What You See in Social Recruiting is Primitive:
What you see in Social HR is Stone Age

Setting the Stage - HR Examiner by John Sumser

Where technology used to flow from government research labs into the organization, it now comes from the consumer market.

Today’s social media universe is overwhelming and complex. Hundreds of companies offer HR and Recruiting leaders the opportunity to do business in new ways. Decision makers’ baskets are full of both claims of efficacy and radically conflicting advice.

We are at the primitive beginnings of this new world. For the most part, the vast majority of Social Recruiting and HR products and services are just new paint on an old caboose. There is little, if any, real innovation in the fundamental processes and procedures of HR and Recruiting.

That said, there is every reason to pay close attention to the emergence of new companies under the Social HR and Recruiting rubric.

As was the case 15 years ago, the incumbent providers of tools and systems are bloated and overly complex. Even though the tools are ineffective, and in spite of arduous and complex procurement processes, companies buy them based on brand. The conventional wisdom is that ‘you can’t get fired for buying X.”

That is exactly what makes a market ripe for disruption.

The small companies who have created the face of social HR and Recruiting during the past 24 months were funded by over $400 million in venture capital. As those companies struggle to figure out how the business works and what their value is, they help open the marketplace to new ides and approaches. Investors are clear that HR and its related functions are the logical beneficiaries of emerging technology.

Associated with social media is a series of technologies that might seem incidental at first, among them: Video, mobile, tagging, SEO, 140 character messaging, wikis, blogging, and gaming, sensors. As entrepreneurs define their products, they include technologies that were unavailable even five years ago.

It’s the combination of hidebound incumbents, a huge volume of new technology and ready investors that make market disruption inevitable. While it is only partly clear how it will happen, it is inevitable that there will be significant changes in both what is possible and how we think about it. Just as Job Boards, Applicant Tracking Systems, Enterprise HRIS, Employee Communication Portals, Customer Relationship Management Systems, company websites and intranets emerged over the past 20 years, new tools, techniques and providers are on the horizon.

HR and Recruiting Executives are faced with complex decisions to make about emerging technology. Where technology used to flow from government research labs into the organization, it now comes from the consumer market. Employees want to know why they can’t use the apps on their phone to do their jobs. Executives are faced with making decisions about how to use data and tools that have never existed before.

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