Turning your consultancy on a dime hasn’t been easy, but some of the challenges are thankfully diminishing. In fact, the nuances of converting to a virtual workforce and a mostly or completely offsite project work are now last on the list of Top 10 Challenges Facing Professional Services Leaders, according to respondents in a recent SPI Professional Services Talent Benchmark.
However, there are plenty of challenges still remaining including around many around hiring and retaining the right talent. Here are some tips taken from the recent Technology Advice Paper: Top 10 Critical Consulting Moves for 2021.
Don’t Neglect the “Soft Skills”
When it comes to talent, consulting staff (and clients alike) must punch up their skills as online communicators and collaborators – to best engage without in-person lunch meetings or stand-up presentations. Those soft skills are now critical to your firm’s success.
In stressful working environments, clients seeking consulting support appreciate meaningful interactions with a more balanced professional staff, skilled at effective collaboration, with a bit of compassion.
Hire for the Long Term
Many businesses are trying to make short-term adjustments today so they can more easily adapt as needed tomorrow. But when it comes to hiring talent today, leadership must invest for the long term. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reported that on average it costs a company 6 to 9 months of an employee’s salary to replace him or her.
Make your firm attractive to the top talent that’s available by offering opportunities for learning, growth, wellness, personal connections, and family flexibility. Your firm will find that the opportunities you offer to your talent today will pay off in retention, employee satisfaction and even client satisfaction down the road.
Welcome back to Week 2 of our Halloween Monster Mash Blog Series! This week we are talking about the Ghost, and Frankenstein! Spoooookyyyy!
The Ghost – A person involved in the recruitment process who ghosts a candidate after he or she has advanced to the interview process.
What is ghosting? It is the practice of suddenly withdrawing from all communication without explanation.
Anyone who has tried to find a job in a fast-paced market has likely been ghosted at some point. An astounding 65% of job seekers say they never (or rarely) receive a rejection notice from employers.
On the flip side, anyone involved in the recruitment process knows it can feel overwhelming to personally respond to everyone who expresses interest in being hired to your company. Even more so if you are processing hundreds or even thousands of applicants.
In today’s tech savvy world, we have applicant tracking systems that can send an instant, automated response stating only candidates being considered for the role will be contacted. This is a great way to level-set on the front end.
But what about the candidate who spends hours of their time, often juggling a busy schedule for phone screens, video interviews, face-to-face, and even call back interviews, only to then be ghosted if not moving forward? Not only is it a terrible feeling, but it’s a drain on the time and energy they could be putting into other areas of their job search.
You might be thinking, if the company doesn’t plan on moving forward with a candidate, why should it be concerned with their candidate experience?
Today more and more job seekers are leaving negative feedback regarding their candidate experience on job search sites such as Glassdoor, social media and social networking sites, or sharing by word of mouth, making company brands more public than ever.
According to Glassdoor, 58% of job seekers consider a positive experience to include clear and regular communication, 53% clear expectations, and 51% feedback regarding rejection.
Additionally, 40% of applicants state they would pull out of the recruitment process due to a poor first interaction with the Recruiter or Hiring manager, this is only 4% less than the number one reason given, which is the announcement of a recent layoff.
This means it is important that some type of response be given to all that have taken the time to apply and interview. While automated responses are a useful tool for candidates not being recommended for interview, anyone who advances to the interview stage should receive timely follow up on the status of their candidacy. It may not be a comfortable conversation, but by creating a personalized interaction, it’s sure to help you stand out as a true professional and be a good reflection on your employee brand.
The Frankenstein – a group of HR systems that have been ineffectively pieced together resulting in inefficient business processes or data integrity issues.
Typically, when deciding on HR software the choices are between a best-of-breed approach or a comprehensive package. Either can be successful if approached with a strategic plan.
Best of breed typically offers custom solutions that can cater to complex program designs and provide a more granular level of function reporting, but little in the way of HR Analytics or cross functional dashboards. Additionally, systems can get bogged down due to multiple integration points.
Purchasing a comprehensive package is generally considered to be very user-friendly, with features like single sign on, and the benefit of robust reporting capabilities. Older versions offered little in the way of granular level customization, but rapid advances are being made in this area.
At times, companies will start with one “base” system and as the business grows, systems will be added based on individual department needs in an ad hoc way with no real strategic design. This is what we call the Frankenstein.
The Frankenstein will drain your team of valuable time and resources and increase the potential for error. It often involves pulling multiple reports to get all the data needed for comprehensive analytics.
Automation and streamlining processes mean more than simply adding technology to a current process. It’s important to understand what problems you want the system to solve, what is working with the current process, and what is not.
