Operational Excellence and the Recruiting Function: The Unequivocal Value of a Unified Talent Platform

Operational excellence has always been a primary objective of successful businesses, from the productivity of people to the efficiency of systems and processes. The pandemic has placed an even higher premium on operational excellence, which we see reflected in the priorities of HR leaders—65% now identify “improve operational excellence” as their top business priority for 2021, according to a Gartner survey of more than 800 HR executives.

I’ve given operational excellence a tremendous amount of thought over the past several years, mainly because putting the most efficient and effective tools in the hands of enterprise talent acquisition teams is why GR8 People exists in the first place. From the very beginning, we committed ourselves to building and evolving a robust talent acquisition platform in which all applications are native to the system as the best means for delivering the seamless and unified tech stack organizations need to be successful as they streamline hiring processes and adapt quickly to rapid shifts in their hiring needs while improving end-user experiences.

We’ve remained fully dedicated to this principle, diverging from the industry as growth in the talent acquisition technology marketplace exploded and ushered in a profusion of point solutions that resulted in TA tech stacks that have been cobbled together with disparate technologies and tools. Many HR tech analysts and consultants continued to push for this model as the industry standard even as pitfalls—from systems that don’t speak to one another and point solutions that don’t to live up to the hype to limited insight to what’s working—began to emerge. Until now.

A pandemic reinforces the power of a platform.

Just like every other function of the business, talent acquisition was forever changed by COVID-19. Overnight, the pandemic brought the limitations of the cumbersome and disparate tech stacks many enterprise organizations were saddled with to the forefront, while those who had already invested in a unified talent platform were able to effectively navigate the complexities of managing talent during the earliest days of the crisis. Now, we’re finally seeing more widespread agreement among large companies that too many tools and solutions get in the way of operational excellence.

In fact, a study conducted by Lighthouse Research & Advisory in the second half of 2020 explored the link between an organization’s use of HR technology and overall organizational agility. After gathering input from HR and IT executives at more than 750 enterprise organizations, the trend was clear. As Chief Research Officer Ben Eubanks notes, “Those with 10+ HR applications in place are 2x more likely to say their HR tech limits efforts to be agile and resilient.” It’s a perspective that aligns closely with the experiences of GR8 People customers, too, and why the value of a One-Experience Talent Platform is unequivocal.

What makes a One-Experience Talent Platform distinct?

The biggest distinction is that the software offers a single source where all primary components of TA technology—ATS, CRM, career website CMS, employee referrals, campus and virtual event management, internal mobility, and onboarding—are ready for use as needing by recruiting teams. Because GR8 People builds all applications natively within the platform, as opposed to vendors who have attempted to create a platform by acquiring point solutions that must be integrated, the experiences are seamless and offer both improved performance and productivity. Benefits are then realized across four specific aspects of operational excellence:

#1. Friction is eliminated.

Recruiters no longer have to invest considerable time each day trying to manage, and even work around, systems and tools that can’t speak to one another. A platform offers the modern and elastic architecture that supports extensive configurations—which users can easily manage themselves—as well as the ability to get more out of intelligent automation and AI-driven applications. This spans everything from the automation of feedback reminders and talent pool journeys to behind-the-scenes sourcing that is triggered as soon as a job is opened in the ATS.

When capabilities such as these are intuitive and seamless, the result is that hiring process barriers are overcome to yield major gains in time to slatetime to fill and candidate quality—indicators that, when improved, deliver measurable impacts to the business through increased productivity and revenue generation.

#2. Collaboration is elevated.

We all know why Salesforce purchased Slack late last year for $27.7 billion in one of the most significant software mergers in recent years—leveraging technology to facilitate collaboration and connection among employees is more important than ever to remaining in business.

Talent acquisition is no different. A tech stack that has been patched together will work against collaboration because it makes it more difficult for people to know where to go for the information they need and which tools will help them get their work done quickly, especially when they’re not regular users of the software.

Consider the busy hiring manager who has every intention of getting back to recruiters but has simply forgotten which application to access and how to complete their tasks. In this scenario, the platform can accommodate automated reminders set at both the system level and the workflow level to guide hiring managers through what’s required of them along with insight into the critical next steps of the process. Even better, the platform takes the onus of being a “nag” off of recruiters, positioning them as a trusted partner—and collaborator—in securing the best possible talent for the hiring manager.

#3. Insights are enhanced.

Given the accelerated pace of digital transformation and dramatic shifts in both where and how people are getting their work done, accurate data and meaningful insights are no longer optional. For talent acquisition and management teams, making the best possible talent decisions relies on accurate data and meaningful insights. Few, however, are able to access what they need. Lighthouse’s research underscores this: “As the number of HR applications in use increases, data accuracy decreases steadily. Having data in multiple systems means it’s harder to get a sense of the ‘real’ truth and make complex decisions, especially in enterprise firms.”

A true talent platform solves for this because it delivers meaningful insights through advanced analytics and intelligence that are easily accessible, providing teams with a deep understanding of what’s driving success and where improvements can be made for even better hiring—and business—outcomes.

#4. Innovation is expedited.

The final distinction associated with a talent platform is that there’s one hub for innovation. Advancements in automation and AI-driven recruiting applications are built into the existing architecture. There’s no reason to layer point solutions or third-party applications over the enterprise recruiting software, which usually results in data integrity challenges and the ongoing integration maintenance that incurs additional costs.

This means that the platform continually delivers the advanced functionality recruiters want without the complications, barriers and costs associated with point solutions.

The bottom line for organizations that have grown tired of a tech stack that holds them back is that bringing everything together into a single environment eliminates the redundancy associated with separate tools and logins, as well as the time spent managing different systems. The quality of the full platform ensures talent acquisition has a strong foundation in place along with the robust features and functionality that drive performance across all platform components. It’s exactly what high-performing recruiting functions need to realize operational excellence and the success that leadership expects.