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!


New Research: Evolution of TA Tech

The talent acquisition technology landscape has shifted significantly with new providers and categories entering the market and AI seems to be the common denominator. Companies are using, on average, 10 or more providers to support everything from recruitment marketing to onboarding. The interest and investment in AI show no signs of stopping, and today’s companies have more options and opportunities than ever before. But navigating this landscape and truly understanding AI’s impact has become increasingly complex even for the most sophisticated buyers. Companies are not always clear what solutions to consider and what drives results.

Aptitude Research has identified three trends that are influencing the TA tech market today:

  1. TA tech investment is increasing. As companies increased their investment in talent acquisition technology in 2022, 70% stated they will continue to invest the same or increase this investment during a recession.
  2. Business leaders are more focused on TA tech. Over 50% of companies state that business leaders are more focused on TA tech this year than last. With multiple stakeholders involved in decision making, companies must think more strategically about investments.
  3. AI is here to stay. We have moved past the early fears of AI and employers, recruiters, and candidates are embracing AI-driven solutions. One in two companies believe that AI will improve the candidate experience. Companies must carefully consider the role that AI plays in transforming the TA tech stack and which providers take an ethical approach to AI.

Ten years ago, the talent acquisition technology market was comprised of multiple providers offering clear products in defined categories, including background screening, job boards, applicant tracking systems, assessments, and onboarding. Today, the market has exploded with hundreds more providers and new vendors entering each month. Additionally, the lines have blurred – many offer several solutions in talent acquisition or have created new categories of technology, making the buyer’s decision more complicated.

Our latest research on the evolutions of TA tech highlighted the following key findings:

Quality is a priority. For the first time in two years, quality of hire is the number one driver in technology investments over efficiency for 70% of companies. While efficiency is still critical for companies looking to improve time to fill and recruiter productivity, quality will see a renewed focus over the next year.

Companies are increasing investment even during an economic downturn. Seventy percent (70%) of companies plan to continue to invest the same amount or increase their investment in TA tech even in the event of an economic downturn. With remote work and recruiter experience challenges over the past two years, the demand for technology has never been greater. Companies see the value during both strong and weak economies.

Companies have more solutions but are less happy with them. Over 60% of companies are using more solutions today than before COVID, yet only 11% of companies are satisfied with this technology. The buying behavior over the past two years and companies must be careful when evaluating providers and consider true partnerships. Many of these companies are finding it challenging to implement and adopt these systems.

DEI needs to be more of a priority. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) was a key driver in technology decisions two years ago. Today, companies identified efficiency, quality, and experience over reducing bias. Companies should not sacrifice reducing bias. The right technology can solve for multiple outcomes in talent acquisition.

Not all AI is the same. Every provider in talent acquisition seems to be tackling AI, but companies must carefully consider the quality of data and ethical AI. Companies must provide due diligence when evaluating providers.

Candidates are embracing AI. One in two companies believe that AI is improving the candidate experience. And, nearly half of companies in this study do not know when they should use AI to support talent acquisition. For many companies, humans are still doing tasks that can be supported through AI, including communication and screening.

The next year will create more challenges and opportunities in TA tech and companies must carefully consider evaluating providers. We are excited about upcoming research reports that include hourly hiring, conversational AI, and the CRM Index.

Blog Talent Acquisition Technology

HR Technology Conference: Key Trends and Providers to Watch

The HR Technology market is not slowing down. Companies are increasing their budgets, providers are launching new products, and investors are looking for their next opportunity. But, the landscape has changed overnight, and keeping up with the latest trends is not easy. Last week’s HR Technology Conference brought this community back together to bring clarity on the key trends, celebrate a year of resilience, and plan for what’s next.

New providers, new categories, and new opportunities were all represented at this year’s event. It was enough to get even the most traditional of HR buyers excited about innovation.

I was fortunate to meet with many providers, and a few themes stood out this year:

AI Matching and Talent Intelligence

It’s hard to find a conversation in TA tech that does not include AI matching. Every TA startup seems to be looking at this space, investors are interested, and companies want a better way to match candidates to jobs and jobs to candidates. Matching is the space to watch right now. ATS providers are enhancing their capabilities, but the two providers to watch are HiredScore and Eightfold. We found that 34% of companies stated that they are using some matching, and they are two times more likely to improve diverse sources and three times more likely to improve quality of hire.

