Why Talent Technology Needs Its Own Tech Stack

The urgency for talent technology to have its own tech stack is greater than ever today. This article was originally published in May 2019 and we have updated it to surface current pressing details. More relevant statistics and talent management has been added to the original article.

When working with our corporate members, it’s clear just how pervasive the idea that HR and talent technology are synonymous is. Whether it be talent acquisition or talent management, many working professionals seem to think that their HR tech stack solves the needs of their TA/TM teams, but this is not the case. Talent leaders are constantly asking to use their analyst hours from TTL to help convince their CIO, CFO, and CHRO that they don’t need to be a tacked-on subsidiary of HR.

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

HR ≠ Talent Technology

Since the dawn of time, or at least the 90s, HR has just assumed it was the overseer of recruitment, talent acquisition, and talent management. However, as these disciplines have grown and their tools and responsibilities have expanded, they’ve become increasingly different.

#HR, #talentacquisition, and #talentmanagement do not do the same job, so why are many using the same #tech? Find out from @TalentTechLabs why talent tech deserves its own tech stack: Share on X

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.

On the other hand, talent management refers to the upskilling, support, development, and retention of current employees. Again, much like talent acquisition, it can incorrectly fall under the umbrella of HR because of its huge impact on employee retention.

When it comes to HR, much of the designated responsibilities fall within the realm of human resource management. Some tasks include managing employment, ensuring compliance with labor laws and employment standards, administration of employee benefits, and, in some cases, certain aspects of recruitment. 

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

HR and Talent Technology Move at Different Speeds

While HR isn’t slow-moving per se, it tends to be less reactive than talent acquisition and talent management. There are aspects of immediacy that impact talent acquisition and talent management (and the technology it needs to do its job) that don’t always flow over into HR. The negative impact of technology that’s built for one skill set and being shoehorned to fit another, at the very least, wastes valuable time.

Many talent 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, talent acquisition and talent management need more powerful software than a typical HRIS can provide. Often, HR and the CIO will agree on a large system and push the talent department to use the ‘included recruiting module.’ This is not a good fit since it limits the additional solutions the talent department can integrate and slows down progress and innovation in recruitment and hiring.

For example, perhaps a talent leader wants to implement a chatbot on the career site to screen more candidates effectively without increasing recruitment hours. It 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 talent 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 talent team.

When talent technology attempts to overlay its processes on a system not expressly built for that purpose, a myriad of unintended consequences can arise. Learn more from @TalentTechLabs: Share on X

That’s ONE very small example. There are hundreds of point solutions in the talent ecosystem that talent 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 talent leaders know this.

HR Tech Isn’t (Usually) Built for TA/TM

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 and talent management attempt 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 talent productivity.

When you explain how much longer it takes for a talent 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 likely to invest 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 the entire talent technology continuum for years. Check out our Talent Tech Labs Ecosystem here and even grab a free download. To learn more about how TTL can advise you on which tools and technologies will work best for you now and in the future, reach out to us today.