It has been nearly two and a half years since the world was thrust into one of the most dramatic eras of workforce transformation in the modern era. Organizations have been forced to reevaluate everything about the workforce, from the physical spaces in which work is done, to compensation, to non-traditional benefits and work/life enhancement offerings. Even so, many continue to struggle to attract and retain the right talent to support operational needs. As leaders continue to redesign how they look at their talent pools, they have come to rely on their technology stacks more than ever to inform and enable new processes and experiences for candidates and employees, and recruiters and managers, throughout the entire talent life cycle. We at Ventana Research assert that by 2025, two-thirds of organizations will expect full talent life cycle support from their talent platform to bolster and unify the experience for candidates, recruiters, employees and managers.
The applicant tracking system, for all its shortcomings, revolutionized the way people found and applied for jobs when it first hit the market in the mid-1990s. Electronic applications quickly became the norm, resume or application review became more accessible for hiring teams and compliance was much more trackable and achievable, thanks to streamlined application processes. Today, tracking and compliance aren’t enough to power the complex world of recruitment. The Great Resignation has made it abundantly clear that candidates expect the same type of consumerized experience in the hiring process as they do when buying anything at all. To win or keep the best talent, organizations must make the hiring process personalized and enjoyable, and a traditional ATS simply cannot support that mandate.
I am happy to share insights gleaned from our latest Value Index research, an assessment of how well vendors’ offerings meet buyers’ requirements. The Ventana Research Value Index: Workforce Management 2022 is the distillation of a year of market and product research by Ventana Research. Drawing on our Benchmark Research, we apply a structured methodology built on evaluation categories that reflect the real-world criteria incorporated in a request for proposal to workforce management vendors supporting the spectrum of these requirements. Using this methodology, we evaluated vendor submissions in seven categories: five relevant to the product experience ﹘ Adaptability, Capability, Manageability, Reliability and Usability ﹘ and two related to the customer experience ﹘ Total Cost of Ownership/Return on Investment and Vendor Validation.
Workforce management processes and activities, a major focus of investment and optimization efforts for decades, have undergone a huge transformation in recent years. In our view, this is mostly a function of two significant trends: the explosion of technology innovation associated with the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning and embedded analytics in many areas of a business including a range of human capital management processes and operations; and a major reframing of the employer/employee relationship stemming from the now universal emphasis on elevating the worker experience. This was becoming more of a strategic focus across most organizations before the pandemic, but the past two years has made delivering a great employee experience an essential part of operating a business. In the absence of this, employees tend to become disengaged, and many will leave. The same can be true of the customers serviced by those employees.
Data from human capital management systems has delivered significant value to organizations for decades. The value continuum has included ensuring compliance with workforce-related laws and regulations around the globe; optimizing human resources’ processes (when combined with various other elements such as change management); maintaining a historical record of key employee activities and transactions; tracking cost trendlines such as those related to recruiting, compensation and benefits; feeding payroll systems from time and attendance platforms; and providing visibility into learning and development needs. This, of course, is just a sampling, but truth be told, the capability to maintain and report on this type of information — while broadly beneficial to every organization — doesn’t pass what I refer to as my “ascension test.” In other words, merely doing a better or even great job of tracking and reporting on these and many other types of people data is not likely to allow an organization to ascend the ranks within its industry sector.