3 Talent Acquisition Trends You Need To Know

Talent acquisition has undergone a significant transformation in the last five years. With 76% of the online population now on social media, it has never been easier to find and source candidates online. However, the social web has also made recruiting more complex as candidates are becoming more segmented across the web. So, while it’s easier than ever to find talent, the challenge is in the outreach. With so many organizations jumping on the social recruiting bandwagon, it’s becoming harder to get a response from top candidates since it’s likely they are not actively looking or are being contacted by other companies too.

So what can a talent acquisition leader or recruiter like you do to succeed in today’s increasingly competitive talent landscape?

Last week Kyle Lagunas, Principal Analyst at Lighthouse Research & Advisory, and I chatted about the topic of recruiting trends and how to focus on a data-driven recruiting strategy in a webinar hosted by Talent Management. In case you missed it, here are some of the key trends you need to know to win a top candidate’s attention and hire the best talent out there.

  1. Positive Candidate Experience & Engagement
    The rise of social and consumer technologies have changed candidate expectations when they interact with your company in the hiring process. Historically recruiting may have been impersonal and transactional, but today’s candidates expect more personalized communication, interaction and transparency from employers.

More than 80% of today’s shoppers conduct online research before making a purchase. Just like a sophisticated consumer, candidates are researching your company to help them decide whether they will apply or accept a job with your organization. They want to learn more about your company’s mission and the problem you’re trying to solve for the world. They want to know the challenges they’ll get to tackle and the impact they’ll get to make in their role. They want to get to know the people who actually work at your company.

Candidates are also used to going online to have quick, simple transactions like online shopping. It doesn’t take more than 10 minutes to make a purchase on Amazon, and candidates expect their application process to be very much the same way. Candidates want a simple, straight-forward and quick experience when applying for a role. If you’re asking candidates to spend more than 10 minutes on an application, it’s likely too complicated and you can expect to see a big drop-off rate.

And according to the 2015 Candidate Experience Research from Talent Board, candidates want stronger communication throughout the hiring process. An automated “thank you” email simply isn’t enough anymore. If they’re not moving forward in the process, they want timely, honest feedback on why they’re not selected.

42% of job applicants who suffered a negative candidate experience say they would never apply to that company again. And 34% of candidates would even turn to social media and publicly share their negative experiences on their networks, which can be extremely damaging to your company’s employer brand and recruiting efforts.

  1. Data-Driven Talent Acquisition Technology & Strategy
    The good news is that companies today have lots of great options for technology solutions to not only help them find, engage and deliver a great candidate experience to top talent, but to also measure and generate data-driven insights to further optimize their recruiting performance.

Today’s social recruiting, talent sourcing and engagement technologies are doing the manual, time-consuming administrative work for recruiters – the tasks that have made recruiting impersonal and transactional – and they’re giving time back to recruiters so they can focus on the “human” aspect of working with candidates throughout the hiring process, building relationships and developing a strong talent pipeline for your organization.

Talent CRM solutions, for example, can help capture and store rich profile data, conversations and engagement with past and potential candidates, which can be used strategically for sourcing and recruiting initiatives.

Many talent sourcing solutions also have engagement capabilities built in, such as employee referral technologies, helping recruiters to automatically match people in your employees’ networks to open roles within your company. And many ATS systems today have open APIs and enable integration of other technology solutions, allowing you to implement the best tools that will give you a leg up on your competition.

But what ultimately differentiates great from good HR organizations is that the great ones are taking full advantage of the recruiting data enabled by these tools, technologies and systems, to regularly measure, analyze and apply actionable insights to optimize their talent acquisition strategy for both short and long-term success.

  1. Targeted Employer Branding & Talent Attraction
    Don’t try to be all things to all people. Yes, it’s tempting to not leave a potential candidate out, but in an effort to attract everyone, you’re also attracting candidates who are either not a good fit or are unqualified for the roles you’re hiring.

Successful employer branding isn’t about attracting everyone, but attracting the right people who will thrive at your company. In all your employer brand content and messaging, be honest and specific about what your brand stands for, what it’s really like working at your organization (the good and the bad), and the types of people will be successful there. This will help candidates screen themselves out if they’re not a good match, which ultimately helps you optimize your recruiting funnel to attract the right people to your company.

With today’s candidates on at least one social media network, you need a multi-channel approach to reach and engage as many target candidates as you can on the platforms where they’re spending time. Just like marketing, you need to go where your talent is.

And to win a top candidate’s attention and interest in your company, you need a dynamic content strategy to tell, share and engage them with your employer brand stories utilizing a variety of formats, such as video and blogging, that are most appealing to your target candidates.

By tying these three aspects together, you can ensure you are driving real change to your team’s recruiting capabilities, and are delivering strategic value to your business by attracting, engaging and hiring the best talent your company needs to succeed today and tomorrow.

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