Day One at the ERE Expo in Hollywood Beach, FL

October 30, 2008

It was a long day. The show hours were from 12pm to 5:30pm but we got downstairs early to set up the booth as we arrived too late on Tuesday to set up.


In any event, ERE Expo is facing the same thing that most other shows are facing this Fall – less than anticipated crowds due to fear over the economy.  As I have said before, economic fears shouldn’t have this kind of effect on these conferences but the media is doing a great job at instilling fear in people and making the economy out to be worse than it actually is. People, get out and spend money and invest!!!


Sorry for making that diversion again but I am tired of hearing those excuses. Nonetheless, all the vendors I talked to said that while traffic was lighter, the quality of the prospects they talked to were very high. I’d have to agree with that which makes it all worth it.


Before the expo hall opened, I was interviewed on camera with Bill Vick to talk about the state of recruiting and talent management today. We also discussed the challenges that organizations face today with recruiting both here in the U.S. and globally as well as where I believe this is headed in the future.


Some interesting things throughout the expo was the use of Segways by iCIMS to drive throughout the exhibit hall passing out flyers. Optijob, who was a couple of booths down from us, was having a blast shooting Styrofoam rockets all over the place. There were also some great educational sessions taking place but we stayed at our post in the exhibit hall helping to enlighten attendees on what we do.


It was a successful day and we are looking forward to Day Two on Thursday and then going home.


Please don’t forget the message we are continuing to spread – if you are considering a Talent Acquisition or Talent Management System, don’t go it alone. Let us help you to ensure you select the right product, the first time, and take risk out of the project. It is too important of a decision to leave to chance!


If you are in Florida, come see HRchitect on Thursday. If you are not in Florida, visit our web site and contact us today!


Solving a piece of the puzzle… 
Matt Lafata, HRchitect


Are You Attending the ERE Fall Expo?

October 28, 2008

The ERE Expo (Electronic Recruiting Exchange) is all about recruiting and workforce management. As the leading Talent Acquisition Systems consulting firm, HRchitect will be exhibiting at the conference which is being held October 28 through October 30 at the Westin Diplomat in Hollywood Beach, FL. If you are looking to evaluate Talent Acquisition Systems (or any kind of Talent Management System for that matter), or you are looking for help implementing a system, please be sure to stop by and see us.

There are a lot of great vendors that will be in the exhibit hall this year and also lots of great sessions. Sessions will cover topics on strategic talent planning, connecting with candidates, and quite frankly, just a lot of topics centering around recruiting.  

The ERE Expo speakers will share the secrets of today’s largest corporations and offer first-hand accounts of what these corporations are doing to stay ahead of the recruiting curve. Select from more than 20 cutting-edge sessions and workshops to keep your recruiting skills sharp.  

If you’re like most people, we are sure you are finding the Talent Acquisition and Talent Management Software market confusing, so I’d like to invite you again to stop by and see us and we will help you solve the puzzling world of HR Technology! 

We will give you a short recap of the conference later this week for those who missed it but wished they were there.

Solving a piece of the puzzle… 
Matt Lafata, HRchitect

Who would you like to see as our next President?

October 23, 2008


As those of you that subscribe to HRchitect‘s monthly newsletter have seen, we like to give away prizes to those who participate in our blog polls!  In honor of our November newsletter, which will be hitting your inboxes on election day, we wanted to have a little fun to see who our readers would like to see as the next President of the United States. 

We’ve given you a wide range of options:  Bill Kutik (Analyst, Pundit and Consultant in HR Technology), Senator Barack Obama, Rick Fletcher (President and Founder of HRchitect), Senator John McCain, Jim Holincheck (HCM Analyst), Ross Perot (sure he’s not running this time, but you’ve got to love those flipcharts!) and if you weren’t aware before this post that we’re having an election, choose the 6th option.  In the spirit of independents, we’ll also be accepting write-ins.

After you vote, be sure to send an email to with your name and the email address you would like to be contacted with if you are one of our lucky drawing winners!  All winners will be named in our November edition of The HR Authority, as will the results from the poll.  If you are not subscribed, click here to do so.

Tiffany Appleby, HRchitect

Evaluating Usability for Talent Acquisition Systems

October 22, 2008

The selection of a Talent Acquisition System (TAS) can be a very complex process, given the maturity of the industry and the number of solutions on the market today. Couple that with the aggressive manner in which some software vendors have sought to expand their product lines through venture funding, acquisition, partnerships, and organic development and you have a recipe for potential disaster. Fortunately, HRchitect has written an article that can help you can avoid disaster and take risk out of any your TAS software selection project. The article appears in the October issue of The Journal of Corporate Recruiting and we thought we would include an excerpt here.


