Recruitment and Retention: Two Sides of the Same Coin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


New Research: Key Trends in Interviewing

For most companies, interviewing is still broken. According to our latest research report, one in three companies are not confident in their interview process today and one in two companies have lost quality hires due to a poor interview process this year. Companies face several challenges with interviews, including a lengthy process, too many interviews, inconsistency, lack of objective data, and bias. These challenges not only impact the efficiency of talent acquisition efforts but the overall candidate experience. As a result, only 24% of candidates are happy with the interview process. The challenges with interviewing are not new and the pandemic did not bring much change.

Here are some findings about what goes wrong and how technology can help.

Where Does the Interview Process Go Wrong?

Interview Process Is Too Long: The interview process can be frustrating for both employers and candidates. Companies that create lengthy interview processes do not necessarily collect data that can inform decision making. A longer interview process does not equate to more effective hiring. It puts a company at risk for losing talent. Forty percent (40%) of candidates stated that it was over two weeks since they heard anything from an employer after their first interview, and 52% of companies state that the interview process lasts four to six weeks.

Too Many Interviews: Over half of companies make candidates go through four or more interviews. For companies looking to reduce time to fill, too many interviews can impact efficiency as well as experience. Companies are at risk of losing quality talent when the interview process is delayed or too many interviewers are introduced.

Inconsistent Interviews: When companies lack a strategy for interviews, hiring managers and recruiters often go rogue and ask questions or conduct interviews with little guidance. Inconsistency in the interview process can create inequity and damage the employer brand.

Data-Driven Decisions: Organizations feel pressure to act quickly and may make decisions based on gut. Companies are not relying on data and insights to drive these decisions because they don’t have information beyond the resume, which only provides a limited, often biased view of a candidate.

Bias in the Interview: Companies must recognize and acknowledge bias in the hiring process. Only 30% of companies identified bias as a top challenge in talent acquisition, yet one in three candidates have experienced bias in the interview process. Relying only on human interviews creates inconsistent hiring standards and introduces bias. 

How Can Smart Technology and AI Help?

The right technology can help companies address the challenges they face with interviewing to:

  • Empower recruiters and hiring managers to make smarter decisions
  • Improve recruiter productivity
  • Improve hiring diversity by using blind smart interview technology from the start
  • Create consumer-grade candidate experiences through the convenience of a smart interviewer

The pandemic accelerated the investment in digital interview solutions. In February 2020, less than 60% of companies were using or planning to use video interview providers. One year later, over 80% of companies were using or planning to use a broader set of intelligent interview platforms. Video was the tool of choice at the beginning of the pandemic for asynchronous hiring. The problem was that many of these solutions merely replaced face-to-face interactions, with a less human way of interviewing. Many candidates do not feel comfortable with the format of a video interview, especially if they are timed. For many companies, abandonment rates are high on video.

Today, there are technology choices available that remove that cognitive load and deliver on candidate expectations. AI is fundamentally changing every aspect of HR and there is growing curiosity and appetite to understand it. According to Aptitude Research, 63% of companies are investing or planning to invest in AI solutions this year, compared to 42% in 2020. This study found that 39% of companies believe it brings positive benefits, and 32% of companies are starting to leverage AI in interviewing.

If you are interested in the full report (sponsored by Sapia), you can download it for free here.

Blog Talent Acquisition Technology

Top TA Tech Trends in 2022

The talent acquisition technology landscape has shifted over the past few years. According to Aptitude Research, 72% of companies are investing in new technology in 2022, but only one in two companies measure the ROI of that investment. Traditional providers are reinventing themselves, startups are emerging overnight, and new categories are being created. Talent acquisition buyers have more opportunities, but they also face new pressures when considering remote work, candidate communication, and employer brand.

Talent acquisition success is measured by its ability to adjust to change. And talent acquisition leaders face pressure to adopt the latest technology innovations in a short time. Keeping up with the latest trends is no small task.

