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4 Reasons to Make Talent Acquisition a Key Business Initiative

How do you navigate hiring amidst constant uncertainty? Talent acquisition has seen it all in the last few years, from mass layoffs to talent shortages. Thankfully, companies like Aptitude Research invest in surveys that uncover trends in how companies are adapting and offer insights on what they can do to improve. 

Aptitude founder and chief analyst Madeline Laurano recently shared a data-packed webinar with HR Executive called, “Why Talent Acquisition Should be One of Your Key Business Initiatives.” There’s no substitute for watching the whole webinar, but those short on time can read our highlights below.

1. Companies are increasing their spending on TA tech

If you’re looking at new talent acquisition solutions, you’re not alone: 73% of companies are increasing their spending on TA technology in the next year. Aptitude Research found that the key drivers of spending are to improve efficiency (72%), improve quality of hire (70%), and improve the candidate experience (64%). 

Efficiency: In a time when many TA teams are stretched thin, companies are asking, “‘How do we make sure that we are getting the most out of the solutions that we’re using?’” said Madeline. “They’re thinking about how to improve time-to-fill and recruiter productivity.” It’s well-known that inefficient systems slow down the hiring process and keep recruiters busy with administrative work when they could be building relationships with candidates. Improving efficiency is a business imperative, and 72% of companies agree.

Quality of hire is another business imperative during a talent shortage, and it’s encouraging to know that 70% of companies seek to address it. Companies grow for the long term when they become better at getting the right talent in the door through technology that supports intelligent sourcing strategies and collaborative hiring

Candidate experience: The majority (64%) of companies seeking to improve the candidate experience know they’re competing against other companies doing the same. Technology that supports quick application processes, timely candidate feedback, and interview self-scheduling contribute to memorable candidate experiences.

2. The TA landscape is becoming more complex

What some IT departments forget, according to Madeline, is that “TA has its own framework and deserves its own conversation because it has many different components.” She presented the framework shown in the recently released 2023 Talent Acquisition Technology Buyer’s Guide

The core talent acquisition systems should include CRM, applicant tracking, onboarding, and internal mobility. The ecosystem of solutions surrounding the core stack includes background screening, digital interviewing, assessments, AI matching, conversational AI, and referrals. The foundational layer underneath the solutions includes integration, data management, and automation/AI. 

“The foundational layer is where a lot of organizations get lost,” said Madeline. “They don’t think about integrations and data management until it’s too late.” She mentioned an Aptitude survey showing that one in three companies forget to include integration strategy in their vendor evaluation criteria. 

The increase in spending on solutions brings an increase in responsibility for connecting them. Otherwise, the solutions will not fulfill their operational objective of improving efficiency. 

3. AI is here to stay

The latest Aptitude Research found that 63% of companies plan to invest in AI compared to only 42% in 2020. AI solutions now touch every part of the talent lifecycle, including debiasing job descriptions, sourcing tools, AI matching, chatbots, programmatic job advertising, assessments,  interviews, and generative AI solutions. 

Though some AI and machine learning solutions have existed for years, companies are still hesitant. For those not currently using AI, 44% say they don’t know enough about it. 

“The risk that we see right now is that so many providers are coming into the market,” Madeline said. “Companies need to define their approach to evaluating providers so they can be sure they’re using AI responsibly.”

Companies using AI are seeing many benefits. Aptitude’s research revealed that 55% say AI improves efficiency, and 48% say it improves quality of hire. One day, AI in talent acquisition will be as invisible and seamless as the AI that impacts our personal lives, such as maps, weather predictions, digital assistants, and grammar tools.

4. Companies are taking a recruiter-centric view of tech

The recruiter role is constantly changing, and most of today’s recruiters are responsible for more than just finding and screening applicants. “They’re also responsible for internal mobility, workforce planning, and DEI,” Madeline said. “If they’re spending all their time on administrative tasks, they’re not able to focus on strategic initiatives.”

Aptitude Research uncovered a disconnect between what recruiters need and what HR leaders think they need. “Leaders are giving recruiters systems that don’t necessarily allow them to engage with candidates more effectively,” Madeline said. By understanding recruiters’ work, leaders can better evaluate systems and chose ones that provide user-friendly, efficient experiences.

What, exactly, takes up most of recruiters’ time? According to Aptitude, it’s reviewing applicants (64%), finding applicants (55%), and scheduling interviews (49%). With 51% of recruiters saying they need better tools to automate processes, “There is a shift happening with systems focusing on the recruiter experience side,” Madeline said.

At SmartRecruiters, we’ve taken a holistic approach to user experience by seeking to provide a boundless experience for all users: candidates, recruiters, hiring managers, and admins. Companies can achieve Hiring Without Boundaries™ when they connect to an integrated ecosystem of solutions from a flexible core system. Want to learn more? Click the link below.

Lee Ann Prescott