Photo credit: Jussi Ratilainen
At the tech world’s hottest conference this year, SmartRecruiters CEO Jerome Ternynck will show that amongst the hottest trends and the fastest fads, your brand is only as good as your people, and when it comes to bringing out your company’s best, you are who you hire.
Last year, around this time, an image of a Finnish tourism banner went viral on social media. “No One In Their Right Mind Would Come To Helsinki In November,” read the big white all-caps, underscored with the proviso, “Except You. You Badass. Welcome.”
While offering the kind of self-affirmation any visitor to Nordic winter would appreciate, the sign outside Vantaa airport was there to welcome attendees to the Slush conference, no, tech event, wait, there are laser shows – is it a festival?
Now in its fifth year with 17,500 guests, Slush vaunts itself as “Burning Man meets TED”, where startups seek investors, investors scope out startups, and Al Gore is going to be there.
For the 600 journalists bitching about the weather and looking to nail an angle, Slush is defining itself as it goes, component parts in flux, much like the variegated and fast-moving technologies converging from November 30th to December 1st. But there is one thing that unifies every participant, from every country in every category, Oslo to Tokyo, Blockchain to AI, without exception: everyone needs to hire talent, and they want the best talent they can get.
“Who you hire defines everything,” says Jerome Ternynck, founder and CEO of San Francisco-based SmartRecruiters. “Your ability to sell, to service, to innovate, to win or lose… Hiring is what defines you as a leader.”
And if there’s a sector hitting a hot streak going into Slush 2017, it’s recruiting.
That’s right, sunshine. Lose that mental picture of a dejected peon in a musty, windowless room, sifting through reams of resumes, slumped over a desk stained with the constellations of an unhappy career’s worth of coffee mugs.
“In most companies,” Ternynck explains, “recruiting is still treated as a back-office process, an admin workflow, where applicants are tracked, or more often ignored, in a cheap and automated manner.”
Now, there are deep-learning algorithms that sift through hundreds of thousands of profiles to match candidates with employers. It’s like having your own personal headhunter who never gets sick, never shows up hungover for Day 2 meetings at Slush, and can match employers with candidates/candidates with jobs neither knew they were interested in.
“The labor market, just like other markets, is becoming far more efficient,“ Ternynck continues. “Online Talent Platforms like LinkedIn, Google or SmartRecruiters are now able to connect millions of people to jobs in real time.”
Whoever was working Slush marketing last year probably didn’t think of too many recruiters when they thought about the “badasses” they wanted to welcome upon landing, but with machine learning learning more quickly, and professional matchmaking becoming more and more refined, expect HR Tech to have seats at the badass tables throughout Slush this year.