5 Fast-Approaching Trends in Talent Acquisition Technology

It’s been a long time coming. Over-generalized solutions in HR technology are becoming a thing of the past, as more analysts, investors and consumers are demanding clarity. What used to be sold as a solution to “solve all your hiring problems” is losing its allure, and buyers are honing in on the specifics. After personally demoing over 1,200 technology products within the last two years, I’m amazed at the level of change I’m witnessing. Here are the biggest talent acquisition trends of 2016 as I see them.

Trend #1: Matching Systems That Work

Matching is not a new concept. In fact, it has been around for decades. What’s new is that the way people look for jobs, and what they expect when they apply is changing and the technologies being used, deployed and built are much more sophisticated.

I’m sure you’ve all heard the term ‘Mobile First’. Well there are 5.2 billion mobile devices and 1.6 billion of them are smartphones. To put that into perspective, there are only 789 million laptops and 743 million desktops. These devices are easy to use, small, and interactive. These stats from Beyond highlight how candidates are embracing mobile in their job search:

  • 78 percent of job boards say the ability to apply via mobileis somewhat important or very important to job seekers
  • 55 percent of job boards state that only less than ¼ of companies offer mobile apply
  • 77 percent of job seekers use mobile apps to search for jobs

Speaking of apps, have you tried Tinder? No longer do users want to click and type. It’s all about the tap and swipe. A prime example is Switch, which is Tinder for jobs. They have a mobile app that allows candidates to search for jobs like they search for dates. Once a match is made candidates can chat with the employer in real time. Employers love the tool because they can post the job in minutes and chat with the candidate by lunchtime. Candidates love the app for the same reason.

Job & Talent
We’ve moved from an on-demand economy to a convenience economy. It used to be fine to go to the store and pick something up but then Amazon came around and shoppers got used to getting things on demand; instant satisfaction. Then, Uber took things to the next level — not only could people call a cab, but they could see the available rides in their area and order straight from an app on their phone. Today, this quality of service is eliminating the wait and is becoming almost an expected practice. How is this affecting the job search? Well, candidates want the jobs to come to them, naturally.

Candidates are demanding transparency — they want to know if this job is a good fit before they apply. Did you know 68 percent of candidates say they’re less likely to buy from a company after a poor interview experience? Candidates may view job applications like black holes because they never know if you are going to hear back or not. Which is why Majio’s matching technology was designed to integrate the job application and the ATS.

A job seeker can apply with one click and then Majio shows the candidate how good of a fit they are for the job they applied to right away. The power of one-click apply and the gratification of instant feedback increases the number of candidates at the beginning of the talent acquisition funnel and speeds up the conversion. Additionally, candidates can self-select out of the hiring process and the recruiter can immediately engage top candidates without waiting or screening tons of resumes.

Wade & Wendy
As AI enters the field, we will truly see matching happen at scale. Wade is a chatbot that lives inside all of your messaging apps. Wade grows with you throughout your career — your always-present adviser — opening your eyes to new professional opportunities. Wade will ask you questions each day, about your weekend, your day at work, your colleagues and over time Wade will get to know you better than any online profile or resume could. Wendy is the hiring manager’s best friend. She lives inside a company, personifies its essence, and intelligently vets and delivers candidates that uniquely complement its mission and culture. How cool is that?

Trend #2: Games to Replace Lengthy Questionnaires

Companies have to carefully evaluate talent. There have long been tools for testing skills, and complex tests to render psychometric assessments. The problem is that highly skilled talent is often not inclined to complete lengthy questionnaires or assessment tests.

Through the creation of simulation games, applicants can play engaging games on mobile devices, have fun, and not feel like they are being tested. In turn, companies can generate truly remarkable assessment findings.

Trend #3: Staffing Firms Embrace Temporary Labor Marketplaces

Organizations everywhere are turning to freelancers and temporary workers. Studies suggest that 40 percent of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers by 2020. We’ve seen an endless arrival of more and more temporary labor marketplaces, and its full impact is only starting to be felt by staffing firms.

Traditionally these temporary marketplaces focused on low-end outsourced talent but they have been moving up the funnel focusing on more educated hyper-local talent.

In the last 2 years conventional staffing firms, large and small, have gradually started to pay attention to these innovations. Kelly’s partnership with Upwork is an example, as is Adecco’s purchase of Onforce, and Randstad’s investment in Gigwalk.

Kelly’s purchase is the first instance of a traditional staffing firm partnering with a large online free marketplace. In this model the Upwork marketplace essentially becomes the supplier or sourcing pool of online talent that can be consumed by enterprises and “managed by Kelly.” This could completely disintermediate the recruiter.

Additionally, I believe we will begin to see staffing firms start to leverage their temporary labor marketplace to showcase their excess capacity to employers directly, completely disintermediating their sales people. For example, Vector Talent Resources staffing agency recently acquired a corporate wellness company bringing a value-add and an entire new meaning to strategic staffing.

Staffing firms can automatically share their excess inventory (candidates coming off billing) into a private marketplace that can be used by salespeople as a tool to engage new clients or existing ones. Eventually the sales person can be disintermediated completely. The old models are too restrictive, business economics are driving the need for change in work arrangements, and these technologies will enable that change.

Trend #4: Candidate Relationship Management Matures

Recruiting is a specialized version of sales and marketing. So why has our candidate relationship management function lagged so far behind in comparison? Hard to say why, but we see that about to change.

Recruitment organizations must begin to masterfully manage all of their interactions with potential candidates just like customers. The newest CRM systems help people track interactions, and measure them. They identify why the top recruiters are successful, allowing companies to share and institutionalize that knowledge.

Look for real breakthroughs as CRM systems start behaving like platforms and become adept at running inbound marketing campaigns.

Trend #5: Increasingly Open Architecture Leading to Analytics-as-a-Service (AaaS)

How many platforms does your company rely on? Likely more than you realize. Organizations want to stay flexible and maintain efficiencies so they end up utilizing the best component solutions even if found in separate apps.

Truly efficient talent tech solutions need to integrate with other platforms. Cutting edge tools need to fit into your ATS, email marketing system, performance management, and every other people-component within the company. Expect the next generation of systems to be built with more open architectures allowing the easy use of web services and APIs to communicate between apps. Proprietary or closed platforms are a thing of the past.

As these open systems enter the market I believe we are about to see a ton of AaaS, yes you heard me right, analytics-as-a-service.

Analytics-as-a-Service will connect the data from all of the point solutions and will allow recruitment managers to track success.

We love what RolePoint is doing with their connect product. RolePoint Connect is a fully functioning integration platform as a service, forming a middleware layer between any ATS, CRM or job board. Companies no longer need to connect to multiple API’s they just need to connect to one and they have access to all these other systems.

Talennium is another great company. Staffing companies and in-house corporate recruiting teams struggle to understand what drives performance. This is due to their poor adherence to processes and lack of data quality. Talennium is a data dashboard that aggregates data from the different point solutions within the talent acquisition technology stack.

Jack of all trades.

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