By Peter Weddle, CEO TAtech
I recently did a browser search on two related terms: “buying talent technology” and “implementing talent technology.” The first term produced 1.8 million more results than the second. And, many of the blog posts, interviews and articles I uncovered about implementing technology also dealt with buying it, so overall, that part of the process – effectively installing TA products – got significantly less attention. The finding wasn’t particularly shocking, but it did underscore a growing problem for recruiting teams.
As I discussed in an earlier post, a TAtech survey taken last year produced an unexpected finding about how employers and their recruiting teams were adjusting to the novel coronavirus pandemic and the economic downturn it had precipitated. They did make cuts in headcount and budgets as in previous recessions, but they were much smaller than in the past and – here’s the most important insight – they were using the money they’re weren’t spending on day-to-day recruiting to invest in upgrading their technology.
Indeed, reports from many TAtech Member organizations indicate that 2020, while definitely challenging, was also a year of solid growth. Employers were much more rigorous in their buying with more recruiting teams using a competitive RFP-based process to select a product and solution provider, but they were signing contracts and bringing new talent technology onboard.
And, there’s the rub. Recruiters understand that bringing a new hire successfully into an organization requires both effective recruiting and effective onboarding. Unfortunately, at least some and maybe even many recruiting teams haven’t made the same connection with their acquisition of talent technology. For it to be successfully installed in an organization, talent technology must also be effectively onboarded. Said another way, integrating a new recruiting product into an organization is every bit as important as buying the right product for the organization.
The Implementation of Talent Technology
Effectively implementing a technology-based talent acquisition product is far from a trivial task. Granted, some products are much larger and more complicated than others, so the size of the challenge does vary. That said, one thing remains true in every product’s acquisition. Only a careful, well thought out approach will ensure an organization maximizes the return it achieves on its technology investment. In essence, effective implementation delivers the value the organization expects and deserves from the acquisition of talent technology.
So, what constitutes “a careful, well thought out approach” to such products?
It begins with understanding the goals of the effort. In most cases, at least in mid-sized and larger organizations, a business case would have been prepared to justify the product’s acquisition. The metrics included in that proposal – the expected improvements it will deliver in the recruiting team as measured by key performance indicators – are the goals of the implementation project. That’s the ROI the organization is seeking.
To achieve those goals, the project must have two elements:
Leadership – an Implementation Project Leader (IPL) with the internal stature, business acumen, recruiting experience, supervisory skills and corporate support to effectively direct all preparations for and the actual execution of the installation of a new technology-based talent acquisition product so that it achieves the goals the organization has set for it.
Methodology – an exhaustive and in-depth blueprint that lays out all of the necessary technical tasks, policy and procedural changes, individual preparations and communications within the organization and between it and the solution provider to install a technology-based talent acquisition product so that its use by recruiters meets or exceeds the organization’s target performance indicators.
Implementing a technology-based talent acquisition product is basically an exercise in building success – for individual recruiters, for the recruiting team and for the organization where they work. It begins with a foundation of appropriate and sustained organizational support and then employs a superstructure of high caliber leadership and a robust methodology to create a new and valued capability measured in individual and team performance enhancements that were not achievable before. When carefully assembled and integrated, these three elements enable HR and Talent Acquisition leaders and professionals to capture the power of technology and apply it to their recruiting activities in a way that leverages their success to advance the success of the organization as well.
Food for Thought,
Peter Weddle is the author or editor of over two dozen books and a former columnist for The Wall Street Journal. He is also the founder and CEO of TAtech: The Association for Talent Acquisition Solutions. You can check out his latest books on Amazon or in the TAtech Bookstore.