HiredScore: One of the most impressive products and teams in talent acquisition today. HiredScore is committed to using ethical AI standards to help companies find and manage talent. In addition, it provides recruiters with a more efficient way to identify talent (both internal and external) and candidates with a fair and equitable hiring process.

Eightfold: Eightfold is a talent intelligence platform that includes talent acquisition, talent management, and talent flex (contingent workforce) solutions. It has grown significantly over the past year with 400 employees, 3 patents, and FedRAMP ready status.

Jobvite: Jobvite won an HR Top Product of the Year Award for its Zero Click Intelligent Sourcing. It automates sourcing efforts when a job requisition is first opened. The solution saves recruiters time while surfacing and activating qualified candidates from their CRM, Talemetry. Talemetry by Jobvite leverages AI-powered candidate matching to identify a list of top prospects found in a client’s CRM based on the requirements in the job description and reviewing previous hires from similar positions.

Assessments and Talent Intelligence

The assessment market is heating up again, and companies have better options today. Employee and candidate-friendly assessments that are still backed by science are the future of this market. It was exciting to see all of the assessment innovations at this year’s event. One provider that presented with Whirlpool was Plum. Plum empowers people to use their full potential at work. By looking at human potential data, they provide value to both recruitment and retention strategies. Its universal assessment is 25 minutes and supports the full talent lifecycle. As a result, Whirlpool experienced a 78% increase in the hiring of unrepresented minorities.

High-Volume Recruitment

Traditional recruitment technology and applicant tracking systems (ATS) are not designed for high-volume candidates. So, it is no surprise that 65% of high-volume recruitment needs are not satisfied with their current ATS. Most traditional ATS systems are designed for traditional corporate hiring and lack capabilities to support high-volume recruitment such as programmatic advertising, scheduling, or communication. High-volume recruitment technology must be simple, intuitive, and mobile-responsive. The fewer systems that companies need to manage, the better. Eighty-two percent (82%) of companies with high-volume hiring needs are increasing their investment in technology this year. Two providers to check out in high-volume are AMS Hourly and Fountain.

Hiring (Interview to Offer)

Hiring is one of the most critical and most neglected areas of talent acquisition. Companies invest significantly in recruitment marketing, sourcing, and ATS solutions but often ignore the experience and decision-making that begins during the interview and hiring process. Several companies are dedicated to creating a new category of hiring solutions. These providers offer innovative solutions in areas such as interviewing, assessments, measurement, and offer.

Wedge: Wedge provides on-demand video interviewing solutions to organizations in the SMB and mid-market. It offers seamless ATS integration, a simple experience, and a great team. It has invested in the product significantly over the past year with 12 new features.

HireVue: With its roots in digital interviewing, HireVue has evolved into a hiring experience platform with products and capabilities that include interviewing, assessments, conversational AI and communication (throughout the candidate lifecycle), and insights. It launched Builder this year, a product to support structured interviews and allow companies the flexibility to add their interview questions in this model. In addition, its Hiring Assistant (through the acquisition of AllyO) includes a recruiter assistant, scheduling assistant, and job search assistant. HireVue has also launched a text-to-apply feature and text-based assessments.

Compa: Compa was a favorite at this year’s event. A strong contender in the Pitchfest, Compa is transforming offer management by giving candidates more transparency around their offers and pay decisions. For any company struggling to find talent or hire talent because of pay, Compa is worth a look. It empowers HR and talent acquisition teams, to get smarter about the offer management process and connect with candidates in a more authentic way. Recruiters can use Compa at any stage in the talent acquisition process.

Conversational AI

If you follow any of our research, then you know how passionate we are about conversational AI. Conversational AI is not as complex or complicated as organizations may think. It is already an integrated part of the consumer experience and personal lives through assistants like Siri, Alexa, and others. It offers the same value and assistance to talent acquisition, and HR and over 40% of enterprise companies are considering this investment this year. The future of conversational AI is not in a point solution but in a platform that improves the employer and employee/candidate experience. Two providers that are doing this well include Paradox and Socrates.

Paradox: Paradox is a leading conversational AI. It continues to be the favorite in this market with its strong product roadmap, exceptional customer support, and vision for the future of TA. While many of its competitors have been acquired this year, Paradox is expanding its use cases beyond talent acquisition and helping build awareness of this category of technology.

