SUSAN KEITH BLEEKMAN ON THE FUTURE OF HR

A digital media veteran with 20+ years experience, Susan Keith Bleekman is VP of Strategic Relations and Business Development at Rapt Media, a technology company offering an advanced online video platform.

Susan works with major agencies and brands to create interactive video experiences that extend reach, drive user engagement, and provide analytics. Her clients include Aon Hewitt, Warner Bros, TMP Worldwide, Havas People, Toyota, Conde Nast Entertainment, and Vodafone.

Before joining Rapt Media, Susan served on the executive team of MTV Networks Content Distribution Group as SVP Sales Strategy and Development. 

Can you give us a review of what you will be speaking about at Disrupt HR?

My talk is “The Power of Choice: Why Interactive Content is Necessary In the Digital Age.” 

I’ll establish how the usefulness of traditional push/passive marketing tactics is puttering out. This holds true whether you’re trying to sell a product or attract talent. Two reasons for this: 

  1. Technology is changing how we communicate and consume information and 
  2. the present societal shift driven by millennials.

I’ll share Rapt’s insights into Millennial behavior. This includes data gathered from a survey we performed with 2,000 consumers about their online behavior:

  • Which online activities are they spending the most time on?
  • When they consume online content, what are their preferences? 
  • And are Millennials’ behavior and preferences that different from other age groups?

Rapt’s findings reveal that viewing and consuming content makes up the largest portion of their time online — more than shopping, emailing, searching, or social media. Perhaps not surprisingly, video emerges as the dominant medium. We found that consumers want options to control their online experience based on personal interest and relevance. This means brands can’t simply push content without considering engagement and response rates. 

We then learned that these insights are true across ALL age demographics, not just Millennials. Millennials might lead in the percentages, but the trends are the same across the board.

Finally I will share use cases of agencies and brands that use interactive content for recruiting, training and enrollment efforts. They’ve put the recruit or employee in the driver’s seat (Havas People/Casual Films/AB InBev, Deloitte, Aon Hewitt & Vodafone).

Do you feel that Human Resources is being or will be truly disrupted, and if so, what’s driving the change? 

Technology has forever changed how we communicate and consume information. Millennials have taken the lead in a major societal shift in behavior. Traditional communication tactics for engaging, attracting, and training talent are not working anymore. Things are changing. 

What are some outdated aspects of HR that need to be revised?

Rapt Media encourages revising methods for engaging, attracting, and training talent. Participatory content personalizes the experience and drives engagement and learning. 

If you could recommend one book for everyone in attendance, what would it be and why?

Can’t Buy Me Like by Bob Garfield and Doug Levy.

It has been around for a while but is still current. It is an overview of the “relationship” era of marketing. It goes into how connecting with consumers, being authentic, and providing value is more effective than any traditional advertising channels.

This can be extended to HR. Companies also want to connect with their employees and provide value in the form of two-way communication and memorable experiences. With more engaging training, employees  retain content better. They may also come to advocate their workplace to other talent, just like consumers advocate for brands.

*If this whet your appetite for more discussions on HR, don’t miss out! Buy your tickets to the first-ever Disrupt HR NYC