Blog Learning Cultures

New Research: Nurturing a Strong Learning Culture in Today’s Organizations

We’re thrilled to announce the release of our newest research report on learning cultures! This collaborative effort brought together the expertise of our team, including the brilliant Laurie Ruettimann, and our amazing partner, Learnerbly.

One of the key highlights of this report is the introduction of a comprehensive maturity model—a tool designed to assist companies in assessing their current position and charting a course for future growth. With this model, companies can gain a clear understanding of where they stand and identify specific areas where they need to focus their efforts to enhance their learning cultures.

We found that 67% of companies are ramping up their investments in learning and development initiatives this year. This surge underscores a growing recognition among businesses of all sizes: continuous learning is essential for staying competitive and agile in the dynamic business landscape.

However, despite the increasing investment in learning initiatives, there’s a glaring gap between intention and execution. Less than half of companies express confidence in the effectiveness of their learning cultures, and only one in three are satisfied with their providers. This disconnect exposes a critical gap between investment and perceived value, highlighting the need for a paradigm shift in how organizations approach learning and development.

The significance of cultivating a strong learning culture extends beyond organizational growth—it profoundly impacts the employee experience. By fostering a learning-centric environment, companies empower employees to acquire new skills, stay engaged, and enhance performance. Yet, despite these benefits, many organizations lag behind in their approach to learning and development, treating it merely as a business benefit rather than a tool to empower individuals.

To bridge this gap, organizations must embrace a transformative approach to learning and development—one that prioritizes alignment, personalization, and inclusivity. These pillars serve as the foundation for nurturing a comprehensive learning environment that resonates with individual employee needs and fosters an inclusive and engaging atmosphere.

Personalization: Only 42% of companies personalize the learning journey for their employees. Recognizing that learning is not one-size-fits-all, organizations need to tailor learning experiences to meet the diverse needs and preferences of their workforce.

Inclusivity: Despite the pivotal role of inclusivity in fostering a diverse and equitable learning culture, only half of companies state that their learning cultures are accessible to all employees. Prioritizing inclusivity requires addressing barriers to participation and ensuring equal opportunities for all employees to engage in learning and development activities.

Alignment: One in four companies believe their investment in learning is wasted, highlighting the importance of aligning learning programs with both employer and employee expectations. By ensuring that learning initiatives address the specific needs and skill gaps of their workforce, organizations can maximize the impact of their learning investments.

Addressing the challenges of low engagement, wasted spend, and the need for greater inclusivity in learning initiatives requires organizations to take a critical look at their learning cultures and drive meaningful change. By embracing a holistic approach to learning and development—one that prioritizes alignment, personalization, and inclusivity—organizations can cultivate a learning environment that empowers individuals, drives organizational success, and fosters a culture of continuous growth and improvement.

The report is available now on the Aptitude site.


New Research and Trends in People Analytics

I have been focused on the people analytics space for the past few months.  We conducted a big survey, took lots of briefings, and interviewed companies doing it right. It was full of surprises.

 We found that 93% of companies are increasing their investment or continuing to invest the same in people analytics this year and only 28% are not happy with their existing providers. The demand within this market is undeniable, but there is a tremendous amount of confusion and misinformation. And some providers are doing more harm than good by inadvertently discouraging rather than empowering HR professionals.

I was in NYC with HireRoad a few weeks ago presenting some of these findings and was impressed with the simplicity of the people analytics product and their approach to customer success. We will publish more over the next month, but I wanted to share some of the big takeaways:

