Adapting Your HR And Recruitment Strategy For Wearable Technology


You may love them, you may loath them but frankly you can’t afford to ignore wearable technology and devices. It’s not an exaggeration to say they really are taking the world by storm, from Google Glass to Jawbone you don’t have to look far to find wearable technology, it’s even being used by people who do not consider themselves to be technologically advanced.

This is all very well, but what does this have to do with recruitment and HR?

It started this time last year when as a team we started playing with wearable devices more for fun than as a potential recruitment tool, going back 12 months these weren’t such a big deal, they were merely toys for the techs and gadget geeks like ourselves, we love knowing the quality of our night’s sleep but did anyone else care? Fast forward a year and the explosion of the wearable technology market has made us readdress there place in recruiting and HR.

It’s now a whole new ball game and one we’ve had a lot of fun researching and defining what we believe to be the impact wearable technology will have on the HR and recruitment sector. Although not quite a crystal ball, we do believe that Google Glass has given us a good look into the future of this technology and what we can expect from it. Here’s our take on wearable devices and how they can be effectively used for recruitment and retention.

Face To Face Interviewing

It may look a little odd, or perhaps just that you have very bad eyesight but wearing Google Glass when you interview will allow you to record and evaluate a candidate when you’re back at your desk. It can be difficult if you’re interviewing all day and no matter how hard you try it’s impossible to remember everything everyone said, the way they came across and every important point they made.

You may miss key points or indicators because you’re so busy making notes, this approach avoids that happening. It allows you to concentrate on the person in the moment and analyse the detail later. This is particularly useful if you have two excellent candidates you’re struggling to choose between.

Time Management

From a HR perspective wearable technology can be a very useful tool, especially during probation periods when you’re assessing someone’s suitability to the role and company long term. One of the key factors is often not their knowledge or skills but their commitment to the role and loyalty to the organisation.

In this context watches can be a useful wearable technology device or “beacon enabled phones”, these allow you to track your employee’s whereabouts and time keeping. This may seem a bit of a “Big Brother” approach but extended lunch breaks and trips to the canteen can be very costly, especially to SMEs. If a new employee is going to take liberties from the outset, you can be almost certain things will only get worse not better if they secure permanent employment.

Happy, Health Workforce

A healthy and happy team is a productive team; you only need to look at the thousands of courses and team building days that take place every year to see what an important part of a retention strategy it is. The use of wearable devices to help with this can be implemented at any time in the recruitment or employment process. Although it is useful for all employees, it can be particularly so for those who have physically demanding jobs.

Wristbands are used an awful lot in the fitness and training world, this can be the same for your workforce. The wristbands monitor a vast array of things from heart rates and steps walked to sleep patterns and calories burnt allowing you to ensure you’re ahead of the game to be alerted to and deal with any potential health issues your team may have. This is a great concept for HR teams, if you have a team who are not getting enough sleep because they are working late every night you can be aware of it and address it before it becomes a problem.

Mike Scotney

Mike Scotney is a director of Applause IT, a specialist IT recruitment agency based in Birmingham but covering the whole of the UK.