3 hiring trends we spotted at the 21st annual HR Tech Conference

The big takeaways from the annual expo put people first, bots second.

More than 450 companies, including dozens of startups, demoed in the Expo portion of the 21st annual HR Tech Conference in Las Vegas. (Photo by HR Tech Conference Co-Chair Steve Boese via Twitter)

The resume is old.

Leonardo DaVinci composed one of the first in 1482 and Microsoft launched the first resume template in 1983. In the 15 years since LinkedIn launched, online profiles have enhanced the ability to search for great candidates, but most companies still rely on the standard resume to vet prospective new employees.

An entire industry is being built up to change the dominance of the resume, and a healthy cross-section of that sector was on display at the HR Technology Conference and Exhibition. The annual summit, held earlier this month in Las Vegas, focuses on the systems behind the people who power companies. This year’s event featured 442 exhibitors, including 57 startups and a “Pitchfest” theater.

Below are the three big trends that we’ve been thinking about ever since.

1. The end of the resume

“There’s a place for these, but not where we’re currently using them,” said Raj Mukherjee, the senior VP of product at Indeed. He’s envisioning a recruiting world where both job descriptions and resumes are more afterthought than introduction.

One way Indeed is breaking out of the dependency on resumes is through its launch this spring of Indeed Assessments, born from Indeed’s acquisition of Interviewed in 2017. Indeed Assessments are short online tests that screen candidates on skills specifically related to open jobs, hoping to reduce bias in the hiring process and go beyond the written resume.

Say you’re a great product manager? Want to show your sales skills? These assessments aim to be short tests that prove it for a hiring manager, before anyone looks at a resume.

It’s meaningful that one of today’s search and placement giants is getting behind the push to retire the resume. More than 200 million people search for jobs on Indeed per month, said Mukherjee.

2. The personalization of the job search

Backed by nearly $30 million in venture capital and headquartered in suburban Philadelphia, Phenom People wants to be a “smart careers site” as well — by personalizing the jobseeker experience directly from the hiring organization’s website. If you visit the Whole Foods career site (a Phenom People client), your experience will change over time depending on your past interactions with it — including the content, copy and jobs seen.

What is becoming ever more complicated for HR departments is the shifting nature of jobs themselves, resulting in what is known as “job blending,” where new roles are composed of mixed responsibilities from ancillary positions. seeks to play a helpful role in this ongoing shift through its CompAnalyst product: a tool that uses localized job data to determine the fair and appropriate level of compensation.

This is allowing companies to create roles more adapted to the teams that fit their culture and goals. Between job blending and rapid automation, the job titles of today will continue to change. As many as 85 percent of the jobs that will exist in 2030 do not exist today, according to a Dell Technologies report.

Next time you ask a kid what they want to be when they grow up, let them know it’s OK for them to make it up completely.

3. The age of transparency

It’s hard to hide behind closed doors in the age of ratings from Glassdoor, which launched in 2007 to give jobseekers a way to learn about a company from an employee perspective. Oftentimes, HR departments have to take a good hard look on the inside before they can properly promote their employer brand on the outside. Employer branding itself has gone from an obscure industry term to major priority of company success, becoming a priority for startup founders.

Understanding who and why someone might want to work at your organization and telling that story is clearly paralleled with understanding who and why someone might want to buy your product and telling that story. That’s feeding a rise in transparency among forward-thinking companies, and fueling a focus on ensuring the comfort and well-being of their employees.

Arianna Huffington, a keynote at the HR Tech Conference, is using her company, Thrive Global, to promote that healthier organizations become stronger businesses.

“Never use the word ‘well-being’ independently, always attach it to ‘productivity,’” Huffington said of promoting office perks and wellness programs.

The ROI on well-being is directly linked to business performance, Huffington argues. Thrive Global’s corporate partnerships revolve around collecting anonymous internal data on the health of a company’s culture before moving forward with a behavioral-change program.

It’s clear this isn’t only coming from the fringes. The world’s largest payroll provider, ADP, launched a money management product called Wisely, which won a conference award for innovation. Using behavior research at its large scale, ADP is rolling out the service that gives employees more options for understanding their financial health.

According to ADP Chief Product and Technology Officer Don Weinstein, the company is seeking to help people regain a personalized pay experience while also saving those individuals from themselves. It’s a level of transparency and team support that points to an employee-centric future.

Companies: Phenom
Series: Builders

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