Why Talent Acquisition Deserves Its Own Tech Stack

Can you believe it’s nearly 2020 and we’re still talking about TA getting its own technology stack? Believe it. In our work with our corporate members, especially, we see just how pervasive the idea that HR and TA are synonymous really is. Talent Acquisition leaders are constantly asking to use their analyst hours from TTL to help convince their CIO, CFO, and CHRO they don’t need to be a tacked-on subsidiary of HR.

If you’re reading this article, you probably agree that TA should be technology independent or at least interdependent with the tools and technology they need to get their unique work done. Let’s look at some of the reasons Talent Acquisition needs its own technology stack:

HR Does Not = TA

Since time immemorial, or at least the 90s, HR has just assumed it was the overseer of recruitment and Talent Acquisition. However, as the two disciplines have grown from their common ancestor personnel, they’ve become increasingly different.

#HR and TA do not do the same job, so why are many using the same #tech? Find out from @TalentTechLabs why TA deserves its own tech stack: Click To Tweet

Talent Acquisition is largely the organizational task of finding the right person for the job. In a corporate setting, it’s sometimes placed under the Human Resources umbrella, and includes sourcing, attracting, interviewing, hiring, and onboarding employees. However, it also includes some areas that can overlap with HR like succession planning, contributing to and creating competitive compensation models, tapping leaders or executives, and assisting with long-term human resources planning.

A Human Resources department performs human resource management, various aspects of employment, such as compliance with labor law and employment standards, administration of employee benefits, and some aspects of recruitment.

So while it’s tempting to think these two departments are twins, they’re pretty dissimilar in function, down to even the types of people who tend to work in either area.

HR and TA Move at Different Speeds

While HR isn’t slow-moving per se, it does tend to be less reactive than Talent Acquisition in nature. There are aspects of immediacy that impact TA (and the technology it needs to do its job) that don’t always flow over into HR. The impact of technology that’s built for one skillset and being shoehorned to fit another, at the very least, wastes valuable time.

When Talent Acquisition attempts to overlay their processes on a system not expressly built for that purpose, a myriad of unintended consequences can arise.

Many Talent Acquisition professionals are held to metrics based on time; like Time to Fill, Time to Interview, Offer to Acceptance Ratio and New Hire Fail or Ghost Rate, to name a few. While HR has its own time-based metrics, they tend to be based more on employees already in the organization, thus slightly easier to control.

Hiring Well Requires Deeper Functionality

Plainly put, TA needs more powerful hiring software than a typical HRIS can provide. Often, HR and the CIO will agree on a large system and push the TA department to use the ‘included recruiting module’. Even more often, this is not a good fit, since it limits the additional solutions the TA department can integrate and slows down progress and innovation in recruitment and hiring.

For example, perhaps a TA leader wants to implement a chatbot on the career site to screen more candidates effectively without increasing recruitment hours. Should be a pretty simple point solution to get approved and implemented right?

Not so fast.

While the chatbot is easy to install and works well with candidates, the IT department informs our TA leader that it’s not saving any of the captured information, rendering the chatbot useless for its original intended purpose and creating more work for the TA team.

When #TalentAcquisition attempts to overlay their processes on a system not expressly built for that purpose, a myriad of unintended consequences can arise. Learn more: Click To Tweet

That’s ONE very small example, there are hundreds of point solutions in the TA ecosystem that TA executives want and NEED to implement into their sourcing, recruiting, hiring, and onboarding processes. From assessments and SMS candidate updates to CRMs and interview management platforms, there are a lot of disparate tools that make up a best-in-class candidate experience. Smart TA Leaders know this.

HRTech Isn’t (Usually) Built for TA

With few exceptions, HRTech is built for HR (sometimes a TA-focused ATS will expand outward and create an HRIS-lite system but this is rare). When Talent Acquisition attempts to overlay their processes on a system not expressly built for that purpose, a myriad of unintended consequences can arise, from poor candidate experience to decreased recruiter and TA productivity.

There are aspects of immediacy that impact TA (and the technology it needs to do its job) that don’t always flow over into #HR.

When you explain how much longer it takes for a TA leader and their team to work their magic with HR technology, most CFOs understand how much money they’re likely losing by insisting on a one-size-fits-all approach. In addition, in a fiercely competitive hiring environment, many companies are investing even more heavily in employer brand and candidate experience. Those investments are unlikely to bear any measurable results if they can’t integrate with the HRIS that has “some” ATS capabilities. Don’t allow your tech stack to be an afterthought!

Talent Tech Labs has been studying, tracking, and building a taxonomy around Talent Acquisition for years. Check out our Talent Tech Labs Ecosystem here and even grab a free download. Want even more customized assistance? Become a TTL member and receive exclusive research, access to our peer community, and join us for invite-only events. Talent Tech Labs provides the data-driven advice and tools your company needs to have the most innovative talent acquisition function. Connect with us or call us at +1 (646) 300-7060.