Challenges of Technologically Enhancing Talent Acquisition

Mason Stevenson
Posted: 01/22/2018

It's a phrase HR professionals know well: the War for Talent. People, strategy, benefits, rewards are all actors on the effort, and now… so is technology.

With that come multiple challenges that must be addressed.

Challenges Abound

With the implementation of any new technology, there are challenges to be overcome. With respect to talent acquisition, there are three big hurdles according to Edward Arencibia. He's the Talent Acquisition Leader at Whole Foods Market.

Talent Acquisition Search Generic

Firstly: geography. Arencibia says it depends on whether your company is looking at technology with a global perspective or that of a regional perspective.

Secondly, Arencibia addressed legal challenges.

"Latin America has employment laws that you need to abide by. The U.S. technically has some of the more challenging ones around the world. Europe seems to be a little more lenient," Arencibia said. "With regards to the candidate experience and abiding by certain employment laws, that's one of the biggest challenges."

Lastly, Arencibia pointed to the often-needed change management.

"Often times, when you implement new technology there's change management involved. You have some opposition and apprehension from the business; from ops to participate," Arencibia said.

He gave this example.

"I'll talk to them [operations leaders] about what the average cost per hire is. They didn't know that because it doesn't come out of the bottom line," Arencibia said. He said showing leaders that number has a very powerful impact on operations leaders and business leaders alike.

To mitigate that, one of the most important things a company can do when using technology to enhance talent acquisition is the knowing the right tool for the right industry. This is paramount for HR professionals as they begin to explore technology solutions.

"Certain technologies don't fit in well with certain industries, like video interviewing platforms. I've worked in luxury retail before and those don't work well," Arencibia explained. "They work better for industries like the one that I'm in now, in grocery, where you have a much higher volume. For like luxury retail or technology, you really need to do a deeper dive into candidates."

Arencibia said there are several technologies available now that will help mitigate challenges as well as strengthen a company's talent acquisition strategy.

He first pointed toward social technologies.

"LinkedIn, I believe, is going to remain a powerhouse in the in the landscape of replacing resumes. I think that's going to be a huge game-changer… even in in terms of sourcing talent or communicating with talent," Arencibia predicted.

But he said he doesn't think social technologies are advancing fast enough where talent acquisition is concerned.

"I think talent acquisition, oftentimes, is restricted from advancing in technology… including social media because of the business. The business is so focused on driving sales, which obviously is the important thing, but not so more driving better people," Arencibia said. "I'm not trying to generalize for all industries; all companies. While finding the best talent is important to the company, how is not as important."

A Place for Analytics

Before the beginning of 2018, the HR Exchange Network published 6 Key HR Trends to Watch in 2018. In the Number 1 spot was people analytics.

When designing a talent acquisition strategy, Arencibia said analytics are an important part… more so then it is given credit.

"From an HR perspective; from the talent acquisition perspective… that's really the bulk of how we are able to measure our success; our performance," Arencibia said. "It's unbelievably important and it's something that I need to be able to drive on a weekly basis to my teams to be able to help improve the performance and really demonstrate where our wins and opportunities are."

Talent Search Data Dots over people

Arencibia added that despite the importance of analytics, talent acquisition isn't the primary focus.

"In my opinion, it plays an integral part in terms of vacancies, in terms of turnover, in terms of retention and attrition." Arencibia explained.

Edward Arencibia is the Talent Acquisition Leader for Whole Foods Market.

IQPC's Chieft Talent Officer Exchange is scheduled for March 17-19, 2018 at the Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive in Orlando, Florida.  For more information, click here.

Mason Stevenson
Posted: 01/22/2018


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