  • Companies Have Better Options: Just a few years back, companies interested in people analytics were often forced to cobble together homegrown solutions and various business intelligence (BI) tools. This process was typically labor-intensive and caused internal headaches. Today, companies have far better options. Best of breed providers are offering streamlined solutions that empower companies to seamlessly share real-time data, visualize insights, and gain meaningful answers with ease. Our research revealed that 30% of companies are leveraging best-of-breed providers, 15% are still relying on BI tools, a surprising 28% are persevering with in-house solutions (yes, you read that right!), while 18% are sticking with existing human capital management (HCM) providers. The good news is that best of breed providers are targeting mid-market companies as well.
  • Cost Matters: Our research uncovered that the primary factor influencing investment decisions in people analytics was cost-effectiveness, over product capabilities and support. For businesses lacking a dedicated budget or formal people analytics function, creating a compelling business case can pose a significant challenge. Adding to the complexity, many providers are hiking up prices with various add-ons, leaving buyers confused over what’s actually included. Consequently, a considerable number of companies we spoke with are eyeing a provider switch within the next year. Building trust is paramount in any partnership with a people analytics provider yet understanding the return on investment (ROI) often fall short.
  • Navigating Buyer Confusion: In the people analytics landscape, providers are going after different buyers. Some are focusing on people analytics functions, others are targeting HR, while a few are setting their sights on managers. With every provider singing a different tune, it’s confusing to know who exactly the target audience is. Within the people analytics community, there are undoubtedly some of the most passionate and educated experts driving the conversation forward. However, there’s also an untapped opportunity to support HR buyers who may be feeling out of their comfort zone when it comes to people analytics. By offering simple solutions that build confidence, providers can empower HR professionals to navigate this complexity. We found that 39% of HR leaders cited limited expertise as their greatest challenge with people analytics.
  • Customer Support is a Differentiator: While technology and real-time data are crucial components, it’s the quality of customer support provided that also sets a provider apart. From initial onboarding and implementation to ongoing support and training, services ensure that organizations can effectively leverage the insights from their data. Expert guidance and personalized support empower HR teams to make informed decisions that drive organizational success.

We will be publishing this research soon. If you are a company investing in this area or a provider offering a product, we would love to hear from you!


A Shifting Landscape: HireEZ Launches a CRM for Recruiters

My feelings about the CRM market are complicated. I know I am not alone.

It is a critical element in the modern technology stack. We found that 76% of enterprise companies use or plan to use a CRM to support their recruitment efforts. To remain competitive in talent acquisition across industries, companies understand the importance of engaging and nurturing talent before they apply for a job.

The potential and opportunities offered by a CRM are immense; but the reality is that many companies fail to recognize its value. Only 1 in 4 companies express high satisfaction with their CRM providers, and only 18% would recommend their CRM to another company. This disparity reveals a significant gap between the potential capabilities of a CRM and the actual value it currently delivers.

The Challenges with the CRM Market:

The current state of the CRM market has three fundamental challenges:

Adoption: Companies often find themselves overspending on CRM capabilities that are not adopted. The investment in functionality that is never used contributes to an inefficient allocation of resources. Currently, 61% of companies spend more on their CRM than on their ATS.

Recruiter Experience: A critical challenge lies in the fact that those purchasing the CRM are not the same individuals using it. The traditional CRM is not tailored to support the workflow or enhance the experience of recruiters. This misalignment leads to a disconnect between user expectations and system capabilities.

ROI Measurement: Companies face a critical issue in not effectively measuring the Return on Investment (ROI) of their CRM investments. The lack of robust evaluation metrics hinders organizations from understanding the true impact and value derived from their CRM implementation. Only 1 in 2 companies measure the ROI of their CRM investments.

These challenges have created frustrations for both buyers and traditional providers that are not able to support customer needs. Fortunately, the CRM market is shifting. Today, HireEZ announced its CRM designed by recruiters for recruiters. As traditional players are expanding their capabilities beyond talent acquisition, a new wave of providers with a heritage in sourcing are entering the market with the goal of providing more cost-friendly options that meet the needs of the modern recruiter.

The Benefits of Integrating Sourcing and CRM Capabilities

Having sourcing capabilities in a CRM is important for several reasons, as it significantly enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of the talent acquisition process. Unfortunately, many companies do not integrate the two. We found that

  • Only 15% of companies say their CRM seamlessly integrates with sourcing.
  • Only 31% of TA leaders and HR leaders want one solution for sourcing and CRM compared to 72% of recruiters that want one provider.

Here are key reasons why sourcing is a crucial component in a CRM system:

Proactive Talent Identification: Sourcing allows recruiters to proactively identify and engage with potential candidates, even before they apply for specific job openings. This proactive approach helps in building a pool of qualified candidates for current and future hiring needs.

