There are a plethora of recruitment technologies available on the market today, from the juggernaut Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs) and Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) tools to more bespoke sourcing, assessment and onboarding technologies. As if that is not a big enough conundrum, the risk financially and operationally of selecting the wrong provider or not implementing the tool correctly to realize maximum ROI can cause many first time buyers sleepless nights.

To date, we predominantly see one of two trends with regards to recruitment technology across the Middle East:

  1. Organizations that have purchased an off-the-shelf technology, normally an ATS, which they believe covers all bases
  2. Organizations that have no recruitment technologies

The domino effect of technology purchasing across the Middle East in the last decade has seen organizations buy based on brand name and client base. This has resulted in a series of quick wins for technology providers across the region, however, the reality for many users is not so rosy. Some of the many concerns leaders have raised with us about their technology solutions are:

  • It takes more than 200 clicks to raise a requisition through to extending an offer.
  • Inflexibility to tailor specific processes within the system to the business’s needs.
  • Features that were shown in the sales process are not activated or included within the price of their package.
  • Slow turnaround times for amendments to processes post implementation.
  • Lack of additional business as usual training, meaning a loss of internal technological expertise as staff who were originally trained on the system leave.
  • A general disconnect between what was sold and the operational reality of the system.

Despite this, it takes two for a relationship to work and we often find a direct correlation between system stagnation and communication breakdowns. So therein lies another conundrum – what is the solution? Create more stringent purchasing requirements? Spend more time analyzing “critical needs” versus “nice to haves”? Invest more time and resources in vendor relationships?

All are potential solutions. However, the critical issue many HR leaders point out is that having an in-house recruitment technology Subject Matter Expert who can do all of the above is not a cost-effective solution. Therefore the next best thing is to nominate a person within the existing team to manage such responsibilities, which means reallocating some of their existing work across an often already stretched HR department.

The vast scope of technologies available means that becoming a technology expert is not something that can happen overnight. In addition, the exceptional amounts of data created by systems and the allotted HR person who was going to be transformed into a technology expert creates a need for a deep analytical skillset akin to a Business Analyst. This is because the true value of most technology is the visibility it provides, and businesses have to be able to leverage this visibility to drive process improvement. That can only happen if you have someone who can translate the data into trends and meaningful management information. Combining these different skillsets together creates a unique proposition that often is not easy to fill with existing staff. To have an efficient and effective recruitment technology landscape, you need to invest in more than the technology itself – you need to invest in the expertise that goes along with it.


Post contributed by Tom Bolton, Solutions Manager. Connect with him on LinkedIn.