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.


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.


2023 HR Technology Trends and Predictions

Predictions are tricky. It is hard to look at the next 12 months and make assumptions about trends when the future seems uncertain. But, through our research and interviews, we see some obvious priorities and shifts in the market just three weeks into the new year. Earlier this week, someone asked me if the investment in HR Tech will continue at the same pace as in 2021 and 2022. My answer is yes. The pandemic and the past three years have changed how companies view automation and technology. And, as companies prepare for any talent transformation, technology is a critical part of that journey. We found that 70%  of companies will continue to invest the same or increase their investment even with an economic slowdown.

But, even if investment remains high, it will look different. The band-aid approach to technology which characterized the past few years, will be replaced by more strategic investments in providers (partners) that can deliver value and provide the capabilities and services to support transformation.

Here are a few of my thoughts on trends that will dominate 2023:

Skills will continue to be the most significant trend: Skills have the greatest impact on the future of work and employee experience. Skills are THE trend to watch in HR Technology this year, and companies are looking closely at providers in this space. We just published a study with HCI and found that 82% of companies identified skills as a priority, and 54% of companies are increasing their investment in skills this year. The number one driver is to provide more career development opportunities for talent. A skills-based approach to talent enables companies to offer a fairer hiring process, support strategic workforce planning, and make smarter decisions to enrich reskilling and upskilling talent. Skills impact and transform every single aspect of talent acquisition and management and allow employees to be understood in a more meaningful way. The challenge most companies face is that they take a piecemeal approach to skills- separating the strategy, change management, and technology. This approach delays the impact of a skills-based approach and creates frustration. Over the next year, providers must work with companies to provide a more holistic approach to skills.

Talent Intelligence needs a reckoning: Talent intelligence is the new buzzword in HR Tech, but it is also one of the most misunderstood areas. Talent intelligence platforms are AI-driven platforms that help companies understand the potential and learnability of the workforce. They use large data sets and a skills-based approach to look at talent in a complete way. The challenge is that too many providers are using talent intelligence. Sourcing providers, online reference checking providers, and people analytics providers are all rebranding themselves as talent intelligence. The misuse of this category creates confusion with buyers and minimizes the impact of what these platforms can actually do for companies.

Strategic workforce planning will be a priority: It is not a new category, but it has gained momentum over the past year. As companies enter a period of transformation, understanding the supply and demand for talent is critical. But, only 1 in 2 companies use their workforce planning strategy company-wide. Workforce planning only works when companies have the resources and technology to support it. Even when investing in a core system, workforce planning is still manual, and companies rely on excel. The first generation of workforce planning providers (Aruspex, Vemo, Inforhm) provided advanced capabilities that, unfortunately, did not go mainstream. The good news is that we see existing skills-based platforms and new providers focusing on this area. Our following Aptitude Research report will focus on strategic workforce planning- coming soon…

Contingent workforce management needs to be a priority (but will take time): Some research firms estimate that by 2030, 50% of an average organization’s workforce will be comprised of contingent workers. Unfortunately, most HR leaders and TA leaders are hesitant to take ownership of contingent workforce management. A contingent workforce helps companies fill critical talent gaps, reduce costs and increase overall productivity. In a year when agility and resilience are becoming table stakes for businesses, alternative work arrangements are critical to the future of the workplace. Yet, despite the increased investment in contingent labor, companies still need to overcome many of the same challenges. Most companies need more visibility into this critical workforce segment’s use, spending, and performance. Additionally, cost control and fee models are a concern as companies question their staffing agencies and technology partners’ need more expertise in-house. Contingent workforce management is ripe for transformation. Any strategy around DEI, skills, or workforce planning needs to include contingent workers. Companies must examine what is broken to develop deeper insights and a more effective framework. They must reconsider the ownership, fee models, and partnerships that they have in place.

Alumni programs will be invigorated: We are already seeing a renewed focus on alum programs, which will likely continue this year. Alumni programs support recruitment and employee experience. For example, one organization we interviewed fills 10% of its roles with alums. We will likely see more focus on alums from existing ATS providers, CRM providers, and talent intelligence/skills-based platforms.