The most effective way to ensure that the selection process for a Talent Acquisition System is objective and systematic is to use decision drivers.  Decision drivers, which we have talked about in a previous blog, typically include both product criteria, such as functionality, usability, integration, technology, scalability, business segmentation and global capability, and vendor criteria, such as viability, pricing, services and product vision. 


While all of these decision drivers are valuable in comparing systems, and we highly recommend you utilize decision drivers any time you are going to make a major software purchase, Usability is often the most heavily weighted, and yet the most misunderstood decision driver in software selection.


When evaluating usability within the context of talent acquisition systems, you would be best served to take a broad view of usability: moving beyond simple appearances (look and feel) and examining not only the form, but also the function.


True usability answers this question: Does the software help recruiters, managers, and candidates complete the hiring process more efficiently AND more effectively?


Too often, usability reviews do not move beyond the cosmetic surface to address the more critical process issues of operational efficiency and effectiveness. But, as a key decision driver, usability should be considered within the context of both function AND form.  Software is not truly usable if it does not enable the users to become more effective in their business processes – with easily learned navigation and efficiency drivers such as automation or mass actions. To derive maximum value and ROI from a talent acquisition solution, usability should be considered with a long term view to accomplishing business goals.


Since usability is the decision driver that is the most difficult to understand, the article breaks the process down systematically by first examining how experts define usability, then looking at how to effectively employ usability as a decision driver in a software selection project. Finally, we look at how to objectively evaluate usability when reviewing competing talent acquisition systems. For the last section, we have identified six key real-world usability factors to consider in your overall selection process.


It is also important to understand the philosophy and approach to design that your prospective software vendors subscribe to – is there a structured, methodical, and iterative design/testing process that takes into consideration multiple perspectives?


You owe it to your organization to perform a usability review that includes the six key areas of usability outlined in the article. This systematic approach —although it will take more thought and planning—will drive a much more accurate appreciation for the true usability of the solutions under consideration.


To learn more about the Journal of Corporate Recruiting and ERE (Electronic Recruiting Exchange), please visit

 Solving a piece of the puzzle… 
Matt Lafata, HRchitect


Don’t Miss the Upcoming HR Systems Strategic Planning Webinars

October 20, 2008

In today’s uncertain economic times, it’s more important than ever for organizations to have a clear HR Systems Strategic Plan. From the leaders in HR Systems Strategic Consulting, this webinar is a must-see for anybody who touches HR systems from finance, IT, HR, and other parts of the organization.


The HR Systems Strategic Plan is the embodiment of an organization’s goals and objectives (the corporate business plan) and the HCM and IT strategic plans that support the meeting of these goals and objectives. HCM systems include an organization’s core HR, Payroll and Benefits systems and self-service systems, along with Talent Management Systems such as Talent Acquisition, Compensation Management, Performance Management, Learning Management, Competency Management, Career Planning, and Succession Planning Systems. Investing in HCM technology without a strategy on how each component system will support the other often results in the implementation of systems that are not best suited to meet a company’s business objectives, which results in wasted time and money, as well as staff inefficiencies. A good talent management technology strategy is to minimize the number of vendors providing the required HCM solutions and create a more integrated HCM systems environment.


Attendees will learn:

• A strategy, vision and objectives for Talent Management technology

•  A technology strategic plan and a validation of your technology strategy to support your plans (should we buy more modules from our ERP vendor, buy a TMS suite, or acquire individual best of breed components?)

•  A timeline and plan for technology acquisitions


As a point of reference as to what HRchitect does when performing HR Systems Strategic Planning services, the list below should give you a pretty good idea of how we can help you and what you will hear about in the webinar:


·         Comprehensive review of your existing corporate, HR, HCM, HRIS and IT strategic plans.

·         Detailed interviews with senior executives and other key individuals within your organization to discuss these plans.

·         Revise or, if necessary, create your HCM and IT strategic plans

·         Create your HCM Systems Strategic Plan including a multi-year HR Technology plan.

·         Review your current HCM software applications to determine if they are in sync with your IT strategy and HCM strategic plan.  This review includes the review of your current HCM system vendor product roadmaps.

·         Review, redesign and optimize “current state” HCM business processes based on industry best practices and your goals and objectives as defined within your HCM Systems Strategic Plan.  During this step, special attention will be paid to identity areas for cost reduction and avoidance, increasing staff efficiencies and areas that could be exposing your organization to compliance violations.

·         Assist in gaining support from your key executive sponsors and stakeholders on the HCM Systems Strategic Plan and any “future state” HCM business processes.


