Five Talent Acquisition Predictions for 2018

The past year in talent acquisition has been characterized by new trends, new providers, and new investments. While this is an exciting time to be in talent acquisition, all of this change can feel overwhelming.

At Aptitude Research Partners, we are thinking a lot about the future and what 2018 will bring. As companies make more strategic decisions around their technology providers, we have a few predictions.

The Gap in the SMB: With every solution moving up market, we will see a gap in solutions targeting the SMB. Many best-of-breed providers are itching to move upmarket as the growth that many of these providers experienced in the SMB and mid-markets no longer seems to be enough. These providers are flexing their muscles by creating new partnerships, establishing a European presence, and demonstrating security and scalability that enterprise clients require. This mad rush upmarket is leaving a gap that needs to be filled in the SMB.

The Inevitable Acquisition: Market consolidation in talent acquisition technology is inevitable with too many providers doing too many different things. Aptitude’s 2017 research found that over 50% of companies are investing in 3 or more ATS systems and 3 or more primary sourcing tools. As 70% of companies invest in recruitment marketing solutions, ATS providers have an opportunity to make the technology landscape simpler for their customers, and we can expect some acquisitions in this area.

The Rise of Assessments:  While the assessment market is certainly not an emerging category of HR technology, it has evolved quite rapidly in the past year. Yet, at the same time, it is also a market that has sparked some controversy. Many traditional assessment providers are criticized for their high costs and negative experience for both employers and candidates. Too often, they remain a luxury of enterprise organizations recruiting for senior positions. Many new providers, on the other hand, face backlash as companies question the validity and fairness of these solutions and their effectiveness at attracting quality talent. Successful assessments today must balance sophisticated grounding in data science with a simplicity of user experience for both the candidate and the hiring manager.

The Need for Simplicity: We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again. Companies need simpler solutions in talent acquisition. Recruiters have one major problem. They need an easier way to attract, recruit, and hire talent. If a technology provider is not solving that problem, they do not have a viable solution.  According to Aptitude’s 2016 Hire, Engage, Retain survey, only 3% of companies are using the full functionality of their ATS systems. Companies either don’t know the functionality is there or they don’t understand how to use it. Again, many of these solutions are too complicated. If you want to give recruiters and candidates what they need, technology providers need to make it simple.

The Role of the Big Guys: Several big providers made bold moves in talent acquisition this year. Google Hire turned many heads with its launch earlier this year. Workday acquired new customers, making many of the ATS providers nervous. And Microsoft seems committed to its LinkedIn acquisition. All eyes are on the big providers in 2018 and it will be interesting to see what they do.

The next year is likely to present some major changes in the talent acquisition technology market and we are excited to cover it and help provide clarity around the uncertainty.