What movie title best describes 2017 for you?
Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie.
Your person of the year?
It has to be Donald Trump. I see ‘person of the year’ not as an accolade but as a measure of one person’s profoundly shocking impact, so it has to be the tiny handed President of the United States of America. Whatever happens from now, the tragedy of the Trump interregnum changes forever our opinion of democracy, will of the people, freedom of speech, the internet, the ‘facts’, the truth, everything.
Your favorite album from 2017?
I don’t listen to albums man. I tend to watch a lot of music videos on Youtube though. And I’ve discovered this guy called Mike Masse, who does the most amazing covers that you’ve ever heard. Most amazingly, he was still playing a Pizza joint in Utah whilst doing some of his best stuff – world class performances – in between people audibly ordering a pizza margherita. It’s completely nuts. But believe me – amazing!
What are you most proud of this year?
It’s got to be the newsletter – Recruiting Brainfood. I started it as a side project, mainly to highlight the sort of content I previously would have just bookmarked. It’s since grown to something which thousands of recruiters seem to read every week. I have had strangers come up to me on the street and they start talking about the brainfood! It’s crazy but an amazing to give something back which really seems to resonate with the community. It’s been a massively rewarding thing to do.
What HR tool or trend disappointed you the most in 2017?
Automated sourcing. I think the promise of a bot that can go out and take away the candidate identification part of recruiting has not yet been delivered upon. It will happen at some point but I think we overestimated our ability to match against bad or incomplete data – something that humans can still do better than machines. It will come – 2018, 2019 – and sourcing as we know it will go away.
And what tool or trend really did live up to the hype?
Chatbots. Different application of AI. And this was always going to work. I think the skeptics misunderstood the primary value of using automated chatbots – they are not there to replicate a human being in having a fluid conversations; they are there to be interrogated by candidates for factual information. How much is the job paying? Do you offer remote working? Do you sponsor a visa? All question types where the answers are factual and therefore easily programmable. They replace the static FAQ and are a significant upgrade for candidates in terms of value and experience.
Your favorite HR blog in 2017?
This is such a tough decision. There are the classics that are always great – Tim Sackett, Matt Charney. But the ones I’ve been most recently impressed by have come from Europe – Kasia Borowciz at ‘A Sourcers Perspective’, Balazs Paroczay with Balazs & The Magic Sourcing World, Jan Tegze with Where Sourcing Meets Recruitment and one by some guy called Sergej Zimpel, with Dinosaurs Will Die.
And the best HR event this year?
For me, this was truBerlin in March. Held at Zalando’s offices, it contained some amazing track leaders, great product demo’s and packed house full of recruiters who hungry to learn. It’s wonderful to see the in-house recruiting community develop so quickly in Berlin. We reviewed it here the WorkShape.io blog
Which GIF best describes your vision of HR 20 years from now?
It has be to about the robots
What should HR professionals do differently next year?
For all the technology that is available for recruiters to use, the most important innovation our profession can take place in the mind. We need to abandon the mental models that we’ve used for over 100 hundred years in recruiting – the ‘candidate funnel’ and associated ideas. These are predicated on a fixed, uni-directional and hierarchical relationship which no longer exists between employer and potential employee. We need to come up with new models replace it which are based equity, dialogue and fair exchange. It’s already starting to happen when we see companies like Buffer offer try-before-you-buy contracts and the like.
What will be the “next big thing” in Recruiting?
‘Talent Communities’! Remember this old idea? It died about 5 years ago – but trust me – it’s about to make a comeback. We’ll call it something different, but we’re going to re-do more or less the same idea – cultivating and nurturing groups of people who share an interest in something our business also cares about… Next generation talent community software – now called ‘talent management systems or TMS’ are much more intuitive and easy to use. More importantly though, we have matured and now have a much better anthropological understanding of what it takes to manage groups of people online. Community cultivators, talent engagement professionals, audience builders – all going to be real jobs recruiters will do.