Pay transparency will be a focus: 1 in 5 workers will now work in a jurisdiction with pay transparency requirements. But, there is a growing tension between job seekers that want pay transparency and employers that do not. It is impacting remote recruiting and how job descriptions are being created and the ridiculous pay ranges included. Vendors are starting to think about balancing the needs of the candidate and employer. My friend and labor economist, Andrew Flowers, often publishes on the topic, and I recommend following his work at Appcast.

Conversational AI will replace ATS in the high-volume: High-volume industries do not need a traditional ATS. It doesn’t support hourly candidates or busy managers. Companies in these industries are looking at the opportunity of conversational AI to replace the ATS and seeing significant outcomes. McDonald’s is one example of a company that reduced time to fill to 2 days using conversational AI through Paradox. I expect more companies to look at this option over the next year.

2023 will no doubt be full of surprises, but I look forward to the innovation, transformation, and partnerships from the providers in this space. One trend worth following is ChatGPT and its use in talent acquisition. I attended a panel on Recruiting Brainfood today, and some use cases include communication, job descriptions, introductions, and recruiter productivity. I don’t see this replacing assessment, as some have suggested, but it presents exciting options for recruiters and candidates looking for more immediate research.


Tech Hiring Trends and Insights

We posted this guest blog with our friends at Relode this week.

The next year will be critical for tech employers looking to attract and hire the skills and talent they need to navigate their changing business needs. With the pandemic, labor shortage, and recent layoffs and hiring freezes, it needs to be clarified to understand where tech hiring stands today and what companies should consider for the future. Many news stories around layoffs and hiring freezes impact some of the largest tech giants. For example, in October, Twitter announced 50% of their workforce was cut at the very end of the month, and Meta and Apply announced layoffs in November. But, the reality of tech hiring is more complicated than what news outlets are highlighting.

According to Appcast’s Recruitonomics, “Information (the BLS category) added a modest 4,000 new jobs in October, despite all the news of layoffs. On the other hand, professional and Business Services (which can also contain tech jobs) added 39,000 new jobs. So overall, the tech sector is a mixed bag.” 

While several large tech giants remain cautious for the next year, many companies continue expanding their workforce in both traditional and non-traditional ways. We found that high-growth tech companies are still increasing their headcount.

A Closer Look at High-Growth Tech Companies

Aptitude Research found that one in two tech companies identify as a high-growth company and most of these companies are tech companies. High-growth companies include any organization performing better or expected to perform better than its industry or the market as a whole. These high-growth companies face unique challenges and opportunities when attracting, engaging, and retaining talent. We found that companies have several business priorities influencing high growth today, including an increase in headcount, global expansion, new market opportunities, and mergers and acquisitions.

According to this study, these companies are two times more likely to increase the number of hires this year. Talent is the most important factor in success. It impacts all other priorities, including their ability to expand globally, enter new markets, and achieve a successful exit. Unfortunately, for many of these companies, the pressure to move quickly makes recruiting and retaining talent challenging, especially in a labor shortage.

As the tech market becomes increasingly more complex and confusing, we identified a few trends influencing tech hiring today:

Invest in More Automation: Companies that want to hire the best tech talent cannot afford to rely on legacy systems and technology. World-class technology is the differentiator and helps tech companies compete for talent. Yet, not all tech companies are making the right investments. 62% of tech companies state that their recruitment activities are too administrative, and only 1 in 2 of these companies are looking outside of their ATS for better options. Tech talent expects solutions that offer a simple and dynamic experience.

Focus on Internal Mobility:  Companies must carefully consider the culture around career development, ensure employees have fair and equitable opportunities and communicate feedback consistently. For tech companies, careful planning and preparation around internal mobility are critical to a talent acquisition strategy. It requires companies to shift how they think about talent and prioritize the individual. Currently, 73% of tech companies are developing a strategy to support internal mobility.

