Solving the Third-Party Tech Puzzle

Part Two of a Two Part Series

With time and research, you can put every piece together.

In our previous post The Avalanche of Third-Party Tech, we discussed the enormous number of third-party technology options available to the staffing industry—and how having so many options can be both a blessing and a curse! Now we’ll address narrowing those options so you can find tech solutions that are ideal for your staffing business.

Time is on your side

As you explore third-party tech options, don’t feel pressured to make a quick decision. Conduct as much due diligence as you need to rule out some solutions and give others more consideration. This doesn’t need to be a massive, all-encompassing endeavor—but as you consider the strengths, weaknesses, and business case differentiating your options, you’ll likely find a rapidly diminishing number of third-party tech options on your shortlist.

Look where a tech provider has been to predict where they’re going

Understanding a tech vendor’s history can give you an idea of their future trajectory—and whether it’s a direction that matches your goals. In the past few years, we’ve seen ecosystem vendors start with a single solution and then add other components to it over time. One example is Sense, which started with engagement workflow and has since added conversational text messaging, an AI chatbot, and referral technology. Another is Phenom People, which started with a next-generation career site and now offers more than a dozen different add-ons.

At the same time, know that even when a tech provider is moving in a clear direction, the landscape can shift. Consider how buying a recruiter chatbot has changed. A few years back, I attended HR Tech’s annual conference and visited at least ten different standalone AI chatbot vendors. It was a new and white-hot technology then; every staffing company was shopping for a standalone solution. Now, few staffing companies use a standalone chatbot; it’s more likely a tech provider add-on.

The simplicity (and savings) of a single-source solution

It’s tempting to pick and choose tech solutions from multiple providers, especially when you can’t quickly find one vendor who has all the solutions you want. Again: Time is on your side. With enough research, you’re likely to find one tech provider that can meet several of your business needs. The alternative is purchasing multiple components from multiple vendors—all of whom need to be managed—and an unwieldy tech stack. It’s a lot of work. Beyond that, a vendor typically will offer discounts if you purchase more than one of their components.

Today’s tech stack is a puzzle. You can solve it.

Yesterday, you identified one missing piece from your tech stack and found one solution to fill it. Today, you have an entire unassembled puzzle to put together. It’s not easy keeping up with the growing number of third-party tech solutions, understanding their differences, and identifying which technologies fit together to deliver what your staffing firm needs. Solving the puzzle means looking at adjacent technology in your stack—and the innovative solutions that vendors offer—then considering the broader picture before making your decision. But you can do it!

First, understand the current and planned footprint of the vendors you’re considering. Then, consider the current and long-term needs of your organization. With that information, you can strategically select a vendor that offers a set of components that’s the best fit for your organization—and solve the technology puzzle to maximize your success!

Sara Moss is the vice president of Newbury Partner’s Technology Advisory group. Her team helps staffing companies of all sizes tailor their tech stack for their unique needs, plan technology investments by crafting a technology roadmap, facilitate rapid vendor selections and helps automate end-to-end staffing business processes.

Email Sara ( to learn more about how her team can help your organization navigate the staffing tech landscape to identify the solutions that will have the biggest impact to your business.

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