Recruiting (and HR in general) is moving faster than ever. Unfortunately, as speed-to-impact becomes increasingly more important in the talent acquisition world, your vendors are slowing things down.

There are three main forces driving the urgency behind recruiting:

  1. The talent war is entering a competitive level that is unprecedented
  2. Businesses have increased pressure from the top to fill positions faster and keep them filled longer
  3. The expanding reach of private equity and venture capital and the measurements they put on employee growth

Maybe you’re affected by one of these, maybe it’s all three, but it’s true for most companies that their recruiting needs are now more demanding and complex than ever, and technology vendors are being looked to for solutions. The problem is that your needs are moving faster than most recruiting and HR vendors can keep up with. Don’t get too upset with the vendors, it isn’t their fault. The reason for the slow down is the same as the problem you’re trying to solve: as demands increase vendors are growing and scaling to accommodate.

Why aren’t your vendors moving (and evolving) faster? Let’s break this down into 5 main reasons.

1. Size

There are some major players in the recruiting and HR vendor world, and they need to be big – they have a lot of customers and offer a huge range of functionality. This means as your needs change, there is a long list of people that the feedback needs to go through to make it from the front line back to the engine room. You’re also not the only one, there a hundreds/thousands of customers creating new demands every day. This can be daunting for product managers to understand cutting edge product demands, and most often changes are not made until a noticeable amount of customers are requesting the change. Even then these demands are not made immediately, and they often don’t make it into the feature request list until much later than the original request. This means it can take months, or most likely years, for significant changes to be implemented into the product and then adopted and utilized by the customer.

2. Changing Marketplace

The challenges facing talent acquisition teams today are unprecedented in many ways. The corporate world is changing, how businesses grow is changing, and the talent they need is changing. Many of the products on the market today were born out of necessity from specific pains and needs, and have since evolved into larger, but very strong and stable products. Unfortunately, this means the cutting and bleeding edge problems that have started to plague recruitment in the past few years are not being addressed by these established vendors. The good news is that there are more startups than ever addressing these issues, but ultimately they will fall into the same trap as their big brothers as they grow and/or are acquired.

3. Serving Multiple Industries

Are you primarily recruiting software developers? Electricians? Nurses? Teachers? Accountants? Not only is your talent acquisition team dealing witch specific requirements for your niche, but your entire workflow and strategy is also specific to who you are recruiting and how you recruit them. With vendors understandably serving multiple markets, they are likely to be slow to adopt features that target your specific use case.

4. Acquisitions

Remember earlier when we talked about startups being born out of the requirement of specific needs? Guess what happens to those startups? They are bought by the big players in the space we mentioned before that. This isn’t a bad thing – this gives new features to the masses with the reinforcement of many resources, but it can be a slow process that stalls innovation and sometimes valuable features are lost in the shuffle.

5. Their Own Talent

Recruiting is hard, right? It is. Your vendors are suffering from this as well. Their careers page is filled with specific talent needs that are critical for strategy and growth. They are feeling the pain just as you are and the result is slower change and slower innovation. Additionally, your vendors are currently dealing with a changing market place (as mentioned above) that is changing more and changing faster than other industries. Just as your recruiting needs are changing, your vendor’s needs are changing as well.

Recruiting (and Human Resources in general) is in a uniquely competitive and challenging point in time – and it will not get easier anytime soon. As you, your team, and your business navigate this changing landscape it’s important to find business partners that are qualified to tackle, and more importantly ones that truly understand, the hurdles that you are trying to leap over. When you and your vendors are running the same race it’s important to make sure that both of you can finish the race without tripping before the finish line.