This blog was originally going to be about the impact of Brexit on talent in the UK but has now morphed into something completely different. There are two reasons for this: the Brexit process is unprecedented and moving so quickly that trying to draw any conclusions is impossible; and secondly, I just found it too depressing and figured most people reading this blog would feel the same!

So, let’s talk about one of the bigger issues in the world of recruitment and talent acquisition: the impact of technology on jobs and whether the great leap forward promised by the myriad of new tech innovation is actually the real deal.  

These issues were debated at a dinner I hosted on Monday in partnership with Deloitte Corporate Finance, which saw 35 CEOs from the UK’s most exciting HR and recruitment technology businesses in attendance.

Now you might expect they would all be gung-ho and incredibly positive about their new and exciting business models and, on one level, they absolutely are. A good CEO, however, will also have the self-awareness to recognise the challenges their businesses face. How to make their offerings bespoke and standardised, for example, or whether to offer an end-to-end or point solution. These are big issues for them and their customers, i.e. you.

Another big challenge is how organisations – that will often be steeped in a complex piece of technology – get people whose background is almost certainly different (yes, you again) to properly assess and deploy their solution. Contrary to popular thinking, most technology CEOs would prefer not to sell a product to a customer that doesn’t meet their specific business needs. This approach is not only unsustainable but, in the era of extensive professional networks, unlikely to even work in the short-term.

Yet this kind of technology is now a key part of HR and talent acquisition roles, making it increasingly difficult to separate rhetoric from reality. Fortunately, our 2019 benchmark programme has evolved to explore this exact issue. It aims to shine light on how organisations assess and deploy new technology, but also helps to determine whether any real progress is being made.

Many large organisations are still held back by old legacy systems which stop them from being able to take advantage of newer, more powerful technologies. Whereas for smaller organisations current technology is only taking them so far, with compromises having to be made as they expand into international markets.  

But back to the dinner. It created some passionate debate and, most importantly, showed that Brexit isn’t the only thing that we should be worrying about in today’s rapidly changing business landscape. In fact, the question ‘what is AI?’ dominated the evening, producing the most interesting and original insight. Techies eh! You gotta love ‘em!


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