Curated Intel from the Talent Tech Industry
December 5-11, 2021:
• Employers plan to increase TA tech spending in 2022, but recruiters feel overlooked in the process;
• HR technology spending – including for TA solutions – rebounds in 2021 and looks to do even better in 2022;
• AI-driven talent engagement and communications platform Sense raises $50M in Series D funding;
• What does it mean for corporate recruiting: 59 million Americans freelanced in the past year, more than one-third of the entire U.S. workforce;
• Thinking about buying another company or considering an acquisition offer – consider the human side of the deal, a new report on PE investments reveals.
• An Outside-the-Box Investment in TA Technology: The TAtech Learning & Certification Program in Talent Technology Implementation Management. The best way to ensure your customers onboard your products effectively, delivering the performance improvements they want and the quality reputation you deserve.
Employers plan to increase TA tech spending in 2022, but recruiters feel overlooked in the process
In talent acquisition, the pace of change has accelerated. Companies are facing new pressures, new priorities, and new challenges when attracting and recruiting talent. With a significant labor shortage and “The Great Resignation”, talent acquisition is more complex than it has ever been. To keep up, companies must rethink their strategies and invest in new technology to support everything from recruitment marketing to onboarding. According to Aptitude Research, 67% of companies have increased their investment in TA tech this year and 73% plan to increase their investment in 2022. But, as companies rush to transform with new technology, many have lost sight of their recruiters, the people doing the actual work. The most critical role in talent acquisition success is too often overlooked in decision making around the future of work. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of recruiters do not believe that leadership understands their role in the organization. As a result, recruiters are feeling overworked and exploring new opportunities.
Soon-to-be-published research report
HR technology spending – including for TA solutions – rebounds in 2021 and looks to do even better in 2022
Employer spending on HR technology this year bounced back after dropping sharply in 2020, according to a recent analysis. Organizations' tech spending is up by 57 percent in 2021 compared with last year and is above the totals from recent pre-pandemic years as well. Madeline Laurano, who studies the talent acquisition technology landscape, said spending on recruiting solutions also accelerated in 2021. "Spending on TA [talent acquisition] tech had been on the rise previously, but during the pandemic, 62 percent of companies increased their investment," she said. "I expect that to continue in 2022." Laurano, founder of Aptitude Research, an analyst and advisory firm in Boston, said employers have especially shown interest in replacing their applicant tracking system and candidate relationship management platform. "Maybe they had a little time in 2020 to rethink their technology options, then hiring ramped up in 2021, driving the need for new systems," she said. "Increased turnover on TA teams—especially TA leaders—may have also contributed to the uptick, because new leadership often wants to build their own tech stack."
AI-driven talent engagement and communications platform Sense raises $50M in Series D funding
Sense, a market leader in AI-driven talent engagement and communication platform solutions for recruiting, today announced $50 million in Series D funding led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. To date, Sense has secured a total of $90 million in funding. Amid today's hyper-competitive hiring market where blue- and gray-collar workers are leaving jobs in record numbers, companies cannot accomplish their hiring goals without targeted investment in automation and AI to speed the recruiting process while infusing personalization into it. This tailwind has helped Sense gain traction across more than 600 customers. As the leader in talent engagement, Sense achieved a record year of business growth, more than doubling company revenue; doubling employee headcount; boosting enterprise deal size by 70%; and achieving a net retention rate exceeding 130%. With this new funding, Sense will continue to ramp up its go-to-market strategy and increase awareness with companies that hire at scale across rapidly growing industries including healthcare, manufacturing, logistics and retail. In addition, Sense will begin investing in international expansion especially focused in high-growth regions like Western Europe.
What does it mean for corporate recruiting: 59 million Americans freelanced in the past year, more than one-third of the entire U.S. workforce
Upwork released the results of “Freelance Forward: 2021,” a comprehensive study of the independent workforce here in the U.S., which found that 59 million Americans performed freelance work in the past 12 months, representing 36% - or more than one-third - of the entire U.S. workforce. The study found American freelancers contributed $1.3 trillion in annual earnings to the U.S. economy, $100 million more than in 2020. This growth was driven by an increase in the number of highly skilled, remote freelancers that left full time employment for flexible work alternatives. At the same time, there was a notable decline in temporary workers and a rise in all other types of freelancing combined. They surveyed more than 6,000 U.S. workers over the age of 18.
Thinking about buying another company or considering an acquisition offer – consider the human side of the deal, a new report on PE investments reveals
The importance of culture and its impact on private equity strategy and returns has been a growing development over the past few years. As PE investment returns have lagged behind those of the stock market in the U.S., firms are feeling pressure to improve and deliver stronger results. “This fact combined with some high-profile private company debacles, in large part due to cultural toxicity and leadership miscues, underscores the urgent need for PE sponsors and portfolio companies to prioritize a focus on culture,” said Rob Andrews of Allen Austin in a new report on the subject. The survey found that PE firms and portfolio companies rated human capital, a key component of culture, as the top factor in predicting the success or failure of a PE investment. In addition, survey respondents in both groups – private equity investors as well as operating CEOs – chose “senior leadership team alignment” and “talent management” as leading factors in value creation.
An Outside-the-Box Investment in TA technology: The TAtech Learning & Certification Program in Talent Technology Implementation Management
Who gets blamed when a talent technology solution doesn’t live up to customer expectations? The solution provider, of course. Yet, research shows that the vast majority of such shortcomings are caused not by the product or its developer but by inadequate implementation by the buyer. To put it bluntly, most technology consumers lack the skills and knowledge to bring such products onboard, no matter how robust the provider’s own implementation support may be. What’s the solution? Educate your customer. Position your company as an implementation partner with its customers and enroll them in the TAtech Learning & Certification Program in Talent Technology Implementation Management. Your investment will be small and the ROI will be huge, both in customer success stories and your brand’s reputation.