Focus on Speed: It is a common characteristic among all high-growth companies, regardless of their priorities. Companies want to see results, and business success is measured by its ability to adjust to change. As a result, HR and talent acquisition leaders face pressure to adopt new strategies and technology overnight. While this focus on speed has created opportunities, it has also presented challenges with attracting, engaging, and retaining talent. As a result, high-growth companies must carefully balance their focus on speed with their focus on talent.

Embrace the Contingent Workforce: According to Aptitude Research, 82% of tech companies are using contingent or freelance workers, and 1 in 2 companies plan to increase their use of a more flexible workforce next year. Companies must consider talent that will fill critical talent gaps and help companies stay ahead, and talent acquisition strategies must include a complete view of total talent.

Tech hiring remains one of the most misunderstood areas of talent acquisition today. As companies look to another year of unknowns, staying prepared and investing in the right support is critical to effectively attract and retain quality talent and meet changing business goals.


New Research: Key Recruitment Challenges in Healthcare

The labor shortage and global pandemic have increased the pressure on recruitment in healthcare with no signs of slowing down. While other industries are preparing for an economic downturn and facing possible layoffs, healthcare remains hyper-focused on growth and competing for talent. We looked at how recruitment is impacting healthcare and published these findings with our friends at Relode.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “overall employment in healthcare occupations is projected to grow 13 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations; this increase is expected to result in about 2 million new jobs over the decade. In addition to new jobs from growth, opportunities arise from the need to replace workers who leave their occupations permanently. About 1.9 million openings each year, on average, are projected to come from growth and replacement needs.”

Attracting, recruiting, and hiring talent is a critical challenge for healthcare organizations across all job roles, from front-line workers to doctors and nurses to medical technicians. Historically, while other industries have quickly adopted new technology, many healthcare companies have responded slower. But the past two years have forced a new reality for healthcare and increased the interest in TA tech, with 85% of healthcare companies increasing their investment or continuing to invest the same.

Here are some key trends impacting talent acquisition in healthcare based on data collected from Aptitude Research.

  • Managing with a Lack of Resources: Many healthcare organizations need more resources or expertise to execute strategic talent acquisition. According to Aptitude Research, 38% of healthcare companies do not have dedicated recruiting and sourcing teams, and 58% of these companies stated that their greatest challenge is a lack of recruiting expertise. The lack of resources is the biggest challenge facing companies today, as 94% of healthcare companies are increasing their hires this year.
  • Improving Candidate Experience through Communication: Candidate communication and experience still need improvement for many healthcare organizations. According to Aptitude Research, 1 in 3 candidates have not heard back from an interview for two or more weeks. Additionally, only 22% of candidates are satisfied with the communication they receive before applying, and only 21% are satisfied with the interview process. Companies must address communication to improve the candidate experience and drop-off rates (40% of candidates are dropping off at the apply phase).
  • Balancing Efficiency and Quality: Healthcare organizations often struggle to balance efficiency and quality. Patient-centered care is critical for these companies, and finding the right talent and efficiency and speed are important when change is constant.  
  • Leveraging Automation: Less than half of healthcare companies are using automation throughout the talent acquisition lifecycle. The top areas where companies are investing in automation are recruitment marketing (37%), screening (44%), interviewing (40%), and onboarding (30%). Surprisingly, only 18% of companies use automation for sourcing when attracting talent is a top priority. Automation can help healthcare organizations lift the administrative burden placed on recruiters and improve candidate communication and engagement.
  • Using Contingent Workers: Over 50% of healthcare organizations have increased the number of contingent or contract workers this year. A flexible and extended workforce helps companies fill critical talent gaps, reduce costs, and improve productivity. It also helps companies adapt and adjust to changing business needs – especially during times of uncertainty. Yet, the challenges remain the same even as the demand for and acceptance of contingent workers increased this past year. Most contingent workforce strategies need more visibility, rely on antiquated technology, and erode business leaders’ confidence. Healthcare organizations understand the value, but they only sometimes see the results. This needs to change as companies continue to adopt a more flexible workforce and companies need to invest in the right partners to support them.

