In years past, the new year has brought a sweep of major acquisitions and the emergence of wholly new talent acquisition technologies. Industry pundits have kept close tabs on activity in the vendor landscape as a means of tracking emerging trends and future directions for human capital management. Although 2014 hasn’t yet brought any changes quite as large as the acquisitions of SuccessFactors, Taleo, and Kenexa by SAP, Oracle, and IBM (respectively), there has been a bit of activity over the last six months worth noting:

Acquisitions

New Product Offerings

New Funding

While each of these announcements is noteworthy in and of itself, what’s more compelling is the picture they make when connecting the dots. As I see it, each indicates a reinvestment in some of the most basic challenges (and biggest headaches) recruiters have been grappling with for year.

Getting Back to Basics in 2014

Last month, I put together a list of things I didn’t expect we’d see in 2014. The end of Boolean, the end of resume databases, the end of referral solicitations; I thought it unlikely we would make any significant headway in any of these areas. Upon closer review and after some more extended consideration, however, I’m encouraged by the renewed interest in improving the lives of recruiters and the hiring managers they support.

A number of solution providers have introduced new ways to tackle basic problems over the years, but many were simple reinventing the wheel, and complicated things further. With a focus on offering simple solutions to coordinating interviews, assessing and screening candidates, onboarding new employees, improving candidate experience, though, it seems to me we will make some serious progress this year.

Of course, we still have a long way to go before things are peachy keen. According to Brandon Hall Group’s first annual Talent Acquisition Benchmarking Survey, less than 10% of respondents were more than moderately satisfied with the technology they use to manage the various aspects of their talent acquisition process.

Looking ahead, my advice to solution providers would be to go back to the drawing board and evaluate the core value you bring to the table. Recruiters and their leaders in talent acquisition have lofty goals for 2014, many of which rely heavily on having the right technology in place to support their efforts. Stay tuned for our Talent Acquisition survey reports due out in February – and as ever, feel free to contact me with your own thoughts on the implications of activity in the vendor landscape: kyle.lagunas@brandonhall.com

Also, we’ve recently opened applications for the 20th Annual Brandon Hall Excellence Awards. If you are one of those companies doing big things, we’d love to hear your story.

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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