The linear, one-to-many and many-to-one journey of the job seeker is fast becoming a quaint relic of the past. So is its counterpart, the conventional approach to talent acquisition for hiring organizations — also at once one-to-many and many-to-one. This extinction is good, not bad. It would be great if this extinction picked up the pace. Many remain trapped in the old binary, a ledger of job seekers on one side and hiring organizations on the other as both apply an anachronistic model to their search.
Their collective lives can be frustrating. In bad economies, the odds of this model working in favor of job seekers are exceedingly low as an influx of applications flood the hiring organization’s zone. In bad and good economies alike, the odds that the right hire will surface through conventional channels are exceedingly low for all but the lowest-skill jobs — and hiring organizations pine for tools that deliver on the hype: that recruiters can cut through the chaff and find that so-called diamond-in-the-rough of a candidate, the silver bullet to solve the problem for which the open role exists.
Why is this? For one, the underlying condition hobbling these stakeholders is extant: a collection of readily available, blunt tools tempts all stakeholders as it exacerbates the numbers game underlying all of conventional talent acquisition. Furthermore, plenty of hiring organizations have sunk irretrievable capital into these expensive systems for the old way and feel an obligation to use them. Similarly, job seekers have sunk irretrievable mental energy into getting hired through job boards where they vie against the most competition imaginable for any given opening.
Evolving from conventional origins
Meanwhile, the hidden job market couldn’t care less. As they always have, people in high places who happen to be hiring circumvent the conventional channels, the supposed official channels, and find top talent for their top open roles through the colloquially unofficial channels which they know to be, in actuality, the official ones — and it’s not just executive recruiting.
What does all this have to do with iCIMS? Well, one way to facilitate a faster economic recovery is to give the hidden job market tools they might respect and, in fact, use. Those hidden job networks will win in their unwitting battle against conventional ecosystems for talent acquisition anyway, no matter how technologically woke the latter may be. iCIMS is especially compelled under these auspices to expand the market’s perception and understanding of what talent acquisition can be, and what the vendor can do, for an organization beyond anyone’s mass hiring needs. The vendor has made a calculated decision to aim high, in this direction, with its brand. This means iCIMS will continue to serve its traditional client base, sure, as it makes overtures to employers whose needs in hiring are more nuanced and replete with subtleties.
iCIMS Talent Cloud: talent acquisition for the outside and inside
Arguably, iCIMS is positioned like no other provider of technology for talent acquisition to be most things to most hiring organizations — from the robust platform for high-volume hiring it is already to the provider of subtle tools assisting high-level hiring and, sooner than later, artificial intelligence to facilitate internal hiring and the gig economy. To embark on such a mission is smart and respectful to the market, which needs a vendor of iCIMS’ heft to make this pivot, loudly. After all, why shouldn’t there be an end-to-end suite for talent acquisition, and why shouldn’t that vendor be global?
iCIMS marshals these aspirations under the aegis of the Talent Cloud, announced in Q4 2020. Piggybacking cloud imagery that software-as-a-service (SaaS) vendors have leveraged successfully for the better part of two decades, the concept and name also aptly encompass iCIMS’ apparent goal of becoming the go-to, deep end-to-end suite for talent acquisition. AI will be part-and-parcel of the Talent Cloud, which recognizes that talent acquisition is an activity that occurs not only outside the organization, but also inside.
Going after the best-of-breed point solutions
In light of all this, what should iCIMS do next? Well, look at what iCIMS has been doing already. Leadership there has been wise to identify and acquire (or partner with) a slew of best-of-breed and geographically strategic point solutions. The most recent is today’s acquisition of Altru Labs, a tool enabling employees to generate and share their own video-based storytelling. Additionally, last month, the vendor acquired EASYRECRUE, an EMEA-based vendor of video interviewing and digital assessment capabilities.
In October, the vendor entered into a partnership with Advanced, a large UK-based provider of HCM solutions, enabling iCIMS to share in the latter’s capabilities in AI and facilitating employees’ internal mobility. And, in November, iCIMS announced a partnership with Visier to help “organizations to better connect their talent acquisition strategy to business outcomes by layering powerful analytics across the talent lifecycle,” the press release reads.
Perhaps most pertinent to the Talent Cloud, the vendor acquired the Ireland-based data science company Opening.io in May 2020, apparently as means to launch iCIMS Talent Logic, “a new AI solution that delivers speed and precision for building transformative, diverse workforces at scale,” according to the press release.
Together, these moves reveal the breadth of iCIMS’ vision. iCIMS also understands: Wherever they become a possibility and coalesce, end-to-end solution-dominated markets eventually beg for best-of-breed solutions. It behooves iCIMS to continue with the buying spree to obtain as many more as possible that might fall under the many current and future domains constituting the Talent Cloud. Though a long tail of point solutions will remain even so, the vendor has an opportunity to compete in every vein and, thus, become a formidable influence on the eventual character of that long tail of competition for the subtleties of what iCIMS wants to achieve for clients.
What are those remaining long-tail opportunities? Vendors of technology for workforce agility and evolving project-based internal hiring mechanisms seem to occupy some of the highest-value real estate. This is the inside side of talent acquisition that iCIMS endeavors to dominate. As the gig economy continues to grow, the demand for organizations to understand the make-up of their existing talent pool, down to the minutest detail, will continue to increase. And employers will find themselves in dire need of the right technology for this.
The meaning of Talent Cloud
In other words, conventional approaches to hiring will remain, but they will increasingly coexist alongside new concepts around talent acquisition. This evolution is the very rationale apparently behind iCIMS’ designs at once to retain and evolve beyond its highly effective solutions for high-volume, many-to-one, one-to-many hiring. And the sea change is at the crux of the semantics behind the Talent Cloud. Here, the idea of a cloud can mean anything. Forget that it’s become a label for SaaS-delivered technology. Cloud computing will be involved, but it isn’t what iCIMS means by the Talent Cloud. The cloud of talent is anyone in the ether, outside or inside, whose skills and potential impact any organization today struggles to find and tap, and it’s the AI and whatever else organizations need to make this happen.