In talent acquisition, we hear a lot about things like AI, voice activated assistants, and robots. Will recruiters be replaced by AI? Will home voice activated assistants liked Google Home and Alexa become part of our workforce? What jobs are in danger? Providers are talking about it and many talent acquisition leaders are asking for it. I get it. Technology is changing. And we need to keep up and prepare for the future. But in research we did last year, 60% of companies are still confused about AI and its value in recruitment. By focusing so much on the unknown, are we losing sight of the basic challenges with attracting and recruiting talent? Are we losing sight of what really matters?

Recruiters face some serious challenges (improving the candidate experience, attracting talent, hiring quality talent to name a few) and companies need to consider solutions that actually address those challenges. We have become so focused on what’s “new” that we are missing what’s valuable.  What solutions can actually help recruit better? When we ask companies about their top investments and where they see value, this is what they say:

  • Background Screening: It may not seem like the most exciting area of talent acquisition but for many companies it is the most important investment. Many companies have had the same provider longer than they have had their ATS. It is also the top investment with nearly 80% of companies using some type of background screening provider. In 2018, companies need to consider not only what type of screening is important but also what providers that they can trust.
  • Assessments: When using the right provider, assessments can provide tremendous value to talent acquisition by helping organizations improve the quality of hire. The challenge that most companies face is that they have been leveraging very traditional assessments that provide a poor experience for the candidate and take too long to complete. Companies need to consider validated providers that will partner with companies to create a better experience.
  • Online Reference Checks: It is surprising to me that more companies are not investing in providers like SkillSurvey and Checkster. There is tremendous value in online reference checking in reducing time to fill, improving quality of hire, and giving companies an additional talent pool where they can source candidates. These solutions along with background screening and assessments address real challenges in recruitment.
  • Communication Tools: The candidate experience is essentially about communication. Organizations need to give candidates the information they need to feel engaged and prepared. They need to provide more meaningful communication through multiple channels including chat, video, messaging, or event a phone call.
  • Predictive Analytics: I recently moderated a panel with Dr. Anton Smessaert from Visier where every question I have ever had about predictive analytics was answered in 45 minutes. Predictive analytics can help companies understand patterns of data and help guide them to make better decisions about talent. But people need to be the ones to make those decisions. He will explain this much more eloquently than I can but predictive analytics is valuable and you need a provider you can trust.

We are launching our 2018 talent acquisition survey in a few weeks and would love to hear what your priorities are in the next year.