Given the competition for talent and labor shortage still impacting healthcare organizations, incremental improvements to existing processes and systems are not enough. Healthcare companies need to think and act differently – breaking old paradigms and embracing tech in a new way.


Countdown to HRTech: Recruitment Marketing and CRM

The last trend I will share in this countdown to the HR Technology Conference focuses on CRM and recruitment marketing. CRM is one of the core systems of a TA tech stack. It is designed to improve the front-end of the recruiting process and tackles most of what the ATS just doesn’t do…engaging with individuals before they apply for a job. The majority of enterprise companies are buying, replacing, or using a CRM this year. And while 81% of companies stated that recruitment marketing looked different since COVID-19, 66% of companies are unhappy with their efforts today (Aptitude Research).

This market is crowded and confusing. A few years ago, we referred to these systems as recruitment marketing platforms, with CRM being the core. Today, companies often refer to CRM and career sites as two distinct investments with different add-ons. Providers and their capabilities are not apples to apples like the ATS market. Every provider seems to be moving in a different direction, creating an even bigger gap between what customers want and what they get. And a few providers seem to be moving far away from CRM and recruitment marketing altogether.

Full disclosure…I love the CRM market, and I love talking about recruitment marketing. We found that 67% of companies spend more on their CRM than on their ATS, which is the most critical investment for some companies. It includes core capabilities (“must-haves”) and advanced capabilities that may or may not be core to the platform (“nice-to-haves”). The most critical capabilities in these systems include career sites, CRM, analytics, apply, job distribution, talent networks, candidate communication, events management, internal mobility, automated scheduling, and employee referrals. These systems have matured over the past few years with intelligent workflows, personalized content driven by AI, omnichannel communication, and more automation.

We are publishing our next Index report this fall on the CRM market and including extensive profiles of the following leading providers: Avature, Beamery, Clinch, Eightfold, Employ, GR8 People, Phenom, Radancy, and Symphony Talent.

Below are some of the findings:

  • Adoption is Low: Adoption is low for many of these systems. A few years ago, we found that only 2% of companies use all the capabilities in their CRM. Not much has changed today. And the fault is not always on the provider. Many companies invest in these systems without considering the resources they need internally, including creative support, administrators, and dedicated recruitment marketing professionals. Companies should consider their target audiences, overall goals and objectives, and key performance indicators before investing in technology. A CRM is not a quick fix. It is a long-term commitment to shifting how companies can engage with talent.
  • Partnerships Matter: A CRM won’t solve every recruitment marketing challenge. And companies have to look at additional support in areas such as programmatic job advertising, employer branding, content management, and conversational AI. Most providers are partnering with an ecosystem of providers and will even white-label some of these partnerships. Companies should carefully consider what and who they are buying. But, customers can also work closely with providers to help influence future partnerships.
  • Career Sites are a Differentiator: Companies looking to invest or replace a CRM often start with the career site. Career sites are an immediate need, and many companies are losing talent at this stage. Career sites may seem like table stakes in recruitment marketing but not every provider offers personalized, dynamic career sites. Also, not every provider includes creative services and these expenses can add up quickly. Some companies are even going to RFP separately for their career site, and CRM needs. There is even a market for providing more engagement on career sites. Providers like Dalia have emerged to help capture talent leaving a career site and send job alerts to keep them engaged.
  • Marketing Automation is a Game Changer: Marketing automation helps companies better engage and nurture talent by automating marketing tasks and letting companies know which candidates are cold, warm, and “ready-now.” It sits at the top of the funnel and manages all interactions with talent, including when they visit a career site, open an email, open a job advertisement, etc. It solves what the ATS, LinkedIn, and CRM cannot do – informing recruiters when someone is ready to be hired and engaging that individual in a meaningful way. Integrating CRM and marketing automation software can increase a company’s recruitment marketing capabilities and improve the experience. Candidate.ID (an iCIMS company) leads the way in recruitment marketing, and they will also be profiled in this report.
  • Sourcing is an Area to Watch: Sourcing providers such as HireEZ , Aliro, and Findem are expanding into outbound recruitment, employee referrals, internal mobility, rediscovery, and candidate outreach in a major way this year. In addition, these providers offer sourcing and engagement solutions that may be an alternative to a traditional CRM.