I am excited to share the latest research on TA tech from Aptitude tomorrow on a webinar with Appcast, a leading programmatic job advertising provider. A few of the trends we will discuss include:

  1. The ATS Is Not Enough: The modern talent acquisition system is more than a workflow or a traditional ATS. It includes recruitment marketing, CRM, onboarding, and internal mobility. Many providers have enhanced their interview management capabilities, have dabbled with AI-matching, and have made commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). The modern talent acquisition system is an end-to-end platform that supports attracting, recruiting, and hiring talent.
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: DEI is a priority for companies investing in TA tech but not every provider is providing support beyond marketing messaging. We will discuss what tech can and cannot do to support DEI through leadership team, culture, product capabilities, and services.
  • AI Matching: It is difficult to talk about talent acquisition technology without including the impact of AI. Providers have focused on AI matching in a big way over the past year. Many providers are investing in both candidate-centric and employer-centric matching as part of their solution.
  • Internal Mobility: Companies are looking closely at their internal mobility as it relates to talent acquisition. Most 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, succession planning, and career development.
  • Foundational Layer: This presentation looks more closely at the foundational layer of the TA tech stack and includes analysis and considerations for integration, data management, and automation. Companies that achieve the most success with their talent acquisition systems are paying close attention to this layer of technology.
  • Programmatic Job Advertising: : Unlike traditional job advertising models that are slow and time-consuming, a programmatic approach solves an immediate need for companies today – greater efficiency. Companies state that the key driver for technology decisions is reducing time to fill and improving overall efficiency. By streamlining advertising and targeting the right candidates, the process of attracting and recruiting talent improves significantly. Aptitude Research found that for companies using programmatic job advertising, 90% are either continuing to invest or will increase their spend this year.
  • Candidate Communication: Candidate communication is a critical part of improving the candidate experience, especially in a remote world. Communication is more than mobile apply and SMS texts. Our analysis of each provider included integration with messaging platforms, conversational AI, and collaboration platforms. 42% of companies are investing or planning to invest in conversational AI this year.

It will be an exciting year in TA tech! I hope you can join us!

Blog Talent Acquisition Technology

2022 Talent Trends: Care and Humanity

If 2021 was the year of rethinking the approach to talent, 2022 is the year for rebuilding it. Companies are facing intense pressure to both recruit and retain talent today. The pandemic has changed the relationship between employer and employee, and many companies are looking for ways to engage their workforce better.

Over the past two years, the focus on care has helped to improve this relationship by providing more empathy and understanding to the employee and candidate experiences. But, unfortunately, care and humanity are not priorities for every company. According to Aptitude Research, only 22% of companies stated that humanity is part of their company culture, and only 10% of companies have a clear idea of what they need to do to bring more humanity and care into their work environment.

Companies in the process of evaluating their talent processes and technology must lead with care.

I am excited to discuss the future of care and humanity on a webinar with Misha Chakrabarti, Product Marketing Specialist at Avature, on January 20 at 11 am EST.

Below are a few themes that we will discuss:

  • Skills, AI and Automation: Many companies embrace AI to improve efficiency and save recruiters’ and managers’ time. But, AI and a skills-based approach to talent can also provide greater humanity. It allows companies to understand candidates and employees better, connect them with the right opportunities, and provide a fair and inclusive process. AI can lift the administrative burden placed on recruiters and managers and allow them to focus on relationship building.
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Over the past year, companies increased their investment in services and technology to support DEI initiatives. While technology can help to reduce bias in the talent acquisition and talent development processes, it is not a fix-all. Companies need to consider what changes they need to make to their culture and talent practices to provide a safe and inclusive work environment. Companies committed to care will start by looking internally before investing in technology.
  • Communication: Care is only possible through strong communication. Companies must consider the tone of their communication with candidates and employees and the communication methods. Communication must be frequent and meaningful, but companies must reach talent where they live and spend their time, including text, messaging, chat, and video.
  • Agility: Every company proved to be flexible and agile during the pandemic. Companies had to adapt in a short period of time. Agility helps companies respond to immediate needs but also prepare for the future.
  • Hybrid Work Model: Not every company is clear on their future workforce model, and 2022 will likely bring more change and uncertainty. Companies that listen to their employees, adjust to the unknown, and provide transparency will build better relationships with talent.