Wider Talent Pool: With sourcing capabilities, recruiters can tap into a broader talent pool by searching for candidates through various channels, including social media platforms, professional networks, and external databases. This widens the scope of potential candidates beyond those actively applying for positions.

Building Talent Pipelines: Sourcing is instrumental in building and maintaining talent pipelines. Recruiters can continually identify and engage with potential candidates, categorizing them based on skills, experience, and other criteria. This ensures a steady pool of qualified individuals for various roles, reducing the time and effort required for future hires.

Enhanced Candidate Relationships: Sourcing is not only about finding candidates but also about initiating and nurturing relationships. By proactively engaging with potential candidates, recruiters can establish a positive rapport, making candidates more likely to consider opportunities with the organization.

Rediscover Talent: Companies can rediscover talent in their ATS without having to manually search for candidates by engaging and nurturing talent frequently.

We are finalizing our Aptitude Index report on the CRM market and the shifting landscape is a big focus. We are including providers of these next generation CRMs.


Recruitment and Retention: Two Sides of the Same Coin

Our latest report in partnership with Plum focuses on the link between recruitment and retention. I will be sharing these results on a webinar with my friend, Chad Sowash on November 28 at 11am EST.

Every trend that we have covered this year has impacted on both recruitment and retention. Yet only 41% of talent professionals consider retention during the recruitment process.

A well-executed recruitment process helps companies recruit talent who are not only qualified but also aligned with the company’s values and vision. This alignment increases the likelihood of retaining top talent, as employees are more likely to stay committed to an organization that reflects their personal and professional aspirations. Conversely, effective retention strategies make it easier to see a return on the investment made during recruitment, as it reduces turnover and improves productivity and engagement.

Companies need a holistic approach to talent—one that recognizes the interconnectedness of these functions. And…it starts with a conversation around data.

Sophisticated talent acquisition and HR leaders are actively reassessing their strategies, technology infrastructure, and performance metrics to better prepare for the future. It has become increasingly evident that the practices that brought success a few years ago are no longer sufficient for the challenges we face today. Companies must adopt a more strategic and nuanced approach, cultivating a deeper understanding of the data that drives success and performance.

Success in talent acquisition is no longer gauged solely by the speed and cost-effectiveness of filling positions; rather, it hinges on the ability to link recruitment and retention- making informed, equitable, and intelligent decisions using accurate data. Aptitude Research found that companies that align recruitment and retention goals see the following:

  • 2X improvement in retention
  • 2X improvement in quality of hire
  • 3X improvement in productivity

In this report, we look at the close relationship between recruitment and retention and highlight the role of data and technology in reshaping how companies prepare for their future talent needs. I hope you can join us on November 28 as we share these results and talk about the shifts in the role of the recruiter, data, and technology.


Key Takeaways from HRTech: Unlocking the Future

It’s been over a week since the HR Technology Conference, and I am still processing the innovation and energy from this year’s event. The expo was bigger and busier than ever, case study sessions delivered ROI metrics, and many demo sessions and product spotlights were standing room only (a sign that buying behavior is strong).

The ideas, breakthroughs, and networking opportunities provided a glimpse into the future of HR Tech and its evolving landscape. I am impressed with both the vendor community and the sophistication of HR Leaders. Much of the innovation in this space results from the partnerships and collaboration between customers and providers. There is more alignment between the two. In a year of uncertainty marked by labor market fluctuations, the trends emerging from this conference may not have delivered seismic shifts, but they represent the gradual, deliberate construction of what lies ahead. We are at the beginning of something big, and it’s an exciting time to be in HRTech.

AI and skills dominated the stage at this year’s event, whether you love or hate it. However, the paramount lesson that emerged is crystal clear – companies must become champions of change to thrive in the coming year. Companies must embrace transformation, maintain agility, strategize responses, and harness the power of data and insights to chart the right course forward. Embracing AI and leveraging a skills-based approach are non-negotiable.

