In Part 1, we talked about the overall evolution of technology the last 12 years and how other business functions have embraced these changes to redefine their processes and increase their operational effectiveness.  We speculated on how the HR function can learn from what others have done so well and yield similar gains as well.

Let’s look honestly for a moment at how technology has been designed and built to support the HR function for the last 12 years. For the most part, vendors have focused  singularly on the HR professional and developing solutions that support HR practices in place for decades. To be sure, those practices have been automated, synchronized and polished up a bit with a few slick applications, but they have been an inside-out view of the world with “inside” having most of the weight. In other words, the world around HR has been changing, and HR technologies have failed to keep pace. Most solutions and developments have neglected to focus where it matters most. Call it what you want. The talent. The individual. The person.

Shifting focus there means a radical but necessary shift in mindset. It means a shift in thinking from a “corporate bias” to an “individual bias”. Social networks and the level of disruption they have caused, the mass adoption of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets and the tendency for those channels to account for most interactions and information changes the game. Individuals expect more of their work interactions and information to follow suit. Organizations, led by HR, have to keep pace.

Many call it the consumerization of IT, but we all are used to easily downloading simple apps that we need when we need them and having access to information and data that makes life significantly easier (Where is the nearest grocery store? How do I fix my sink? Where are my friends?). Look in the mirror.  Chances are you’ll see someone staring back whose expectation and hope is that your place of work will create a similar environment – easy to engage, easy to navigate, useful information one or two clicks away, and a self-service capability to manage your own highly tailored and personalized journey through an entire career.

Tools already exist today (with a significant number in the Salesforce ecosystem) that will allow individual and lines-of-business managers to take care of their own recruiting and talent management needs. HR is in a great position to embrace the future and empower the talent pool – both inside and outside the organization. Companies that adopt this way of thinking and look to enable individuals vs. holding on to traditional HR processes will be the most successful at bringing the best talent to the table.