2022 is a year where these ideas and concepts of care will be tested. For companies committed to recruiting and retaining talent, a focus on care and humanity is the only way. I am excited to share some of our research on these topics. I hope you can join us!

Blog Talent Acquisition Strategies

Conversational AI: Transforming Talent Acquisition

On Global TA Day, we want to highlight one of our favorite areas of TA tech today…conversational AI.

In 2020, Aptitude Research published a comprehensive study on conversational AI to understand key drivers, highlight differentiators, and outline the business impact of these solutions. One year later, the talent acquisition landscape has significantly changed. Companies are feeling intense pressure to improve efficiencies, identify quality hires, reduce bias, and humanize the overall experience for both recruiters and candidates. As companies look closely at talent acquisition technology to help lift the administrative burden of recruiting teams and engage with candidates in a more meaningful way, conversational AI checks every box.

Here are the top findings from our report.

Conversational AI Is Not a Point Solution: Companies are still learning the value that conversational AI brings to talent acquisition. Companies that have leveraged these solutions to improve the application or screening processes are already recognizing the impact it can have on areas such as interviewing, onboarding, and internal mobility. Conversational AI is shifting from a quick-fix, point solution to a critical component in an end-to-end talent acquisition strategy. Conversational AI, unlike chatbots, is not a point solution. The more companies adopt these solutions, the more they recognize the potential throughout talent acquisition, and see advancements in use cases.

Conversational AI Is an Intelligent Assistant: Companies often think that candidates do not want to engage with conversational AI. The reality is that individuals are very familiar with conversational AI in their consumer and personal lives. Siri, Alexa, and other assistants help individuals get answers and guidance, and have become a part of daily life. Similar assistance plays a critical role in talent acquisition, offering candidates a “support team” as they go through various stages of their journey.

The ATS and CRM Markets Can’t Compete: Despite several acquisitions and ongoing discussions about conversational AI in the ATS or CRM solutions, only 30% of companies are looking at their existing providers for conversational AI capabilities. Many ATS and CRM providers partner with conversational AI providers even when they have their own capabilities. Conversational AI      requires deep domain expertise and a commitment to continuing to innovate and enhance the capabilities and intelligence offered.

Conversational AI Is Still More Than a Chatbot: The 2020 Aptitude Research report outlined the differences between conversational AI and chatbots. But, the confusion around the two still persists today. Companies quickly understand the difference when they implement these solutions, but do not always see it during the evaluation phase. According to Aptitude Research, 84% of companies want more than a basic chatbot to support their talent acquisition efforts.  Companies are requiring conversational AI solutions that understand the context around recruiting processes versus basic UI changes from chatbot. They are looking for an intelligent assistant to help both their teams and candidates.

Conversational AI Is Completely Transforming High-Volume Recruiting: Conversational AI is becoming the standard in high-volume recruitment. Currently, 65% of companies have some high-volume recruitment needs that include hourly, gig, volume of hires, and number of applicants. Conversational AI gives these companies a competitive advantage, helping them to compete for talent, fill positions quickly, and improve quality of hire.  Companies are automating 90-95% of process, screening and scheduling in under three minutes, and hiring in two days.

Recruiters in Professional Hiring Also See Massive Benefits: Recruiters are bogged down every day with repetitive tasks that keep them from doing the work they enjoy and the work that impacts the business the most – finding and meeting with more talented people. Companies in centralized, professional recruiting organizations state that 72% of recruiters are more likely to stay at their current job with the use of conversational AI, largely because time spent on administrative tasks is reduced by 50%.