Socrates: Socrates is a provider helping to solve the challenges facing HR, IT, and Employees. I was genuinely impressed with this provider and its innovative approach to employee experience through a conversational methodology. It uses technologies such as text, enterprise chat solutions, intranet portals, and voice. is not a bot toolkit or another point solution. Instead, it pulls all your HR and benefits information together into one simplified hub. It cleans and rewrites all content to make it more relevant for employees and integrates with every major HR and communication platform.

Employee Experience and Feedback

My friend, Tim Sackett, wrote about the number of coaching providers at this year’s event. I didn’t realize how big of a category this was becoming but considering the events of the past year, it makes sense. Companies need to be able to provide better coaching opportunities to leaders. Sounding Board is one provider I met with that has a growing network of over 200 coaches and AI-powered admin tools and centralized data insights to deliver coaching at scale.

The other big category in employee experience and candidate experience is feedback. We found that only 1 in 2 candidates receive feedback in the hiring process, and most employees only receive feedback once a year during the performance review.

Joyous: Joyous, founded by Michael Cardin (Sonar6), allows employees to own their feedback and experience. Joyous has a straightforward goal…to make life better at work. Through conversations and building a culture of psychological safety where everyone feels comfortable with getting and sharing feedback. The original vision of Joyous was to support Agile organizations, but every company can benefit from this type of collaboration and communication.

Programmatic Job Advertising

Programmatic buying has changed the face of job advertising. It has helped companies save costs, streamline job advertising, target the right candidates and maximize ROI. While traditional job advertising increases spend, programmatic reduces it. Once companies move to a programmatic model, they are unlikely to go back to a manual one. Programmatic was a HUGE topic of conversation last week, and it is exciting to see more awareness for this growing category of HR Tech. Providers like Appcast, Pandologic, and Vonq are leaders in the space and all had a presence at the event.

Internal Mobility

Companies can provide a fairer hiring process and make smarter hiring decisions to enrich upskilling and internal mobility. Companies can also identify skills gaps across the organization to plan and prepare for the future. As companies look closely at their hiring strategies for 2021 and beyond, skills-based hiring and internal mobility is a priority. Unfortunately, many providers offer basic capabilities in this area that include dedicated career sites and personalized communication to internal hires. Few providers go deeper with skills frameworks and career development. This webinar will include new research on skills-based hiring and internal mobility. It will address the challenges that companies face, the strategies they should consider, and the technology that enables success. Worqdrive was another Pitchfest favorite that is tackling internal mobility and retention.

One other provider taking an innovative approach to HR Tech is GraceBlocks. GraceBlocks is designed for talent operations professionals. It makes it easy to build and deploy systems that work for users including simple HRMS extensions and fully designed tracking systems.

It is an exciting time to be in HR Technology and I am looking forward to 2022!

Blog Talent Acquisition Strategies

Eightfold AI: What’s Next?

Yesterday, Eightfold AI announced a $220M Series E funding doubling its valuation to over $2B. This Series E funding round is led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and includes investors from previous rounds, including General Catalyst, Capital One Ventures, Foundation Capital, IVP, and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Total funding raised to date by Eightfold AI is more than $410M, with more than $350M coming in the last several months.

A provider that most people didn’t know existed a few years ago is now the one we can’t stop talking about in the market. All eyes are on Eightfold to see where it is going and who it will compete with next year.

Eightfold is a talent intelligence platform that offers a comprehensive suite of talent acquisition, talent management, and talent analytics solutions. As companies look at skilling and upskilling their workforce, Eightfold provides deep insights across all talent includes employees, contingent workers, and candidates. It has expanded from an AI matching solution to an end-to-end talent platform in a short period. As a result, any conversation around HR technology today involves Eightfold in some way.

I have a few early thoughts on the recent announcement and Eightfold’s growing presence:

What does this mean for the market?

A New Look at Integrated Talent Management: Integrated Talent Management or ITM makes me cringe a little. As an analyst, I spent nearly a decade covering ITM and the benefits it brings to companies. While the idea makes sense, the reality is that most providers could not make this happen. Most providers fell short with numerous acquisitions (that were never integrated) and attempt to offer recruitment, performance management, succession planning, compensation, and learning. Eightfold’s approach is different. It is looking at using an AI-driven platform to help companies recruit, engage, and retain talent in a way that solves for what they need rather than check a box. In addition, having one provider for both pre-hire and post-hire solutions will look different under Eightfold.

