If there’s one thing that this year’s HR Technology Conference & Exposition confirmed it’s that the frenetic pace with which new solutions and providers are popping up on the market shows no sign of slowing. Many innovations are point solutions focused on an extremely narrow aspect of HR, which are then layered on to larger HCM systems and often as a band-aid for what the HCM system lacks.
Yet, as Jason Averbook noted during his session on why HR and not IT owns an organization’s digital strategy, core HR technology is the foundation for everything and, as such, that core needs to be as strong as possible so that organizations can adapt accordingly to shifting talent demands. While Averbook’s context for his talk is HCM software, the same premise holds true for talent acquisition’s tech stack. Organization’s should assess the strength of their existing TA tech stack and address core deficiencies before turning to point solutions to fill the gaps.
There’s no doubt that recruiting technologies aimed at improving the hiring process are paramount to successful hiring outcomes. From talent CRMs and automated sourcing applications to candidate matching algorithms and video-based assessments, these solutions give recruiters tools that are essential to realizing the advantages they need to compete in our current employment landscape.
However, as the rapid adoption of point solutions indicates, the core elements of the TA tech stack that recruiters rely on to be effective day-to-day have become lost in the shuffle. This must change because long-term success will remain elusive with a weak core serving as the foundation.
One the biggest opportunities that TA has to dramatically improve performance is switching to a unified and seamless talent platform. This is because the software offers a single source where all core components of TA technology—ATS, CRM, career website CMS, employee referrals, campus and event management, internal mobility, and onboarding—are ready for selection and use by recruiters. Bringing everything together into a single environment eliminates the redundancy associated with separate tools and logins, as well as the valuable time spent managing disparate systems at the expense of time dedicated to cultivating talent.
What a Strong TA Platform Looks Like
Assessing the strength of a unified TA platform will differ from one company to the next because factors such as hiring process, talent needs, and organizational and team structures must be considered as part of the evaluation. At the same time, there are design aspects that produce a strong core for all organizations. Among the most critical aspects:
1. The software is intuitive, functioning like a “behind-the-scenes” assistant through intelligent automation and AI. “Intuitive” is one of those words that every vendor loves to use in marketing materials, though few truly deliver on. In relation to a unified talent platform, intuitive means configurable ATS workflows that let recruiters tell the system what’s important based on their hiring process, instead of software engineers making those determinations. Customization within workflows addresses everything from compliance to hiring steps that differ by location and job function, as well as the elimination of manual steps that impede progress. The ATS and talent CRM “talk to one another,” ensuring that recruiters don’t find themselves reaching out to CRM candidates about an available opportunity only to find that these individuals have already applied to a job and are being moved through the hiring process. Candidate experiences are easy to personalize and data come together to provide a complete picture of what’s working, allowing TA to make better talent—and business—decisions.
2. Technology takes over the most time-consuming, low-value tasks. Why should recruiters have their time taken up by administrative burdens such as chasing down hiring managers and interviewers for feedback or going back and forth for days with candidates and colleagues simply trying to schedule one interview? Automated reminders and self-scheduling technology should be represented in the system’s baseline features because they’ve been shown to substantially reduce an organization’s average time to hire while simultaneously allowing recruiters to focus their attention building relationships and nurturing candidates.
3. The platform architecture anticipates future needs. GDPR is a good example here because most of the solutions currently on the market address only what’s required of us by today’s regulation. However, attitudes towards and expectations of privacy are in constant flux, which means regulations will continue to evolve. Instead of merely offering a “patch” in response to existing GDPR requirements, the platform should be built with a rules-based privacy framework that can immediately address any changes with minimal disruption to global hiring initiatives.
4. AI-driven recruiting solutions are built natively within the existing architecture. This lets recruiters leverage the advanced functionality they seek without the complications, barriers and costs associated with point solutions. Native also means greater visibility into exactly how the algorithms are working along with the ability for recruiters to adjust and modify associated parameters, which ensures the human oversight required to get the most value out of AI.
Finally, it would be remiss of me not to mention that the support you receive through ongoing training and customer service contributes to core strength, too. Many vendors have shifted primarily to self-service support, which offers surface-level convenience and issue resolution. But, just as robots will never replace the value of a recruiter, self-service support can’t replace the value that humans bring to making sure that talent acquisition has a strong core in place—one that makes realizing the greatest returns from your entire tech stack possible.