The Audience for Conversational AI Is Expanding to Employees: Most companies are familiar with the use of conversational AI to support sourcing, apply, and interview scheduling. But, the interest in this solution for onboarding and internal mobility has increased this year. Conversational AI is not only candidate-centric, it is people-centric. Nineteen percent (19%) of companies using conversational AI are leveraging these solutions in the new hire process and 12% in internal mobility. Remote recruiting is the primary driver for the increased demand in these areas. Most companies rely on their HRMS or ATS for onboarding capabilities, and while these solutions include workflows and forms compliance, they do little to enhance the new hire experience.

Blog Talent Acquisition Strategies

Global TA Day: A Love Letter to Recruiters

It is Global TA Day and we are posting a series of blogs on all things TA. This blog focuses on the recruiter experience.

Talent acquisition is an amazing profession. The fundamental work of a recruiter is personal, meaningful, and purposeful. It enables companies to grow and expand into new markets and gives candidates new opportunities. Yet, companies do not always recognize the role of the recruiter or give TA teams the resources they need. According to Aptitude Research, only one in four companies are prioritizing recruiter turnover this year.

Companies looking to provide an exceptional employer experience to their recruiters should consider the following steps:

  • Recognize Recruiters: Companies must recognize the reality of recruiting today and the challenges recruiters face when identifying and attracting talent. Recruiters must juggle multiple roles today and companies must recognize the work they do and the impact it has on organizational performance.
  • Set Realistic Expectations: Companies must set realistic expectations of recruiting teams that can including hiring goals, diversity initiatives, and cost savings. To improve the recruiter experience, goals and expectations must be achievable.
  • Invest in Technology: Recruiting and hiring teams need the right solutions to be successful. Companies that invest in the right technology will improve efficiencies and create opportunities to engage with candidates in a more meaningful way, and at scale.

Talent acquisition professionals are under pressure to balance a heavy workload without support, and they must remain flexible. Aptitude Research found the following challenges impacting recruiting teams:

Req Workload: Thirty percent (30%) increase in requisition workload since 2020.

Doing More With Less: Limited resources on TA function with layoffs and limited budgets.

Administrative Tasks: Spending 16 hours per week scheduling and 10 hours per week finding candidates in the ATS.

The role of the recruiter has become incredibly complex, and according to Aptitude Research, 30% of recruiters are feeling burned out this year. Over the past few years, talent acquisition has been a priority for business leaders. TA has been given new responsibilities that include areas such as retention initiatives, branding, internal mobility, and contingent workforce. By adding new roles, new strategies, and new technology in a short period of time, talent acquisition at many companies has become unwieldy and difficult to manage. Talent acquisition professionals need more support in balancing multiple priorities. The recruiter experience is the most critical component of the candidate experience and companies need to recognize when recruiters feel overworked and make changes.

Blog Talent Acquisition Strategies

SmartRecruiters: The Next TA Tech Unicorn

In 2008, Jerome Ternynck announced the launch of a new ATS, SmartRecruiters. He shared his vision for the next era of talent acquisition technology and best-of-breed ATS providers. And, people were interested (including me). Jerome’s last company, Mr. Ted, was a leading ATS acquired by Stepstone, and Jerome was a well-loved expert with a strong reputation in TA tech.

Thirteen years later, Jerome has remained committed to this vision. SmartRecruiters pivoted from an SMB provider to a global enterprise provider (no small task- ask any of its competitors) with over 4,000 customers and 33 languages. And, yesterday, SmartRecruiters announced $110M in Series E with a $1.5B valuation.

What a journey.

We profiled SmartRecruiters in our latest Talent Acquisition Index report and included this analysis:

SmartRecruiters is a product company with strong services and deep domain expertise across all areas of talent acquisition. It has remained steadfast in its vision and commitment to improve talent acquisition and define hiring success for companies even during times of uncertainty and change. It has experienced significant growth over the past year with over 200 new customers, 100 new employees, and 150      new product features launched. SmartRecruiters is a provider that competes comfortably in the enterprise and global enterprise markets today. APAC is becoming a growing market for SmartRecruiters.