Only one week left until HRTech. Looking forward to seeing everyone!


iCIMS Acquires Candidate.ID and Strengthens Its Recruitment Marketing Offering

Today, iCIMS announced the acquisition of Candidate.ID, a leader in recruitment marketing automation. By adding Candidate.ID’s functionality to its Talent Cloud, iCIMS offers a powerful recruitment marketing offering with the ability to effectively engage talent. In addition, this acquisition makes iCIMS better positioned to compete against ATS providers and stand-alone CRM providers. I have been following Candidate.ID for the past few years, and I am excited about this opportunity.

Below are a few of my initial thoughts:

What is Candidate.ID?

Companies are facing pressure to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of talent acquisition efforts. Candidate.ID helps companies solve this challenge by identifying, nurturing, and engaging ready-now talent. It solves what the ATS, LinkedIn, and CRM cannot do – informing recruiters when someone is ready to be hired and engaging that individual in a meaningful way. As a result, recruiters receive notifications when candidates are interested, and their profiles are updated in real-time, reducing time-to-fill, improving candidate engagement, and increasing conversion rates.

One key differentiator is that Candidate.ID focuses on In-Demand talent, helping companies build pipelines for critical roles that are hard to fill, including healthcare professionals, engineers, scientists, and enterprise sales. Its scoring capabilities allow companies to filter candidates by engagement scores and match them against job descriptions.

What Do We Know About This Acquisition?

Before joining iCIMS, Steve Lucas was the CEO of Marketo, a marketing automation provider. Given his background, It is no surprise that he was impressed by Candidate.ID and the potential to enhance Talent Cloud with these capabilities. Here are a few things that we know about the acquisition so far.

  • Brand: Immediately following the acquisition, Candidate.ID will be referred to as “Candidate.ID, an iCIMS company.” A brand transition may occur in 2023.
    • Flexibility: iCIMS is taking a flexible approach to selling and packaging Candidate.ID. It will be offered to existing customers, sold as a stand-alone, and sold to RPOs.
  • Integration: In the near-term, Candidate.ID’s solutions will be integrated into iCIMS CRM and iCIMS ATS. The product integration will continue to roll out in phases across data, user experience, and workflows across the entire Talent Cloud, including unique use cases in the areas of internal mobility.

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation helps companies better engage and nurture talent by automating marketing tasks and letting companies know which candidates are cold, warm, and “ready-now.” It sits at the top of the funnel and manages all interactions with talent, including when they visit a career site, open an email, open a job advertisement, etc. It solves what the ATS, LinkedIn, and CRM cannot do – informing recruiters when someone is ready to be hired and engaging that individual in a meaningful way. Integrating CRM and marketing automation software can increase a company’s recruitment marketing capabilities and improve the experience.

How Does it Help?

Marketing automation helps companies understand the talent they are attracting, manage talent pipelines more effectively, and provide a better experience to both recruiters and candidates. Some of the use cases include:

  • Lead Nurturing: As today’s companies face challenges attracting talent and managing applicant volume, they need to nurture their candidate relationships over time. Candidates are not always ready to apply for a job with their first engagement. With marketing automation, companies can check in with candidates, create more meaningful relationships, and track engagement levels to know when candidates are “ready now.”
  • Target Audience: With marketing automation, companies can better understand the talent they target and track who is interested and engaged. It uses a multi-channel approach to understand what content individuals are interested in, how they want to receive that content and then serves up relevant information. It provides visibility into the marketing activities so that companies can see what activities are working and what needs to change.
  • Analytics: Once a campaign has ended, the system generates analytics showing how successful the campaign was and what may need to change in the future. Analytics provide insights into cold, warm, and ready candidates.