A few themes from this year’s event and the providers that are leading the way:

A Shift Back to Quality of Hire

Success in talent acquisition is no longer gauged solely by the speed and cost-effectiveness of filling positions; instead, it hinges on the ability to link recruitment and retention- making informed, equitable, and intelligent decisions using accurate data. Aptitude Research just published a report in partnership with Plum that found that companies that align recruitment and retention goals see the following:

  • 2X improvement in retention
  • 2X improvement in quality of hire
  • 3X improvement in productivity

Quality of hire is the holy grail of talent acquisition. Every company wants it, but only some know how to measure and improve it. Fortunately, several vendors are doubling down in this area to help support companies on this journey, including Plum and Crosschq. They understand quality of hire starts with quality data.

HireVue announced a new category of Human Potential Intelligence- allowing companies to look at the full picture of a candidate, not just what is on a resume or CV. Their amazing client Spectrum discussed the art and science of linking recruitment and retention through data focused on quality and the Fit Finder product on the career site they use to help ensure quality of hire early in the process.

ATS Disruption

Never in my life did I think a big trend from HRTech would be innovation in the ATS industry, but here we are… This year has brought major shifts in the ATS landscape yet the same constant question of best of breed vs. HRMS. There is no clear answer, but it is safe to say that both are being disrupted.

  • Workday continues to win market share over its competitors. It has made significant advances in its core recruitment capabilities through the use of generative AI (for job descriptions and communication) and its Engagement solutions, which provide simple campaign functionality before the apply process.
  • Gem launched an ATS – rounding out its suite of products to include sourcing, CRM, and ATS. This combination provides companies in the mid-market and smaller enterprises with one platform to do everything from sourcing to offer.
  • Paradox launched the first conversational ATS. Companies such as McDonald’s use Paradox as an ATS for hourly candidates to improve efficiency and experience.
  • Greenhouse declared its POV on AI in hiring and the existing capability within Greenhouse Recruiting. It also announced a new set of candidate interview experience survey data.
  • Employ has clear messaging now around its ATS products, differentiators, and value in the market.

And…we will see more announcements in the ATS market going into 2024. Everyone is winning in the ATS market, with 1 in 3 companies replacing their ATS this year.

Skills-Based Everything

A skills-based approach levels the playing field for internal and external talent and contingent workers. Evaluating skills means looking at what is beyond the resume and seeing talent for potential, learnability, and opportunities. Yet, despite these benefits, companies are sometimes clear where to start with skills development. Lack of ownership and confusion around how technology fits in have added to this uncertainty. This study found that the greatest challenge for a skills-based strategy is change management (42%), and 39% of companies stated that they need a way to assess skills within their organization. Too often, companies understand and support a skills-based approach, but they get stuck on executing a strategy. They take a piecemeal approach to skills and must look more holistically at strategy, change management, and technology.

Some companies such as Reejig, Techwolf, Beamery, Eightfold, Phenom, Workday, SAP, and Visier are helping companies execute this skills strategy using the power of AI and talent intelligence that does not require companies to start from scratch manually. Eightfold’s talent intelligence platform is expanding with benefits beyond HR with the launch of its resource management solution to support project-based work. It applies skills to the workforce to the best-fit projects and engagements, improving resource utilization and staff engagements.

Frontline Workers

The largest workforce segment, comprised of 82 million workers, still needs to be addressed in the push for talent acquisition transformation. Employers needed more tools to attract, recruit, and hire hourly workers, while candidates received more communication. According to Aptitude, 62% of hourly workers have not received a response or communication. I can’t stress this enough…hourly workers need a better candidate experience. It is not the same as professional hiring.

The good news is that companies are seeing tremendous innovation in recruiting and retaining this forgotten workforce. Paradox is one example of a provider disrupting this space, but GoHire, Fountain, and Jobsync are a few others. Also, one of the biggest announcements from HR Tech was Harri, an HRIS focused on hourly, raising $43M in Series B. Harri is innovating across all areas of talent and introducing engagement and employee experience offerings tailored to the unique needs of hourly workers.

CRM is Changing

The CRM market continues to amaze me! We have providers looking to leave the CRM space and focus on bigger things like skills and workforce planning, and…we have providers (ATS and sourcing providers) looking to enter the CRM market and offer more straightforward solutions for better experiences and adoption. And at the same time, companies are still buying and replacing CRMs. This market is not apples to apples. Every provider is going about CRM uniquely, which makes evaluating and implementing solutions incredibly challenging. Kyle and I are focused on wrapping up our CRM Index report for this year, and it is a LOT! If you want to make sense of the landscape, here is a quick preview. We have three categories of providers: Sourcing providers (offering CRM and recruitment marketing automation capabilities including HireEZ, SeekOut, and Findem), Traditional CRM and Recruitment Marketing providers that have a heritage in this space, and Talent Intelligence platforms that go beyond CRM to offer skills and AI-based platforms.

