When you're looking to make a significant investment in TA tech, it can get daunting. Here are five quick tips to help you focus:
"We live to serve" should be your mantra. Talent acquisition is a service-oriented business function. Our goal is to help drive the business forward. We can't achieve that unless we know where the business is going. Before you can begin to invest in new technologies, you need to understand what tools will help you help them. This is where leadership communication is critical - the TA leader needs to be in a mind-meld with strategic leadership (product, finance, sales, marketing, etc). Getting into the details around where, and why, the business is scaling for the next 6 months, year, etc is the only way to ensure you can provide the services they will expect along that path. Make sure your metrics support theirs, check for alignment around brand, messaging, pace. Double-check.
Wait: what? That's right. This is called "ready, aim, fire". Process mapping, assessment, and redesign, falls squarely into that bucket. By mapping our your processes, you discover weaknesses, repetitive actions, and opportunities for improvement. Once you have that list, you can align with your business objectives. This is where you start to identify blind spots, leaks, and redundancies - none of which help you in your mission. List them out, and determine how the solution for each can be achieved. It may be training, communication, process redesign - or, it may be something you can solve via automation/ technology. Once you have that last bit worked out, and know you need tools, you can build your requirements.
Seriously. You'll find a lot of issues once you start looking behind the walls. This is where you need to force-rank a little. If there's a major issue causing candidate drop-off, delaying time-to-fill, or any of your key metrics: start there. Once you've put out your burning bridges, address the nice-to-haves. But lock down anything that's causing you to miss alignment with your business objectives. Then, start working out who's going to be on the team - you'll need coverage and help. Subject matter experts (SMEs) who can help you develop any RFPs you need to write, assess vendors, implement, and deploy. It takes a few villages - you can't do it all.
There are a ton of cliches applicable here. "A journey begins with the first step." "Measure twice, cut once." But here's the thing: they're right. Nail down the basics. You know you want a pipelining solution. Great - but within the offerings available, you'll find a list of options, each of them with their own unique approaches. Work out what requirements are mission-critical within your identified need, and then force-rank them. It's entirely possible you won't find a vendor who can give you everything you've decided is critical. If that's the case (usually is, by they way), you may have to build your own, or find a secondary solution. That, or find a vendor-partner (we just added "partner" in for a reason - because you want to get to with them) who can help you find that extra solution. That or - potentially - build you one (just remember: it ain't there yet, be cautious here). Who's on the selection team? Who's handling implementation? Do you have budget? What's the timeline? Again - ready, aim shoot. Aim well.
This seems... logical. And yet, the volume of bad-fit tech/ vendor-business relationships out there is borderline shocking. If you've done the first 4 steps right, you should be able to avoid selecting the wrong type of tech (ie: you'll buy an ATS vs a scheduling solution, or vice-versa). But within the type, there are almost always many vendors. Your requirements, if done well and honestly, should allow you to narrow down your finalists to ones who can give you the must-have solutions you need. Once you get there, be diligent to the point of being brutal, and put them through their paces. Don't accept "it's on the roadmap", if the requirement is something you need now. Because until they build it? It ain't there.
But... here's the trick: you may love the solution, and it may fill your technical needs, but if the vendor is a bad fit for your organization? That's a marriage that isn't going to last. Remember: you see the best of the vendor during the sales process. Once the deal is signed - and this is simple human nature - you get to know them for who they really, really are. Anything that feels off needs to be considered. Because it will not get better.
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