One strong sign of the economic recovery as manifested in the human capital management market is the recent spate of announcements of new recruiting applications from software companies that are not always considered for recruiting. Here are some of them. Ultimate Software announced the launch of UltiPro Recruiting. Saba Recently announced the release of Recruiting@Work. Workday announced the upcoming release of Workday Recruiting. And Ceridian announced release a recruiting application on its Dayforce platform scheduled for the first quarter of this year, which I covered. These recent investments by vendors in recruiting applications, as well as others I discussed after the most recent HR Technology Conference, demonstrate the increased emphasis on recruiting to support talent and workforce management processes in human capital management (HCM).
Analyzing the way most vendors are bringing these new recruiting applications to market reveals some trends: Most are being positioned as part of a larger platform; they are focused on usability in new ways; and they include social and collaborative functionality. In our benchmark research on business technology innovation usability is the top technology selection criterion: About two-thirds (64%) of participants said it is important. Vendors focusing on this seem to have gotten the message that users want software to accommodate the way the work, not vice versa as in the past. Adding next-generation capabilities for social and business collaboration and mobility aligns well with trends I identified in my HCM research agenda for 2014 and will follow during the year.
Let’s take a closer look at these trends. First, positioning them as add-on applications to be sold to the vendor’s existing customers makes the value of the recruiting application as much about its capabilities within the larger suite as about its stand-alone capabilities. For vendors such as Saba, which has a well-developed learning management product, this creates the value proposition of helping speed time to productivity by improving the process from recruitment to learning. Vendors that have a fully functional HRMS, such as Ceridian, Ultimate and Workday, can promote the value of streamlining onboarding and having a single employee record common to all the HCM modules.
Second is the movement to increased usability, in particular focusing the user experience not just on recruiters but also on candidates and hiring managers. For example, Ultimate’s UltiPro Recruiting provides application tools to help candidates provide references and other information about themselves. As well as speeding up the process of collecting information, the objective here is to improve the employer’s brand by making the candidate’s experience more welcoming.
The third trend is to include next-generation technology capabilities in the applications. Workday, for example, says that Workday Recruiting will be designed from the start to run on mobile devices. For social capabilities Saba users can post to LinkedIn, and using Ultimate candidates can apply through LinkedIn. Both vendors also include internal business collaboration features to improve efficiency. Saba’s Recruiting@Work helps interviewers’ rate candidates and share comments about them in a simple form that aggregates the comments and displays them in a matrix so employers can visualize which candidates are the best fit. Overall, use of social networking and collaboration in recruiting are being driven by measures such as quality of hire and cultural fit, and Saba offers new capabilities here.
For the many organizations today that already have a recruiting application in place, the choice is between staying with that best-of-breed approach and consolidating applications behind fewer vendors or just one. This already is a trend in HCM. For businesses it is a means to simplify their internal support and negotiate better terms with the vendors they keep; on the other hand it can come at the cost of important functionality if the new vendor cannot provide best-of-breed capabilities. In the recruiting market, many vendors offer applicant tracking capabilities, for example, but most products lack some of the advanced capabilities in the best stand-alone applications, such as embedded video interviewing, recruitment marketing and advanced analytics. While many organizations don’t require these capabilities, it is still worth knowing what is available, perhaps to support new business priorities. I recommend investigating what is now available and will be soon; I’ll am tracking them all to help you understand this expanding market and what it means for your organization.