Well-being Has Evolved

A few months ago, I started a blog about how companies seem to be deprioritizing employee well-being. Well, I was wrong. Well-being took center stage this year on Day 2 of the Pitchfest, with providers like, Aragon, and First30 offering employee well-being solutions. In the past, employee well-being was often confined to basic healthcare benefits, but it has since expanded to encompass holistic physical, mental, financial, and emotional health. HR tech tools have played a pivotal role in this evolution, offering a range of innovative solutions, from wellness apps and wearables to AI-powered mental health support platforms. This shift is not just a response to the growing awareness of the importance of employee happiness but also a recognition that a healthier, more engaged workforce is a more productive and sustainable one. My friends at Best Money Moves offer an amazing solution for financial well-being. And this year, we were introduced to the idea of digital well-being through the Digital Wellness Institute.

Also, last but not least, everything at this year’s event was generative AI related. The potential impact on the future of work is tremendous. Generative AI improves efficiency (automating many administrative tasks), quality (enhancing the quality of content generated), and experience (providing faster results and more immediate answers). But it also has risks, including questions about how the data is captured, security and data privacy, and overall decision-making. Over the past few months, many vendors have made announcements about how generative AI and GPT-4 are enhancing their products. Some are making announcements that will provide immediate benefits to recruiting teams, candidates, and employees. 

It was a great event and we are already looking forward to next year!


Global TA Day: Recognizing the Recruiter Experience

If you are into HRTech or TATech, you got the memo that today is Global TA Day.

I just asked ChatGPT, ‘What is Global TA Day?” and it responded with;

“If “Global TA Day” exists, it could be a day dedicated to celebrating and raising awareness about talent acquisition (TA) practices and professionals. Talent acquisition involves finding, attracting, and hiring qualified individuals to fill positions within an organization. If this day has been established, it may involve various activities, events, or initiatives to recognize the importance of talent acquisition in the workforce.”

This a friendly, simple response, but if you are in this industry, building tech or following the work of recruiters and TA teams, you know that this day signifies much more. It is a day of appreciation for the people doing the work, connecting job seekers with meaningful opportunities, and helping companies grow.

We studied recruiter experience over a year ago and found that companies need a better understanding of this important role. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of recruiters believe that their role needs to be understood by leadership at their organization. They need to start with the following:

–       Understanding Today’s Reality: What pressures are recruiters facing, and how do they feel about their job and the future of talent acquisition?

–       Understanding the Role of the Recruiter: How are recruiters spending their time today, and what would they like to focus on?

–       Understanding What Resources Recruiters Need: What services and solutions will help recruiters in their jobs?

Talent acquisition is challenging. As companies invest in talent acquisition strategies and technology, they need to understand the challenges that recruiters face today. One in two companies state that IT is more involved in TA technology decisions, yet IT professionals are only sometimes aware of the realities of the labor market. Recruiters can only get the support they need if their reality is validated across the organization.

This divide in how leadership, recruiters, and IT perceive talent acquisition has created different technology adoption experiences. TA and HR leadership are happier with the recruitment technology (73%) they have in place and would be more likely to recommend it to other organizations (91%). One reason for higher satisfaction is that TA leaders are two times more likely to influence these technology decisions directly. Recruiters are more frustrated with their technology and the resources available. Many traditional technology solutions must be designed for the modern recruiter and integrate with their workflow or help them attract and hire talent.

As companies think about the future of TA Tech, they need to understand and validate the recruiter experience and build solutions that will help the individuals doing the work from sourcing to recruitment marketing to interviewing and onboarding new hires.

Happy Global TA Day to everyone working in this amazing industry!


