Building a future-proof talent tech stack is challenging in more ways than one.
Our customers, for example, consider which tools play nicely with each other, offer great integrations and complementary features. But as talent leaders, they also need to consider the likelihood that these tools will age well, or will adapt to the changes in the talent market fast enough to enable them to keep attracting top talent.
One change that they pay attention to is acquisitions and consolidation of tools. Interest around this subject was renewed very recently, sparked by Zapinfo announcing their acquisition by Indeed, one of the world’s largest employment-related search engines.
After the acquisition, it appears that the sourcing tool will no longer support exporting candidates from non-Indeed sites. This could be a precursor to changes in the way Zapinfo will be used both by customers and, more significantly, by other technology vendors that integrate with it.
Owning what matters in your talent stack
This type of acquisition will only happen more frequently in the near future. As a talent leader, this means it will be more important than ever for you to decide which functionalities of your talent tech stack you are willing to put at risk, and which ones your team can do without for a short time if necessary.
Some core parts of your talent operating system should be owned by the vendors you work with directly, so that they are securely covered by your contract. Candidate data is arguably a talent team’s most valuable asset, and so the way it is acquired, enriched and accessed is potentially the highest source of risk for your talent hub.
Sourcing, core search, filtering or bulk action CRM capabilities, data management and compliance… all are examples of functionalities that could bring your recruiting operations to an abrupt stop if you do not have access to them anymore.
We invested so much in building the Beamery’s Web Extension despite the existence of alternatives on the market exactly for that reason. Talent teams see a lot of positive impact from the ability to source candidates from any website, social media page or job board, to enrich them automatically, and to add them to pools or automated workflows, all without leaving the extension.
The Beamery extension also allows our customers to source sensitive data securely and in a compliant way, letting them bulk-import multiple contacts into Beamery, and smoothly kicking off the consent collection process without them ever leaving the page.
Recruiting teams consider these types of sourcing workflows and data management functionalities core to their work, and for that reason, they cannot depend on a third-party integration to have access to them.
On the other hand, if scheduling functionalities, chatbots, or even some small parts of marketing automation are temporarily missing, your team can find workarounds, and will not be as severely crippled while you work out replacement solutions.
Your Talent Operations team should be able to identify which of these functionalities have to be locked in place, and which can easily be swapped out. Specifically, it will look at the quality of the integrations, what potential vulnerabilities a new tool can bring to your process, and even the implications on your ownership of your candidate data.
Beyond capabilities: Identifying the right partnerships
Today, it is necessary to work out of a centralized talent data platform in order to offer a competitive candidate experience. The way to mitigate risks around integrations is not to avoid them, but to choose them carefully, by considering more than the technical aspects.
The possible product roadmaps or financial exits planned by the involved parties can influence the future of the integration. If one of the parties is likely to look for an acquirer in the space, then they are a more risky partner than one who is on a clear path to an IPO, for instance.
Similarly, some vendors are backed by a larger parent company, and might have less of a say in their long-term strategic direction than providers who can independently set their own vision.
Building a talent tech stack for the future
As with all business technology markets, the talent acquisition tech space is at a point where incumbents are being challenged by many new and improved solutions, and winners will start to emerge through rapid gains of market share and consolidation.
The ATS market is already headed there, with only three vendors covering 60% of Fortune 500 companies, and all three offering powerful integrations with multiple recruiting tools.
Acquisitions like the Zapinfo one, or the one by Symphony Talent of Smashfly, are only the start. On one hand, talent providers are looking for ways to win more market share, and on the other, customers are gravitating towards talent solutions that enable them to integrate everything with a single source of truth. This means that talent leaders have to build a talent tech stack that will stay relevant throughout these upcoming changes.
Talent teams can’t get away with working with a single vendor for their every need. That is not the best way to future-proof, or mitigate risks, and integrations with third-party providers are therefore inevitable. However, "which integrations" is the key question. TA teams have to make a strategic choice about which functionalities their vendors own.
As the current recruitment landscape continues to change and evolve at a rapid pace, it’s vital that businesses retain the ability to build accurate, rich, and highly usable candidate datasets. A Talent Data Platform at the center of their CRM, integrating with every other recruiting workstream, means they can stay flexible while retaining their core competitive advantage: their relationships with candidates.
The future of work will be managed through these centralized talent hubs, or talent operating systems, where all talent acquisition activities can be managed, and where every tool of the recruiting stack can integrate. By having recruiting activities live in one system for all kinds of specialized users, talent teams have the infrastructure needed for world-class recruiting experiences.