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| 3 minutes read

Hello Austin! Top Talent Tech Takeaways from TalentNet Live 2024

What a whirlwind underway in Austin, TX! As South x Southwest kicked off, people and talent professionals had a day of engaging, innovative presentations of their own to attend – at the TalentNet Live event held last Friday March 8th. TA practitioners, recruiting thought leaders and HR Tech SMEs poured into town to share the latest trends in recruiting and how to stay ahead of the curve.   

Here are my top takeaways from this collaborative meeting of the minds:  

  1. Changing at the speed of light! Here I think I am well-versed in talent tech and relevant use cases. Well, I was surprised at how much new thinking is out there around the application of TA tech. Not to mention, how lightweight the applications are getting, making it easy to dabble.   
  2. Back to basics. There was consensus across our panel Practical AI for Employers, facilitated by Kyle Lagunas – Head of Strategy, Aptitude Research, Nick Livingston – CEO, Honeit, and Allie O’Banion - Seekout, and myself. While there is great interest in bringing AI into the recruiting process, there is also significant apprehension of risk, and frankly a need for education. Education around what can automation do, what is RPA, when to integrate and when to keep tech lightweight, and perhaps most importantly, education around why and how to get out of the Excel workbooks and manual trackers and get data where it belongs – in the ATS or “system of record.”  From there, go beyond the basics, and consider the role of AI as an employer, and how to use it in a manner that enhances user experience, eliminates friction, reduces bias, and makes the recruiting and hiring process fairer and more inclusive. 
  3. First education, followed by disarming the fear surrounding AI.  Robots won’t replace recruiters. This is a people business at its core. And the use of AI doesn’t necessarily increase an employer’s risk profile. In fact, bias can be managed via AI, and increase consistency in the recruiting and hiring process. Consistency doesn’t mean boring and bland. Much of the AI embedded in today’s TA tech can be leveraged to bring brand voice to life while delivering meaningful EVP vignettes across the moments that matter!  
  4. The highest and best use of us humans. Recruiters can be fully present now, in their intake sessions with hiring managers and in their phone interviews with candidates.  Recruiters at their core enjoy engaging with people. You could say a recruiter is part matchmaker and part salesperson.  When assessing your recruiting and hiring processes, or evaluating your tech stack, consider the recruiter persona, as well as your candidate and hiring manager personas. Look at ways to remove friction for all parties, and how to maximize the impact and reach of personal interaction. For instance, the application of AI to recorded transcriptions of intake sessions. No note taking needed, and the recap is likely more comprehensive. Similarly applied to a candidate interview, with the same benefits plus along with highlighting the intersection between the two. 
  5. Authenticity is changing the game. Authenticity in talent attraction includes a peek into a day-in-the-life, realistic job previews, amplification of employee advocacy testimonials, and even leveraging social influencers to drive candidates to jobs.  Authenticity also means  “flawsome” as I like to call it, or imperfectly awesome! Share “the good, the bad, and the ugly...” In fact, this resonated with me when the CEO of Flockity, Tracy Parsons, summed it up with: “Ugly is in the eye of the beholder.” when thinking about whether candidates will be drawn to or repelled by what the job entails in real life.  Or as my grandma used to say, “There is a lid for every kettle.” It’s all about making the match. Borrowing from this popular phrase when talking tech, it’s a feature not a bug.  

All around, Craig Fisher’s TalentNet Live is a not-to-miss for learning, inspiration, and comradery. Yes, tech was a big focus, but tech that enables us to be present and engaged with candidates and hiring managers in this people business we are in. Humanity is shining through more than ever, amidst all the tech. Until next time, TalentNet Live.


artificial intelligence, candidate attraction, ams, future of work, hr tech, innovation, leadership, talent acquisition, technology, talent retention