What are the hottest TAS market trends?

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Aptitude Research Partners recently completed a study of the talent acquisition systems market, titled the “2017 Talent Acquisition Systems Index Report.” The researcher studied more than 400 organizations across a wide range of industries and company sizes, identifying the key trends, buyer behavior and top solution providers. What follows is a list of the top 10 trends in the market:

1. The market will consolidate in the next two years.

Market consolidation in talent acquisition technology is inevitable with too many providers doing too many different things. Aptitude Research Partners’ 2017 research found that more than 50% of companies are investing in three or more ATS systems and three or more primary sourcing tools. As 70% of companies invest in recruitment marketing solutions, ATS providers have an opportunity to make the technology landscape simpler for their customers, and we can expect some acquisitions in this area.

2. Taleo customers aren’t necessarily leaving.

Many of the next-generation talent acquisition systems are waiting for a mass exodus of Taleo customers. But the reality is that many companies are planning to stick with Taleo. They need a provider that can support a global enterprise organization, provide the scalability and security they need, and integrate with their Human Resource Management System (HRMS). In the ATS world, global providers are few and far between.

3. The mad rush to move upmarket.

Every best-of-breed provider included in Aptitude’s report is trying to move upmarket. This year, the growth that many of these providers experienced in the SMB and mid-markets no longer seems to be enough. These providers are flexing their muscles by creating new partnerships, establishing a European presence, and demonstrating the security and scalability that enterprise clients require. Moving upmarket can be challenging, as customers often require more support and the sales cycle can be much longer. Only time will tell how these providers, which were at one time considered the darlings of the SMB, market will win favor with the enterprise market.

4. Interview management is a differentiator … still.

Interviewing is an opportunity for providers to empower interviewers with more information and better insights. Providers that differentiate from their competition offer more than scheduling. They offer interview management with capabilities that include self-scheduling, selecting a location, providing instructions and invite details, offering information about the employer to the candidate, and the ability to include attachments.

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5. AWS is the standard.

Many of the next-generation providers are built on Amazon Web Services development technology and/or are chosen to be part of the AWS Connectors program. With several options for infrastructure-as-a-service providers, AWS seems to be the platform of choice in the ATS world. This year, several of the more traditional providers are moving to AWS as well. AWS is a leading platform and enables providers to scale and innovate.

6. Recruitment marketing will be a must-have.

Often referred to as the “pre-applicant platform,” recruitment marketing manages outbound sourcing, inbound recruitment marketing and employer branding. It integrates with any ATS. A recruitment-marketing platform includes capabilities that maintain the employer brand, foster candidate relationships, and enhance messaging and communication efforts. The most critical capabilities in these systems include career site, SEO, employee referrals and talent communities. Basically, it improves the front end of your recruiting process and tackles most of what the ATS could never do. Any provider that does not include some CRM or a full recruitment marketing solution risks losing customers or prospects.

7. Diversity hiring is a priority.

Aptitude Research Partners identified improving diversity and inclusion efforts to be a top three priority for organizations in 2017. Many of the providers in this report are prioritizing diversity hiring and offering organizations capabilities such as anonymous screening, job description checkers and bias detection.

8. The marketplace is still confusing.

While the concept of a marketplace in HCM makes sense, the reality is that not all marketplaces bring value. Many providers that have announced a “marketplace” are offering nothing more than a list of partners and an open API. One way for companies to distinguish between a marketplace and market hype is to look for a positive customer experience, some level of certification, and insights or recommendations.

9. Internal mobility is a differentiator.

For talent acquisition to be successful, organizations must think about both internal and external talent. According to Aptitude, more than 70% of companies plan to increase their investment in solutions and strategies to support the process of moving talent from role to role within an organization. Internal mobility is a strategic priority for companies that want to improve the quality of hires and at the same time cut costs.

10. Workday is the elephant in the room.

No surprise, most of the providers in the report view Workday as a future threat. They fear that as more and more companies move to Workday, IT will push to move away from best-of-breed. The ATS market is still very much a best-of-breed market, so the next few years will be interesting to watch as Workday develops recruiting products and continues to gain market share.

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Talent-management systems Diversity and equality Workforce management Technology HR Technology Recruiting Recruiting tools