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Supernova Talent Acquisition Conference 2023 – Integrating AI and managing demand with fewer resources are foremost challenges confronting talent acquisition

3 Mins read

Cork, Ireland 23 October 2023 – Addressing prevailing pain points in the talent acquisition sector was top of the agenda at this year’s Supernova Conference held in Cork on 22 September. The unique one-day event from Starcircle, the talent sourcing engine that helps companies solve hiring challenges with AI and on-demand expertise, featured insights from notable industry experts and talent acquisition leaders from around the globe.

Reflecting on current industry conditions, Starcircle CEO James Galvin emphasises that hiring teams have been decimated,  recruiters are burnt out, traditional methods are failing, and talent shortages persist at record levels across industries and geographies– yet teams are being asked to prepare for an impending surge in hiring.

“Times are tough for TA teams. Everyone’s looking to AI for the answer,” said Galvin. “But it’s not a silver bullet. That’s why we assembled a panel of industry titans and specialists, not just from the world of talent acquisition and HR, but from the tech space too.”

Supernova Talent Acquisition Conference
James Galvin, Starcircle CEO, welcomes attendees to Supernova conference at the River Lee Hotel, Cork

The next evolution of talent acquisition is happening now

Under the spotlight was the ongoing metamorphosis of the talent acquisition landscape underpinned by digital transformation and innovative technologies combined with the seismic shift to smaller
teams. Central to this is the idea that AI, automation, and data analytics have long been used to speed up and refine processes but they’re now positioned as effective replacements for people.

“The Supernova Conference is spreading the fundamental message that human expertise is and always will be a quintessential component of successful talent acquisition,” said sector luminary and keynote speaker Seth Williams, former Director and Global Head of Recruiting Channels at Google.

“There is no secret sauce– connections and relationships are the foundations of success,” was the message from Williams during his presentation on harnessing the power of hidden talent. “It takes people to truly understand talent supply and demand. Using tech to gather and leverage data is a part of the process, but it can’t replace elbow grease when building an effective talent ecosystem.”

Marilyn Pearson Hendricks, co-founder of WorkTech Advisory Inc., added, “The power of relationships transcends. Humanness in the function can’t be underestimated. That’s the reason gatherings like Supernova are so important. Together, we challenge and inspire each other to evolve our thinking.” Speaking about industry trends, Hendricks spotlighted the role generative AI will play in the industry, stressing the need for governance. Hammering home the message that the current system is broken, Pearson Hendricks pinpointed skills-based hiring and candidate experience as key parts of the next evolution of hiring.

Doing more with less: Finding efficiencies in talent acquisition teams

During the first panel session of the day, Maria Cullen, former HR divisional lead at Uniphar, Nitin Moorjani, director of talent operations, Automattic, and Ita Gildea, talent acquisitions and operations director, formerly Meta, Paypal and eBay, gave us a peak behind the curtain with some illustrative ways they’ve found
efficiencies in their own TA teams. The takeaway message: to prevent the unprecedented downturn we’ve experienced over the last 18 months from happening again, organisations must move from the short-term,
growth-at-all-costs mindset toward a strategic workforce and capacity planning approach.

Starcircle Supernova Panel 'Do more with less'
Supernova panel (from left to right) Paddy O’Connell (host), Maria Cullen, Nitin Moorjani and Ita Gildea

The future of hiring – Integrating AI, work tech and human expertise

The prevailing concern for talent acquisition professionals going into 2024, as revealed by an audience poll, is understanding how AI can fit into the hiring process. Closely following is managing hiring demands
with fewer resources and finding enough candidates to satisfy growing demands.

Supernova Audience Poll Results, credit: Starcircle

Hosted by Howard Flint, co-founder of WorkTech Advisory Inc., the final session of the day warned that although AI has huge potential to improve the hiring process, it comes with risks, so it’s a tool that should be
approached with caution. Panellists Ronan Walsh Strandum’s chief technology officer, Stephanie Sheehan, senior director of platform engineering at WorkHuman, and Sean Delea, talent acquisition team manager at Greenhouse, all agreed that sustainable and flexible AI and work tech solutions must come from a combination of machine learning and human expertise if they’re to power leaner talent acquisition teams to
future success.

Starcircle Supernova Audience Poll Results

Further Reading

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