Technology drives the talent business. And talent leaders are becoming more savvy about just how that technology is helping them source, recruit, and engage new talent. A recent SHRM blog breaks it down: with 27 different verticals (not just discrete applications) of talent acquisition technology on the market, talent leaders will need to get their heads around how to build a technology roadmap to meet future needs.

Recruitment marketing. Sourcing. Video and text interviewing. Assessment and automated reference checking. Analytics. Your talent acquisition technology stack will probably need to incorporate most of these technologies if your organization wants to stay competitive. We put together a simple step-by-step guide for how to get started in a recent infographic.

If you fall into the “yikes, I need to incorporate some new capabilities into my HR and recruiting technology stack” camp, remember to think holistically. “Bolting on” new technologies without a close consideration of how well those technologies will integrate with your existing stack can create headaches down the road. Focusing too narrowly on features and functions can cause you to miss the broader view such as the reputation of your vendor or whether its systems are proven in the marketplace.

If your goals include incorporating technologies that help you better assess candidate skills and automate reference checking, you have choices. Of course you’ll be looking for how easily and quickly references can return feedback. (SkillSurvey clients typically see an 85% response rate in as little as two days.) But you’ll also want to look beyond the stats.

Here are five ways a reference checking solution can help you build a robust, enduring technology stack:

1. Easier integration
Asking your staffing pros to log in to multiple solutions or download the data they need to CSV files doesn’t exactly speed the recruiting process. Today, the average business uses 77 applications for HR and guess what? Ninety-seven percent of them are not well-integrated. So take the time to find a solution that integrates happily with your Application Tracking System or CRM so that your reference checking process can be initiated and tracked in one place. SkillSurvey’s open API reduces integration time from months to weeks. Your recruiters can work more efficiently, reference checks become a consistent part of your hiring process and workflow, and important candidate information is captured in your system of record for easier onboarding.

2. Proven reliability
We get it. We were a start-up once too. You have to move fast and bring solutions to market quickly. Sometimes corners get cut. Do you really want to risk your staffing and recruiting goals (or worse, your reputation) on unproven software? At SkillSurvey, we know your software has to work. But we also know it has to work well. When you’re evolving your technology stack, by all means, look for a solution that delivers a great user experience. But take some time to evaluate its maturity, reliability, and, in this era of disastrous data breaches, security.

3. Regulatory compliance
Organizations spend millions of dollars every year settling lawsuits because someone somewhere failed to comply with state or federal rules and guidelines designed to prevent biased hiring practices. Do your reference surveys measure job-specific criteria? Can the results of your survey instruments be repeated? Are they free of bias? Every staffing professional should have working knowledge of employee compliance standards. But understanding how job-specific surveys do or don’t comply with those standards is not—and really shouldn’t be—a part of the job description. You can avoid a lot of heartache by finding a vendor with the right expertise. SkillSurvey has industrial psychologists on staff who assure that our surveys meet EEOC and OFCCP standards and can provide evidence of that should the need arise.

4. Diversity
Yes, hidden biases can leave you exposed to litigation, but they can also derail your diversity goals and prevent you from finding the superhero your client or organization really needs to move to the next level. We’ve tackled this topic in an earlier post, taking a closer look at how to avoid both human bias and its evil twin, process bias. When you’re considering how to evolve your technology stack, make sure to evaluate how it can help you overcome hidden biases throughout the recruiting lifecycle—from sourcing to interviewing to selection.

5. Candidate experience
Good talent is a lot harder to find than lousy technology. When you’re thinking about your talent technology stack, it’s wise to keep the candidate experience top-of-mind. Because no matter how well the technology performs, how smoothly it integrates into your existing stack, or how much your staff likes using it, if it doesn’t make a candidate happy to work with you and recommend you to others, you might as well turn out the lights right now. Our customers keep coming back to SkillSurvey for their sourcing and reference needs because our solution makes it easier for them to reach talented candidates faster, engage them more personally, and match them more successfully with the right job opportunity. If that’s your bottom line as well, it might be time to talk.

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