A Decade of Disruption from a HR/recruitment perspective

By December 10, 2019Recruitment

The Sonru blog has been writing news, views, and interviews on all things related to HRTech and recruitment since the late-noughties. We have assembled this list of what we feel to be the big stories and impacts in the last decade. It is by no means exhaustive but a starting point for a reflection on the decade that is about to close.

From bust to boom again
The decade opened with wide-scale unemployment, redundancies and hiring freezes but thankfully the economy bounced back in the run-up to 2020. It is a Candidate driven market once again so the Candidate Experience is back to the fore.

Watch out the Millenials and Gen Z are here
Millennials accounted for the majority of the workforce and whether you love them or hate them, they did revolutionise the way we work from challenging traditional top-down corporate structures to insisting on better collaboration and feedback not to mention putting shared values on the agenda for everyone’s gain.

Social Media Omnipotence
Social media really went mainstream in the 2010s. Within recruitment, we saw the rise of social media sourcing and the concept of the passive candidate.

The Rise of Remote
Rising housing and office costs in urban centres, advances in cloud computing along with the rising tide towards work-life balance saw the greatest ever increase in Remote or Distributed workforces. Attraction and retention strategies had to wise up to flexible work.

Training moved to the 21st Century
This decade saw the demise of the old-school training room. Instead, learners took training into their own hands literally. Learning & Development went mobile, turned byte sized and got gamified.

Diversity & Inclusion
Becoming more than a buzz word, D&I was put on the agenda as a result of the mounting evidence that companies with diverse workforces are often found to be higher performing. We also saw global giants rise to the D&I challenge by pledging jobs for candidates with autism and other disabilities.

Adios Annual Performance Review
Dissatisfaction with the process, complaints of inaccuracy and claims that it had no effect on how people do their jobs, the dreaded Annual Performance Review made its way to its rightful place in the past tense. Roll on the Real-time 360 Review which gathers input from everyone that a person works and interacts with on a regular basis.

The Workforce is aging
“Worktirement” is threatening to replace retirement for our aging workforce too strapped to sit back and enjoy their golden years. Governments scramble to change pension age and entitlements and we know it’s really serious when the decade saw Richard Thaler win the 2017 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work on nudge economics within pensions and savings.

Mental Wealth
Companies realised the importance of mental health awareness and practice. Employee Wellness programmes and increased openness and discussion saw a reduction in the taboo traditionally associated with mental health with most conferences now including it on the agenda.

Rise of the Gig Economy
Whether a hangover from the economic downturn of 2008-09 or today’s boom-time desire for new experiences and flexibility, the gig economy is on the up. Which benefits to provide, IP concerns and dealing with contractors working for multiple firms are just some of the challenges facing HR professionals.

Mobile Mania
Just three years after the first iPhone, this decade saw the real mobile explosion along with wearable tech that fundamentally changed how we eat, sleep, work and socialise. The challenge now for recruiters and hiring managers is to provide a seamless experience between an online site and a mobile presence for candidates not just in terms of browsing but in all stages of the recruitment process from the job seeking and application stages to the selection and on-boarding process.

Data is the new darling
Prompted by data protection legislation such as GDPR and a litany of data breach scandals, this decade was all about data ownership and privacy. Ancillary industries popped up to meet the demand and savvy internet browsers no longer ‘tick’ their rights away in blissful ignorance.

HR gets Automated
HR got an ‘automated’ makeover with lots of innovation in areas such as on-boarding, managing personal information, document management, scheduling meetings, conducting asynchronous interviews, travel, and timekeeping. The tail end of the decade saw some worrying hype and a gold rush towards unsubstantiated technologies but whose litigation cases are making even more headlines.

Power to the Podcast
Finally, podcasting certainly went mainstream and was found to be powerful enough to re-open court cases and used as a testing ground for TV boxsets. The HR community joined the podcast party with plenty of series and interviews covering every aspect of the profession.

Joy Redmond
Edward Hendrick
Ed holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agribusiness & Rural Development and a Higher Diploma in Enterprise Development and Entrepreneurship.

Since founding Sonru in 2007 with the vision of introducing Video Interviewing to mainstream recruitment, Ed has established the organisation as a global leader and one of the top recruitment SaaS companies worldwide.

With numerous accolades to his name such as the Sunday Business Posts ‘Top 40 Under 40’ and IIA Net Visionary award for innovation, Ed is recognised as one of the world’s leading experts in video recruitment technology and is a renowned industry speaker.

With a passion for new technology and how it can be used to make life easier for people in the real world, Ed has been instrumental in shaping the current landscape of the Video Interviewing industry.
Chris Horan
CTO at Sonru
Chris graduated from Trinity College Dublin with an Honours Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics and Computer Science and went on to complete a Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Science in Physics and Computer Science as well as a Higher Diploma in Enterprise Development.

With almost 20 years’ experience in the software engineering and computer science space, Chris has worked with leading technology companies such as Accuris, CAPE Technologies and BearingPoint.