Several differentiators for SmartRecruiters includes candidate communication, AI matching, and advertising. Its SmartMessage solution includes WhatsApp integration and a unified inbox, while SmartPal (through the Jobpal acquisition) includes conversational AI and integration with WhatsApp and WeChat. SmartRecruiters offers programmatic advertising through SmartJobs to help streamline advertising and reduce costs. It has gone deeper in internal mobility this year to include a better employee experience and redeployment capabilities.

SmartRecruiters is one of the few best-of-breed providers to hire a Chief Diversity Officer this year. It has made diversity a commitment in its leadership team, product capabilities and roadmap, and services. Its Diversity Hiring Toolkit includes a diversity and inclusion maturity model, success pillars, and diversity hiring assessment. SmartRecruiters is focused on customer partnership. It has responded and met 1800 user requests this year. It follows what its customers want and focuses on developing solutions for a more modern talent acquisition function. It is a company that is not afraid to take risks, but it still maintains a strong commitment to customer success and product development.

SmartRecruiters is an impressive company by any measure. Here are a few thoughts on this recent announcement.

  • Product: SmartRecruiters has been expanding its product suite over the past two years, including programmatic capabilities, conversational AI (through Jobpal acquisition), and matching. One area that SmartRecruiters is lacking is onboarding. This recent round will likely focus on filling some gaps that may include onboarding and sourcing. I expect we will see an acquisition or two as well.
  • Internal Mobility: SmartRecruiters has invested in internal mobility through product capabilities, research/content, and industry recognition through its awards. My guess is that SmartRecruiters will continue to strengthen its internal mobility capabilities focusing on employee experience.
  • Partnerships: This announcement presents new opportunities for partnerships and SmartRecruiters’ marketplace. I think we can expect to see more partnerships, integration, and a new approach to its ecosystem of providers.

Congrats to SmartRecruiters and Jerome. More to come as the investment in all things TA tech continues.

Blog Talent Acquisition Strategies

It is a Good Time to Be in TA Tech: Investments, Acquisitions, and Conversational AI

Since we last published the Aptitude Talent Acquisition Index Report last month, providers have taken more investment from venture capital and private equity firms, increased partnerships and alliances, and acquired smaller providers. If you are interested in TA tech, make sure to follow George LaRocque and WorkTech for all of the latest news on investment in this space. Investment increased significantly in 2020 and continues to be a focus in 2021. Unicorns no longer look like unicorns since these mega-rounds of investment have become the norm.

But, how important is investment to buyers? Should it be? According to Aptitude Research, only 13% of companies identified the amount of money a provider has raised as key criteria in decision-making. We think companies should consider a provider’s investment history for the following reasons:

  • It may impact leadership and retention for the provider.
  • Providers may be able to execute on their product roadmaps, or they may change their product roadmaps based on the investor.
  • Customers may experience some growing pains that will impact product, culture, and support.

Investment is not the only big topic in TA tech. Mergers and acquisitions have also increased in the past year. Providers are looking for partners to help expand their global footprint, customer base, or product portfolio. Conversational AI, analytics, video, and branding were driving many of these decisions. ATS providers are looking for opportunities to provide customers with better experiences and more capabilities. A few of the acquisitions included:

Some ecosystem providers and Core HR providers are laser-focused on conversational AI this year. Ceridian announced the acquisition of Ideal. Stepstone announced the acquisition of Mya. And Pandologic announced the acquisition of Wade and Wendy. Pre-pandemic, HireVue acquired AllyO and AMS acquired Karen. Conversational AI is clearly becoming the future of TA tech, and we found that companies that invest in these providers improve efficiency, experience, and quality. The beauty of conversational AI is that it starts working for companies on Day 1, and companies are expanding the use cases into onboarding and employee experience.