New Research: The New Era of Internal Mobility

The past three years accelerated the demand for internal mobility solutions. The movement of talent into new positions is not a new trend. Companies have been hyper-focused on internal mobility and career progression at various times periods of uncertainty. For many companies, internal mobility offers the perfect panacea to challenges facing both recruitment and retention by bridging the candidate and employee experiences and reducing turnover.

We launched a new study on internal mobility this year. And, despite this increased focus on internal mobility over the past few years, only one in four companies are confident with their strategies moving forward and 77% have lost talent due to a lack of career development opportunities. Many organizations have adopted a superficial approach to internal mobility by promoting jobs through internal career sites without offering individuals opportunities and development. For other companies, lack of ownership creates barriers for implementing programs and technology.

Fortunately, some companies are turning to skills-based internal mobility and prioritizing how they reskill and upskill their workforce to adapt to the future of work. They are empowering employees, leveraging technology, and encouraging collaboration across multiple stakeholders. A skills-based approach to internal mobility can help connect talent to the right opportunities, personalize the experience, and continuously update with every interaction. It transforms internal mobility from an employer-led initiative to a talent-first strategy.

As companies look to 2023, internal mobility needs to be more than a rally cry. It needs to be a clearly defined strategic investment that is less about moving an individual from job A to job B and more about driving value for the employee.

Here are some of the key findings from our latest study in partnership with Workday.

Metrics that matter: Companies need to consider a new set of metrics for measuring the success of internal mobility. Metrics should incentivize managers and recruiters to provide growth and opportunities for employees while supporting broader DEI and company objectives.

Internal mobility needs to be talent first: Current internal mobility strategies require employees to do most of the work to find their next opportunities for development. Companies promote jobs and employees are left on their own to find what might be next. The next era of internal mobility must make it simple for employees to understand their opportunities and develop the skills they need to be successful.

Internal mobility must empower hiring teams: One in two recruiters are feeling burned out this year and hiring teams are feeling additional pressure to find quality talent quickly. Internal mobility must be talent first, but it also must empower hiring teams by lifting the administrative burden and making it easier to find talent.

Internal mobility must provide personalization: Most companies are not personalizing internal mobility. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of internal candidates go through the same process as external candidates. Internal candidates are treated like strangers to their employer and often do not receive a response.

Internal mobility is most successful when it involves multiple stakeholders: Nearly 50% of companies stated that leadership and CHROs are either owning or directly responsible for internal mobility efforts. They are driving these initiatives and looking to work closely with key stakeholders and creating opportunities for employees.

Skills are a priority: According to this study, 82% of companies identified skills as a priority. Companies are increasing their investment in skills this year and the number one driver is to provide more career development opportunities for talent.


New Research: The State of Sourcing

Aptitude Research conducted a survey in July 2020, during the height of the pandemic, and found that the most critical capability gap in TA involved sourcing candidates. Three years later, sourcing remains the biggest challenge for talent acquisition teams, even with a possible economic downturn. We recently published a new study on the State of Sourcing with relode. Companies need help identifying and attracting the right talent regardless of industry or hiring activity, even with new solutions and opportunities. Sourcing is often reactionary as companies are left scrambling to find and compete for talent in a short period of time.

Companies built out internal expertise, outsourced sourcing activities, or leveraged technology that included job boards, sourcing solutions, talent intelligence, and contingent workforce solutions to fill this capability gap. And, no surprise, with new solutions and the impact of AI, companies turned to technology to help fill the gaps and provide immediate solutions. But, not all sourcing providers are the same.

And the result is that many sourcing strategies fail to deliver results. We found several challenges with sourcing, including:

Dissatisfaction With Sourcing Strategies: Seventy-five percent (75%) of companies are unhappy with their sourcing strategy.

Lack of ROI: Sixty-five percent (65%) of companies don’t measure the ROI of their sourcing investments.

Too Many Sourcing Solutions: One in three companies uses more than five sourcing tools.

Lack of Expertise: Many companies lack the expertise and capabilities to source effectively.

Sourcing Diverse Candidates: Companies rely on the same job board, job aggregators, and sourcing channels to find candidates without thinking more broadly about diversity. Additionally, many companies are not tracking the sources of hire to know where they are finding more diverse candidates.

