Change. The bittersweet word that touches every part of our lives, whether we want it to or not.

We’re living in times marked by change. The internet and social media platforms have paved our societal shift to instant gratification and individuals are now rejecting the traditional commitment to one career and one company. People are complex and companies have had to adjust to new norms, setting in motion a new category of benefits – greater corporate transparency, the solicitation of actionable feedback, and a more holistic view of work-life balance.

Times are changing. Even pivoting, you might say. But they’re good. We just have to keep up.

HR Tech 2019: last year vs. this year

I’m about to head to Vegas for HR’s largest tech gathering of the year, HR Technology Conference and Expo. Last year’s show was pretty vendor-focused. At least vendors thought so. Attendees were openly displeased with the amount of AI buzzwords plastered on every inch of the expo hall. Even the session speakers and industry leaders made fun of the relentless and overdone push from vendors claiming they had the best AI solution not only at the show, but in the world. The unanimous feeling from attendees and users was this, unphased. Just like anywhere else in life, people care about themselves first. So when they shop for a solution, they’re first asking themselves, “What can this do for me? How can this make my life easier, more meaningful, and more profitable?”

I believe there are a lot of really smart technology buffs that have staked their new livelihood in HR technology, BUT they aren’t people-first. They don’t think like people, for people. They only focus on making good technology. Most people have learned to love technology, but you have to first sell what it does for people. And in the case of recruiting, we’re talking about how it benefits both recruiters and candidates.

In last year’s HR Tech Conference roundup, I charged vendors with these three action steps:

  1. Stop selling the AI buzzword, show its value instead (AI value)
  2. Give detail around and display the process one’s data will take (Data clarity)
  3. Remind recruiters of their worth and irreplaceability (Recruiter irreplaceability)

If all three of these steps haven’t been tackled by the time of this year’s HR Tech conference, attendees will have no problem calling you out for it. Because, just like we’re currently experiencing a candidate’s market, we’re also experiencing a buyer’s market.

So, vendors, take a look at your solution.

  • What does it do better than any other solution in the world?
  • What group of people need it more than any other group of people in the world?
  • What compelling message are they wanting and needing to hear from you to be convinced they need what you are offering?


  • What is your biggest pain point?
  • What can you not do right now that you need to be able to do by tomorrow?
  • What are your goals and what kind of solution partner is going to help you get there?

Every vendor at the show will most likely be talking about AI again. Maybe they’ll say machine learning, maybe predictive analytics, maybe even blockchain. As an attendee, your job is to say “so what?” “How does that make my job easier? More meaningful? And more profitable?” If they can, in detail, explain how their technology addresses and delivers on each of these questions, you may have a real contender. If they can’t, BYE.

Recruiting doesn’t just need technology

I’m heading to Vegas with my team from Leoforce, where we’ll be talking about our flagship People Intelligence platform, Arya. For a short time, team members would say that we sold AI recruiting software. Today, they’ll tell you that we sell intelligence that helps you truly understand people and make the best data-driven hires that stay. They stay because they identify with the corporate culture, are motivated to excel, and are being given the tools to grow in their career and craft simultaneously. That’s what we make happen. We just happen to use really great AI.

Recruiting is a people-focused industry. People, their expectations, and their goals have dramatically shifted over the last few years. So why not invest in people-focused solutions that can look at talent multi-dimensionally — discovering their strengths, growth, expertise, and cultural fit before you even begin engaging with them?

Recruiting doesn’t just need technology. Recruiting needs people focusing on people.

Look for those vendors at HR Tech.

See you there!

Author Abby Carter

Abby Carter // Tech Storyteller

Like most people who gravitate toward writing, Abby has a love for helping people. She takes pride in bridging the gap between people and technology, and enabling others to make sense of the two working together for a greater impact. You’ll catch Abby around town at a local brewery, enjoying the outdoors with her German Shepherd, or cuddled up on the couch with a glass of wine and her latest new read.

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