We have been busy working on new research on conversational AI, so these acquisitions are top of mind, and I have a few early thoughts…

  1. Chatbot vs. Conversational AI: Many of the misperceptions around conversational AI stem from the belief that it is simply a chatbot. Chatbots are transactional. They provide value in giving responses to candidates in real-time. These responses are typically canned answers to basic questions delivered through text. Conversational AI offers a more sophisticated and more personalized solution to engage candidates through multiple forms of communication. Conversational AI gets smarter through use and connects recruiters and candidates in a more meaningful way. 39% of companies using conversational AI state that the most significant benefit is improving the candidate experience (Aptitude Research). Companies must be careful to recognize the difference between providers offering canned communication and transactional TA and those that are truly conversational and engaging.
  2. Market Potential: Conversational AI is still a growing market. The demand has increased, but companies are still figuring out what they need and what problems these solutions can help solve. The potential is there. Acquisitions (done right) can help some providers reach that potential by empowering them with more resources and expertise to build solutions that companies need. Acquisitions (gone wrong) can have the opposite impact. They can negatively impact potential, create obstacles, and make it difficult for providers to grow. Companies should carefully consider what these acquisitions will mean for existing customers and prospects.
  3. ATS Providers: While many ATS providers have made acquisitions over the past year, few have invested in conversational AI. SmartRecruiters is one exception with the acquisition of Jobpal. It will be interesting to see how the ATS providers respond to these recent acquisitions and look at a build, buy, or borrow strategy for conversational AI moving forward.

We will share our latest recent on conversational AI in the next few weeks, but these recent announcements have given me a lot to consider, and I am looking forward to following this market this year.

Blog Talent Acquisition Strategies

New Research: Exceptional Experiences in Talent Acquisition

Experiences define and shape our economy. Consumers are more likely to make additional purchases, refer friends, and remain loyal to a brand when they have an exceptional experience – and a negative experience can wreak havoc on a brand. According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs study, a dissatisfied customer will tell nine to fifteen people about their poor experience, and approximately 13% of your dissatisfied customers will tell more than 20 people. Companies realize the impact that a positive or negative experience can have on their brand and business success, and have invested in dedicated roles, resources, and technology to help improve customer experiences.

But, this level of attention is not given to the candidate experience. According to recent studies by Aptitude Research and Talent Board:

  • Fifty-eight percent (58%) of applicants who are screened out never receive a response (Aptitude Research)
  • One in three recruiters are feeling more burned out this year than ever before (Aptitude Research)
  • From job applicants who had applied over two months ago, 61% had not heard back from the employers (2020 Talent Board Candidate Experience Benchmark Research)

Although the talent acquisition experience has improved over the past few years, it still creates frustration and inefficiencies for both candidates and employers. And while 68% of companies are committed to improving these experiences in 2021, they often fall short.

So what exactly is an exceptional experience in talent acquisition? How can companies create experiences that feel meaningful and personal for candidates through every stage of their journey? Aptitude Research and The Talent Board partnered with Symphony Talent on new research to help define exceptional experience, understand gaps in expectations, and the impact of technology. Below are some of the key findings:

Sustaining an Exceptional Experience Takes Work: Over 1,000 companies have participated in the Talent Board Candidate Experience Benchmark Research Program to date, but only five companies have won CandE Awards eight-to-nine times out of the 10 years since the program was founded — four North American companies (AT&T, Colorado Springs Utilities, Deluxe, and Lockheed Martin), and one in EMEA (Intel). In 2020 alone, employers had to navigate a series of external challenges including COVID-19, while also dealing with a cascade of resulting internal hurdles (budget cuts, reduced recruiting plans and talent investments, and shifts in business).

Companies Should Start With the Employer Experience: Candidates will not have a positive experience if recruiters are unhappy and disengaged. If hiring teams are overworked and overwhelmed, the candidate experience will be negatively impacted. Today’s recruiting and hiring teams are facing an experience crisis and remote work has created additional stress. According to Aptitude Research, recruiters spend up to 16 hours per week scheduling calls and 10 hours looking for candidates in their ATS. Additionally, 32% of recruiters surveyed are looking for other career opportunities. Companies that want to improve their external experiences need to look internally first.

