4 mins, 39 secs read time
Trying to wrap your head around the current talent market is a surefire way to make yourself dizzy. While we’re seeing caution and concern about a potential recession on the horizon, candidates are still in a position of power. They can now be choosier than ever and have a very low tolerance for lengthy application processes for employers who catfish them by misrepresenting themselves.
No matter what circumstances you find your company in, chances are that you’re looking for ways to navigate and adapt to the talent market – and hiring technology will have a major role to play in helping you meet your hiring goals.
In a recent event hosted by UNLEASH, Kristina Nieves, Vice President of Professional Services at Greenhouse, spoke with Josh Navarro, Director of Recruiting Operations at Udemy. Their discussion focused on the ups and downs of adopting hiring technology – the most common challenges and how to overcome them, how and when to involve other stakeholders and proven best practices to boost your chances of success. Discover some of the helpful highlights from their conversation here.
Common challenges when adopting new hiring technology – and how to overcome them
One of the biggest challenges you’ll encounter when trying to adopt new hiring technology? “Reluctance to change,” Josh says. Incorporating change can be overwhelming to team members who are used to doing things a certain way with the current system or platform. People naturally react by asking how the change will impact them personally, and it’s not uncommon for change to lead to anxiety and resistance.
Kristina says another reason for reluctance is “bad breakups.” If your team members have had a negative experience with a vendor in the past, it can taint their perception of rolling out any new tool.
So what can you do to overcome this resistance? Josh says to start with the why. Let everyone know why you’re making this change – that it’s not just because you have budget to spend. Explain the positive impact you’re expecting to see on processes, efficiency and functionality. And keep in mind that this won’t just be a single conversation. Commit to ongoing discussions in different forums so you have multiple opportunities to reiterate why this change is happening and the positive outcomes you expect to achieve.
How and when to involve stakeholders
“Developing relationships with key stakeholders is critical,” explains Josh. If you involve them from the beginning, they can help you develop a strategic approach and ensure the hiring technology is aligned with a business need. Kristina recommends finding someone from the C-suite to act as your executive sponsor (more on that in a minute) plus members of your IT and legal teams.
Some of the questions to discuss with stakeholders include:
What does the business need?
How can technology solve – or at least assist with – a current issue or issues?
What does success look like?
Each group you work with will have different priorities and goals, such as reducing bias, prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) or maintaining compliance. If you recognize this before going into your conversations, it can help you incorporate everything you hear into one plan. You can also use the time to manage expectations so people know you’re navigating several different sets of requests.
Best practices for successful implementation
Reflecting on what they’ve seen work best, Josh and Kristina shared the following tips.
Look for a vendor who’s willing to be a true partner
At the beginning of your journey, consider what you’re hoping to achieve and what type of vendor would be best suited to help you meet your goals. “We wanted a vendor who would treat us like a partner and take the time to understand our nuances, quirks and business strategy,” says Josh. While some vendors might take a plug-and-play approach, Josh knew that wasn’t going to work at Udemy. Kristina recommends having expectation-setting conversations with your vendor early on. Let them know what you’re looking for in terms of communication and strategic direction.
Get an executive sponsor
Don’t overlook the importance of finding an executive sponsor – in other words, someone from the C-level who’s invested in the project’s success. “For almost every implementation we do, in one of the first conversations, we ask about the executive sponsor,” says Kristina. Josh agrees that executive sponsors can make or break your chances of success. The sponsor doesn’t necessarily need to be immersed in the technology, but they can help communicate and amplify your message throughout the organization. This will be particularly helpful when it’s time to roll out the new technology and you need to increase adoption.
Don’t be afraid of overcommunicating
Whenever you need to communicate about new technology – whether you’re announcing that it’s coming or you want to share how it will be used in your company – be sure to share the message in as many formats as possible. Kristina recommends aiming for a mix of live discussion, one-on-one communication and collateral that people can access at any time. Since Udemy is a learning platform, Josh harnessed the company’s own technology to create public service video announcements to let everyone know that Greenhouse was going to be launched soon. Josh says the videos were really powerful in getting the message out and emphasizing the importance of the rollout. Plus, it was a fun way to get his executive sponsor involved as a guest star in one of the videos.
Looking for even more real-life stories from today’s top talent leaders? Check out the Talent Makers podcast.