mapHR Tech has been a hot topic of late, with the new year posts petering out into funding announcements and speculations. Nothing wrong with that of course, but as I read differing opinions from journalists, analysts and industry pundits, I can’t help but wonder if anyone has a long-picture view of what’s happening.

On HR Tech Europe, there is speculation that the culture changes within organizations are leading the HR Tech changes we’re seeing in the market. Author Jon Ingham states that integrations within HR Technology are being “bolted on and stitched together at an ever faster rate”:

But more importantly, our organizational cultures simply don’t empower managers to make these sorts of choices.  It’s why I believe that any HR technology deployment today needs to include a workstream for busting enough bureaucracy to make it possible to achieve the potential benefits of the technology.

In other words, the will and the technology exist but the empowerment of the consumer within the larger enterprise has not yet been fully realized. But maybe that’s just in Europe, surely the States who lead the social recruiting wave (if lagging behind their global counterparts in mobile) are a bit farther ahead.

Maybe. Hearing the voice of French born global entrepreneur Jerome Ternynck as he talks about his recent Series A Mayfield funding, you’d be forgiven for thinking that perhaps consumerization of enterprise technology has reach an all-time high. Ternynck’s thinks that consumerization and free as a monetization model by gone beyond personal tech and have finally started penetrating the business world, more importantly the HR Technology world. Industry analysts Aberdeen quote Ternynck’s release verbatim:

Employees that have grown accustomed to a simple, modern user experience in consumer applications now expect the same from business applications. Recruiting and talent management is no exception. Just take Salesforce’s acquisition of Rypple as one example.

And while analysts and vendors try to make sense of why we’re seeing drastic changes in funding, movement, acquisitions and new development even as the economy rights itself, other question how much technology is too much? With the proverbial seat at the table often in question, why on earth is the stable of programs and software that HR has to manage growing so big?

Recruiting almost seems like an afterthought in the focus on referrals, employee recognition and workforce planning doodads. But it’s not so, money has flown into recruiting platforms iCIMS and the aforementioned SmartRecruiters. And even companies who have long been in the third party market are expanding their offerings. Take Bullhorn’s simultaneous jump into the social AND corporate markets with Bullhorn Reach, not to mention Jobvite’s continued enviable growth. And people! It’s just January!

In such a roiling sea of dollar bills chasing new technology, it’s easy to discount huge players from the past like Taleo, Silkroad and the slightly beleaguered Monster. But while their relatively newer, more nimble cousins make forays into corporate America warmed with fresh investment nickels, these companies are making inroads into the next frontiers including Asia.

So my original question remains, with so many moving pieces and so much to talk about (remember when we were all talking about the Rypple acquisition and Jobs2Web/SuccessFactors sales? that was LAST MONTH) how can anyone retain a long term view of what’s happening and what’s going to happen next? And with HCM gobbling up more and more technology at an ever increasing pace, how long before recruitment technology becomes HR Technology?

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