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    « Notes from the road #19 - Red eye diaries edition | Main | Wearable tech at work: Three lessons from the NBA »

    Technology, process, or message - which one should come first? #OOW15

    I am out at Oracle Open World for a couple of days this week and have been reminded (in a good way) of just how massive both this event is and the breadth and depth of the technologies and applications that fall under the Oracle banner. This event is really more like 10 events in one, with all the various technologies and application domains, (sales, marketing, finance, HCM, etc.), all having their own segments, content, and dedicated demonstration areas. It is just a huge event.

    One interesting nugget from my first day out at Open World was an observation that was made in a session I attended called 'Connect Sourcing, Recruiting, and Onboarding for Better Not Just More Candidates', that was given by Ann Blakely and Jim Fox from the consulting/advisory firm BakerTilly. It was a solid session with many smart and practical steps that organizations can take to better design, optimize and rationalize the steps in a classic talent acquisition process flow.

    But to me the most interesting aspect of the talk was the way that the typical 'People/Process/Technology' relationship was described. Typically, and in most of the 3,490 times I have seen someone discuss the concept, the importance of aligning each element (people, process, and technology), and making sure that each one individually is given adequate attention and resources, each one is treated more or less equally. In a nutshell, people, process, and technology are all kind of viewed as the same, or equal elements or sides in some kind of HR tech equilateral triangle. 

    Which is cool, or at least better than the classic mistake of leading with technology or becoming a slave to pre-existing (and often inefficient) processes at the expense of the other elements. Usually no one seems to make the 'mistake' of placing too much value or emphasis on the people side of the triangle, which is both odd and illustrative I guess.

    But to get back to the presentation yesterday which was fully in the context of improving the overall talent acqusition function, the speakers looked at the 'people' side of the classic 'People/Process/Technology' triangle and instead referred to it as 'Message.' But more importantly than just the semantic change, the speakers emphasized that in talent acquisition the 'message' itself - the Employer Value Proposition, the brand values, the ways in which the company wants to portray and position itself in the talent market, all of these things, that the message should more of less define the processes and then lead you to finding and deploying the right technology.

    It was more or less, a call to lead with 'people' as opposed to lead with one of other sides of the triangle, (which we know never really works out), or even to treat them all at least conceptually equally. Figure out the message, essentially who you are, what you stand for, what you truly believe are the core values that will make you an attractive employer, and build everything else out and up from there.

    It was a cool idea, and one that for me, I know I have not heard advocated much in the past, maybe not at all.

    Let the 'people' and the message drive how you design the processes and how/where/what technology will be leveraged to support it all. I am coming to think more and more that HR tech and tools that put 'people' first will be the ones that win in the long run....

    Like I said, a really cool idea shared in one small room of a massive event.

    Have a great Wednesday!

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    Reader Comments (3)

    Thanks, Steve. Your primary takeaway--to lead with people and your message first--is helpful. Perhaps this could be called a "centrifugal recruitment strategy"? Letting people determine the process I'd be interested in hearing or developing that idea more. Kind of like growth in general can start small (when started right) and grow massive when priorities are right. Mustard seed kind of growth, eh?

    October 29, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterChad Harrington

    I really liked the way you highlighted some really important and significant points. In this post you say good things come in small packages. Thanks for sharing.

    October 30, 2015 | Unregistered Commentercheap writing service

    I like it

    November 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterCris Rea

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