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Finding the perfect HR technology for your company: Part 1

The war for talent is accelerating around the world, and this means that the ability and efficiency of recognizing what is and isn’t talent is becoming more and more important. Having the right talent and retaining it is as important as skipping the wrong candidates in the first place, and both scenarios have massive business performance ramifications. When your competitors have more talented and capable employees—and just more employees, period—they are better and more quickly able to create a more robust and solid product than you are.
Paired with this challenge are an incredible number of pressures on today’s organizations, such as rapid technological changes, tougher competition, changes in the workforce, and changes even in corporate structure. Within these pressured organizations, there is a need (and opportunity) for technology in the human resource function to play a critical role in helping organizations navigate through these transitions.
In order to win and retain top talent, companies and HR departments must realize and adapt to the following realities:

  • Applicants can come from anywhere in the world at any time, and demographic diversity is real in the 21st
  • Applicants have very specific expectations of employers and the recruiting process as compared with processes of the past.
  • Company culture and its ability to attract top talent is partly predicated on its online persona—its speed, efficiency, and accuracy in dealing with the recruiting and ongoing HR procedures.
  • How an applicant feels from the get go and through every step of the interview, hiring, onboarding, and ongoing employment process has a massive impact on engagement and retention of top talent.

Technology is rapidly changing everything in this important field, including the process of identifying, qualifying, screening, and retaining top talent. Some of the systems that are having great impact are applicant tracking systems (ATS), human resources information systems (HRIS), employee engagement systems, and learning management systems (LMS), to name a few.
To choose what kind of technology is best for your company to help you stay competitive, you need to take a few key ideas into consideration.
First, you need to identify what stage(s) of the applicant lifecycle are most important at your company, where you are struggling the most, and where you really want to make a massive impact.
There are several distinct stages to the applicant lifecycle—identification, recruiting, managing the applicant workflow and interview process, hiring and onboarding, and then the human resources management once they are an employee. Some systems cover all phases, but most only specialize in one or two stages, so it’s important to evaluate each one for how well they manage each stage compared to your specific needs. Within those areas, there may be additional steps that require further specialized technology platforms and interventions—for example, background screening is not normally included in any of the typical platforms listed above. Background screening technology has made impressive developments in recent years to be fast, accurate, and easy to use to make sure recruiters do their due diligence and mitigate risk before hiring anyone.
Second, it’s critical to find out how well the software integrates with other platforms.
When you’re looking at the possibility of using multiple different systems, they absolutely must have the ability to integrate and work seamlessly together. Many background screening platforms don’t focus on or offer integrations as a core part of their business, making it painfully cumbersome to do your work and order background checks. Others have extensive lists and full teams dedicated to providing you the best experience possible and focus heavily on solution development, systems integrations, and efficiency.
When considering any HR technology, ask hard questions up front to avoid pain later: ask to see a list of all the integrations they provide, what their plans are for future development, if they have a team solely dedicated to integrating with other software, and specifically if they are already integrated with any other platforms you are considering using. This will allow you to get the maximum benefit for your dollars spent and provide your organization with an advantage over your competitors in winning the best talent for your company.

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