Updated: Dec 16, 2020
We are not here to look at different software tools that are available in the market, but how to build a talent technology platform that will serve your purpose.
“The goal is to build a personalised customer experience for the candidate. That means easy access, simple communication and quick follow-up,” Rachel Russell – Allegis Group.
With minimal entry barriers, the HR Tech industry is projected to be at around USD 148 billion. There are about 3000+ HR tech companies making things a bit difficult and confusing for you to choose when it is time to buy one.
The choices that you make will have a profound impact on your capability to deliver not just today but also in the near future. There are a few things you want to consider before you start investing.
We will look at
What is your talent strategy?
Technology adoption depends on your TA function’s vision.
Having a clear vision statement aligned with your HR and organisational vision is probably the first step towards building a high impact talent function enabled through technology.
Once you have defined the vision, then having a clear strategy helps you to achieve it.
How far will your current tech be able to support your vision? Are you going to deliver a seamless experience and to what degree, should the platform be high touch or high tech, how should the analytics and reporting look like, what value does a particular system deliver to your candidates or hiring managers? These are some questions that you might want to answer before investing in tech.
Tech as enablers
In his book Great By Choice, Jim Collins says organisations should not follow technology blindly, however, identify the right technology that will increase their momentum.
That holds valid not just for the business but also for Talent. With the talent technology landscape changing so fast, you need to agree on the right technology that you need.
The right technology is one that can accelerate you towards your vision and at the same time, deliver value to your candidates and hiring managers.
A seamless experience
A seamless experience helps consistently deliver positive experiences across all channels, online and offline for your candidate that includes handover points like TA to HM or a TA to HR or any other.
Your candidate journey map and the subsequent service blueprints should help you identify critical drop off points. A drop off point is the gap that you see between the candidate’s expectation and your current service delivery.
High-Touch or High-Tech Platform
As we design the employee experience, it’s so important to decide when an activity should be done by a lovely warm human being, or when it is better to automate it. Get this wrong, and the impact on retention and productivity is massive
Andrew Spence, HR transformation director, Glass Bead Consulting, The People Space, May 2017
I think the answer to this question depends on the scale of operations and the touchpoints you have in your candidate journey. The more touchpoints you have, the better it is to automate the process.
High-tech services, such as chatbots, allow candidates to get what they want on-demand. A
High-touch service requires recruiter intervention at most touchpoints. Finding a balance is crucial, and maybe a question that you might want to ask yourself is “Does this tech deliver significant value to my candidate?”.
The decision to build either type of platform will impact not just the experience but also your tech architecture.
“As an architect, you design for the present, with an awareness of the past, for a future which is essentially unknown.” – Norman Foster
Designing a tech platform for TA is like any other tech platform used in your business. Have a clear understanding of how your company operates and what it needs now and in the near term. You might foresee candidates using Alexa or Google Assistant to search for jobs, or AR as a solution to your assessment centre challenges.
A recent survey in LinkedIn indicated over 60% of respondents saying AR/VR would play a significant role in their recruitment process in the next 3 – 5 years. Now the question is, does your tech architecture support the new tech in a way that the output information is seamlessly available across other systems where it is required.
Though as an HR/TA professional, you are not required to be an expert in IT architecture, having some understanding helps. The Open Group Architecture Framework can be a great tool. I have tried to keep it brief.
Business architecture, at its core, is understanding your processes, the players, functions etc.
Complexity is dependent on the organisation structure. Every BU could be at a different maturity level, and hence the processes could change.
It is essential to have a clear understanding of how your business operates, which is critical to a successful implementation of any system or platform
You could be using multiple systems to support you at every stage, sourcing tools, CRM, Chatbots, referral tools and sometimes even onboarding systems. Now you need to understand how these systems communicate with each other.
This architecture defines how applications should interact with each other: the various applications that you use, the database and middleware. The application architecture should support your business architecture
This is your tech stack, the various software applications/systems that you use at different stages. Your organisational capability and budgets usually determine the decision to buy or build a particular technology.
A complex tech stack is going to bring its own challenges, which is the reason for you to address the High-Tech High-Touch question at the beginning.
70% of new products will need integration. Ensuring a great integration ecosystem is an essential factor while looking for your next tech.
“The world is one big data problem.” – by Andrew McAfee, co-director of the MIT Initiative
It is basically the models and governance on how data is collected, stored, processed, and utilised.
The front end is everything that your candidate sees.
When you go shopping for applications or building one, it is essential for you to to ensure that it has a great UI (User Interface)
A great UI -
1. Helps you achieve what you want to do with lesser effort
2. Supports cross-platform by being responsive.
3. Should be simplistic – focusing on functionality over features
4. Should be uncluttered and aesthetically pleasing
UI and UX are sometimes interchangeably used, but these are 2 very different things. Though UI contributes to UX (User Experience), UX applies to the whole product or service.
Let’s say you are designing your referral site. Define what is going to be its core functionality and build other features around it. This again is more a strategy question.
When you own a careers website, the next question that rise is the CMS. When you want an omnichannel experience, you need to ensure that your content is brand-aligned across all devices and the language is consistent.
You might want to check with your content marketing team, they might already have a CMS.
Marketing & Analytics tools
Sounds cliched, but the line between recruitment and marketing is fast blurring. As organisations invest heavily on the initial phase of the candidate journey, the role of the recruiter should be able to complement it. In my previous post, we looked at the need for recruiters to be good storytellers, but just that is not going to be enough. We will investigate this further in my next post in the series.
From a tech perspective, though think about integrating marketing and analytics tools like Hootsuite, Zapier, Google Analytics, Power BI etc. into your architecture.
As HR/TA professionals, it is essential to have an understanding of how our technology actually works, so you can build a platform that serves your purpose well. Giving it a clear thought and taking a holistic approach will help you save a lot of time and money.