Candidate Experience

Working with IT to Transform your Talent Acquisition Function

In 10 years, half of the S&P 500 companies will have been replaced.

At least, that is what should happen if they continue churning at their current speed, and it’s hard to see the pace of the global business environment slowing in any way in the near future.

Even if you’re a market leader today, you need to find ways to adapt to this changing environment just to stay relevant in the next few years. CEOs know this, which is why the topic of transformation is so dear to their heart, and why as a talent leader, you should be exploring ways to work differently within the wider business.

Why talent transformation is inevitable

CEOs are also paying more attention to their talent acquisition leaders, or at the very least, they should be. A great place to start transforming as a business is to increase the reach and scope of the talent acquisition function, and to establish new ways to collaborate between talent and other areas of the business.

Embrace this wider scope of responsibility. Take a wider look at the business so that you are able, as a talent leader, to deliver on those new expectations. Many companies are dramatically changing how they think about talent at the highest levels of leadership, and you need to be at the forefront of those changes, with new organizational designs and operating models, but also new pathways for internal collaboration–specifically with IT.

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Where TA and IT align to create business value

Talent and IT teams mostly find themselves working together when implementing a new technology with a complex rollout plan spanning different teams in separate locations. These complex implementations have a high risk of failure, and it makes sense to ask IT for their support through the process. However, there is strategic value in establishing more permanent ways of working between the two organizations, beyond buying and implementing new technology.

A growing number of enterprises’ talent teams have established productive working relationships with their IT counterparts, in one of the two following ways:

  • Forming decentralized teams with IT capabilities attached to talent acquisition
  • Building an iterative mindset in talent acquisition

The foundations of a productive TA/IT relationship

The CIO of a large enterprise usually cares most about the following priorities, and how each of them can help the larger business reach its goals:

Data privacy and security

A CIO aims to ensure compliance with regulations like GDPR and CCPA, and works to protect company data from unauthorized access. But beyond compliance and security, the mark of a high-performing IT organization is its ability to give every other part of the business a better understanding of its data: where it sits, how to keep it up to date, how to control access to it as needed, and how to leverage it to create value for the company.

Data-driven enterprise

Today, any large enterprise collects a large amount of data, from sales data and market insights to manufacturing and production performance. However, only a small part of it is used to derive any sort of insight, mostly because it is collected by separate organizations within the company and sits in silos.

Without context, the IT department cannot leverage data to create value for the company, and so it aims to make that information clean, usable, and easy to find for any team in the company. This empowers the whole business to become analytics-driven.

Digital transformation

Digital transformation is on the agenda of most CEOs today, and so CIOs spend a lot of time thinking about it as well. This includes keeping up with automation and machine learning, IoT, cloud-based operations, and other shiny new business technologies, as well as having a deep understanding of the data available throughout the organization.

The biggest challenge it presents, however, is not technical—for most CIOs, it is the necessary collaboration with other departments to implement any digital transformation initiative that poses the highest risks of failure.

With a permanent and productive relationship in place, both IT and talent acquisition can help the business achieve these objectives faster.

The talent team can gain a better understanding of the flow of candidate data in HR systems, and can apply contextual talent knowledge that the IT team lacks to create value for the company.

Talent leaders can suggest small adjustments to recruiting processes that may have a disproportionate impact on the ability to connect different tools and platforms, as well as significantly facilitate operations and data flow. As they work more closely with their IT counterparts, talent acquisition professionals will pick up more data analysis skills and bring the company closer to its digitization objectives.

Becoming a data-first talent organization

A data-first organization is one that relies on data to make decisions and drive growth. There is an assumption behind that definition that the hardest part of being data-driven is the analytical work of drawing actionable insights from data.

However, the challenge for talent teams who have less experienced with sophisticated data management lies more often in knowing where the data lives, and how to collect it and move it around cleanly and efficiently.

Partnering efficiently with IT enables these teams to set up the right infrastructure for good data federation, and learn good data collection and management practices.

Building an agile mindset in talent acquisition

Software engineering teams have a prevailing test-and-learn culture in every aspect of their work. They also tend to operate in a much more agile structures, accepting that with each new project, there will be a reshuffling of skills and teams, and a stretching of their current capabilities.

This culture, when applied to other areas of the business, makes teams more adaptable to change and more comfortable with risk, which is an advantage for a company looking to fundamentally transform and stay ahead of the competition.

Talent leaders can build agile teams composed of both IT and talent acquisition team members to ensure that there are technical skills that are permanently available to the talent acquisition function.

With these teams in place, future talent initiatives will be designed with an eye for technical capabilities and limitations right from the start. Execution will be faster and smoother, with less reliance on outside support. Both of these changes fall under digitization efforts, and lead to the talent acquisition team becoming more comfortable using advanced tools to improve its operations.

Talent leaders can also encourage a more iterative mindset within the TA organization. The easiest way is to identify areas of talent acquisition operations that lend themselves to easy experiments with iteration and testing, and incentivize team members to experiment and test with every step of the recruiting process.


TA leaders have a challenge to meet. CEOs are aware that they can create a lot of value for their companies by “cracking” talent attraction and retention, and they need talent leaders who can explore new approaches to talent acquisition for them.

By partnering with IT and pushing for transformation inside the talent function, TA leaders are doing exactly that. They are changing the way they achieve their core goal, and becoming better at attracting and retaining the best talent for their business.


Selecting the Right Recruitment Marketing Technology for your Business

According to Aptitude Research, over 70% of enterprise organizations are investing in recruitment marketing capabilities this year. In order to help with this process, Kelly Cartwright, head of Talent Acquisition Technology Strategy at Amazon Web Services, and Madeline Laurano, founder of Aptitude Research, joined us to discuss some of the latest trends in recruitment marketing, and shared key recommendations for evaluating providers in a Beamery webinar.

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