I am excited to share any updates on this acquisition over the next few months and include Candidate.ID in our Recruitment Marketing Index report.

Blog Recruitment Marketing

New Research: The State of Recruitment Marketing

I am excited about our latest research report with Human Capital Institute (HCI) on Recruitment Marketing. I will be sharing the key findings of the study on a webinar tomorrow at 1pm EST.

Here are some of the highlights:

In this survey, we asked human resources and talent acquisition practitioners how their approach to talent attraction has changed over the past year. And, while 81% of companies stated that recruitment marketing looks different since COVID-19, only one in three companies are increasing their budgets to better attract talent.

In today’s market, recruitment marketing is a competitive advantage. It improves the candidate experience by providing relevant information, targeted messaging, and more meaningful engagement. It also improves the recruiter experience by providing a more efficient way to communicate with a broader pool of talent via more personalized messaging and communication.

Despite the benefits and increased investment, most companies do not have a clear vision for the future of recruitment marketing. They invest in solutions without a strategy or ability to measure the ROI of their efforts. The result is a recruitment marketing approach that is reactionary and inconsistent. According to this study, 66% of companies are unhappy with their recruitment marketing efforts today.

Companies that want to drive change and build a successful recruitment marketing program will need to closely examine their strategies and technology options. We surveyed over 450 talent acquisition and HR professionals to understand how organizations that boast better human capital and business outcomes approach recruitment marketing differently.

We learned:

  • Recruitment Marketing Is Not an Isolated Activity: High-performing companies are more likely to collaborate with other areas of the business to support recruitment marketing activities, including corporate marketing, Chief Diversity Officers, Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), and CHROs. Yet, only 29% of companies state that Chief Diversity Officers are contributing to recruitment marketing, and only 34% state that ERGs are contributing.
  • Technology [Alone] Will Not Solve the Problem: Companies need a clearly defined strategy before investing in technology. Companies should consider their target audiences, overall goals and objectives, and key performance indicators before investing in technology. Most companies that lack the resources fail in their recruitment marketing efforts. 60% of companies do not have enough resources on their TA team to support recruitment marketing.
  • Data Needs To Drive Decisions: Companies are collecting data on candidate interactions and engagement, but often do not know how to take action on that data. By setting goals, defining metrics, and building insights and action, companies can plan for the future.
  • Career Sites Need To Be Engaging: A dynamic career site that includes information on DEI, corporate social responsibility, and internal mobility can be an effective tool at attracting talent. Only 1 in 2 companies include information on corporate social responsibility.

If you are interested in learning more about this Talent Pulse report, you can download it today and join us on the webinar for a preview of the findings tomorrow.

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iCIMS INFLUENCE Event: Esurance Competes for Tech Talent

Last month, iCIMS hosted its first-ever combined customer and analyst event in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was an opportunity for influencers and talent acquisition leaders to share ideas, research, and opinions on everything related to talent acquisition and its impact on business outcomes. One of the topics discussed during the event was the increasing competition for tech talent. According to iCIMS’ Hiring Benchmarking report, companies only fill 6 out of 10 tech positions. And, it takes 50% longer to hire tech talent than any other positions.

Anyone who has followed iCIMS’ journey over the past two decades knows its commitment to helping organizations attract and recruit talent and the tech sector is no exception. One of its clients, Esurance, was at the event and its head of talent acquisition, Kristi Robinson, shared the challenges and success with competing for tech talent in the Bay area.

Esurance has 3,000 employees and is owned by AllState. Attracting talent is difficult since most candidates do not recognize it as a tech company. Its recruitment efforts are focused on data scientists, engineers, and digital specialists. In order to compete for tech talent and differentiate itself, it has invested in the following strategies:

Start with the Employer Value Proposition (EVP): Esurance put effort into defining and communicating its EVP to both employees and candidates by focusing on team, culture and community.