Chris has been at the forefront of Sonru’s product development since the company’s inception in 2007.
Daniel Richard
Managing Director EMEA
Sonru’s Europe MD, Daniel Richard, graduated from Queen’s University, Canada with a Master of Science in Industrial and Organisational Science.

A trained Occupational Psychologist with more than 15 years of sales and consulting experience in multinational recruitment and HR services companies, Daniel leads Sonru’s sales efforts within EMEA, helping to grow its rapidly expanding customer base.

Prior to joining Sonru, Daniel spent 10 years at Oracle Taleo helping to build the company from a small regional start-up to a true industry leader. Daniel has held a variety of sales and consulting positions on various continents, including the US and Europe.
Fergal O'Byrne
Non-Executive Director
Fergal holds a Bachelor of Science in Electronic Engineering from Dublin Institute of Technology and is an experienced Internet industry entrepreneur.

Since founding Interactive Return in 1998, Fergal has been a member of the Board of Directors of IGOpeople.com, WINC, and CCD Limited and was a previous chair of the Project Advisory Group for Fáilte Ireland’s eBusiness Support Initiative.

A recognised influencer within the industry, Fergal has served as CEO of the Irish Internet Association and has published four books including ‘10 Online Marketing and Search Engine Essentials’ and ‘10 Technologies Every Executive Should Know’.

In 2015, Fergal was inducted into the IIA Internet Hall of Fame in recognition for services to the internet industry.
George Pennock
George holds an MA in History from Oxford University and is a previous Partner and Head of Saphir UK at Saphir Capital Partners.

George spent several years with the Goldman Sachs Group as a mergers and acquisitions banker before moving into private equity where he has spent most of the past 15 years. He has served as a Senior Investment Manager and COO at Pi Capital, and worked with Botts & Company Ltd where he made private equity investments in the leisure, publishing, branded goods, retail, and technology sectors.

Having spent the past two decades working with a myriad of talented and unconventional entrepreneurs, investing in everything from online employee benefits platforms to river boats and book publishers, George is passionate about backing exceptional people and interesting businesses and believes that while a mediocre management team can ruin even a great plan, a great management team can make a success of almost any business opportunity.
John Penning
Currently, I am a Director of Sonru, the leading Online Video Interviewing company. Previous career highlights include; CEO of the Irish Internet Association, Chairman of IGOpeople.com and Founder and CEO of Interactive Return. In 2015 I was very honoured to be inducted into the IIA Internet Hall of Fame in recognition for services to the internet industry.
Rodolphe Verhaegen
Non-Executive Director
Rodolphe is currently an Operational Advisor with Digital Ventures in Brussels having previously worked in Ebay, most recently as Director of Customer Innovation.

Rodolphe is an innovative and creative business leader, with a strong interest in technology and agile software development practices. He holds an Masters Degree in Business Information Management and a BA in Business Economics from the Vrije Universiteit, Brussels.
Georges Schmit
Non-Executive Director
A native of Luxembourg, Georges graduated with degrees in Economics from the University of Louvain, Belgium (BA) and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (MA). Besides his native Luxembourgish, Georges is fluent in French, English and German.

Georges served the Government of Luxembourg from 1981 to 2016 and throughout most of his career he focused on innovation and technology policy, economic development and trade and investment promotion.

During his time with the Government of Luxembourg, Georges served as Secretary General of the Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy and was a member of several European Union high-level advisory bodies including the European Commission's "Enterprise Policy Group”. He also served as both Vice-Chairman and Executive Chairman of the National Credit and Investment Corporation (SNCI) of Luxembourg.

Georges has served on the Board of Directors of both listed and private companies including the world's largest steelmaker ArcelorMittal, the Luxembourg-based global satellite operator SES, the Luxembourg Post and Telecommunications Company, and the Luxembourg State and Savings Bank, among others. Most recently, he contributed to the design and launch of several major Luxembourg Government innovation policy initiatives and sits on the Luxembourg Government’s Advisory Board on Space Resources.
Daria Polunina
Non-Executive Director
A director at Saphir Capital Partners, Daria holds a Bachelor of Science in Financial Management from the University of Essex as well as a MSc in Finance from Cass Business School. Daria also sits on the board of Molinare and Wine Source Group.

Patrick Sweeney
Non-Executive Director
Patrick holds a Bachelor of Business Studies Degree in Accounting, Management, Human Resources, Marketing and Economics from University of Limerick as well as Masters of Education in Management, Human Resources and Training and Development from University of Sheffield.

For 25 years, Patrick held the position of Human Resources and Public Affairs Director for Aughinish Alumina where he was involved in change management, restructuring and international mergers and acquisitions.

Patrick also undertook many other leadership roles including operations management, training and development and employee relations management. In addition to sitting on the Board of Directors at Sonru since 2011, Patrick has operated his own strategic management and human resources consultancy firm for the past 8 years.