Say hello to Hello Talent the new social recruitment application!

Recently I had the honour and privilege of presenting our new social recruitment application, Hello Talent — a product that is without a doubt one of the highlights of my career. I haven’t had the chance to launch a new product since Talentsoft was created, so suffice to say it was quite a moving experience for me. Seeing the birth of something I’d placed so much time, effort, and passion into was truly gratifying.

So what made me feel it so special? Well, aside from the fact that it represented the culmination of 2 years’ hard work by a whole team of experts — which all started, bizarrely enough, in a windowless bedroom in Sweden — Hello Talent marks a major milestone in the evolution of recruitment.

Like many of the people who attended the launch event, I’ve been using exotic terms like HR Community Manager, HR Marketing, new horizons in HR, and digital companies for a long time now, particularly in my blogs. However, such HR vernacular as well as the worldview underlying it is not widely existent in the majority of companies I work with. While authors, journalists, and researchers in HR fields understand and embrace these concepts, far too many HR practitioners and their business leaders are lagging behind.

The unfortunate reality is that in most organizations operational restrictions, organizational structures, and mindsets of senior managers make it impossible for HR managers to innovate and make the concept of talent (and all that comes with it) central to the organization. The focus is far too often only on the legal and financial sides of HR, or if things have progressed somewhat, on traditional appraisal, training, and remuneration methods. Few business leaders are giving HR the opportunity or the obligation to fundamentally transform HR processes to place the capture and development of talent at the centre. To make matters worse, the HR managers who are given the opportunity to make changes aren’t doing so effectively. The final complication comes from the fact that providers of HR software aren’t delivering tools that facilitate the needed HR transformations.

Most HR processes and the tools that support them manage internal information flows within the company, and on occasion filter external data into the right internal channels, but that data is limited and often needs to be specifically submitted. This approach ends up being one of isolation and causes everyone using it to miss out on what is happening in the outside world. If one considers recruitment for instance, the question of how organizations can exploit the full potential of information posted online by potential candidates and employees on blogs, Twitter feeds, Facebook pages, and other social media arises. While there is a wealth of information out there, most of us are relying on just a CV that is submitted to us. The rest of the data about a candidate, which could be quite valuable, is being ignored. This is where Hello Talent comes in.

Hello Talent aims to bridge the great digital divide currently separating the worlds of life inside and outside of work by collocating all the information candidates publically disseminate online into a single cloud-based application. This allows managers and recruiters to better understand candidates, hire the right ones, and then more effectively support them throughout their careers.

The war for talent, combined with the proliferation of social media has resulted in a situation where individuals with unique, valuable skill sets are so in demand that they often don’t need to even apply for a job — the jobs find them! The organizations the best succeed in finding and then hiring top talent are those that know how to compile information and understand the people they are looking at. It is far better to track, understand, and interact with a pool of talented candidates than sift through a pile of CVs filled with sub-optimal profiles.

This switch to proactive, information rich recruitment is a paradigm shift and something we are advocating for with Hello Talent. When paired with a recruiter who wants to break out of the old ways of thinking Hello Talent can help him/her move away from being a “talent administrator” to a “talent seducer”. Hello Talent brings a candidate relationship management perspective rather than the CV management found in a conventional ATS. This is not to say that Hello Talent is here to replace ATS tools. Far from it actually — Hello Talent is here to supplement and strengthen ATS tools.

Another focus we have with Hello Talent is to make recruitment a shared effort rather than the sole domain of recruiters — managers need to be involved as well. After all, they are the ones who will be leading and developing the people who are hired. If managers are put in a position to identify and engage potential candidates during the early stages of the recruiting process the effort of placing talent at the centre of HR processes will have begun. But why stop at managers? Why not involve other employees as well? They too could provide valuable input. Recruiting would then become a truly collaborative process and the HR team could track, trace, and consider referrals, reviews, and recommendations across social media platforms to ensure the right candidates get the right jobs.

Hello Talent is here to help recruitment to evolve into a talent focused process that considers data from multiple sources and outlets. We’ve just launched the base of the platform, and have lots of exciting features set to come out over the next several years. So without further ado, I urge you to visit the Hello Talent website and find out for yourselves exactly what the tool can do. And don’t forget to share your user experience! ;)

Originally published at lestalentsdalex.com on October 21, 2014.