Can you spot the fake trends in talent acquisition? Jonathan Kestenbaum, managing director at Talent Tech Labs, will be “separating myth from reality” in his presentation at the RecPlus Conference in Barcelona. Greater transparency is going to shake up reticent classified players, as the industry shifts from job rec focused to people focused – a combination of tech and touch.

In your opinion, what are the major challenges facing the recruitment (classified) industry in the next three years?

I think there’s a lack of transparency in the classified industry – still. Even moving from what originally was newspaper ads to digital, I still think for the benefit of the classified industry they don’t share as much. They don’t want to tell you, for instance, specifically what types of traffic you’re getting. They want to encourage you to pay as much as you possibly can. So I think that one of the big challenges is that there’s going to be more transparency. Clients are going to force transparency. So that’s something that they should start to pay attention to. I also think that programmatic advertising is going to become more important – it’s not going to replace the classified industry in any way, shape or form; it’s just something to pay attention to. Consumers of classified ads are going to expect more choice in how they pay. That’s what programmatic will bring into the mix.

What will most surprise conference attendees in your presentation at RecPlus?

I plan to separate myth from reality. I plan to highlight the trends in talent acquisition that are real and the trends that are fake. I think they’ll be pleasantly surprised by the stuff that’s actually working and the stuff that isn’t. I’m going to mention Artificial Intelligence, spots etc.

What unique challenges does your business face in your market?

This is an enterprise going through a transformation. We’re advisors to large corporations about their talent acquisition technology. So to the extent that there is some kind of recession, or the economy slows down, obviously, it would be my thought that the need for services like ours would decrease.

Where has the major recent disruption in your sector come from?

This is an interesting one. We’ve moving from what I would call a job rec-focused model to a people-focused model. And by that I mean that it used to be about “here’s the rec – go find candidates to fill this; go find squares to put in the square hole”. And now companies have learned from marketing and they’re starting to focus on people. You’re starting to see new technologies like candidate relationship management systems, conversion optimization engines, ad recruits… So this disruption, I believe, this move from job rec focused to people focused, is what is really causing companies to go through this transformation and is causing this increase in spend on talent acquisition technology.

How is digitalization further going to reshape your business?

I think that this transformation in general, this digital transformation, should help you lower your operating expenses in running your talent acquisition function, but more importantly, people will – I don’t believe that technology will replace humans. I think that this is a combination of tech and touch. People will do what they do best and technology will do what it does best. People will engage and technology will compute.

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