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Thinking Inside the Box

The world of talent acquisition software has been busy building and buying software suites. From a business valuation perspective, it makes good boardroom sense: the more you have to sell, the greater the chances of growing your revenue and you avoid being boxed out by other full-suite talent management providers. But this carnival of consolidation is not without a downside. The pace of innovation in previously discrete domains has slowed. To avoid losing the best-of-breed edge, vendors will need to refocus thinking inside the box.

The first step toward real innovation is to consider the recruiting process as a sales process. Many vendors now label this component as Candidate Relationship Management (CRM).

While the intent is there, most recruiting systems are applicant tracking systems that process candidates at scale. They’re designed principally to code candidates for regulatory reports. They screen and process, they do not help us sell, or reflect to what degree a candidate is interested in the company.

But, what if the hiring team could be guided in interviews and communications by emotional candidate statuses? What if they had the level of insight needed to build a solid candidate sales strategy? What if reporting offered intelligence on which team members have the highest close ratios or the average dollar increase between your first and final offers? And what if this sales-centric approach was radiated to be candidate-centric?

With the current systems in place, most candidates are privy to limited information via a company’s job portal. They have access to job listing information, company background and benefits highlights. They can apply for positions, and perhaps have insight to the status of that application. But, if we tap traditional best-of-breed innovation, we can do better than that.

Portals should be smart, and provide the information that’s relevant to each candidate. Why not provide candidates with department background information, or allow them to ask specific questions about the positions for which they’re applying? What if the candidate was presented with experience surveys? A new world of important data could be gathered, and in turn, help make employers more attractive to job seekers.

There is a rich vein of innovation waiting to be mined. To help foster inspiration and bring invention to the recruiting industry, begin by turning the competition dial up to 11 and maintain balance by turning the sales execution dial up as well. And, while you expend effort integrating talent acquisition and management solutions large scale, don’t forget to think inside the box to inspire innovation and provide the best possible solutions.