According to The Conference Board’s 2020 Annual Survey, attracting and retaining top talent is one of the leading concerns of C-level executives around the world. Additionally, McKinsey’s Global Survey: War for Talent 2020 found that “82% of Fortune 500 executives don’t believe their companies recruit highly talented people.” Considering the talent acquisition technology industry was expected to grow to a $10B industry, it seems like organizations are spending more than ever yet seeing dismal results.
So why are organizations spending more but seeing less results? Well, in order to truly attract and retain top talent, firms must combine leading technology with the right people and processes. We’ll explore the meaningful recruiting conversations that help us bridge the gap between people, process, and technology to improve talent acquisition and management.
People-Focused Recruiting Conversations
In terms of people, process, and technology, we could describe the “people” conversations as external conversations, or the candidate experience. The three most important ways to engage candidates are through personalized conversations and experiences, communicating with honesty and rigor, and also understanding that sometimes (maybe even most of the time) internal candidates are the best candidates.
Communicate Transparently and Timely
The first thing to know about communicating with candidates is they appreciate timely and transparent communication. In fact, 60 percent of candidates will drop out of a hiring process that takes too long. Having a fast process will ensure candidates stay engaged.
Regarding transparency, there are several kinds of transparency in hiring. Candidates want to be informed about what’s involved in the hiring process, how they will be evaluated, what the compensation package looks like, as well as what the position really, team, and organization are really like.
Create Personalized Experiences: Speak the Language of Your Candidates
In addition to timely and transparent communication, the best recruiters and sourcers understand the need to personalize communications. In his 3 Best Practices for Each Stage of the Recruiting Workflow webinar, recruiting expert Mike “Batman” Cohen talks about the importance of personalizing the small things, and getting them right the first time. He mentions things as small as getting the person’s preferred name right, mentioning he prefers to be called “Mike” or “Batman” and will not respond to “Michael.” Other easy ways to personalize outreach include things like mentioning the day of the week.
Beyond outreach, creating what Recruiting Daily’s William Tincup calls hyper-personalized “micro-experiences” can help engage candidates throughout the hiring process. One way to do that is to really get to know candidates, both on a personal and professional level. Sourcecon blogger and sourcer, Erin Matthew, describes her efforts to personalize candidate experiences in her April Virtual HRTX session, by sharing that in order to better connect and communicate with engineers and developers, she actually learned to code. Talk about adapting to speak the language of your candidates! Other ways, Tincup mentions, to create positive experiences include understanding how candidates like to communicate and adopting that style and medium of communication.
Navigating Conversations With Internal Candidates
While communicating timely and ensuring a positive candidate experience may already be top of mind. One aspect of talent acquisition that is often overlooked includes attracting, developing, and hiring internal candidates. In fact, Wharton school of business professor, Peter Cappelli, says, “only 28% of talent acquisition leaders today report that internal candidates are an important source of people to fill vacancies.”
While organizations today focus on acquiring talent elsewhere, hiring teams of the past looked inward because it takes external hires “three years to perform as well as internal hires in the same job, while internal hires take seven years to earn as much as outside hires are paid.” Hiring internal candidates is not only cheaper, but more productive, as well.
The Hiring Process
Talent acquisition professionals can have the best intentions. But, without the right processes in place, you’ll still have some major gaps in your candidate experiences. Foundational process “musts” include setting clear expectations for the hiring process, laying the groundwork for the position, and conducting training for the entire hiring team.
Set Clear Expectations About the Hiring Process
The hiring process can be frustrating to hiring teams, especially when everyone isn’t on the same page with how the process should go. At the beginning of the hiring process, recruiters should hit with hiring managers to make sure they talk through things like what’s involved in the hiring process, who is responsible for what, who needs to be involved, and how long things should take. Setting expectations up front can save frustration later down the road.
Conversations that Lay the Groundwork for the Position
In order to find and deliver the best candidates, recruiters and sourcers must understand what the manager is looking for. To do this, Cappelli mentions a need to strategically plan what the role looks like, who would be successful at it, and what compensation is fair for the position.
Talent acquisition teams also need to discuss whether the hiring manager has any expectations about physical, hierarchical, and team dynamics, time to hire, and even anything needed to make a decision. Part of that includes whether the position be done virtually or is a specific location or office a must?
Training the Hiring Team on Interview Best Practices
One of the most important parts of the hiring process is interviewing. Oddly enough, the way we conduct them today, interviews aren’t great indicators of performance success. One way to increase the effectiveness of interviews (and conversations with candidates) is to better train interviewers on what questions to ask, how to judge and evaluate candidates, and other things like how to avoid common biases.
Technology-Driven Recruiting Conversations
In addition to human-driven experiences, technology can facilitate meaningful recruiting conversations to create fast, friendly, and cost-effective hiring processes. These solutions help organizations hire from home, collaborate internally, and improve the candidate experience.
Hiring From Home
Recent efforts to work from home means a need for solutions and conversations that support remote hiring. That means digitizing solutions and creating remote processes to help teams collaborate and communicate in attracting, interviewing, and assessing candidate skills and capabilities. Even more, hiring from home increases the need to rethink traditional recruiting and onboarding practices including office tours and campus recruiting events. Facilitating communication among remote teams is essential to the success of today’s organizations.
Internal Collaboration and Communication
The need for internal collaboration has always been around. That need only increases as remote work becomes more prevalent. Tools like Microsoft Teams can not only support collaboration and real-time communication, it also provides an easy way to schedule and even reschedule interviews. Real-time communication tools help keep everyone on the same page and the hiring process running smoothly.
Conversations and the Candidate Experience
We likely don’t have to tell you that creating positive candidate experiences are an essential part of talent acquisition. At this point, technology certainly plays a role in driving meaningful conversations, as well. Solutions like career site chatbots and video now play an important role. Chatbots can automate conversations with candidates to help them get answers about careers, available jobs, and even schedule interviews in real time. Video can now share important information like job previews, communicate the benefits of a position at the organization, or even support and improve interviews.
Finally, even unlikely functionality like mobile career sites and job applications can tell candidates a lot about your organization’s ability to adapt. So much so that according to Glassdoor, 58% of users look for jobs on their phones, 94% of job seekers want to see current job openings on a mobile career site, and even simply promoting a job as mobile-friendly can increase the number of applicants by 11.6%.
For more information on leveraging meaningful recruiting conversations to bridge the gap between people, processes, and technology, join Talview’s Micole Garatti and recruiting expert Claire Petrie on May 18th, 2020 for a webinar with candidate experience association, The Talent Board. Register for the event now here: https://bit.ly/2S4IBId.