TTL LookBack V2: Amazon’s Head of Talent Acquisition on TA Tech

Welcome to Talent Tech Labs Lookback. We spend a lot of time exploring the Talent Acquisition Ecosystem and Marketplace and while every TTL Trends Report focuses on a different theme, we occasionally like to look back at some of our greatest hits.

How talent acquisition technology will create stronger candidate relationships with the right candidates.

Danielle Monaghan is currently the Head of Talent Acquisition for the Consumer-Division of Amazon.

Recruiters today are burdened with an incredible amount of non-value added work, like scheduling phone interviews, keying candidates into multiple systems, building reports for hiring managers, managing unqualified referrals, creating update mails to candidates, creating the offer letter and managing the signature process, start date and onboarding. In my observation most companies close fewer than 7 in 10 offers, and there is a direct correlation here between burdened recruiters and disengaged candidates. Many recruiters simply don’t have the time to engage deeply with candidates and understand their hot buttons—and ultimately, what it would take to close. In addition, hundreds of thousands of jobs go unfilled each year because recruiters, hiring managers and interview teams simply cannot keep up with hiring demand.

In our v2 Trends Report, @DaniMonaghan of @Amazon shared her insights on the Talent Acquisition Tech. Share on X

With great challenge, comes great opportunity.

While we have seen some interesting developments over the past 10 years, the overall state of technology to support strategic talent acquisition is dismal. This creates some great opportunities to disrupt traditional recruiting by introducing technology as integral to the process, freeing up recruiters to assess and cultivate talent and therefore make more placements.

It has been very exciting to see the latest technology offerings, particularly around sourcing solutions and candidate generation. Helping make the match between candidate and company is a huge value-add for talent acquisition teams, especially in critical hiring areas such as tech, sales, finance, supply chain and marketing, particularly with a diversity focus. But this is not the only area of opportunity; there is a strong need for pre-assessment products, whether code screening or structured pre-interviews, so that recruiters and interview teams can spend time with those candidates most likely to receive and accept an offer.

Getting technical to accelerate the hiring process.

Good recruiters are seen as talent advisors by their clients because they know the availability of top talent, by job family and by geography. Unfortunately, there so few recruiters who have this knowledge and talent network, and searches are often conducted blindly. Imagine technology that will map talent availability by current company, previous company, job title(s), location, geography and school(s) attended. Using this heat map, a recruiter and hiring manager can make some quick decisions on an optimal search strategy and penetrate that market quickly, cutting weeks and even months off a tricky search.

As part of the sourcing strategy, a simple search, with complex machine learning algorithms underlying it, is launched, which then searches profiles and resumes on the web and in the CRM and ATS, ranking the profiles against hires who have been successful at the company in the same job families. Only the cream of the crop rise to the top and the recruiter focuses on a small, qualified subset of prospects to rapidly select finalists. Online assessments and video interviewing assist with prescreening, and the most qualified candidates are invited to interview in person. Even more exciting—assessments and video interviews are so highly calibrated and validated that candidates who score high enough are presented with an offer, sight unseen.

Sound unlikely? It is not—this is the future of recruiting, especially for volume hiring roles, and a handful of innovative companies are already doing this.

What talent acquisition technology would you like to see?

When a few TA friends from companies such as Microsoft, Google, GE and Humana were asked what technology they would like to see built or developed further, the general feedback included wanting:

  1. Intelligent and predictive search capabilities matched to the job and the resume
  2. Improved electronic interviewing integrated with existing systems
  3. Deep analytics and reporting capabilities
  4. Referral optimization
  5. Workforce planning tied to financial modeling so that models (such as charge-backs) can be automated across multiple geographies
  6. Crowdsourcing compensation data
  7. Crowdsourcing recruiting firms and candidates

There is great interest in a robust, fully-integrated dashboard enabling recruiting managers to view (and review) their recruiters and recruiting coordinators against goals such as interviews scheduled, candidate satisfaction, hiring goals, diversity, close rate, level and complexity of jobs, participation in projects and any other goals set for team success. Automated interviewer pre briefs, capturing and tracking interview feedback, and debriefs are also highly ranked.

The wish list is long, but the common theme from talent acquisition leaders is end-to-end automation with human interaction only where it matters most. Get rid of unnecessary human failure points, drive a tight, high-quality process and provide candidates with the right information and superior experience in a very timely manner, enabling companies to hire more, great people, faster. Plus, provide reporting and analytics capabilities that enable status updates, and more importantly, predictive analytics.

For entrepreneurs, they need to continue to innovate and disrupt in this space while making sure products can scale up and scale globally. Target audiences (small, medium, large and multinational) need to be defined and researched according to needs. In doing all of this, you may be surprised what other opportunities you will uncover.

Though it seems there is a lot to be desired, Talent Acquisition Technology is already aiding the process. Danielle Monaghan is optimistic, but longs for tech that can provide end-to-end automation. Don’t create more non-value work for your recruiters and optimize your departments with useful technology. Inspired yet? Want to discover more about investments, HR and talent acquisition? Head over to Talent Tech Labs website to get more industry insight and sign up for our blog. Want to explore more into TTL’s Think Tank and industry research? Download our latest trends reports and while you’re there jump into our series of trends reports covering topics from Real AI, Vendor Marketplace, Employer Branding and more!

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