From the time of the Roman Empire, clear system for recruitment has been around to maintain large armies to support king’s geographical growth aspirations. The Romans have done most of what we do today; they managed talent crunch, had screening methods, ran referral programs, nurtured employer brand, and additionally handled the burden of sluggish bureaucracy. Fundamentally recruitment remained largely the same until now, but now TALENT HAS CHANGED!
Hyper-connected talent: Today talent is hyper-connected over social media. Talent today is able to stay connected with friends they met decades ago in a conference, college or interviews! Everyone is able to find a few connections in every organization and get first hand opinion on the organization. Also, talent is successfully crowdsourcing information about organizations from website such as Glassdoor and we know crowdsourcing is effective and almost accurate. This phenomena is reducing the information asymmetry that existed in talent market between employer and job seeker. Clearly, talent has been leveraging technology to drive this disruption.
For organizations to stay current and relevant to talent, they require proactive steps to ensure hyper-connected talent hear right and favorable facts about the company. First step would include doing a full evaluation of the company and creating an employee value proposition (EVP) by which the company lives. Once this is achieved, companies need to encourage their employees and fans to spread the EVP far and wide.
HR professionals intuitively understand the impact of hyper-connected talent and EVP is no new concept. They have been successful in driving their companies to adopt social media for talent attraction. However, they seem challenged to attract investment to build the system where companies continually examine their EVP, tune their policies and actions to live the EVP and make their employees aware of companies’ commitment to the EVP, so that employees feels it and communicates it to talent at large. This challenge is due to difficulty in demonstrating ROI for the system. However increasing importance of getting employees to talk about EVP and improvement in analytics technology is immensely helping HR professionals in tracking strategic initiatives and measuring business impact.
Blurring boundaries between active and passive job seekers – Job explorers: We are always used to a fraction of talent being active job seekers. They are generally available on jobsites and responded well to phone calls by recruiters. Then there were the other majority–passive job seekers who are hard to find and usually considered better in quality. But today, boundaries between active and passive job seekers is collapsing and only a small fraction of talent is truly active or passive. A large majority is quasi-active and quasi-passive – let’s call them Job explorers. Job explorers look for opportunity like active job seekers but dormant like passive job seekers. This majority population is well informed of the opportunity existing in the market and hold considerable influence on talent pool just as information mavericks do. A research by Monster puts the number of Job explorers at 57%.
Organizations ought to exploit this willingness on the part of the job explorers to explore opportunities and make themselves visible and heard.
Several companies are doing well in catering to job explorers by leveraging technology to distribute jobs on social media, job sites, and career pages. But there is significant gain in communicating the EVP effectively in JD and companies aren’t exploiting this opportunity to turn job explorers into applicants. Also, job explorers are looking to gather more information and connections and companies aren’t effectively playing the role of a facilitator connecting job explorers with recruiters, employees and hiring managers, which empowers job explorers and powerfully builds positive brand among target talent pool.
Influence of ZMOT Phenomena: ZMOT stands for zero moment of truth and Google introduced this term to explain the phenomenon in this decade where people when stimulated by an advertisement on a product, explore the product in digital platforms before deciding on visiting a store. Visiting the store and checking the product is traditionally called first moment of truth and buying and experiencing it is called second moment of truth.
Drawing parallels, talent receives job opportunity from job sites, advertisements and recruiters, which forms the stimulus. Talent responds to this stimulus by researching the organization online – ZMOT phenomena. Talent Googles the company and based on the perception formed, decides how to treat the company and its job offer. Talent is looking for recent news, blogs, awards, achievements, leadership, and everything one could look for in an organization. A study by Monster reveals that talent explores, on an average, 14.5 sources of information before deciding on an opportunity. This search is aimed to get a holistic picture about the organization and future prospects. Therefore, we see that a company loses or wins talent even before his candidature lands on hiring manager’s desk due to perceptions formed on the company from online content.
In order to have a favorable treatment from talent, companies need to ensure they communicate positive aspects of working for the company and its EVP proactively on channels that talent trust; Facebook, LinkedIn, career page and other digital platforms. Companies have rightly created media rich content but that isn’t sufficient. People trust people and thus companies need to create platform where their employees could connect with target talent and communicate positive aspects about the company and it’s EVP. The next step is co-creating content with employees and talent who have high perception about the company.
Combined impact demonstrating job seeker decision journey: The combined effect of these trends on talent acquisition is profound. Essentially what the target talent perceives about an organization, employer brand, has become more fluid. Different sources are creating content that is defining Employer Brand. This communication is reaching wider talent more quickly and talent is scrutinizing this content and aligning their behavior accordingly.
Talent acquisition paradigm is shifting; resulting in extension of the talent supply chain, which once began from talent attraction to recruitment to development but today, has been extended to include listening to talent community, connecting and engaging with them to co-create authentic content that will display authentic employer brand. The lack of aliveness of your Employee Value proposition could be hurting you. Way forward is to make it alive for job explorers because it is going to decide if you will be able to attract top talent or not.
All stakeholders stand to benefit from adapting to these new ways. The hiring managers stand to benefit from gradual increase in quality of hire since the method attracts passive/ job explorers. Count of disengaged employees would reduce since the organization would attract talent who fit the organization and understand its EVP. Management would benefit by reduction in costs of talent acquisition because now the company is attracting talent directly reducing expensive vendors and reduction in attrition. The customers would benefit from tight people strategy and bullet proof execution. High esteem value in working for the organization and employee brand visibility improves awareness among investors.