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Incomparable Insights at TAtech Europe

By Peter Weddle, CEO TAtech

A stellar group of speakers and panelists at TAtech Europe & The EMEA job Board Forum last week provided what can only be described as “incomparable insights” for job board and talent technology company leaders.

David Wilson, the CEO of Fosway Group, kicked things off with our Opening Keynote and I’d like to focus this post on the research his company is just now releasing. To see the slides from his presentation, visit the Conference Content page at

When asked what were their most significant business challenges, a whopping 73 percent of corporate execs cited the “availability of skills” as their major challenge, more than those who cited “increasing organisational performance & profitability” (64 percent) or “reducing operational costs” (34 percent).

It’s ironic, therefore, that when HR organizations were asked to identify their top priorities, “resolving talent shortages” was way down the list at #11 (out of 14) and cited by just 20 percent of the respondents. No wonder HR leaders are still fighting for a seat at the table!

There is good news, however. Despite the fact that more than 60 percent of HR respondents said they were facing some level of economic pressure on their budgets, almost an equal number said they planned to increase their spending on HR technology & innovation.

And, when asked where they intended to make those investments over the next two years, “talent acquisition” came in at #3, just behind “talent mobility & career opportunities” and “employee engagement.”

Of course, no HR research would be complete these days without addressing AI in general and generative AI in particular. And, no surprise: only 5 percent of the execs in the Fosway research said AI would have little impact on their business and 0 percent thought it would have no impact. In addition, only 8 percent said they do not expect to expand their use of AI going forward.

So, where are corporations using AI in talent acquisition right now? The top five responses were:
• Candidate matching
• Interview scheduling
• Asynchronous video interviewing
• Candidate pre-screening
• Candidate filtering

Interesting enough, however, respondents identified the following applications as the five most effective (in rank order):
• Candidate pre-screening
• Candidate matching
• Candidate filtering
• Job ad text review & improvement
• Candidate pipeline building (tie)
• Career site chatbot (tie)

And finally, here’s how David summarized the findings from Fosway’s research:
• Economic drivers impact the market, accelerating consolidation
• HCM growth in TA is significant, and still threatens TA Suites BUT think Ecosystem, not System!
• AI (esp. Gen AI) is having a massive impact on HCM and TA roadmaps and starting to impact corporate decisions too
• Gen AI in HR & TA is still more market hype than reality
• HR & TA buyers are nervous and lack AI skills, but expect business to adopt ‘AI for work’ quite quickly … HR will lag (again)

What does all this mean for job boards and talent technology companies? Here’s my take:
• First, the year ahead has significant upside potential both for sourcing solutions (i.e., job boards) and for solutions that can improve recruiter performance and productivity (i.e., talent technology companies).
• Second, best of breed solutions will continue to see opportunities in the marketplace, but employers are increasingly looking for companies that can offer a range of products and/or services, either as a single integrated solution or through pre-established partnerships.
• And third, the industry will face challenges from at least two directions: pressure from IT departments to downsize applications in the corporate tech stack, making it harder to rationalize the addition of new solutions; and competition from HCM companies who see talent acquisition as a growth opportunity for themselves, either through company acquisitions or internal development.

Food for Thought,

Peter Weddle has authored or edited over two dozen books and been a columnist for The Wall Street Journal. He is the founder and CEO of TAtech: The Association for Talent Acquisition Solutions.