Focus on Campus: Esurance decided to focus on campus and internship programs to compete for tech talent. It was successful at making the candidate experience as simple as possible by leveraging event management solutions, capturing candidate information through QR codes, and engaging with candidates consistently. Its campus offer rate is 62%, acceptance rate is 88% and conversion rate is 54%- all above the NACE industry standards.

Go Mobile: Esurance was able to improve the mobile experience and the mobile apply process. In 2016, applications submitted through mobile were only 26% and in 2019, they reached 39%.

Improve Communication: The tech company leveraged TextRecruit to help improve candidate communication. The text open rate is now 99% compared to 7.3% for email and the text response rate is now 46% compared to 2.1% for email.

By streamlining the recruitment process and investing in these strategies, Esurance was able to improve the candidate experience by 36% year over year and decreased cost per hire by 41% year after year.

The challenge of attracting and recruiting tech talent impacts organizations in every industry today. As talent acquisition becomes more complex for organizations, investing in providers with deep domain expertise and solutions that help to improve the candidate experience is critical. The good news is that companies can invest in strategies that deliver results in a very short timeframe.

To echo iCIMS’ Chairman, Colin Daly, “Recruiting is not like the rest of HR. People are unique & special. Your recruiting platform to attract, engage & hire talent should be as well.”

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HR Technology Conference 2019: A More Sophisticated Buyer

The HR Technology Conference gives me the opportunity to reflect on the past year and look ahead to the future. In preparing for this year’s event, I decided to dig up old notes and presentations from the past 14 years. This landscape has changed dramatically. Integrated talent management has been replaced with employee experience. Big data is nowhere to be found. And talent acquisition and AI are at the center of it all.

When thinking about trends, the pendulum always seems to swing back and forth between start-ups driving innovation and traditional players enhancing products. As I tried to figure out where I would land, I began to realize that this year’s event wasn’t really about the technology. It was about the people.

HR professionals were driving innovation and change at this year’s event. They were asking the tough questions, aligning with business objectives, showing value in their investments, and evaluating providers that can stand-up as partners. Executives from P&G, Walmart and Spectrum openly shared their experience with AI and deep learning in talent acquisition. Fedex and Verizon questioned the CRM providers’ ability to support legal concerns. Oh, and McDonald’s announced that candidates can now apply for a job using Alexa or Google Home. The HR buyer at this year’s event was more sophisticated than ever before.  

Solution providers need to keep up with these expectations. They need to work  to establish partnerships across every layer of the organization from leadership to product teams to customer support. Below are a few of the providers making partnerships a priority.

Talent Acquisition

Beamery:  Beamery, a company founded in the UK, has had tremendous success expanding into the US market with significant brand awareness and customer acquisitions. It is a product company that continuously innovates while somehow mastering the art of customer success. It is helping companies clarify this market through its Talent Operating System model which helps companies at any stage of recruitment marketing. 

Cornerstone OnDemand: Cornerstone is making a commitment to talent acquisition this year. It has focused on improving the user experience for all stakeholders, improving speed to task and automation, and investing in internal mobility as well as personalization.

Jobvite and Talemetry: All eyes have been on Jobvite this year with K1’s acquisition of Jobvite, Talemetry, Canvas and Rolepoint. Over the past 16 months, Jobvite has continued to maintain its strong commitment to product and client support. Last week, it announced a fully integrated talent acquisition suite that uses smart automation to connect data, processes and interactions across the candidate journey. The big focus is to help clients get data from one place and consolidate all reporting and analytics.

Symphony Talent: Symphony Talent has continued to strengthen its deep functionality in career sites, candidate journey, and candidate communication. It has differentiated itself in a competitive market with an innovative product, global capabilities, and strong services.  

Entelo: Entelo acquired ConveyiQ this year and is in the process of combining two products to provide companies with better sourcing capabilities, automation and candidate communication.

Scout: Scout is a recruitment marketplace that connects search firms and corporations. Originally founded in 2012 as an agency, Scout is now a platform that uses machine learning to analyze billions of recruiting performance data points to predict recruiter success by specific job type. Scout’s AI then matches specific recruiters to specific jobs to ensure candidate quality while reducing fill times.

