Companies thrive on innovation — not only to ensure their products and services are on the cutting edge, but also to attract top talent. Job seekers are drawn to companies that use the latest technology trends and tools because they know these employers will give them the resources they need to do their best work.

Yet when it comes to recruiting technology, companies are often reluctant to change. A recent survey conducted by my company, Spark Hire, suggests many recruiters and hiring professionals are making technology decisions that keep them tied to outdated processes.

In November 2018, we asked 750 HR pros, recruiters, and company executives in the US and Canada about how their hiring budgets impacted their talent acquisition processes. Surprisingly, it turned out that money was not the obstacle preventing respondents from adopting the latest recruiting trends and tools. Here’s what we found instead:

- 27 percent of respondents said company leadership was the biggest obstacle preventing them from using new trends and tools.
- 24 percent of respondents do not track cost per hire.
- 18 percent of hiring managers do not know the ROI of the tools they’re using.
- 42 percent of companies continue to use personality assessments even though they offer the worst ROI of all recruiting tools.

Taken together, these results raise an important question: Are organizations scared of change when it comes to recruiting and hiring? To answer this, we need to dig a little deeper.

Companies Aren’t Tracking Metrics

Nowadays, there is no excuse not to collect and analyze data on your recruiting process. Various tools exist to allow recruiting teams to track and leverage data, and using data is the easiest way to identify trends in your hiring, spot obstacles, and optimize the process.

However, as our survey shows, many companies aren’t tracking vital metrics like cost per hire. It’s not because they can’t track these metrics. As mentioned, technology has done away with the once tedious process of tracking and measuring hiring data manually. The real issue is that assessing metrics and understanding what they mean for the recruiting process does take a lot of time and a deeper analytical knowledge.

The fear of change may be at work here. Knowing where a strategy or process is failing means talent acquisition pros must make deliberate — and sometimes uncomfortable — changes. Researching new products and training staff on data analytics skills are costly and time-consuming endeavors. Many companies choose to stay the course or cut corners by not tracking metrics simply to remain within their budgets. A remarkable number of companies continue to use ineffective tools and processes as a result.

If you don’t use data to make intentional and proactive changes, your recruiting process will stagnate and you will miss out on top talent. On the surface, it may seem like you save time and money by not investing in the means to track important metrics. In reality, you actually waste resources on ineffective talent acquisition efforts.

Leaders Don’t Understand the Problem

Our research shows company leaders are preventing hiring pros from adopting new trends and tools. This, in turn, makes hiring teams feel neglected, which can lead to further declines in recruiting performance and efficiency.

Company leaders don’t say no to new talent acquisition investments because they don’t care about the effectiveness of their talent acquisition teams. Rather, leaders are often hesitant about change because they are hyper-aware of the organization’s finances. Changes that impact the budget, such as buying costly new recruiting tools, demand careful scrutiny. If a leader is not completely confident the new resources will rapidly result in improved ROI, they are likely to reject the request.

Leaders often have such knee-jerk reactions to new recruiting investments because they are not engrossed enough in the actual talent acquisition process to understand the impact of the change. For talent acquisition teams angling for new recruiting tech, the first step is clearly showing leaders how current hiring processes create problems. Once the obstacles are established, the team needs to explain exactly how a proposed change will directly impact company-wide goals.

Companies Continue to Use Tools With Poor ROI

Although personality assessments and background checks aren’t providing companies with good ROI, organizations keep using these tools. The issue here is not that such assessments are never useful. Rather, the problem is that there are likely assessments that produce greater ROI and better fit the needs of the organization, yet companies are not making the switch.

One possible explanation for the refusal of change is a breakdown in communication between the recruiters who are using the tools and the decision-makers tracking ROI. When recruiters push for new tools, they don’t necessarily verbalize their fears of what will happen if no changes are made. Decision-makers, on the other hand, are denying necessary changes without divulging their personal fears regarding how expensive shifts could hurt the company’s financials.

Decision-makers may see the numbers and know the company’s current recruiting methods aren’t working. Since they aren’t in the trenches recruiting, the may not understand why the tools aren’t meeting the company’s needs. Again, communication is key: The recruiters carrying out everyday tasks need to articulate for decision-makers why problems exist and how they could be addressed.

It is imperative that recruiters and decision-makers hold regular conversation about what is going on and where there is room for improvement. These discussions will keep everyone on the same page about the recruiting process, which in turn helps the whole organization work toward embracing change, even when it seems a little scary.

Josh Tolan is the CEO of video interview solution Spark Hire. Connect with Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.

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