TA Tech is Growing: It is a good time to be in TA Technology. This sentiment is the theme of this year. We found that 1 in 4 companies are increasing their investment in technology, and 34% of enterprise companies are using some AI matching capabilities. As companies increase their investment in technology, they will build out tech stacks that can improve efficiency, reduce bias, and enable better decision-making. And, they want to invest in one provider to do most of the work, which makes Eightfold an appealing option.

Talent Intelligence Is a Growing Category: Eightfold is helping to bring awareness to a newer area of HR technology- talent intelligence platforms. This latest round will create more visibility around what these solutions can do and how companies use them today. Eightfold’s position here will also help many of its competitors gain traction in the market.

What this means for the future of Eightfold?

Expanding Partnerships: This latest round of investment will help fuel research and development as well as partnerships with third-party providers. The ecosystem is complex, and many ATS providers have built out marketplaces to support clients. Eightfold is likely to move in a similar direction.

Moving into Contingent Workforce: One of Eightfold’s differentiators supports all talent, including contingent workers. As 1 in 2 companies look to replace their VMS and explore better options, doubling down on contingent workforce capabilities may prove to be a smart decision for Eightfold.

Replacing the ATS: I don’t think most companies aspire to be ATS providers, but with the valuation and investment, Eightfold will likely move in this direction to become the end-to-end recruitment platform and compete (and replace) many ATS providers. I don’t see this happening this year, but I think the ATS providers know this is possible in 2022. Eightfold already appears in many of the competitive CRM deals today.

It is unclear what Eightfold’s plans are for this latest round, but we can expect more research and development and possibly an acquisition or two. A $2B valuation puts tremendous pressure on this provider to acquire new customers and fulfill its product roadmap. Time will tell. I will post an update on any new developments in the next few weeks.


Mathematical Curiosity and the Future Workforce

Yesterday, I attended a math workshop for parents of elementary schoolers (grades K-5). The workshop was designed to provide more support for students at home and to give parents a better understanding of the math curriculum. I love the idea of learning new ways to better help my kids. But, to be honest, the thought of spending a few hours reviewing multiplication and division was the last thing I wanted to do in the middle of a busy workday.

I went anyway and what I learned was much more valuable than a refresher on algebra.

The presenter kicked off the workshop with this quote: “Good mathematics is not about how many answers you know… it’s about how you behave when you don’t know.” Math teaching has completely changed since I was a kid and is now focused on helping students understand concepts and reasoning. Kids are encouraged to experiment and make mistakes. Teachers want math to be collaborative and fun not scary and condescending. I started to wonder if elementary school is where the true reskilling of the workforce is happening.

As organizations prepare for an AI-future of work or an analytics-driven future of work, empowering employees to adopt new technologies and embrace “math” is a priority. According to reports, North American organizations spent over $160 billion on corporate training last year. Yet, much of this training for reskilling the workforce is conducted in an “old math” kind of way. It feels intimidating and discouraging. And, it doesn’t promote curiosity or opportunity.

Maybe we need a lesson in “new math”. Maybe we need to think more like elementary students and not be afraid to make mistakes. If we do one thing to reskill our workforce, maybe it should be to create a curiosity around math and data.

Below are some of the takeaways that I learned (based on research from Dr. Jo Boaler, a mathematics professor at Stanford University).

1.       Everyone can learn math to the highest levels.

2.       Mistakes are valuable.

3.       Questions are really important.

4.       Math is about creativity and making sense.

5.       Math is about connections and communicating.

6.       Math class is about learning not performing.

7.       Depth is more important than speed.


It Is a Good Time to Be in HR Technology

Last week was a big week with some major announcements about investment in HCM. First, Workday announced a $250 million venture fund with investments to go into early and growth stage providers focused on topics such as AI, blockchain, and machine learning. This announcement not only demonstrates Workday’s growing leadership in all things HCM but it also enables startups to develop better products and expand their customer base. Less obvious announcements from last week include Gartner’s decision to sell its talent assessment business (through the acquisition of CEB – which acquired SHL) to private equity firm, Exponent, for $400 million. Not to mention, investment raised by Joveo ($5 million), gr8people ($8 million), and ZipRecruiter ($50 million). Investors recognize the opportunity and the demand for better solutions to attract, engage, and retain talent. And, it is a good time to be in HR Technology.

