The trick, says human-resources-technology consultant Elaine Orler of Talent Function Group, is building software that can predict a good fit between candidate and employer.
From Branding to Onboarding, Is It Possible to Implement Only One Solution?
As the true definition of talent acquisition technology has emerged, it is no longer confined to “ATS.” What we now understand is that talent acquisition extends to include branding and marketing, sourcing, networking, and assessments, just to name a few. In order to effectively engage top talent prior to starting the traditional recruiting process via an ATS, employers must have the right solutions in place. And with more organizations focused on implementing solutions to support these critical areas of the talent acquisition process, there is a new challenge facing the marketplace. Many are struggling with how to manage multiple vendors and technology solutions through various integrations, created in response to market trends including employment branding and leveraging CRM technology to manage sourcing and networking.
The question is what happens after you have implemented several different solutions to support these various functions and have integrated them with one another. Some would say that you have a robust solution in place to attract talent, network with passive candidates, manage active candidates, and select and hire top talent. While this may be true in the short term, will this be efficient in the long run? Or have you created “Frankenstein?”
Your talent acquisition, HR and IT teams are now responsible for maintaining several solutions at once, and as new releases are required, these teams will have to accommodate the updates into their routine and respond to each vendor. Depending on the size of the organization, you might need to create a separate team just to manage the changes of 5-6 different technology solutions. Another option is to ignore the new releases, and in less than a year, have systems that no longer communicate or meet the needs of the organization. A third option, switching from one solution to another, also poses a significant risk, not to mention the effort involved in dismantling the various solutions in order to implement a new one.
The good news is that there are talent acquisition solutions on the rise that specifically respond to this problematic long term issue. These particular vendors are cutting edge and have identified the need for organizations to have that “one stop shop” for all things talent acquisition. Such solutions already include features for branding, marketing, talent communities, CRM, ATS and onboarding, offering an easier implementation, post launch support and improved efficiencies for upgrading to new versions. While this option is available now, look to 2015 and 2016 for more technology partners in this arena. As you assess your organization’s current technology landscape, keep this trend in mind to ensure all talent acquisition operations are set up for lasting success.
As the Talent Acquisition technology market grows more competitive, it seems that the latest and greatest solutions get pushed at you from all sides, with flashy ad campaigns and slick marketing. When trying to cut through the noise, it can be difficult to see past the big promises and select the right solution to suit your needs. And with so many to choose from, only so many of the promises will come true, leaving some organizations feeling like they’ve been had.
Much like trying to find the way to your final destination with no map to guide you, finding the right Talent Acquisition technology can be tricky, but fortunately there are ways around the entanglement. However, to make it happen, you’ll need to don your detective cap to select the right solution to fit your needs.
Assess the situation. Consider your organization’s current state and future state goals, where your Talent Acquisition is now and where it needs to be 1, 3 or 5 years. Consider what your organization needs to do to attract and engage top talent while offering a positive candidate experience.
Consider the suspects. Candidate experience is a key ingredient in the talent acquisition process. That means you need to account for who you are hiring and how you will be connecting with these candidates. New platforms are being introduced at a rapid rate to help increase productivity for on the go management of talent acquisition efforts. Social, mobile and digital channels are all part of the equation, unlike 5 years ago, and can’t be ignored. Make sure to investigate how each will resonate with your audience and develop a strategy accordingly.
List the evidence. Take stock of what you already have and what you are looking to gain. Which features will be most beneficial to your organization? Have stakeholders from across your organization weigh in. Select 3-5 benefits that are an absolute must have and work through the market from there. This will ensure that your topline goals are met. After that is accomplished, you can move forward knowing that your basic needs will be met.
Go to trial. With a few solutions in mind, complete trials to become familiar with the technologies in action. This will ensure that a given solution works with any existing system, fits your processes and completes your overall Talent Acquisition strategy. If it doesn’t, try again. At this stage, it is important to take your time. Benefits may need to be reconsidered, processes rearranged and developing a change management plan may come into play.
Like any good mystery, selecting the right Talent Acquisition solution requires laying the groundwork and working through the details step by step. When in doubt, plot your path and stop to ask for help before continuing on.
Much like consistent diet and exercise is a process we follow to help us stay fit, so too is the talent acquisition optimization process. When we set out to optimize our talent acquisition technology and process, we must implement consistent procedures to make certain the system and activities function as effectively and efficiently as possible. But how do we know if our talent acquisition needs a dose of “diet and exercise,” and better yet, how do we begin? Maybe it’s obvious that it’s not as healthy and fit as it once was – or perhaps like many of us – it was never actually that fit, but just seemed to have retained “the body it was born with.” In any case, much like our bodies change– often becoming higher maintenance and more injury-prone – over time, our talent acquisition process and systems can become sluggish, less agile, and suffer from years of workarounds.
While implementing a diet and exercise plan is the framework needed to help us get back in shape, the real goal is to take a new approach to eating that will satisfy our daily nutritional requirements at minimum cost and calories and to engage in activities that burn off the calories we consume as quickly and efficiently as possible. In similar fashion, we should create a framework to ensure that our talent acquisition systems take in the minimum amount of data required to satisfy both organizational and compliance requirements and design related processes and activities for minimum cost and effort in order to maintain top performance and provide a pleasant experience.
Here are 3 steps to get your talent acquisition process and systems back in shape:
1) Get on the Scale. Weigh-in and even take a “picture” of your current talent acquisition process and systems and assess what you see. Keep in mind that you should evaluate: where you are, how you got to that point and what worked well (or didn’t). Document your current state processes, workflows, work activities, inputs and outputs, including communications and roles and responsibilities. Gather first-hand insights and input from a diverse and representative group of recruiters and sourcers in order to develop a comprehensive view of the current state.
2) Set Health and Fitness Goals. Identify where you want to go. Leverage the information gained through the assessment to identify your goal “weight” and what you need to do to get there. Consult your team and identify best practices for recruiting process workflows, the technology platforms, key decisions and strategic direction. Develop a detailed future state process focused on the resources, activities, workflows, systems integration, transactional data model and user roles associated with the optimized talent acquisition plan. Identify requirements and conduct fit/gap analysis to build out functional and technical requirements for the technology that will support the optimized future state process.
3) Get in Motion. Once you have defined the optimized end-state talent acquisition process model and identified the technology changes needed to drive greater efficiency and accountability and improve overall experience, it’s time to start your diet and exercise plan. Make the process changes, reconfigure the systems, all the while driving effective change management.
Needless to say, we are all likely to feel healthier overall when we eat right and exercise regularly, but getting started and staying the course is easier said than done. If this seems too challenging, it’s wise to consider hiring a “nutritionist” or “personal trainer,” who has helped a multitude of others reach their fitness goals. The same holds true for renovating your talent acquisition systems and processes. In the end, undertaking an optimization effort can help keep you and your team members stay motivated, and help your organization feel healthier overall.