Yello: Aptitude has identified campus recruiting as a top area of investment for companies this year and Yello continues to be a leader in this market. Yello is enhancing its campus recruiting capabilities. It is focused on sourcing and the candidate experience. Its Passport product uses one code and a single point of entry for candidates to update their resumes for all jobs that they may want to apply.

Employee Experience Surveys

Willis Towers Watson: Willis Towers Watson’s differentiator is its deep domain expertise across services, data and technology. While many of its traditional competitors have not been able to expand into software, Willis Towers Watson has seen tremendous growth in its Employee Insights solutions including surveys, pulse surveys, and its HR portal. It helps clients ask questions in the right way, use data to drive decisions, and take action on findings.

Ultimate Software: Ultimate Software is a provider that has excelled through strong products, team and a focus on partnering with companies across every area of HR Technology. Its Perception product helps companies track, measure and improve the employee experience through better communication and AI that enables change.

Limeade: Limeade brings together employee well-being, inclusion, communication and engagement in one platform. My briefings with Limeade are always a highlight at HRTech because I get to spend time with its incredible team talking about the topics that matter in the workforce. Limeade has built a framework around care and the impact a culture of care has on the employee experience.

Moovila: If you have ever led a project or leveraged a project management tool, you know that projects are rarely delivered on time or on budget. Moovila is helping companies bring autonomy to work and project management through the use of critical path modeling and diagnostics, real-life capacity management, AI, machine learning, and IoT integration.

Conversational AI

IBM: IBM offers clients several AI solutions including Watson Candidate Assistant (WCA), Watson Recruiter Assistant and Watson Career Coach. WCA includes a wide range of capabilities from chatbots to messaging and is rolled-out to multiple sites and by geography. WRA partners with several of the larger ATS to offer capabilities that improve candidate communication and candidate match. WCC is a post-hire solution that enables career development and internal mobility.

Jobpal: Jobpal was founded in 2016 in Berlin and has some significant global customers including British Airways, DHL, and BSF. It is helping companies communicate with candidates and improve conversion rates and has strong integrations with messaging platforms. We can expect to see Jobpal emerge as a leading player over the next year with new partners, capabilities, and plans to develop internal mobility capabilities.

AllyO: It has been a big year for AllyO. This providers has raised $45 million and expanded capabilities beyond talent acquisition.  AllyO is tackling the employee experience and bringing its conversational AI solutions to help companies better engage and retain employees. AllyO Connect provides a SMS inbox for companies to engage with employees and candidates in one central way.

Mya: Mya is impressive on all fronts from its strong leadership team to its product vision to its customer success model. Mya has established a very strategic partnership with Workday as well as Bullhorn, SmartRecruiters, Avature, and SAP. This conversational AI platform enables customers to improve talent acquisition efforts including  93% screen completion rates, 79% time-to-interview reduction, 2.5x increase in funnel conversion, and 144% recruiter productivity gains. It is helping provide clarity to the role conversational AI plays in talent acquisition and the value it can deliver.

Assessments and Interviewing

Modern Hire: The lines between assessment and interviewing have blended. Earlier this year, Montage and Shaker merged companies to create what is now Modern Hire, a platform that combines science, technology, and predictive analytics to improve hiring and candidate communication. I have worked closely with both companies over the years and have always been impressed with the teams, clients and products. Combined, their clients include nearly half of the Fortune 100 companies.

Outmatch: The acquisition of Wepow last year proves to be a valuable investment for Outmatch as it expands its offering beyond assessments. Outmatch is seamlessly integrating these products to give customers the flexibility to use video and assessments together. Outmatch offers a simple user experience that helps companies identify quality hires through its solutions.

 The future of HR Technology is in the ability to partner,  stay flexible to what customers need, and deliver on what has been promised. Providers that will succeed will be those that understand and work closely with today’s more sophisticated buyer.

 It is a great time to be in HR Tech!