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Are you ready to take on technology in your 2013 talent acquisition strategy?  It’s a new year and with it, many organizations are trying on over-sized headphones and a pair of thick framed, prescription-less glasses to take a look at their recruitment process in attempts to improve it, make it more competitive, and learn how to attract better talent.

Everyone is trying to foresee the future of recruitment to stay ahead, whether it means getting trendy or standing firm to the tried and true. Last week, IHRIM unveiled their top 10 predictions for HR Technology in 2013IHRIM’s HR Technology predictions address the trends of:

  • Social Networking
  • Personal Devices
  • Mobile vs Desktop
  • SaaS
  • Predictive Analytics
  • Cloud Computing
  • Systems Integration
  • Metrics
  • Big Data
  • Gamification

What these predictions really represents to the Talent Acquisition community is a check list of “are you behind?” None of these trends are new; in fact many are trends the HR community has been looking at for several years now, trying to understand the best ways to incorporate the trends into their strategy “wardrobe.” (And, let’s be honest, some organizations need to do a ‘spring cleaning’ of tacky pieces of their process and fads of years gone past still hanging in their closets that they cling to, hoping they’ll come back in style, before they even think about trying on a new trend to see if it fits.)

But, if your organization hasn’t already been exploring the above trends in 2012, or earlier, early adopters, aka “your competitors,” have been, and they’ve learned a lot. They’ve also inspired whole new segments of start ups to infiltrate the industry to help you innovate in every aspect of your recruitment and employee engagement cycle.

Don’t fret if you feel you’re lagging in adapting new technologies into your strategy—the good news is, you still have time, and it’s never too late. (That is until the market shifts towards another new trend that you’re not up to speed on.)

Sometimes being behind or bucking the trend is a good thing. Take these early adopters, for example.  Your competitors may have had much success in social networking or developing a mobile recruiting strategy, but being on the forefront of a trend also means going through the growing pains with it and having to deal with the aches and grief of what doesn’t work in the course of getting to process improvements.  After all, some of us find out too late that not everyone looks good in a pair of skinny jeans.

Your organization now has the advantage of learning from other companies’ experience without having to waste as much time in the experimental phase.  Leverage that knowledge to pivot more quickly in adapting new approaches to your process and don’t be afraid to stand by something that works well for your company because no two company strategies should ever be identical, and it’s often your company’s unique identity that makes it hip and attractive to talent.

But, it is always fun to say you were the first to jump on the band wagon of a new trend and be the hipster of the HR universe.  Because by the time everyone is sporting the trend, your ironic t-shirt is just not that cool anymore to you, your clients, or the talent you’re bringing in.  And, if everybody’s exhausting it, what once was a trend, can sometimes become an industry rut that everyone is stuck in.

The trick becomes identifying what the classic staples of your process are—the timeless pieces of your company’s process that never go out of style.  As technology trends change, you can always accessorize your process (and some trends may become permanent, iconic pieces of your style over time) but you have to be ready to identify what works for your company and not be afraid to stand alone in the crowd of competition.

What technology trends have your organization already adapted (or are struggling to adapt or want to adapt)? 

What trends do you think will grow in 2013 and what do you think will still be on the list a year from now? 

What’s your biggest challenge in adapting new technology trends?  

Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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