With companies reducing budgets for HR systems and Talent Management systems, it’s important for you to understand how to maximize the systems you currently have and how to build a business case for new technologies that will deliver the ROI your organization needs.


Don’t miss out!


To register, click on the desired date below.


Wednesday, October 22nd @ 1PM Central

Tuesday, November 18th @ 1PM Central


 Solving a piece of the puzzle… 
Matt Lafata, HRchitect

Day Two at HR Technology Conference in Chicago

October 19, 2008

I’m sorry this report was a few days late in coming as it has been a busy time since we returned from the show.


In any event, day two was a little shorter than the first time although we didn’t get a break for lunch as Taleo sponsored the box lunch in the exhibit hall.


Traffic was light in the exhibit hall itself although it did get busier as the day went on. I have been hearing that overall attendance was up for the show so my guess is that the sessions themselves were so good that many people just didn’t get time to visit all of the 240+ vendors in the exhibit hall.


In any event, the show as a success for us as we got to reconnect with lots of industry friends that we generally only see at these shows. We also were able to visit with many clients and prospects which we always enjoy as well.


The exhibit hall closed at 4pm and we quickly dismantled the booth as we had to get to O’Hare airport for our 6:30 flight back home to Dallas. The cab line was long, traffic was bad, and the security line was long but we made it to the gate just as we started boarding.


Sadly we missed the Integrated Talent Management (ITM) shootout which started at 4pm. It was between Authoria, Cornerstone OnDemand, and Softscape. All of these products were featured in our report on ITM entitled The Suite Life of integrated Talent Management, which was released in May. If you have yet to get your copy of this highly touted report, you can get it here.


In any event, we have great respect for these products and companies and while it is always difficult to pick a winner, Authoria was named the winner and we would like to offer them our congratulations.


Next year’s show will be a little earlier (by about two weeks) than this year and we are already looking forward to it. In the meantime, stay tuned to HRchitect as we help you solve the puzzling world of HR technology all year long!



 Solving a piece of the puzzle… 
Matt Lafata, HRchitect


Day One at HR Technology Conference in Chicago

October 16, 2008

It’s been a long day. The show hours were from 10am to 5:30pm and most of the day was quite busy. And then of course there were the multitude of after-hours parties that we received invites to.


Let’s back up to Tuesday though. We arrived at McCormick Place in Chicago on Tuesday afternoon and promptly registered. On our way to the registration desk, Tiffany and I had the distinct pleasure of seeing the co-chair himself, Bill Kutik. We talked with Bill for a few minutes and could tell he was looking forward to a great show. After registering, we proceeded to the exhibit hall to do everybody’s favorite part of the show – the booth set up! After it was all done, we met up with one of the vendors for a couple of drinks at the Hyatt Regency bar.


Fast forward to the next day, Wednesday, and the exhibit hall began with a bang at 10am. Of course there were lots of great HR technology tracks all day long but being in the exhibit hall all day, we weren’t able to visit any of the sessions so I can’t comment.


The exhibit hall traffic was steady at times and slow at other times. It also seemed there were more vendors and analysts than prospects themselves. Based on what I have seen at other recent shows, the economy fears seem to be affecting attendance at shows and conferences. It shouldn’t but the media is doing a great job at instilling fear in people and making the economy out to be worse than it actually is. People, get out and spend money and invest!!!


Ok, sorry for the digression and back to the exhibit hall. Even vendors who didn’t have booths were walking around to visit with other vendors. As a company that prides itself in being the leading Talent Management and HR Systems consulting firm, we enjoyed meeting with many vendors and look forward to visiting with more on the second day. We also enjoyed talking with current clients and prospects and look forward to turning those prospects into clients.


One of the negative side effects of being so busy at the booth as that I didn’t get a chance to walk around and visit with some of the other booths and vendors that we work with in the HR Technology space. Hopefully on day two and if any of you are reading this, stop by and see us in booth 427.


Of course the exhibit hall had the required desert breaks to get people to visit the exhibit hall but one of the more interesting things was the “cirque de soleil” type thing going on over the Taleo booth. It was certainly fun to watch from our vantage point.


After the long day at the booth we (Rick, Tiffany and I) headed over to the Hyatt Regency to visit Cornerstone OnDemand’s cocktail party as well as that of nowHIRE. After that we headed off-site to visit one of our competitor’s events that we got invited to by a mutual client and then off to Fulton’s by the River to visit’s event. Another vendor was having an event there as well but we didn’t get an invite and were tired anyway so we headed back to the Hilton Chicago.


All in all, a successful day one at the HR Technology Conference.



Solving a piece of the puzzle… 
Matt Lafata, HRchitect




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