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Talent Acquisition Software: An Overview Of The Latest Innovations

Adrian Dixon

July 13, 2017

Deloitte calls experimentation with tech solutions and services the biggest disruptor in talent acquisition. Why is talent acquisition software considered so disruptive these days?

Industry analysts argue this disruption has mostly been driven by innovations in AI and automation.

The more innovative ideas and solutions are centered around cognitive technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI). 

– Deloitte

talent acquisition software investment in AI

To provide some clarity on the new talent acquisition software landscape including the latest in AI innovations, here’s an overview to help you choose the right software for you.

Talent acquisition software functions

Talent acquisition software are tools used by recruiters, talent acquisition professionals, and hiring managers to streamline or automate their workflow including sourcing, screening, interviewing, and onboarding.

Talent acquisition software is designed to support a variety of recruiting functions including sourcing, selecting, engaging, and onboarding.


Sourcing involves finding candidates with qualifications that match the job requirements.

Working hand-in-hand with recruiters, sourcers are usually responsible for setting the sourcing strategy and the initial engagement of the candidate.

Traditional software that’s helpful for the sourcing function include social networks, resume databases, and social search.

Newer talent acquisition software for sourcing improves the scale and speed at which a massive number of candidates can be reviewed as well as more accurate matching of candidate skills to job requirements.

Examples: LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, Ideal


Selection activities include resume screening, assessing, scheduling, and interviewing.

In the center of talent acquisition software for selecting is the ATS. A good ATS should include some kind of dashboard that reports KPIs and metrics such as time to fill, source of hire, and applicant-to-interview ratio.

Innovations in tech that help with the selection function are tools that use AI to automate resumes screening, software that streamlines interview scheduling, and tools that reduces bias in assessment and interviewing.

Examples: Ideal, Calendly,


Engaging involves communicating with candidates through email, SMS, social media messages, and phone calls.

The purpose of engagement is to convert a candidate into an applicant, an applicant into a hire, or to keep a pipeline of talent warm for future opportunities.

Software used for candidate engagement includes CRMs, recruitment marketing platforms, and employer branding.

Newer technologies that are being introduced for engagement include recruiter chatbots.

Examples: Avature, Glassdoor, Smashfly


Onboarding involves the training and orientation of new hires to teach them about company policies, introduce them to their colleagues, and create a strategy for them to ramp-up performance in their new role.

Onboarding functionality is often included in an ATS or HRIS. Tools for onboarding include videos, seminars, and online tutorials and templates.

Examples: BambooHR, Breezy HR, iCIMS Onboard

AI for talent acquisition

According to Aptitude Research Partners, 1 in 3 companies plan to invest in AI this year as part of their talent acquisition software stack.

AI has led to 3 intriguing innovations in talent acquisition software. 

1. Automated resume screening

The new generation of software uses AI to automate the resume screening process.

AI for resume screening uses the resume database in your ATS to learn which candidates moved on to become successful employees.

The AI learns about existing employees’ experience, skills, and other qualifications and applies this knowledge to new applicants in order to automatically, shortlist, grade, and rank the strongest candidates (e.g., A to D).

With its ability to screen thousands of resumes in minutes, automated resume screening holds the potential to eliminate the hours wasted screening unqualified applicants reducing time to fill by 71% on average.

2. Talent rediscovery

Similar to AI for resume screening, talent rediscovery is the ability to search your ATS resume database to automatically screen candidates who applied for a previous role and match them to a current open requisition.

The typical ATS wasn’t designed to easily find and rank previous applicants for a new requisition – even if those applicants were screened and matched to a similar role previously.

By leveraging the candidates already in your ATS, employers can triple the number of qualified candidates without any additional candidate acquisition costs.

3. Recruiter chatbots

CareerBuilder found 58% of job seekers have a negative impression of a company if they don’t hear back after submitting an application.

Recruiter chatbots use AI to interact with candidates in real time by answering questions about the job and providing feedback, updates, and next-step suggestions.

By automating repetitive tasks such as answering FAQs, a recruiter chatbot can ensure the candidate experience isn’t suffering from a lack of communication on the recruiter’s part.