Here are some of the areas where we see the most investment:

–          Recruitment Marketing: Interest in the recruitment marketing space has not died down. Investors recognize that recruiting is evolving the same way marketing evolved several years ago. They are looking at solutions that offer one platform for engaging, nurturing, and connecting with talent before they ever apply for a job. Research we did last year found that 1 in 3 companies are increasing their spend on solutions that handle everything before someone applies for a job.

–          AI: The topic of AI is pervasive in HCM. Yet, most companies are still confused by what AI is and how it can be used to solve talent management challenges. Companies are curious about the value of AI and what use cases they should consider. But with so many providers entering this space, it is challenging to know who to consider. Hopefully, some of the investment in AI will help to provide clarity around AI and differentiate some of these providers.

–          Blockchain: The topic of blockchain is everywhere and not just because of the buzz around Bitcoin. Essentially, blockchain is a database that is not stored in just one central location but is everywhere- making the data easier to maintain. Sourcecon published a great article recently, where it explains Blockchain in this way:  “Imagine a Google or Excel sheet you’ve shared with your recruiting team to track hiring activities. Your sheet updates automatically in real time, it’s asynchronous, and everyone has access to the ability to update it.”

–          Employee Recognition: At one time, an area where investors seemed to tread lightly, the employee recognition market has really taken off. Investors recognize that employee recognition is the key driver of employee engagement and are looking at solutions that enable social recognition, feedback, and peer-to-peer interaction.

We will continue to watch the investment in this space are we are excited for the opportunity it presents providers and practitioners. Our friend, George LaRocque, does an exceptional job of covering the investment in this space. We also recommend checking out his research and publications on this market.


Why iCIMS’ Acquisition of TextRecruit is a Big Deal

When you think about iCIMS, “risk taker” might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But the NJ-based provider has demonstrated its ability to push the envelope and drive change more than many of its Silicon Valley peers. And its recent acquisition of TextRecruit, the mobile recruiting platform, is no exception. Colin Day, CEO, has taken significant risks over the past 10 years, including turning down investors and potential acquisitions in favor of organic and consistent growth. iCIMS has taken risks with its messaging, marketplace, and products – including moving away from an integrated Talent Management suite in 2012 to refocus on strategic talent acquisition.

iCIMS understands that Talent Acquisition is complex enough to deserve its own suite of solutions and its own conversation. Its acquisition of TextRecruit continues this commitment to helping companies attract and recruit talent.

If you are unfamiliar with TextRecruit and wondering what this means for Talent Acquisition…here are a few reasons why we think this is a big deal:

  • Product Leadership: iCIMS is much more than just an ATS. By announcing that TextRecruit will continue to operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary, servicing and integrating with other systems based on their clients’ needs. It is expanding its customer base and leadership in Talent Acquisition.
  • Enterprise Market: iCIMS, like many other next generation Talent Acquisition systems, has been making a play to move up market. TextRecruit, with over 400 enterprise customers (including several existing iCIMS clients) gives iCIMS more credibility in the enterprise market.
  • Candidate Communication: According to research Aptitude Research Partners conducted in 2016, 47% of employees are not even opening their emails from HR departments. Companies need to find new ways to communicate with candidates via text, AI, and chat. TextRecruit will give iCIMS’ customers that option.
  • Market Consolidation: Consolidation is inevitable for Talent Acquisition. Companies are using too many providers to do too much of the same thing. iCIMS is the first provider to make a significant acquisition and setting the stage for end-to-end Talent Acquisition.

iCIMS’ strength is in its deep expertise in Talent Acquisition and its exceptional customer service. As it continues to move up market and expand with this new acquisition, maintaining strong customer satisfaction and high customer retention will be challenging but critical to its continued success. 2018 is already proving to be an interesting year in Talent Acquisition technology.



