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Round Up May 2024


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Check out my new course on planning strategically for the future – Trend Spotting

Round up is the monthly show on The Recruiting Future Podcast channel that highlights episodes you may have missed and gives you my take on some of the key learnings from the guests.

Episodes mentioned in this Round Up:

Ep 611: Doing Hiring Differently

Ep 611: Doing Hiring Differently

Ep 612: AI-Powered Job Seekers

Ep 612: AI-Powered Job Seekers

Ep 613: Talent Automation

Ep 613: Talent Automation

Ep 614: Reinventing The Recruiting Process

Ep 614: Reinventing The Recruiting Process

Ep 615: Building Inclusive Hiring Practices

Ep 615: Building Inclusive Hiring Practices

Ep 616: AI And The Art Of The Possible

Ep 616: AI And The Art Of The Possible

Ep 617: The Practicalities of Skills-Based Hiring

Ep 617: The Practicalities of Skills-Based Hiring

Ep 618: Breaking The Rainbow Ceiling

Ep 618: Breaking The Rainbow Ceiling

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Matt: Support for this podcast comes from Plum. Plum is a revolutionary workforce solutions provider that knows when people flourish, business thrives. With their powerful new platform, PlumThrive, you can unlock science-based data to help you measure and match human potential to job needs. PlumThrive provides personalized career insights, improves quality of hire and creates high performing teams from a single, simple to use platform. Want to learn more? Visit, and discover all the ways that Plum can help you thrive.

[Recruiting Future podcast theme]

Hi, there. This is Matt Alder. Welcome to the May Round-Up episode of the Recruiting Future podcast. If you’ve not listened to Round-Up before, it’s a short review of the episodes that I’ve published in the last month to make sure that you don’t miss out on the valuable insights my guests are sharing.

A huge thank you to for their support of round-up. I think the approach they’re taking to skills-based thinking is both highly innovative and highly pragmatic. This month, they also launched PlumThrive, which could be a real game changer. You should definitely check out their website to find out more. It’s Well, May has been quite a month. It started with a trip to the HR Technology Conference in Amsterdam.

A big thank you to everyone who came to my Ask the Experts session. We had such a great discussion around the challenges of skills-based hiring. I also recorded three interviews at the show and more about those later. Later in the month, it was a privilege to co-host True Scotland with Chad and Joel from the Chad & Cheese podcast. The unconference format allowed people to discuss the biggest challenges in talent acquisition, sharing ideas and solutions. It’s very clear that people expect significant changes in the coming months and years.

While there was some anxiety about potential future scenarios, there was genuine excitement around the potential of AI, skills-based thinking and a more integrated approach to talent to make recruiting better for everyone.

One thing that does concern me is how introspective talent acquisition can be focusing more on its own shortcomings and perceived helplessness rather than driving positive change. Fortunately, I was blown away by some of the forward thinking and proactive TA leaders in Scotland who are genuinely making a difference and innovating for the future. Podcast episodes from the event are going to be going live very soon.

Finally, in May, I launched my new digital course, Trend Spotting, which is designed to help talent acquisition professionals develop future facing strategies. You can find out more by going to That’s Matt Alder dotme slash Course. So, let’s dive into the round-up. And once again, I was delighted at the calibre of guests and the quality of the conversations we had on the show.

Many aspects of how companies hire talent have been set in stone and unquestioned for decades. Even if talent acquisition wants to drive change, the power of accepted wisdom amongst hiring managers and the C-suite is difficult to challenge. So, what happens when the CEO of a business champions a completely different way of doing things?

My guest on Episode 611 was Jeff Dewing, Group CEO at Cloudfm. J Jeff’s story is amazing, and his approach to business is encapsulated in the title of his book, Doing The Opposite. When it comes to hiring, Jeff has challenged conventional wisdom around interviews and skills head-on with some spectacular results. We talk a lot about CEO’s needing to be more sophisticated and more empathetic in their approach to talent, and that is exactly what Jeff is doing. I loved this conversation. It’s an absolute must listen.

It’s becoming very clear that jobseeker use of AI tools in the application process has profound implications for tele acquisition. Many employers report a significant increase in application volume and there is a potential technology arms race as employers and job boards attempt to use AI to identify AI. While this might help in the short term, it won’t work in the long-term. And is job seeker AI use even a bad thing?

On Episode 612, I spoke to job board expert consultant Alexander Chukovski. Alexander has been doing a deep dive into how job seekers use AI and its implications for recruiting. He has valuable insights about job seeker verification and its potential to create win-win situations for candidates, job boards and employers.

We discussed why it’s actually very difficult to spot AI use in resumes and applications, and how the job board industry should be responding. As I’ve said many times before, automation in recruiting and HR is inevitable. This means that every TA and HR leader should be thinking strategically about automation, its implications, and most importantly, the value that it will add right now. So, what are the benefits of automation, and where and how should talent functions be automated?

