Top Findings: Talent Acquisition Tech Buyer’s Guide (Part 1)

April 1, 2021 by Madeline Laurano

Top 10 Findings: Talent Acquisition Technology Buyer's Guide: Part 1

I am excited to announce that we [Aptitude Research] published our annual Talent Acquisition Technology Buyer’s Guide report this week, sponsored by Verified First. While our 2019 Talent Acquisition Tech Guide focused on SMB TA technology, our latest guide focuses on enterprise TA technology. The talent acquisition technology market is constantly changing and staying ahead of trends is becoming more challenging. Organizations need to evaluate providers based on a new set of criteria that encourages partnership and collaboration between the business and the solutions. Trust in the company, product, and roadmap is a critical part of the buyer’s journey and a key differentiator when evaluating solutions. The Talent Acquisition Technology Buyer’s Guide serves as a resource for anyone interested in learning more about the trends impacting technology and the requirements critical to making decisions.

Evaluating technology is not as easy as it used to be. Ten years ago, the talent acquisition technology market consisted of multiple providers offering clear products in defined categories such as background screening, job boards, applicant tracking systems (ATS), assessments, and onboarding. Today, the market has exploded with hundreds more providers and new ones entering each month. Additionally, the lines have blurred. Many of these providers offer several solutions in talent acquisition or have created new categories of technology, making a buyer’s decision much more complicated. 

To help you make sense of the ever-evolving technology landscape, here are 5 of the top findings from the report:

1. Efficiency is driving decisions. 

Companies have stated that improving efficiency is the key driver when evaluating technology providers. 

Companies are looking at providers to:

  • Improve time to fill
  • Increase recruiter productivity
  • Improve overall decision-making in talent acquisition technology 

Improved efficiency benefits the candidate as well as the employer by helping candidates receive communication, stay informed and move through the process.

2. Talent acquisition technology investment continues to increase. 

Although some technology investment has slowed down over the past year, one in four companies is increasing their TA investment and 44% of companies invested in new technology in 2020. Companies are looking at providers to support the challenges they face but often do not consider how they will work with the existing technology infrastructure. 

3. Companies need to measure ROI early. 

Only 1 in 2 companies measure the ROI of their technology investment. As talent acquisition is being held more accountable to the business, being able to show the value and the timeframe is critical. Measuring and demonstrating ROI is a crucial part of any technology decision and does not need to happen after a company makes its investment it should actually be considered before.

4. True partnership helps to improve adoption.

Adoption is a challenge in talent acquisition technology. Only 3% of companies use all the functionality in their ATS and only 2% in their CRMs. 

Companies need to look at:

  • How their provider will partner with them during implementation 
  • How they will make that relationship stick after year one, year two and beyond
  • Their provider’s change management resources
  • Any customer advisory boards and councils, customer feedback sessions and "Idea Labs" where customers are free to voice concerns and connect with other customers

5. Companies are looking to replace solutions this year. 

The top areas of TA tech replacement this year include: 

  • ATS
  • CRM
  • Background screening 
  • Assessments 

Before evaluating technology options, organizations should conduct an internal needs analysis and be prepared to answer some questions internally. Companies need to identify and communicate expectations before evaluating solutions. Before signing on with a provider, companies should ask (1) how confident the provider is in meeting these expectations and (2) what plans they have in place to meet and even exceed them. 


This report can help companies at any stage of their TA tech buyer’s journey. TA buyers face more difficult decisions today with new providers, new categories, and new pressures. The TA tech market changes rapidly and companies must balance their own unique requirements with the providers that will partner with them.

The research supports that:

  1. Efficiency is driving decisions
  2. Talent acquisition technology investment continues to increase
  3. Companies need to measure ROI early
  4. True partnership helps to improve adoption
  5. Companies are looking to replace solutions this year

For more information on the current state of talent acquisition technology, download this year’s guide and check back for part two to get the rest of the guide’s top ten findings!

About Madeline Laurano
Madeline’s primary focus over the last 12+ years has been on the talent management market, specializing in talent acquisition. Her work helps companies both validate and reevaluate their strategies and understand the role technology can play in driving business outcomes. She has watched HCM transform from a back- office function to a strategic company initiative with a focus on partnerships, experience and efficiency. She is co-author of Best Practices in Leading a Global Workforce and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, Yahoo News, and The Financial Times. She is a frequent presenter at industry conferences including the HR Technology Conference and Exposition, SHRM, IHRIM, HCI’s Strategic Talent Acquisition conference, GDS International’s HCM Summit, and HRO Today.

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