Communication Is the Biggest Missed Opportunity: Candidates want to understand their progress and know where they stand. Companies need to better communicate with candidates earlier in the process when they are first researching the organization, provide a process indicator during the application process, and communicate next steps post-application. Currently, 58% of candidates do not receive any response (Aptitude Research).

 Exceptional Experiences Directly Impact the Bottom Line: A poor candidate experience impacts business performance, including brand and customer retention. Organizations that have improved talent acquisition experiences over the past year have seen improvements to NPS scores, customer retention, and employer brand. Companies that provide a more engaging and human experience see a direct impact on business performance, including a two times improvement on NPS scores.

Companies Are Increasing Their Investment in Automation: Automation can help improve experiences for both employers and candidates. While not new to recruiting, automated processes continued to increase this year to support leaner recruiting teams and more applications, especially with machine learning and other smart technologies. The reality is that most candidates who are interested in a job will research and apply, but never move forward. Most will have little to no human interaction and will be dispositioned automatically. Automation can help provide a fair and equitable experience, and allow companies to provide consistent communications to every candidate.


Blog Talent Acquisition Strategies

New Research: TA Buyer’s Guide Top 10 Findings (Part 1)

I am excited to announce that we published our annual talent acquisition buyer’s guide report this week sponsored by Verified First. It serves as a resource for anyone interested in learning more about the trends impacting technology and the requirements critical to making decisions. The talent acquisition technology market is constantly changing, and staying ahead of trends is becoming more challenging. Organizations need to evaluate providers based on a new set of criteria that encourages partnership and collaboration between the business and the solutions. Trust in the company, product, and roadmap is a critical part of the buyer’s journey and a key differentiator when evaluating solutions.

Evaluating technology is not as easy as it used to be. Ten years ago, the talent acquisition technology market was comprised of multiple providers offering clear products in defined categories such as background screening, job boards, applicant tracking systems (ATS), assessments, and onboarding. Today, the market has exploded with hundreds more providers and new ones entering each month. Additionally, the lines have blurred. Many of these providers offer several solutions in talent acquisition or have created new categories of technology, making a buyer’s decision much more complicated.

Below are 5 top findings from this research:

  • Efficiency is driving decisions. Companies have stated that improving efficiency is the key driver when evaluating technology providers. Companies are looking at providers to improve time to fill, increase recruiter productivity and improve overall decision-making in talent acquisition technology. Improved efficiency benefits the candidate and the employer by helping candidates receive communication, stay informed and move through the process.
  • Talent Acquisition Technology Investment Continues to Increase. Although some technology investment has slowed down over the past year, one in four companies are increasing their TA investment, and 44% of companies invested in new technology in 2020. Companies are looking at providers to support the challenges they face but often do not consider how they will work with the existing technology infrastructure.
  • Companies need to measure ROI early. Only 1 in 2 companies measure the ROI of their technology investment. As talent acquisition is being held more accountable to the business, showing the value and the timeframe is critical. Measuring and demonstrating ROI is a crucial part of any technology decision and does not need to happen after a company makes its investment – it should actually be considered before.
  • True partnership helps to improve adoption. Adoption is a challenge in talent acquisition technology. Only 3% of companies use all the ATS functionality and only 2% in their CRMs. Companies need to look at how their provider will partner with them during implementation and how they will make that relationship stick after year one, year two, and beyond. Companies should consider their change management resources, and customer advisory boards and councils, customer feedback sessions, and “Idea Labs,” where customers are free to voice concerns and connect with other customers.
  • Companies are looking to replace solutions this year. The top areas of TA tech replacement this year include ATS, CRM, background screening, and assessments. Before evaluating technology options, organizations should conduct an internal needs analysis and be prepared to answer some questions internally. Companies need to identify and communicate expectations before evaluating solutions. Before signing on with a provider, companies should ask how confident the provider is in meeting these expectations and what plans they have in place to meet and even exceed them.

TA buyers face more difficult decisions today with new providers, new categories, and new pressures. The TA tech market changes rapidly, and companies must balance their own unique requirements with the providers that will partner with them. This report can help companies at any stage of their TA tech buyer’s journey.