New Research: The Future of Talent Acquisition

Talent acquisition leaders face new pressures, new responsibilities, and new technology options. The competition for talent is getting more intense and companies are struggling to plan for the future. We launched our latest research on talent acquisition last month to better understand these priorities, technology investments, and buying behaviors. We are finally reaching a point where companies are thinking more strategically about the way they invest in technology and partner with providers.

Below are some key takeaways from the research:

  1. The Need for Greater Simplicity: The technology landscape in talent acquisition has become complex and confusing. And companies are not always confident if they are seeing any value from their technology decisions. According to our latest research, 50% of companies are investing in three or more ATS systems, over 60% of companies are investment in three or more sourcing solutions, and 70% are investing in three general job boards. That’s a lot. Companies need to make smarter decisions around the technology they are using and challenge providers to work as partners.
  2. The Candidate Experience is About Better Communication: The candidate experience is defining the future of talent acquisition. Yet, few companies understand what they can do to improve the candidate experience. Candidates, above all else, want communication and feedback on the process. Aptitude research shows that what candidates want most is to be notified if they are screened out (52%), information on the company culture (52%), and a single point of contact in the process (50%).
  3. Internal Mobility is a Priority: In order for talent acquisition to be successful, organizations must think about both internal and external talent. According to research Aptitude launched this month, over 70% of companies plan to increase their investment in solutions and strategies to support the process of moving talent from role to role. Internal mobility is a strategic priority for companies that want to improve the quality of hires and at the same time save costs. These companies recognize that in order for talent acquisition to align with business goals, internal talent can’t be ignored.
  4. AI is Still Misunderstood: According to Aptitude’s research, over 60% of companies are confused by AI. Additionally, many solution providers are misrepresenting themselves and their products, adding to the confusion and giving AI a negative reputation. As talent acquisition departments mature in their adoption of technology, the understanding of AI needs to change.
  5. Technology Must Be a Partnership: Companies are looking for partners that can support them post selection. Only 20% of companies are satisfied with their current recruitment providers. Companies are beginning to think about the right cultural fit, customer support and experience when they make technology decisions.

So, hopefully this gives you a glimpse into some of the findings from our latest research. We will be publishing new studies this summer on onboarding, candidate engagement, sourcing and updating our ATS Index report with a few new players.


Three Misperceptions About AI in Recruitment

Are you confused by AI or unsure if your role is in jeopardy? Well, you are not alone. We launched our latest talent acquisition survey last week and found that 60% of companies are uncertain about AI and its impact on talent acquisition. And…43% of talent acquisition professionals fear they will lose their jobs.

While many of the concerns around AI are valid considering all of the misinformation in the market, AI can actually help to improve the overall talent acquisition function and empower recruiters to make better decisions on how they identify, engage and hire talent.

AI is a big focus in our research this year and we are going to share key findings on a webinar today at 2pm EST hosted by Symphony Talent. Some of the misperceptions we plan to address include:

Myth #1: Replacing the Role of the Recruiter: Sometimes referred to as “Augmented Intelligence” or “Artificial Assistant”, AI can be a recruiter’s best friend, rather than his or her biggest enemy. AI cannot replace a recruiter’s ability to detect emotional intelligence or personality traits in candidates. Recruiters can measure emotional quotients of candidates in areas such as self-awareness, empathy, social awareness, and relationship management. While AI can effectively filter candidates with the required competencies and experience for a job, recruiters can spend more time analyzing the human element that is critical for measuring organization fit.

Myth #2: Confusing Data with AI: Data is the foundation of AI. Without a large of amount of historical data and context, AI is not effective. Data gives recruiters insight to make the best decisions possible. Yet, too often, companies confuse data and AI as one in the same. AI puts data into action by giving that data context. Currently, most companies are not effective at taking action on data. The most valuable area of AI is in expert solutions. An expert system is a system that employs knowledge about its application domain and makes inferences to solve problems that would otherwise require human competence or expertise.

Myth #3: Believing AI hurts the Candidate Experience: Companies have a tendency to think of AI as a barrier to a positive candidate experience. They characterize interaction with the technology as impersonal. According to Aptitude Research Partners, companies with AI capabilities in place are 3 times more likely to improve the candidate experience. Candidates want better communication and feedback, and AI solutions make that communication mandatory and consistent.

Join us today at 11am PST/ 2pm EST to talk about AI and its role in empowering recruitment.