The release of our annual RecTech Hype Cycle is an event we’ve come to look forward to every year. In many ways, the global transformations occurring since last March are what make this Hype Cycle that much more interesting. We’re increasingly focused on the rapidly changing market demands and how they affect the rate of adoption of recruitment technology.
As we prepare to release the results of this Hype Cycle, we find ourselves asking: What challenges exist that weren’t there before? How about ones that have become more relevant? Less relevant?
These questions can help us understand which technologies are likeliest to move from the Slope of Enlightenment to the Plateau of Productivity — that is, accelerate in terms of adoption. The truth is, many recruitment tech startups may have conceptual ideas of using promising technologies but haven’t yet hit their stride in product-market fit. If they aren’t making money, this puts their customers at risk for adopting tech that may disappear faster than it came.
Here’s a quick glance at some of the challenging market trends we’ve seen skyrocket in the face of 2020’s twists and turns, which included pandemic health and safety, lockdowns, unemployment and global awareness and efforts to combat systemic racism.
There are more job seekers than open positions.
With much of the world cycling through lockdowns, businesses have downsized and shut their doors, causing unemployment rates to soar. Naturally, this puts jobseekers in a more challenging position. The application-to-job opening ratio is sky high. Any automated recruitment tech — including video screening assessment software, chatbots and virtual assistants — may help organizations to manage this high volume of applicants.
That being said, companies can’t automate everything. It’s tempting to think about building a technology wall to sift through high volumes of applications, but hiring teams must remain nimble and keep a fast lane process for in-demand profiles.
Diversity and inclusion are at the forefront.
Major efforts around the globe have aimed to shed light on minority underrepresentation in crucial roles. While many employers are wanting to tackle diversity, their real work lies not in fixing the issue with tech, but in creating more inclusive practices at the core of the organization.
Instead of turning to biased facial recognition tech to potentially solve diversity in hiring issues, it may be more helpful to look at tech for remote recruitment that promotes inclusivity — such as programmatic adtech, job description analyzers and talent marketing analytics.
IT is increasingly owning the wallet.
While talent acquisition teams have historically made purchasing decisions for recruitment tech, this task is increasingly falling into the hands of IT departments. But what does this mean for organizations and the way they adopt tech? Essentially, budget planning and decision-making for recruitment marketing is now influenced by a group that may not be educated about it. But even more than that: IT also has different priorities for tech adoption. Integration capabilities and technical maturity of solutions play a huge role in convincing IT to adopt, as they need to be able to demonstrate tech mastery, data protection and SOC2 compliance.
Recruiters are doing more with less money.
On downsized or scrappy HR teams, recruitment marketers and recruiters may be one and the same. Recruiters must be able to target the largest number of best-fit candidates and guide them through the application funnel with as much automation as possible, so they can then focus on making the final hires. Tech that’s most helpful to them involves automation, integration capabilities and efficiency — three areas that should always be guideposts when looking at investment in recruitment technology.
Another consequence of smaller budgets is that recruiters are focusing more on internal mobility and employee referrals. Platforms that address these areas are likely to see a surge in activity.
The bottom line: 2020 brought plenty of unique recruitment challenges, and the market is still learning how to address them through technology. For those looking to invest in new tech, it’s worth it to take a look at what’s happening overall to make sound decisions for the years to come.
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