is to me a great marketing tactic.

Today HR tech vendors must differentiate themselves to levels never before required. And it means taking a more partnership oriented approach by helping employers solve real problems, not just selling them the latest and greatest.

The Parties

Finally, I am looking forward to the various evening festivities when vendors and attendees mingle into the night. For me these after show events are a great way to have meaningful conversations, catch up with industry friends and just have some fun.

If this is your first HR tech event you are in for a treat. Put on some comfortable footwear, take your time and take advantage of what the show has to offer. A show of this size and importance only comes along once  year.