Talent Acquisition Technology: Usability Wins

Usability surfaced in conversations at the SmartRecruiters user event last week, and two examples from companies attending the event illustrate the importance of usability in the selection process.

Last year I wrote about the impact of the user experience on the ROI for HCM software. In Brandon Hall Group’s 2016 Talent Acquisition Technology Study, we saw some similar responses to what we already shutterstock_118768450 know is true in learning technology: people are looking for tools that are easy to use and that mirror the sophistication of their consumer technology. According to the study, about 30% of organizations are planning to make a change in their software provider. The reasons vary, but the top reasons are important to note:

  1. Need for an improved administrative experience (72%)
  2. Need for an improved user experience (66%)

That first one is important from a recruiting perspective, but the second one could be costing you great candidates that simply aren’t willing to put up with your application process. A 2014 CareerBuilder study asked hiring leaders what level of candidate drop-off they were seeing. More than 50% of companies estimated that they were losing up to 25% of the people in their application process.

In several conversations during the SmartRecruiters user event last week, the topic of usability resurfaced as a key piece of technology selection decisions. It’s always interesting to get a peek into the selection mindset, so let’s explore two of those discussions as a way to get a grip on what matters most in the selection process.

Company A: 12,000-Employee Technology Firm

This company is currently using one of the big ATS companies for its recruiting processes, but its new leader of talent acquisition strategy is looking for something with a more modern look and feel. The HR leader told me that she is actually embarrassed by candidates applying for positions at the company, because as a technology firm should have an interface that looks clean and intuitive. Even with upgrades and customizations, the ATS simply can’t meet the needs of the business. That’s why she advocated a switch to the new platform.

Company B: 450-Employee Technology Firm

The recruiting leader from this company told me that he has used more than half-dozen applicant tracking systems, referral platforms, and other point solutions within the recruiting space. However, none has actually served the needs of the business and helped to deliver the value that it needs. When we talked about what made him switch to his current platform, he instantly said that the intuitive interface was key. He hires his recruiting team directly from college with no work experience, and anything that is hard to learn or clunky would just delay the process of getting them up to speed.

Does your organization prioritize usability within the selection process? Have you ever applied for a job at your company to see what the process is like?

Ben Eubanks, HCM Analyst, Brandon Hall Group

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