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Shift To Talent Attraction Model Makes Candidate Experience Better

talnet attraction.jpgAs the leader of an outplacement firm, I am able to observe how our candidates interact and experience the recruitment process of organization. Their experiences run the spectrum from complete frustration to becoming company evangelist.

The key driver in what determines our outplacement candidate’s user experience is the talent acquisition process and technology at the organization that they are applying to. Too often, they are left frustrated by applicant tracking systems that are difficult to navigate, communication loops that are broken and no official closure on where their application ultimately stands.

Looking forward, we see that this process is going to change for the better given some of the encouraging signs we see from thought leaders like Tim Sackett, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, President of HRU Technical Resources, a leading IT and Engineering Staffing firm headquartered in Lansing, MI.  

In an insightful white paper “Talent Acquisition Is Dead: Talent Attraction Takes Root” he analyzes the key changes that are taking place in the recruiting space and predicts that smart organizations will be moving away from an acquisition mindset (traditional approach to recruiting) to an attraction model where strategies are built to help companies become talent magnets.

Tim Sackett summarized that this sea change in talent recruitment strategy has and is taking place because:

Like the perfect storm, years of pent-up hiring needs combined with a lack of recruiting skill and outdated technology converged with a massive amount of experienced talent leaving the workforce in a short window of time.

This, on top of a pre-conceived notion that candidates should be bowing down in order to prove why an organization should make them the “lucky” choice. And just like that, traditional talent acquisition was washed away, leaving a clean slate for talent attraction to take root.

This now leaves organizations to begin to think about how they can make the change from acquisition to attraction. In the white paper Sackett explains it this way:

While someone in talent acquisition might think about recruiting like this:

  • How can we find talent quickly without using too many resources?
  • How do we ensure that the talent has all the skills needed for the position?
  • How do we pay a market rate without impacting the rates of our other employees?
  • How do we make sure the hiring manager is happy?

Someone in talent attraction would approach recruiting like this:

  • Why would a candidate want to work here?
  • What can this organization offer candidates that our competitors cannot?
  • How can we ensure the candidate will love working here and be developed?
  • What skills do we need to give our hiring managers?

In the future, Sackett predicts that organizations will start doing the following as they move towards a candidate attraction model:

Developing a vision that will define what the company brand is to potential candidates. This vision we see every employee as a brand ambassador and recruiter for the organization.

Develop referral programs that work. Too often referral programs are lost and fail to live up to expectations. This will need to be addressed because research clearly supports that candidate that enter via referral stay longer and are less expensive to recruit.

Rethink their job advertising strategy to take advantages of the changes in programmatic technology. The traditional approach of placing job ads on all of the major job boards has proven to be increasingly less productive.  

Effectively manage candidate relationships. Most organizations using applicant tracking systems (ATS) have some type of CRM (Candidate Relationship Management) technology that should, in theory, help them source and engage potential candidates from their database. Unfortunately, the promise of this technology is not delivered at the present time. There is a good reason why most job applicants refer to any ATS as a “black hole”.

Use employees to share stories that will provide candidates with genuine and authentic insights why their organization is a place where they would want to work and develop their careers.

For all of these predictions to become reality technology will have to deliver on its promise and organizations will have to embrace that we are not in a job scarcity economy anymore.

Smart companies will need to rethink their talent strategy so that they become places where people want to work and grow their careers. If upon reflection they are not a good place to work they better rethink their mission and vision or risk obsolescence.

I am hopeful that the talent attraction model will make the candidate user experience more productive. Like our candidates, I suffer when I see the lack of productivity, connectedness, and dignity in the current recruitment. If more organizations take the path outlined by Tim Sackett everyone will benefit.

Note: I would encourage everyone to follow Tim Sackett's blog. It is smart, topical and will get you thinking.