Posted: 29 Sep. 2020 5 min. read

Talent acquisition tech trends

Four emerging recruiting technology trends

Posted by Sona ManzoBhawna BistAllison DentonEmily Cameron on September 29, 2020.

Continually evolving expectations around how organizations attract and hire talent, coupled with the need to be agile and respond to wider economic changes, is creating a fundamental shift in the world of talent acquisition. Progressive and agile TA organizations are intelligently leveraging technology to deliver on their vision for TA and the marketplace’s evolution to address these needs. This has shaped the key TA tech trends we observe in the market:

1.      Emergence of TA suites

2.      Accessing new talent through broader talent pools

3.      Infusing AI across TA life cycle

4.      Bundling of video interview and assessments

These emerging trends aren’t solely focused on the technology, but rather how those technologies are evolving to address the changing ways organizations identify, interact with, assess, hire, and onboard talent.

1.   Emergence of TA suites

Over the past several years, point solutions have become available to fill the gaps inherent in the traditional TA technology stack. Multiple point solutions required organizations to integrate and maintain a complex technology ecosystem and users to move between multiple systems to deliver end-to-end recruiting. We’re now seeing vendors push a more comprehensive TA “suite” of solutions.

“TA suites,” a term coined at the forefront of this new era, refers to solutions designed and built to manage the entire recruiting process—from attracting and sourcing through select and onboard. The TA suites aim to provide customers with a way to manage the end-to-end process with a single tool, acting effectively as a “one-stop-shop” for candidates and employers.

Whether it be a stand-alone applicant tracking system (ATS) provider or HCM platform provider trying to incorporate new sourcing and additional functionality, the consolidation of services promises a better candidate experience and better tools for sourcers and recruiters. Furthermore, this can potentially lead to improved data integrity and analytics capability, culminating in an opportunity for process efficiency and streamlined vendor management.

For companies looking to transition to new talent acquisition technologies, the power of the full-suite solution should not be underestimated. However, companies should consider that the TA suite is not the panacea that solves all their recruiting technology needs. For example, complex global organizations should be cognizant of vendor maturity and understand nuanced needs in their own organization that may require a more tailored solution.

2.   Accessing new talent through broader talent pools and candidate relationship management

One of the driving trends of the future of work is the shift to the use of alternative workforces as a viable part of an organization’s talent strategy. In addition, more mature organizations are actively recruiting from within, creating better career mobility. Many of the tools that were historically used for recruiting traditional, full-time external candidates are now being utilized for both on-balance-sheet (employees) and off-balance-sheet workers (such as contingent and gig workers).

Advanced sourcing (some enabled by AI) and candidate relationship management (CRM) tools are continuing to gain momentum in the marketplace, enabling organizations to hire the future workforce by engaging all prospects and candidates. Organizations are leveraging these tools to implement their own internal staffing model, tap into the external gig or contingent talent pool, and much more. However, these tools are not yet holistic.

The proliferation of all these tools has led to disjointed experiences for many of our clients. We are seeing some recruiting technology and tools weaving contingent workers into their model or creating a gig platform. This is creating challenges for many TA functions as they struggle to determine which tools should be used when they should be used, and how they can integrate with other systems. Organizations are starting to realize the importance of learning how to best integrate these tools to facilitate a positive experience for both recruiters and candidates, ultimately contributing to their business objectives.

While we continue to see tools converge, integrate, and become more holistic, we foresee a bright future for the innovation and value-add of these solutions. In the meantime, as we change the way that we think about work and workforce more holistically, it will be important for organizations to develop a more proactive strategy for managing all workers in the future.

