A recruiter needs to evolve beyond just talent acquisition and adapt to newer trends in an environment where employees choose where and why they want to work
With changing dynamics of the market, it is essential for companies to be proactive than reactive to acquire the best talent. However, recruitment teams often dont have the technology and skills to recruit as marketers
Once upon a time, a recruiter’s work primarily involved filling vacancies based on openings. He/she was 'privileged' to make the choice of picking the employees. And for candidates, what mattered then was having a decent paying job at a decent enough company. Cut to 2016; the roles changed with time. The responsibility of wooing the candidate now lies with the recruiter, who also has to don the role of being an organization’s ambassador. The recruiter has to ensure that the jobseeker knows the company's culture and is satisfied with their benefits package, and most of all, to ensure that the candidate has an enriching experience throughout the process. Sigh!
The recruiter’s role today is not just confined to assisting the right candidate; it also expands to being a ‘marketer’ now. Change and transformation is the only constant; similarly, a recruiter too needs to evolve beyond just talent acquisition and adapt to newer trends in an environment where employees choose where and why they want to work.
Let's have a quick look at some of the significant trends transforming the talent acquisition process and what a recruiter needs to do to ensure that the talent acquisition process stays relevant with respect to an evolving candidate base.
Transforming with digital
Staying in touch and keeping up to date had never been as easy as it is now. Today’s generation is hooked to the mobile technology where almost 84 percent* of the population can't live without a smartphone and 1 out of these 5, check their mobile phones almost every 10 minutes. With technology so inclusive and powerful, it would only make sense for an organization to allow its future employees to apply for vacancies, as and when the latter wants and can. In other words, everything now needs to be ‘on the go’, even job applications!
The immense power which the mobile proliferation is bestowing on the fingertips of the customers today has the capability to either make or ruin a brand’s reputation based on the experience of a potential employee. A recent study by the IBM Smarter Institute shows that 49 percent of the candidates applying have had some sort of affiliation with the organization, before applying. In fact, 1 out of every 5 applicants has been a loyal customer of the organization and would naturally expect a similar level of enriching experience as one is used to while shopping online or using apps (Source Bersin TA Factbook 2015). The seamless customer experience thus now extends to seamless hiring. That said, hiring is one of the most important brand touch points that might change the way the stakeholders see a company in the market.
Need for a proactive approach
With changing dynamics of the market, it is essential for companies to be proactive than reactive to acquire the best talent. However, recruitment teams often don’t have the technology and skills to recruit as marketers. While, over 50 percent of the HR leaders put "sourcing the right candidates for the company" in their list of top 3 concerns*; more than half (60 percent) of the companies have a reactionary recruitment approach**. They only source and hire when there are open job requisitions instead of actively looking for new talent.
According to the IBM Smarter Institute paper "The secret to reducing hiring mistakes", HR leaders and hiring managers would rehire only 61 percent of their recent hires on an average. This is only possible if you have a ready ‘candidate pool’ based on your requirement. Use of analytics and data to indicate whether the candidate fits the requirement could also prove to be immensely helpful and rewarding. This calls for a new way of acquiring talent wherein we could benefit from certain simple marketing fundamentals for an enriching candidate experience.
The new talent acquisition system should focus on:
Personalized experience: Investing in understanding the candidate behavior – where they come from, the referring sites, the mobile devices they use and then using this information to provide an engaging and personalized candidate experience. This could go a long way in building better brand cognizance and value.
Candidate pool development: Developing a candidate pool from a variety of internal and external sources and building a robust talent pipeline even when there is no active hiring needed could help with a ready-to-use and better matching fits for times when there are urgent requirements.
Campaigns: Using specific campaigns and tracking metrics to understand effectiveness of the marketing programs can lead to further personalized experience for future candidates.
Engagement: Targeted marketing, job ads etc. for the talent pool, providing candidates with dynamic landing pages, communities and keeping them informed about company’s work and available opportunities would ensure better response and quality.
Focus on responsive design: Responsive design would not only allow a prospective candidate to search for jobs easily and while on the move, but also help HR in assessments, onboarding etc. This will allow user to be available anytime, anywhere making the communication between the employee and the employer simpler and more effective.
Also, with the availability of advanced analytic tools that give high visibility into trends and profiles, HR leaders could gather useful information on questions that would help them focus on a better recruitment policy. For example, whether campus recruitment for a certain college is worth the investment could be easily answered by tracking certain parameters.
Change is not an easy process but it pays to change with time. The sooner, the better! With HR being a pioneer in leading change within an organization always, this would be a good time to try and reinvent the system for themselves.
*Silkroad study 2014
**As per Aberdeen in their paper titled Talent Acquisition Technology Today, Tomorrow and Beyond.