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New Research Report: Improving Quality of Hire Throughout Your Recruiting Tech Stack


Building a successful recruiting tech stack to improve quality of hire

JazzHR recently teamed up with Verified First to release the “2019 Talent Acquisition Technology SMB Buyer’s Guide.” Authored by Madeline Laurano of Aptitude Researchand George LaRocque of HRWins, the report highlights data-driven best practices for small to medium-sized businesses looking to invest strategically in talent acquisition solutions. Having surveyed over 600 HR professionals, the authors break down talent acquisition tech stacks into the four key components: applicant tracking systems (ATS), candidate relationship management systems (CRM), background screening, and assessments.

Among many trends, including a 10% YoY increase in ATS investment, the report uncovered top challenges for small to medium-sized businesses in today’s tight labor market. While larger enterprise-level companies struggle more in retaining top talent, SMBs face the unique challenge of improving the overall quality of hire.

With unemployment at a five-decade low, small businesses face a greater need than ever to not only secure top talent faster than their larger counterparts but to find the best possible fit for each position. The risk of making a wrong hire, of course, is especially impactful for small businesses in this competitive market.

Manual recruiting, done through spreadsheets and out of your inbox, is no longer a scalable solution for making quality hires fast. That’s why selecting and leveraging best-in-breed recruiting solutions is so critical – the combined capabilities of an ATS, CRM, background screening, and assessments provider empower teams with the tools they need to find relevant candidates in a more streamlined way.

Choosing the right solutions for each part of your talent acquisition tech stack, though, can be difficult as more providers move upmarket toward enterprise-level organizations.

Follow these data-informed best practices, as revealed in the 2019 Talent Acquisition Technology SMB Buyer’s Guide, to improve quality of hire using each branch of your SMB talent acquisition tech stack:

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)

Though 60% of SMBs are found to be actively investing in applicant tracking systems, nearly 50% of SMB companies are dissatisfied with their primary ATS and are looking to change providers, the report found.

Among a variety of functionalities ranging from posting jobs to sending onboarding materials, best-in-class applicant tracking systems help teams to improve the quality of hire through powerful candidate screening tools.

Unlike manual recruiting, applicant tracking systems allow teams to review resumes in bulk using capabilities like customizable applications, auto-rejection, and keyword search.

Takeaway: Select a best-in-class ATS that speeds your candidate screening process to find qualified candidates faster.

The JazzHR-Verified First report also found that companies are no longer using their ATS as a stand-alone product. Rather, organizations are boosting efficiency by using their applicant tracking systems to engage candidates at every stage in the employee lifecycle, including integrating with third-party tools that enable onboarding.

Candidate Relationship Management Systems (CRM)

While an ATS allows teams to create workflows and manage applicant progress, candidate relationship management systems (CRM) empower organizations to capture and convert passive candidates before they’ve applied to any jobs. Though CRM’s are a critical component of successful talent acquisition tech stacks, only 30% of SMB organizations are using a CRM solution, according to the report. Being able to automate pre-applicant capabilities through a CRM enables companies to source more relevant, quality candidates through features like email nurture campaigns, actionable analytics and tracking capabilities.

Takeaway: Choose an industry-leading CRM that allows you to engage and nurture relevant, quality candidates, before they apply.

Background Screening

Background screening is a critical component of successful employee recruitment and retainment with over 80% of SMBs using background screening today, according to the report.

In fact, the JazzHR-Verified First report found that SMBs cite background screening as having the most significant impact on quality of hire.

Pre-employment background screening allows employers to make more informed hiring decisions by identifying candidate history and behavior that may influence professional performance.

Takeaway: Leverage a background screening provider to make more informed hiring decisions.

The report also found that as companies increase their investments in background screening, they’re looking more for providers that not only deliver the necessary functionality but who they also trust.


According to the JazzHR-Verified First report, teams have increased their investment in pre-employment assessments over the past three years.

Tools like these enable employers to test candidates in a variety of areas ranging from personality and aptitude to specific skillsets and logic. Being able to view candidates objectively based on a pre-employment assessment score, for example, allows teams to make more informed hiring decisions. This is especially important for small businesses who are at a greater risk of making the wrong hire.

Demand ranges in terms of the type of assessment as well. While 20% of SMBs are considering game-based assessments, 60% want assessments that are predictive of employee performance.

Takeaway: Select a pre-employment assessment that offers predictive functionality to identify high performers and avoid bad fits.

Looking to learn more about building a strategic talent acquisition tech stack overall. Download the full 2019 Talent Acquisition Technology SMB Buyer’s Guide.


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