It’s no secret that talent acquisition technology has advanced rapidly over the last 10 years and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. Every year, there are new products innovating the way we source, assess, and onboard new talent. While this is certainly keeping analysts and industry pundits busy, talent acquisition leaders are having an increasingly difficult time navigating the vendor landscape.

Although there are a select few organizations staying ahead of the curve and leveraging the latest and greatest tools, the reality is that many companies (especially small and mid-sized) have only implemented their first applicant tracking system in the last few years. For these organizations, automating and streamlining even the most elementary components of their talent acquisition process is still a challenge – and they have only just begun to consider the implications of things like social, mobile, and employer brand.

This trend isn’t entirely new – there have always been early and late adopters to technology. What’s alarming here is that the percentage of organizations struggling to keep up with the rapid advancement in talent acquisition technology (and improve their process accordingly) is growing. As a result, so is the gap between technology and process.

Part of my role as an analyst is to combat this trend – to close that gap by promoting key practices in talent acquisition. As key practices almost always involve technology nowadays, I thought it would be a good exercise to identify a few areas where talent acquisition leaders at trailing organizations can make major gains through a few upgrades to your technology.

Employee Referrals

Employee referrals continue to be the richest source of talent for hiring organizations. But programs for managing employee referrals can be an administrative and logistical nightmare – especially for larger organizations. And with the emergence of social technology, where employees can easily share links to the company career page, it’s become increasingly difficult to track referral sources accurately.

The good news: there’s been a steady increase the number of solution providers offering employee referral programs. Some leverage scoreboards and achievements to drive friendly competition; others allow recruiters to broadcast open roles through employees’ social networks. What they all have in common is that they take much of the heavy-lifting out of creating and implementing a highly effective referral program.

Beyond the obvious, these tools are valuable for a number of reasons: they’re scalable, they’re highly social (read: high adoption rates), and they’re relatively easy to roll out. If you want to jumpstart the quality of your candidates, this is a great place to start.

Screening and Interviews

While I am getting a little sick of all the press releases announcing a “new and innovative video screening software,” there’s a reason so many new vendors are cropping up in this space. Video screening and interviewing tools are incredible timesavers for recruiters. They cut out the need to coordinate multiple schedules for a 30-minute phone call. They minimize the time spent on screening calls. Candidate responses are easily shared for second and third opinions.  And candidates can be scored right within the platform.

Some say video interviewing will become standard procedure for highly effective hiring companies. Because of their ease of use and relative affordability, they’re an excellent place to start building your technology arsenal.

Onboarding

I touched on this briefly last week, and it’s obviously still on mind. Onboarding has been largely reduced to little more than employee paperwork and an HR orientation. However, countless case studies show the strong impact extended onboarding has on overall talent performance. The problem is developing and implementing a program that works.

While many HRMS and integrated talent management solution providers have begun improving their onboarding product offerings, the number of point solutions in the space has spiked recently. Each takes a unique approach to onboarding. Some leverage behavioral data from assessments to offer hiring managers customized advice for onboarding. Others focus on getting new hires connected with company culture and subject matter experts across the organization.

Whatever their approach, these products can breathe life into an otherwise dull onboarding process – and often integrate with talent management platforms.

Of course, results are not guaranteed. Success is highly dependent on the ability to choose the products that best fit organizational needs – as well as the ability to effectively implement these products. If you have questions about key practices in selecting and implementing talent acquisition technology, feel free to email me: kyle.lagunas@brandonhall.com

Kyle Lagunas

As the Talent Acquisition Analyst at Brandon Hall Group, Kyle heads up research in key practices in sourcing, assessing, hiring, and onboarding - as well recruitment marketing, candidate experience, and social recruiting. Through primary research and deep analysis, he keeps today's business leaders in touch with important conversations and emerging trends in the rapidly changing world of talent. Kyle has spent the last several years offering a fresh take on the role of technology as part of an integrated talent strategy, and focuses on providing actionable insights to keep leading organizations a step ahead. Previously the HR Analyst at Software Advice, he is regular contributor on SHRM's We Know Next and TLNT, and his work has been featured in Forbes, The New York Times, Business Insider, Information Weekly, and HRO Today.

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