Aptitude research shares that 70% of enterprises are investing in Recruitment Marketing this year alone.
We invited Kelly Cartwright, Head of Talent Acquisition Technology Strategy at Amazon Web Services, and Madeline Laurano, founder at Aptitude Research, to discuss this area of talent acquisition, and especially all the misunderstandings surrounding this still growing market in one of our recent webinars.
Identifying the talent acquisition gaps
According to Madeline Laurano from Aptitude Research, there are clear signs that many enterprises are at a point where new infrastructure and processes are needed to improve talent acquisition operations:
- 1 in 4 companies have no plans for digital transformation, despite transformation being a strategic priority for many of these organizations.
- 1 in 2 companies state that engineering roles are the hardest roles to fill.
- Only 50% of companies are measuring the ROI on their talent acquisition investment. Without that measurement, it is impossible to make a solid case for choosing the right technology solutions moving forward.
These three statements all point towards the same issue: talent teams are still operating in the past, despite the availability of new technologies and the pressing need for adaptation and transformation.
This gap is not specific to a few laggards; it exists in most companies, and identifying the shape and form it takes in a specific organization is the first step toward efficient change. For example, 1 in 2 companies believe that candidates make the decision to go for an employer before they even apply for a job, so controlling the part of the journey that happens before the application is clearly crucial.
However, it is important to pinpoint exactly where and how this candidate journey breaks for your organization before you start looking into tools to manage it better.
Why companies are focusing on recruitment marketing
Recruitment marketing and CRM tools are not the only technology being advocated as the way for transformation for talent leaders, and yet, it has become a target for investments this year.
There are a few factors behind that trend.
First, the labor market itself is pushing for better talent attraction and engagement. Competition for top talent is always high, but in the last few years, it has intensified.
Second, the demographic of this talent market, the expectations that these candidates have and the way they are used to interacting with companies makes it imperative to give them the self-guided journey they want. With social media, the democratization of information, and the reliance on research and preparation, companies have to make it possible for candidates to learn as much as they can about a company before applying.
The last factor is both a driver and a consequence. New technology becomes available, and talent leaders find a way to use it to become more competitive, which in turn prompts more talent leaders to look for the same advantage and more vendors to try to answer that need.
Because of this cycle, it is possible to create experiences that are so targeted and personalized, so focused on delivering the exact right experience to customers and candidates today, and at such scale, that talent leaders are forced to start looking into these technologies, or risk being left behind by more proactive competitors.
How talent leaders should choose the right recruitment marketing technology
Only 2% of companies use all the functionalities in their recruitment marketing program. This means two things for talent leaders hunting for a new technology. First, it’s very unlikely that the platform will be a perfect fit in every aspect. In fact, if it fits your existing processes too much, you are probably missing out on an opportunity for growth and change.
Second, it’s easy to invest in a technology that will end up not benefiting your team. For that reason, the recruitment marketing technology selection process process much be approached carefully.
According to Kelly Cartwright, talent leaders should consider the 4 following criteria when making a decision:
The talent team should look into the partner, the provider of this technology just as much as the technology itself. It’s important to ask about their financial health, their product roadmap, the capabilities they plan to invest in. It’s also important to get to know the leadership team and understand how willing they are to work together with the talent team to deliver on the desired talent acquisition objectives. The criteria here really is whether the partner is a good cultural fit.
Investigating expertise is usually achieved through a good demo process. The talent team should of course look very carefully at the recruitment marketing capabilities of the technology, but the CRM capabilities are no less important. Some people tend to quickly go through them because the CRM component has been available in the market for a bit more time, but quality candidate data management is at the root of any effective recruitment marketing strategy, and so the CRM capabilities still need careful examination.
Getting references from other happy customers is usually a good idea before investing in a new technology. It’s proof that the provider has delivered on their promises before, and has the experience to work with your company.
Experience must not be conflated with number of years in the space, however. In many case, a mature provider might be less willing to invest in R&D or to push new features, and could be a bad fit.
This goes back to the importance of implementation even before buying a solution. Implementation can make or break even the best technology, which is why it is a good idea to find out what kind of solution design, training, configuration and implementation rollouts, and success and support programs the provider can offer.
Recruitment marketing technology selection is a tricky process and must be approached systematically, with a defined framework. Talent leaders must be aware of the current gap between recruitment marketing technology, and the capabilities of their recruiting teams, for example.
However, the upfront planning and research are worth the investment, as the right partner, with the right platform, can be a gamechanger for the enterprise, and help the talent team consistently attract, engage, and retain the best talent for their business.
This blogpost addressed the second part of the insights that Madeline and Kelly shared on our webinar “Selecting the right Recruitment Marketing Technology for your Business”. You can see the recording of the full session below.