The worldwide coronavirus pandemic that began in early 2020 upended talent acquisition, sending employers scrambling to hire and recruit remotely and looking for the best talent acquisition (TA) technology. The pandemic challenges to business include recruiting during economic pressures, pressure to do more with less due to downsized TA functions, and a more complex job market.
Business leaders in 2021 and moving forward are looking for robust TA tech functionality, talent management, and improved employee and recruiter experience. Aptitude Research’s “Talent Acquisition Systems (2021) Mapping a New Path” shows that companies are planning to replace ATS systems and looking for and using new solutions.
The top pain points of TA tech that companies identified to Aptitude Research were price, data management, ease of use, product capabilities, and integration. Complex TA technology and the number of solutions in place present unique challenges for business leaders and human resources and recruiting professionals.
The report shows that companies use ten or more TA solutions and more than half of the companies surveyed (51%) use more than one applicant tracking system. This can cause overspending and an inability to manage data the way it’s needed.
The pandemic has presented employers with unusual and urgent needs that aren’t going away any time soon and have changed the playing field permanently. With the average time to fill a position at 45 days, recruiters and hiring teams need help to reduce that timeline and improve hiring results.
Aptitude Research presents a case study of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency seeking assistance for its need to rapidly hire healthcare professionals for the COVID-19 outbreak. They partnered with two TA providers to develop and launch their initiative in 36 hours. While price is a top concern for 44% of TA professionals, partnering with vendors for improvements in efficiency is an additional top focus. This is the kind of service business leaders need and look for now.
With so much at stake, decision-making about TA tech vendors is an urgent priority. Aptitude Research identified some key areas that TA professionals and decision-makers must consider and ask about when looking for vendors to partner with and where to invest their TA tech improvement dollars.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has rapidly gained prominence with TA tech vendors in response to the pandemic’s challenges for urgent remote capabilities. ATS providers have ramped up AI matching capabilities to provide diverse source improvements and quality of hire. Top drivers for AI matching include the need for diversity, equity, inclusion, candidate scoring, resume parsing, and sourcing automation.
TA professionals want ethical AI for data transparency, candidate consent, published methodologies, and reduced bias in recruiting and hiring processes. They want efficiency AI from ATS providers to save time and improve recruiter productivity, candidate scoring, and ATS workflow integration.
Skills are a top priority as 2021 heads the economy and business operations into post-pandemic mode. Companies looking at worker shortages and skills gaps want fairer hiring processes and smarter hiring decisions to prompt upskilling and internal mobility. Identifying skills gaps for strategic planning takes investment and requires TA tech providers who understand skills and have rich and productive skills libraries.
Investment history and looking at how much money providers have raised for growth is important. Aptitude Research found that only 13% of companies looked at how much money providers have raised while evaluating TA tech vendors/partners. Provider venture capital and private equity funding are a big indicator of leadership and retention. Mergers and acquisitions help providers expand their services and capabilities to support customers with global footprint and product portfolios.
True partnership is even more important than individual services and capabilities. Vendors who are committed to their customers, have deep domain expertise, and provide dedicated support can provide critical urgent assistance when needed. Look for new kinds of support such as new product bundles for urgent high-volume needs, automation for remote recruitment with limited resources, and improved communications with speedy new tools and platforms.
Aptitude Research’s report presents leading TA vendors by target market: mid-market companies with 4,999 employees and less, enterprise companies with over 5,000 employees, and global enterprise companies. Avature, Greenhouse, iCIMS, Jobvite, Lever, Oleeo, and SmartRecruiters provide talent acquisition solutions.
Cornerstone provides talent management, while Oracle, SAP SuccessFactors, and Workday provide ERP/Core HR. IBM provides data and technology services for talent acquisition. ADP provides recruiting and hiring, compensation benchmarking, screening, and onboarding services.
The Talent Acquisition Systems report breaks down all the specifics of these TA vendors for decision-makers. Questions about evaluating technology and who is involved, the cost to your company if you lose talent with the vendor service, who are stakeholders and how they operate, and how success is measured are easier to get answered with this strategic information.
Evaluating TA tech has become urgent and necessary because of the coronavirus pandemic. It’s created a more complex TA tech environment, but also fueled efficiencies in hiring, both traditional and virtual. Business leaders and TA professionals are now not only concerned with speed in the recruiting process but also other nuances such as reducing bias. Evaluating the TA tech and vendors to support new needs is urgent and strategic.
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