The New World of Adaptable HR Software: Avature Sets The Pace

As I finalize my HR Technology report for 2021 I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about HR Tech for the year ahead, and among the many things going on, the biggest of all is what I’d call “adaptable HR platforms.”

Think about it this way. In the traditional world of enterprise software, companies build applications. The application is essentially a set of forms, interfaces, and transactions that automate and integrate your work. In payroll, for example, the software captures your hours and then computes pay, taxes, benefits, and other deductions. It then captures the data, sends information to your bank, and sends notifications to you.

In areas like recruiting, we buy applicant tracking systems, candidate relationship systems, or screening tools. In learning we buy learning management systems, collaborative learning platforms, and learning experience tools. And then there are tools for onboarding, career management, diversity reporting, performance and goal management, social recognition, and the list goes on.

All these systems are great, but they present a big problem. You, as a buyer, are forced to pick the ones you want and then you end up with a lot of “specialized tools” that may or may not work well together. And your employees have to figure out which ones to use when, so some of them don’t get used at all.

What if you had an HR system that was more like a swiss army knife and less like a chain saw? In other words, it was more like a “toolbox” that let you build what you need, in addition to having applications built-in?

This is what companies need today: truly adaptable HR software.

If you look at all we’ve learned from the Pandemic (read The Big Reset Playbook: What’s Working Now), it’s one important thing. Agility is everything in business today. We cannot predict precisely who we want to hire, what jobs people will be in, or what location or travel policies we will have every week. But we do need to implement all these processes and we need a toolset that can adapt to these needs. And this is precisely what Avature has built.

When I first started to get to know Avature (the company), I was amazed at what a configurable and adaptable system they built. Yes, the company is well known for candidate relationship management and recruitment automation, but in reality what Avature built is a highly configurable system that lets you design and form, workflow, business rules, and report you need. It’s like an accounting system that was built in Excel: it works out of the box and then you can just tweak it and add to it with ease.

(Avature, by the way, is one of the fastest-growing companies in HR Tech. The company has more than 800 employees around the world, boasts renewal rates over 90%, and is growing at more than 30% per year.  While the company does not spend much on marketing, the technology and team is world-class.)

In recruiting this is an incredibly big issue. No two companies recruit in the same way, and each new recruitment project (a new team, a new location, a new job type) requires a different type of workflow. And we want the candidate experience to be flawless, so we have to build these workflows so they’re very easy to use, and give recruiters, managers, and HR teams real-time, easy to use information. How many people applied for our engineering jobs in Krakow? What advertisements worked for our customer service roles in Cincinnatti?  What is the status of our candidate pipeline for salespeople in California?

These are all real questions and the typical “chain saw” recruitment tool may or many not be able to answer these questions. Avature, which was designed as an adaptable system, can easily do this – and it goes even further.

I just finished interviewing a series of Avature’s customers and the findings were pretty amazing. Companies like Cisco, Siemens, L’Oreal, Epic, and many others told me that without Avature they’d find recruiting almost impossible. Not only do they like the platform itself, but it has become a “tool box” for building solutions they knew they needed but couldn’t buy themselves.

And what this does is let companies “configure” their platform to do new things. Avature customers, for example, use the system for all aspects of candidate sourcing, attraction, and recruiting and then also use the system for onboarding, goal setting, performance management, and even internal mobility. They configure business rules for different user groups in different ways and let hiring managers and recruiters share the same data with ease. And it’s all because the system is adaptable: designed for change.

If there’s anything we’ve learned in the Pandemic (read our Resilient Response to the Pandemic study for details), it’s that in today’s world we need systems that can adapt, morph, and change to meet new needs. Avature’s architecture was designed for this, so I think the company is an example for others.

Read the story on Avature here: it will teach you a lot about recruiting but also about how to look for “adaptability” in all the HR platforms you buy.