By: Matt Charney, Monster Social Media Engagement Manager
Chances are you’ve heard of the cloud by now, or even used the term yourself, but haven’t really stopped to give it a lot of thought.
If you’ve logged into Google, bought a book on Amazon, “liked” an article on Facebook or updated your resume on Monster, you’ve seen cloud computing in action -- yet probably weren’t even aware of it.
Similarly, the convergence of cloud computing with HR systems is already ubiquitous, yet invisible.
These solutions, often packaged as “software as a service” or SAAS for short, touch our professional lives as profoundly as our personal ones.
In fact, Merrill Lynch estimates that overall, businesses spent $160 billion on cloud computing products in 2011, a market that continues to grow.
According to a Towers Watson report, 100% of Fortune 1000 companies are already using SAAS for some form of data utilization. Yet the cloud isn’t just for big businesses; CRN predicts that small business spending on cloud computing products will reach $100 billion annually by 2014.
When it comes to cloud computing, clearly, the future is now. Understanding its impact and importance, however, means shedding light on the shadow it casts on our everyday lives -- and professional capabilities.
Here are five of the reasons why cloud computing matters most for HR and recruiting professionals, and why they’re important to the tools, and technologies, of the talent management trade.
5. Access on Demand: Cloud computing offers the ability to access software or information that‘s delivered on demand and over the Internet, without the need to store it locally. This means the ability to obtain data from any device, anywhere, at any time.
Anticipating this trend are a myriad number of tools and technologies designed to allow similar access to HR systems and data, providing insights and information when it’s needed, where it’s needed.
These software as a service solutions create a convergence of previously disparate data, providing a seamless and secure portal into the analytics behind the bigger talent management picture.
4. Multiple Sources for Candidates: There’s never been a “silver bullet” when it comes to winning the war for talent, a battle that’s becoming increasingly competitive -- and increasingly complex.
Today’s global recruitment trends require employers to expand their reach, without necessarily expanding their resources.
The evolution from paper to paperless recruiting means that there as are many different databases for housing candidate information as there are places and platforms for reaching passive and active talent alike.
A proprietary “private cloud” in the form of HR software as a solution means combining these many potential sources of hire into a single source for tracking, measuring and reporting.
Customized HR SAAS solutions also have the ability to create job posting efficiency, reach and efficacy by creating one portal for touching multiple platforms, while standardizing and aggregating candidate information and profiles into a single, searchable source.
3. Increased Speed of Implementation and Updates: Gone are the days when an implementation inevitably meant a gaggle of contractors, consultants and customer service.
Designed to integrate and augment, rather than replace, existing enterprise software, implementing a cloud solution doesn’t disrupt business as usual, and eliminates many of the expenses commonly associated with new systems.
Similarly, cloud capabilities can often be implemented in a matter of weeks or months, instead of years.
2. Improved Candidates and Analytics: In an age where search is the new killer app, having the ability to look across these previously disparate sources of information means being able to find and compare top talent faster, transforming “big data” into highly relevant, highly targeted results.
SeeMoreTM from Monster, for example, utilizes cutting edge 6Sense® semantic search technology to combine the world’s largest talent pool with an employer’s social network profiles, job postings and candidate databases into a Web-based, searchable private resume database that’s accessible on demand from any device, anywhere.
By consolidating internal and external resume databases, employers can source across multiple platforms simultaneously, allowing for continuity and connectivity when developing and pipelining candidates.
Making the most out of the new recruiting reality of doing more with less, cloud technologies can bring new capabilities to legacy systems, applying cutting edge semantic search technologies to return more relevant, targeted results.
This positively impacts the metrics which matter most, reducing time-to-fill and cost to hire while transforming an employer’s proprietary database into a competitive advantage.
1. Increased Innovation and Customization: The speed and agility cloud computing enables are reflected throughout its product life cycle. The result increases access as well as self-service updates and opportunities for customization.
This same customization generally extends to the provider’s variable support and pricing models, with the cloud providing scalable solutions for any size business, while maximizing investment in current tools and technologies, creating tangible, bottom-line results.
Unlike previous HR software, cloud computer solutions feature an open API code to automate processes and communication between different systems and platforms.
This allows companies and third-party developers to customize widgets, applications and other solutions to meet individual business needs and objectives.
The open API that is inherent to cloud computing solutions democratizes development, driving continuous innovation -- at a competitive cost structure.
Clearly, for cloud computing, the costs of getting it wrong are too steep a price to pay when it comes to acquiring and managing top talent.
For HR practitioners who want to get it right and prevent obsolescence, any forecast for successful recruitment strategies in 2012 requires a 100% chance of clouds.