It’s the time of year when many organizations are frantically delivering the remainder of the year’s deliverables while also putting a bow on the next year’s budget, which often will entail line items for expenditures such as new technologies. If you are building such expenditures into your upcoming budget, here’s a look at how to plan a roadmap — and which technologies to consider.

Direct-sourcing platform/sourcing automation technology. The last few years have been pivotal for the advancement of direct sourcing. The availability and sophistication of the technology supporting this concept may be one of the biggest contributors to a company’s success. Many organizations are still toying with this strategy and finding limited or mixed results with their initial pilots or trials, while others are thriving and completely transforming their talent mindset. The difference will often come down to the investment in technology and the change process to adopt it. The direct-sourcing platforms available in the market are helping not only to organize brand attracted candidates but also to automate the processes to engage that talent in ways the VMS can’t. With the right strategy, these tools have the potential to deliver higher quality candidates faster and at a better cost — which is the ultimate goal of most talent organizations.

Candidate verification/assessment technology. With the rise of remote work during the pandemic and the debate about return-to-office/hybrid arrangements still ongoing, many organizations are left with roles being filled and work being conducted outside of their physical locations. Whether you look at remote work as a strategy or a risk, the opportunity for fraud is very real — but with candidate verification technology, this threat can be mitigated by ensuring your remote candidate interactions are authentic and consistent. The value of these tools doesn’t stop at countering fraud, as many of these tools are also automating the assessment and interviewing process to help companies rethink how they review and rank potential talent.

Analytics tools. Excel has been a great tool in the past, but it’s time to evolve into the next era of data and intelligence. Analytics tools aren’t a new concept. In fact, many VMS platforms have analytic capability within their own interfaces.  The need for these tools is increasing as a higher importance is put on not just having data but being able to have the right data at the right point in the process to make it valuable. Now we can see data in real time and understand the trends and correlations to other data points in ways that flat file reporting couldn’t provide.

Generative AI/chatbots. It is hard to have any technology conversation without mentioning the most hyped technology of 2023, ChatGPT. This generative AI model wowed even non-tech-minded folks by showing how AI can be generally consumable by anyone. Generative AI tools are now found in just about every search engine and can be added to almost any word processing application. For the CW community specifically, they offer an opportunity to become a knowledge base for process and policy that can guide engagement managers through the CW engagement journey. Couple that with access to historic program data and metrics, and now you have the ability to better understand your data and the trends that influence your workforce.

Unfortunately, your organization probably won’t have the budget, time and resources to implement every technology on your wish list. Start with your biggest known problems and explore the technologies available to solve those challenges. Even if you aren’t planning an active technology project for 2024, it is important to stay aware of the technology trends in the market and be ready to jump in when the opportunity is right. New technology can be exciting, but that doesn’t mean we should abandon the technology that got us this far. Be sure to consider any new technology’s ability to integrate into your existing process and systems. Have active conversations with your existing technology providers and understand how your roadmaps align. This will help to create stronger partnerships with your technology vendors that will help accelerate innovation across your businesses.

It’s not too late to think about how technology can impact your CW program in 2024. One thing is certain: Technology will continue to advance and provide incredible solutions to our workforce challenges. Our biggest limitation will be our human ability to adapt to it and consume it at the pace it changes.