Difficulty Finding Candidates in the ATS/CRM: Search is frustrating with many ATS and CRM systems. Search is limited to keywords, and many candidates have incomplete or outdated profiles. Aptitude Research found that recruiters spend an average of 10 hours a week looking for candidates in the ATS.

Limited Inhouse Expertise: Companies do not have expertise in sourcing. Some companies building outsourcing functions shuffle recruiters or HR professionals into a sourcing role without considering the expertise needed.

Companies are responding to these challenges by rethinking their approach to sourcing and focusing on building a more effective process. Companies are shifting their view around the following:

Shifts in the Definition of Talent: Companies must think more holistically around talent and include contingent workers in their sourcing strategies.

Shifts in Sourcing Channels: Companies have shifted sourcing channels over the past year, and determining what option works for the future is a key priority in 2023.

Shifts to Quality: Sourcing must balance both efficiency and quality.

Shifts to Data-Driven Approach: Sourcing can no longer be ad hoc. Companies need data to gain insights and drive decision-making around sourcing strategies.

Our latest research report (in partnership with relode) provides some guidance and recommendations for organizations making these shifts.


Key Takeaways from Eightfold’s Cultivate Event

Last week I attended Eightfold’s Cultivate event in San Francisco. It was an impressive two days focused on the trends impacting HR Technology and the future of work, including skills, AI, and talent intelligence. One theme that stood out was the need to embrace change. With the shifts in the labor market and economic uncertainty, companies need to innovate and rethink traditional processes and technology. Companies at this event were asking the tough questions, finding a better way, and creating agile workforce strategies that harness skills and the power of AI.

Eightfold has set the pace for change and transformation in HR Tech. Its skills-based approach gives companies a complete view of talent while empowering individuals to control their career paths. Its platform includes solutions across talent acquisition, talent management, and contingent workforce management (Flex). These pillars are built on a talent intelligence platform which includes a skills matrix, explainable AI, and talent insights. And last week, Eightfold launched its Skills-Based Talent Planning- allowing companies to stay prepared and agile in determining short and long-term talent needs.

With over 1B profiles, 1M skills, and 1M titles, Eightfold has access to more data and intelligence than most of its competitors. Here are my top takeaways from Cultivate.

A Skills-Based Approach to Talent is Not Optional: Every company attending this conference was focused on a skills-based approach to talent. Skills are not a passing trend. It is the number one conversation happening in HR Technology today, and organizations that adopt a skills-first approach will be included. CEO Ashutosh Garg kicked off the event by discussing how skills and the power of AI are changing the nature of work. A skills-based approach can help connect talent to the right opportunities, personalize the experience, and provide more visibility into the workforce’s capabilities. Employers benefit from improved efficiency and stronger talent pools, while individuals benefit from greater opportunities to control their career paths. Skills provide a roadmap for the future and a bridge between talent acquisition and talent management. Aptitude Research found that companies that invest in skills development are:

● Twice as likely to improve retention

● Twenty-eight percent (28%) more likely to improve DEI initiatives

Skill-Based Talent Planning: One of the most exciting takeaways from the event was the announcement of Eightfold’s Skills-Based Talent Planning. This product was heavily influenced by customer input and direction and aimed to give companies the data and action they needed to plan. Many companies do not have visibility into talent, and workforce planning uses Excel spreadsheets once a year. As a result, decisions are made rapidly without any data or insights, often resulting in losing quality talent, layoffs, and missed opportunities. A skills-based approach to strategic workforce planning allows business leaders to understand how macro trends impact the needs of their organization. Eightfold feeds this insight into its Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, and Talent Flex solutions, allowing organizations to execute skills-based talent strategies at scale. Our latest study on strategic workforce planning found that although 85% of companies are investing the same or increasing their investment, only 14% take a strategic, long-term approach to their workforce planning initiatives. A skills-based approach is a game changer. It goes beyond providing insights and gives companies an action plan. Some of the benefits and differentiators include:

  • Scenario planning for the time required for skills and proficiency to develop in existing and emerging areas;
  • Redesign roles for the future and plan for how organizations should evolve over time;
  • Capture progress and fully execute on a coordinated talent plan by integrating with Eightfold Talent Acquisition, Career Hub, and the entire Talent Intelligence Platform.

