Q&A with HR tech influencer Jerome Ternynck


Jerome Ternynck
Founder and CEO


What area of the HR function will be most impacted by emerging technologies, and why?

Perhaps we’re biased, but within the HR realm Talent Acquisition (TA) is quickly evolving from an operational into a sales & marketing-like function. TA leaders across all industries are starting to recognize that, just like winning new customers helps the organization grow externally (via revenue), acquiring talent helps companies grow internally (via productivity). While revenue-generating functions need to build a pipeline of leads, nurture deals, and close deals, TA teams need to build a talent pipeline, nurture candidates, and ultimately hire the best candidates.

The emergence of next-gen Talent Acquisition Suites have empowered data-driven decision making, with end-to-end recruiting capabilities in one system of record. Businesses can now quantitatively assess their ability to attract top talent and align that with business objectives. As this area of technology evolves, we’ll continue to see TA teams use advanced analytics & marketing tools to inform and executive their TA strategy to ensure they are hiring the right people, on time, and on budget.

How can HR leaders best make the business case for HR technology investment?

If talent acquisition is evolving into a sales & marketing-like function, then we need to stop measuring recruiting success via cost savings alone, and start measuring it through quality of new hires and its impact on productivity. This, in turn, builds the business case.

Instead of using cost-per-hire, which incentivizes teams to be cheaper (not better), we think about recruiting costs in relation to the production we expect to get out of new hires – this is akin to customer acquisition costs. We measure this though Hiring Budget, which anchors recruiting costs to new hire payroll, thus allowing us to appropriately quantify our investment.

For speed, instead of using time-to-fill, which forces teams to hire aimlessly faster, we ask: are you filling the right jobs on time? We track this through Hiring Velocity, which allows businesses to better forecast their ability to acquire the people needed to achieve business growth targets.

Finally, there is no industry standard to measure quality of hire. For this, we use Net Hiring Score (NHS), which gives us a combined, NPS-like score for both new hire fit & performance (i.e. is the new hire happy and is their manager satisfied).

Together, these three metrics have helped our customers better understand their TA strategy and identify investment opportunities for growth.

Are there certain strategies that are more effective than others when it comes to getting your workforce to use new HR technologies being put in place?

1. Ensure that the HR technology is selected and supported by actual users, in addition to decision makers. In the case of a talent acquisition suite, research and validate that system administrators, recruiters, as well as hiring managers will adopt the product. Internally this also means to drive alignment between your R&D and go-to-market teams in prioritizing customer needs.

2. Secure full endorsement from the leadership team. For HR technologies, this means investing time and resources to transform processes and up-skill employees with the buy-in of the CHRO and any key functional leaders.

3. Tie technologies to business need. Fully demonstrate how the technology will impact the work people do and the business, and ensure that a champion in in place across all essential stakeholder groups through informal networking early on (prior to rollout).

4. Adopt through osmosis. Have people who are proficient with and passionate about the new technology to work alongside those who need to learn the skills and processes. Go beyond typical training workshops but set up more intimate buddy and education systems to promote a new tool. Work with marketing and communications to highlight program successes through case studies and campaigns. This all, of course, assumes the best technology was selected in the first place.