Navigating the complex world of Talent Acquisition technology

Posted by Bill Cleary and Bhawna Bist on January 18, 2019.

With more than 2000 vendors in the space, the Talent Acquisition (TA) technology landscape is large and complex. No single end-to-end solution exists, so organizations must evaluate a variety of solutions from various vendors to address different stages within the TA life cycle (i.e., sourcing to onboarding). To make matters even more complex, the TA technologies are evolving rapidly. In light of these challenges, how should TA organizations approach this crucial decision?

TA vendor categories

Five key trends are reshaping the TA technology marketplace, often making it harder to navigate:

  1. Evolution of the ATS/CRM—Some vendors are expanding their product functionalities to create a comprehensive TA platform, blending applicant tracking systems and candidate relationship management software.
  2. Emergence of AI—Use of automated assessments and chatbots is the next wave of innovation in the TA tech space, both by vendors with AI-enabled products and traditional vendors building AI capabilities.
  3. M&As and integrations—There is an uptick in mergers and acquisitions among TA tech vendors and an increased push in partnerships to develop plug-in connectors through that integrate products.
  4. Rise of mid-market vendors—Key TA tech vendors serving midsized businesses are moving upstream to develop capabilities to attract larger enterprise clients.
  5. Social recruiting—Proactive sourcing directly from social media platforms using web crawling techniques called social aggregators is taking over the traditional sourcing methods.

Managing the ecosystem
We see some organizations having up to 15 to 20 TA technologies in use, based on the size of the organization and its complexity, and no fewer than 5 technologies may be required to create the minimal experience expected. Developing and managing this ecosystem to provide your organization a complete TA solution, particularly considering the ongoing evolution in technologies, can be a daunting task. Here are a few considerations.

  • Understand your current TA technology landscape—Make sure you know which TA technologies are currently available in the organization and how (or if) they are being used. This can help you evaluate the utility of the products you have and note strengths, weaknesses, overlaps, and gaps.
  • Make decisions when functionality overlaps—For example, if both your ATS and CRM system can track candidate references, choose which system you will use for that function. Avoiding duplicate data storage is key for maintaining accurate, reliable data.
  • Evaluate new products and vendors for fit—If you determine you want to add functionality, consider key criteria as you evaluate vendors and products:

Functional Fit: Define the mix of expected talent acquisition outcomes and associated metrics targets up front, and use them as criteria to evaluate vendor shortlisting and selection. Clearly articulating high-impact testing scenarios is an important element of determining functional fit
Technical Fit: Factor depth of functionality, integrations, or data conversion efforts when deciding between HCM suites and TA suites or point solutions.
Longevity Fit: Assess the financial viability and ecosystem depth of each provider on top of functional and technical features, given the expected consolidation in the TA technology market, to help gauge the merits of the investment and likelihood of ongoing vendor support.

Our 2017 research on Global Human Capital Trends called experimentation with tech solutions and services the biggest disruptor in talent acquisition today. Choosing the right TA technology to deliver the candidate experience that an organization aspires to will be an ongoing and crucial effort for TA.

Bill ClearyBill Cleary, GPHR, is a Senior Manager in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s US Human Capital service area. Bill’s primary focus has been on complex global HR transformation projects with extensive experience focused on talent acquisition.
Bhawna BistBhawna Bist is a Senior Manager with Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Workforce Transformation practice with over 16 years of cross industry and consulting experience. Bhawna specializes in leading large scale, complex global Talent Acquisition transformation programs for Fortune 500 clients. She also leads the development of the organization’s point of view around AI in Talent Acquisition.

Research supported by: Sunil Rao, Mansi Bhatt, Karnav Shah

1 Talent Acquisition Technology Ecosystem, Talent Tech Labs.
2 “Talent acquisition: Enter the cognitive recruiter,” 2017 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends: Rewriting the rules for the digital age, Deloitte University Press, February 28, 2017.

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