On Episode 613, I spoke to Brandon Sammut, Chief People Officer at Zapier. Automation is in Zapiers corporate DNA, and they are successfully using it to drive their talent density strategy through automation in recruiting, onboarding, and skills development.

In our conversation, we talked about what talent density means at Zapier, using automation to solve hard problems and make things more personal at scale, experience design, and understanding where to apply automation and where not to apply it. The pace of change in recruiting technology continues to accelerate. And with it come opportunities to improve hiring outcomes, streamline operational efficiency and make much needed improvements to the candidate experience.

When you add in the increasing volume of applications driven by candidate use of AI that we’ve just talked about and the differing wants and needs of a new generation entering the workforce, it becomes evident that we are on the brink of a profound transformation in the recruiting process. So, what are forward thinking companies already doing?

My guest on Episode 614 was Hollie Powell, Recruitment Business Partner at EDF. EDF is reinventing its recruiting process for early careers and improving the candidate experience by carefully balancing technology and automation with high-quality human interaction.

Hollie talked us through the importance of this, and why using asynchronous video interviewing to speed up their processes has been incredibly beneficial for their candidates. Inclusive hiring is vital to building inclusive organizations and the benefits of getting it right are considerable, both at a human and at a business level. Recognizing bias, standardizing hiring manager behavior and analyzing data are just some of the things employers need to consider to be more inclusive in their hiring.

My guest on Episode 615 was Sarah Harnett, Senior Director of People Business Partners at Greenhouse Software. In our conversation, Sarah talked through the steps that Greenhouse has taken to build an inclusive culture through inclusive hiring practices.

The topics we covered, including making hiring the starting point for building an inclusive culture, connecting DE&I strategy to corporate strategy, and the implications of AI on inclusivity. Podcasting at events and conferences is one of my favorite things to do. I love meeting people face to face, and you get the opportunity to access a broad range of views and expertise around the topics shaping the industry.

As I mentioned in the intro, Recruiting Future was an official media partner of the HR Technology Conference Europe in Amsterdam at the beginning of May. This was the first time the event had been held outside of the US. AI was a central theme in the discussions. I was eager to gather insights on the current use cases of AI tools, as well as the potential future implications.

Episode 616 features three interviews on these themes, which I recorded at the show. My first interview was with Rebecca Carr, CPO and acting CEO of SmartRecruiters. We talked about AI as a co-pilot and its potential to enhance the very human aspects of recruiting.

The second interview was with my friend and co-author, Mervyn Dinnen. We talked about his concerns around AI’s impact on employee experience and creativity.

Finally, the third interview was with Norwegian entrepreneur, Eivind Arnsten, during which we talked about the AI employment lawyer his company is building and the potential for widespread automation throughout HR processes and activities.

Skills based hiring is not just a passing trend. It’s a significant shift in the recruiting landscape. Many employers are eager to unlock its advantages in terms of flexibility, diversity, economic efficiency and dealing with talent shortages. But is there a gap between theory and practice regarding understanding and implementation?

Over the last few months, experienced TA leader Adrian Thomas and myself have partnered with Neil Kelly at Vector on some research to uncover the realities and practicalities of skills-based hiring within large global employers.

Neil and Adrian joined me on Episode 617 to discuss the findings, some of which are quite surprising, and to look at what employers need to do to advance with skills-based hiring. We discussed the different motivations that employers have to move to skills-based thinking, some of the more surprising findings of the research the intersection between talent acquisition, talent management and L&D. The issues employers are having with skills taxonomies and what the future might look like.

Currently, there are only four LGBTQ+ CEOs in the Fortune 500, and none in the FTSE 100. This really illustrates the hidden challenges and differences in professional opportunities, especially when it comes to promotion and recruitment into senior roles. Many employers publicly say that improving diversity and inclusion in their workforce is a significant priority. But this will only truly happen with appropriate representation at the top of the organization.

My guest on Episode 618 was Layla McCay, Director of Policy at the NHS Confederation and author of a new book called Breaking The Rainbow Ceiling. Layla shines a light on the challenges that LGBTQ+ people face at work and offers advice on how companies can recognize and address the barriers and build a more inclusive workplace where everyone can thrive and succeed.

A huge thank you to Plum, Willo and CV Wallet for sponsoring Recruiting Future during the month of May, so onwards into June. And for once, I’m not doing any travelling. Instead, I will be mostly focusing on preparing my presentation for RecFest at Knebworth, where I’m going to be talking about the way in which AI will shape the TA teams of the future. There are also some excellent conversations coming up on the podcast. So, make sure you follow Recruiting Future wherever you get your podcasts.

Finally, I recently published a white paper which explores 10 ways that AI will transform talent acquisition. If you would like a free copy, you can download one by going to mattalder. me/transform. That’s Matt Alder dotme slash transform. And the link to the white paper and my course will be in the show notes. Thanks very much for listening. I’ll be back next time, and I hope you’ll join me.

[Recruiting Future podcast theme]

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