3.   Infusing AI across TA life cycle

While AI in TA technology has its roots in talent sourcing, it is now being injected across all phases of the TA life cycle—an expansion that has resulted in better end-to-end talent acquisition experiences and results. For example, we are seeing AI solutions that provide real-time, hyper-personalized support, and insights through conversational AI. In addition to increasing relevancy and volume of completed job applications through the standard process, conversational AI agents, in combination with the orchestrated workflow that includes the ability to direct a qualified candidate to an interviewer during a virtual job fair, are showing promising results and positive feedback from candidates. New AI solutions are also helping organizations increase diversity through improved job descriptions and candidate-facing data insights, as well as helping reduce organizational bias during the candidate assessment process. As referenced in the 2020 Human Capital Trends Report, an AI-powered writing tool can provide real-time data that suggests new language to replace potentially biased and gendered language in job descriptions, driving improvements in the job description process and the outcomes. In one example, a consumer goods company saw a 30% increase in its number of qualified applicants after deploying this AI-powered writing tool and reap the benefit of significantly faster fill times. A Silicon Valley tech giant found deploying this AI-powered writing tool that job descriptions with a score of 90 or higher “had 28% more women apply and were 50% faster to fill,” and another solution that showcases how well a candidate matches the position based on AI-powered assessment of skills beyond what is self-reported has been shown to significantly increase the volume of female applicants. We will continue to see a rapid expansion of AI solutions infused in TA suites and point solutions that can be leveraged depending on organizational needs.

4.   Bundling of video interview and assessments

In line with the emergence of TA suites, several TA technologies are broadening functionality to serve the TA life cycle more holistically as a part of their core offerings. This is especially notable with the increase in traditional video interview tools expanding to include assessments as part of the core offering. In some cases, we see video interviewing platforms merge with TA assessment offerings or building assessments into their core offerings. These tools are quickly expanding to meet organizations’ growing demands for holistic and virtual TA capabilities.

In light of changing norms, provoked by the COVID-19 crisis, the need for video interviews has become inevitable with the complete shift to virtual interaction for many organizations. People are becoming more comfortable with video interviewing. It’s clearly the new normal. As such, candidates may have more confidence in the process as organizations adapt to the changing climate of how recruiting is done.

This shift has given rise to the growing opportunity for technology tools to align with the natural synergies between interviews and assessments. As the market forced this conjunction, tools responded—resulting in this combined product offering. Assessments have continued to be used strategically at various stages of the TA life cycle, specifically during interviews. Assessment capabilities are being leveraged during video interviews that allow organizations to effectively and objectively select the best talent. As a result, organizations have the opportunity to streamline interview assessments, promote remote work, and reduce interview bias.

Planning for the future

As the TA function continues to be challenged by the need for speed, creativity, accuracy, hyper-personalization, and increasing diversity, it should consider the cues from the talent acquisition and recruiting technology trends to inform its technology choices and investments. Selecting TA technologies that are responding to these market trends is more critical than ever. Amid a volatile market, the talent acquisition and AI marketplaces beckon change with both exciting technologies and a need for pragmatic investment. These uncertain times offer a great opportunity for organizations and leaders to focus on strengthening processes, operational efficiency, and living out their brand and mission through the way they approach their talent process. Organizations need to be thoughtful about their TA technology selection and rationalization, taking the time to develop the experience and engagement strategies to inform their technology decisions. Exploring the art of the possible, identifying the key needs of the organization, and infusing human-centered design principles will help drive adoption and ensure the right combination of both uniquely human and technology solutions are aligned for success.


Sona Manzo is a managing director in Deloitte’s Human Capital – Workforce Transformation practice. She has more than 30 years of experience in consulting and talent acquisition leadership roles. A hands-on leader, she has helped Fortune 500 and growing midsize organizations across all industries strategize, design, implement and optimize a broad array of human capital solutions that align people, processes, and technology with organizational strategy. She brings a focus on stakeholder experience, development of innovative programs, and leverage of leading and emerging technology to deliver on the talent access and talent management needs of US and global clients.

Bhawna Bist is a senior manager in the Workforce Transformation practice of Deloitte Consulting LLP, specializing in the future of work and talent acquisition transformation. She has more than 18 years of cross-industry and consulting experience advising global organizations and leading strategic transformation programs.

Allison Denton is a senior consultant in Deloitte’s Global Employer Services group with significant cross-functional experience. Allison has had a diverse project portfolio in workforce transformation, focusing on candidate and employee experience, including nuances of remote work, career mobility, and global mobility.

Emily Cameron is an analyst in Deloitte’s Human Capital Cross-Consulting group, with diverse cross-industry project experience with global clients. She has supported work around TA methodologies and developed competency in TA tech trends and artificial intelligence (AI) through vendor research and demos.