Notes from a tech-experts panel at today’s Vurv conference in Las Vegas:
Bill Kutik jokes to Jason Corsello that “after you publicly trashed Peopleclick” Kutik wonders who’s opening Corsello’s mail. Corsello says his wife is.
Everyone’s talking about “talent management suites” — though Kutik jokes that integrating HR products often begins with “press-release integration” — vendors talking a good game.
Jason Averbook says recruiters can plan six months or more in advance now for an employee’s departure, as technology to manage candidates and employees has improved.
Lisa Rowan says that to have workforce planning to work well, you need feeds from all sorts of systems; for example, retail companies that have access to sales data such as when the most laptops are sold. (Workforce planning) “goes beyond HR, beyond talent,” she says.
Kutik says workforce planning is finally starting to get hot.
Corsello mentions Halliburton’s move to Dubai, which he says demonstrates that workforce planning is a global issue. “Companies are not just going to look down the street (for employees) … they’re going to look to other countries.” Notes that Google is as concerned about talent in China as it is from Stanford.
Rowan disagrees about Corsello’s view of the skills shortage. Rowan feels that it’s a large global problem and that finding employees somewhere else isn’t a solution; Corsello feels that it’s more industry- and region-specific.
Vurv’s Michael George says (quoting his CEO) that employees now manage their careers like stocks. When it’s time for a new way to invest in themselves, whoosh, they’re gone. This, he suggests, even more than demographics and globalization, is the real labor challenge.
Kutik asks if recruiters are “really using the social-networking sites” like LinkedIn, Spoke, and so on. In the audience, lots of people use LinkedIn, but only 4-5 pay for it. One audience member says Jobster’s security wasn’t “robust enough” for her to use.
Michael George says about 12% of companies use social-networking in recruiting, but mostly to decline candidates they find dirt about.
Not many audience members have a recruiting blog. Corsello uses Google groups. Rowan notes that if you look at social-networking companies in the recruiting field, Jobster had a large reduction in force, and LinkedIn apparently isn’t attracting a lot of paying recruiters (as judged by the number of audience members paying for it).
Kutik suggests that the perfunctory annual report statement that people are companies’ most important assets is a lie, and that companies still don’t totally care about talent. Corsello notes that companies who are starting to feel the skills-shortage pain are the ones that are starting to get it. It’s HR’s job, he says, to make sure the CEO and particularly the CFO understand how important talent is now and how it affects the business, as opposed to just saying people are important.
Averbook notes that people are entering the HR department now from many other departments, and some of these people understand the talent issue; similarly, he says, CEOs are doing an end-around HR in some companies.