Companies Need to Consider Providers with a Strong Commitment to Responsible AI: Companies invest in AI in talent acquisition and management, but not all AI providers are the same. Companies must consider ethical AI as they evaluate providers and understand if products operate transparently, are backed by explanations, describe the methodology, and frequently publish data. In addition, responsible AI builds confidence with employers and candidates who want to understand how their data is used. Scott Sumner with the Defense Innovation Unit under the Department of Defense (DoD) shared how responsible AI was an important consideration when evaluating Eightfold as the provider for its GigEagle program. GigEagle using Eightfold’s AI matching will increase DoD’s ability to effectively leverage its abundance of talent currently locked into supporting singular units. In addition, GigEagle will focus on staffing short-term “gig” project needs, ranging from four hours to several months, many of which can be staffed remotely.

Partnerships are Helping to Drive Change: Eightfold and its clients are not operating in a vacuum. They are part of a larger ecosystem that drives change and transformation in how companies recruit and retain talent. Partners that include Deloitte, EY, and Magnit are partnering with Eightfold to provide a skills strategy for clients to ensure they are changing their mindset and optimizing their technology investments.

It is an exciting time to be in HR Tech!


HireVue Acquires Modern Hire

Today, HireVue announced plans to acquire Modern Hire. This acquisition creates a clear leader in the interview and assessment space with 1150 combined customers (mostly at the Enterprise level- 60% of the Fortune 100) and a strong vision for the future. Both providers have taken similar paths over the past two decades:

– Starting with video interviewing and enhancing communication capabilities 

– Moving into assessments (HireVue’s acquisition of MindX and Modern Hire as the merger of Shaker assessments and Montage Talent)

– Strengthening analytics and insights

– Committing to responsible and ethical AI use cases

Hiring is a priority, and companies are increasing their investment in everything that happens, from the first interview to the offer. In February 2020, we found that less than 60% of companies were using or planning to use video interview providers. Three years later, over 80% of companies used or planned to use a broader set of intelligent interview platforms. Video was the tool of choice at the beginning of the pandemic for asynchronous hiring. The problem was that many of these solutions merely replaced face-to-face interactions with a less human way of interviewing. They also needed more insights, analytics, and assessments. Today, companies are looking for one provider to tackle everything from the first interview to onboarding. HireVue checks every box. Its solutions include video interviewing, AI-driven assessments, traditional assessments, virtual job tryouts, scheduling automation, conversational AI, and text-based engagement.

Here are a few thoughts on what this means for the market:

The Value of Hiring Experience Platforms: Hiring is one of the most critical and misunderstood talent acquisition areas. Companies invest significantly in recruitment marketing, sourcing, and ATS solutions but often need to pay more attention to the experience and decision-making that begins during the interview and assessment process. This acquisition strengthens HireVue’s dedication to creating a new hiring solution category. It combines years of behavioral science with innovative solutions across interviewing, assessments, communication, and impact/post-hire measurement. Its suite of solutions enables companies to make data-driven decisions and improve the candidate experience through simple and engaging solutions.

The Focus on Quality of Hire: Although efficiency remains critical to TA, the pendulum is swinging back to quality of hire as the number one driver in TA investments in 2023. One reason is the increased focus on retention. With more business leaders aware of TA tech decisions this year, recruitment is the first line of defense for turnover. Identifying quality hires early helps organizations prepare for future needs. Quality of hire and efficiency can sometimes conflict, but companies looking at technology should be able to maintain one over the other. 

The Need to Reduce the Number of Hiring Solutions: Over 60% of companies are using more solutions today than before COVID, yet only 11% are satisfied with this technology. The buying behavior over the past three years has shifted, and companies must be careful when evaluating providers and considering true partnerships. Many of these companies want to reduce the number of providers, especially in hiring.

The Impact of AI: AI fundamentally changes every aspect of HR, and there is growing curiosity and appetite to understand it. According to Aptitude Research, 63% of companies are investing or planning to invest in AI solutions this year, compared to 42% in 2020. In addition, both HireVue and MOdernHire have demonstrated a commitment to ethical and responsible AI.

This announcement is exciting and presents new opportunities for clients, partners, and the ecosystem.