You’ll want to consider what you need for customizations and at what level, create a list of required features, narrow the list of solution providers, maybe ask a few trusted resources for recommendations. Consider scheduling demos for the top 3, discuss the system pros and cons and then select the one that meets the majority of your needs and provides the best overall price.
Implementing the right system can redesign how your HR department does business, streamline interdepartmental processes, and potentially provide a high return on your investment. You may even be able to accomplish more with a smaller team! Take that, Frankenstein!
Thanks for reading this week’s installment, we hope you enjoyed it! Be sure to check back next week for more of our twists on HR processes.
With more competition for qualified candidates, a proactive recruiting strategy is more critical than ever. Brilliant HR Talent Management can help your company build a stronger talent pipeline, populate talent pools, and reach the key talent you need to staff your next big project. And, did you know that we recently added a candidate relationship management feature to our Talent Acquisition solution?
Let’s take a closer look at this latest enhancement to Brilliant HR Talent Acquisition: Talent Relationship Management. This new candidate relationship management feature works well in conjunction with Talent Pools and provides the foundation project-focused companies need to deepen talent pipelines and prepare for future workforce requirements.
A solid Applicant Tracking System (ATS) can be a game-changer for your recruiters. If you are not currently building and maintaining Talent Pools, you may be missing a huge opportunity to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your recruiting engine. According to the Deltek Clarity Architecture & Engineering Industry Study, 51% of A&E firms report that finding and retaining talent is their top financial challenge. Talent Pools help by flagging candidates that you want to stay in touch with for future opportunities. When that next project is won and you need to quickly scale the workforce, you will have the opportunity to tap into potential candidates with whom you have already established credibility. As resumes are added to your ATS, you can review and flag those that are a good fit for future openings.
Where Have All The Candidates Gone?
Maintaining Talent Pools by continuously accepting and flagging resumes from strong applicants can help you move faster when you win a new project, or when someone leaves unexpectedly and a succession plan for that individual is not in place. In his post The Smart Move for Growing Companies Is to Always Be Recruiting Talent, David Ciccarelli further expands on how having a strong talent acquisition pipeline in place can help.
What happens when someone leaves unexpectedly? This is where having a pipeline of candidates is critical, so your company can fill the gap sooner rather than later. There is nothing worse than having to delay a project start date because you lack the appropriate talent management resources!
When you review a resume, you can add that resume to a pool so that you can easily find them in the future:
Talent Pools enable you to keep lists of candidates with specific requirements, helping you stay in touch with those job seekers with email communication. These lists can be generated manually or through the use of search agents that automatically add to the list. They can also be shared for easy access to information. Inviting job seekers in these pools to apply to job openings they are a good fit for and have the appropriate skill set:
No one wants to spend months finding, attracting and hiring candidates. The real key to successful talent acquisition is speed. The ability to easily review candidates, engage in conversations and perform the necessary interviews, convert the best candidates to new hires, and get those new hires billable faster are underlying parts of the bigger picture.
Setting Up Campaigns
Talent Relationship Management (TRM) is available as a part of the Talent Acquisition module. This new feature is disabled by default, but your system configurator can enable this functionality. Once enabled, new navigation items for Talent Relationship Management (TRM) will appear in the Recruiting section of the left navigation menu.
You can create letter templates for use within TRM campaigns. These work similarly to other letter templates, and can include merge codes to personalize the messages being delivered:
You can setup the details of the campaign, including which pools, employees or candidates the campaign will go out to. You can save and edit later at any point during campaign creation:
Campaigns can be scheduled for delivery or sent immediately. You can select how frequently to send and between which dates you would like emails sent:
A preview of the campaign is available before publishing the campaign:
Once campaigns have been created (either published, saved to send later, or saved to finish later), you can view all campaigns on one page, similar to the existing Manage Requisitions page:
The Brilliant HR team is excited about this new feature of Talent Management because we heard from so many of you that finding candidates and filling open positions is a huge challenge. We are not stopping here. Talent Relationship Management offers us plenty of opportunities to build additional functionality that will continue to support your recruiting efforts.
Let’s face it, recruiting today is tougher than ever and finding top talent is like finding a needle in a haystack. Unemployment is at an all-time low, it is a job seeker’s market and they’re going to play hard ball when you do find them. However, is it really that hard or any harder than it has been in the past? Maybe we just need to take a different approach and look for talent in another way. Maybe the talent you seek is already available and you just forgot where to look.
Statistics show that 62% of the talent you need is readily available to you and are twice as likely to accept cold emails if they have interacted with your company brand before. That’s right, 62% of the top talent you’re looking for is already in your database, just waiting for the right opportunity to join your company. That is why it is more critical than ever to create a proactive recruiting strategy and ensure Talent Pools are an integral part of that strategy.
But it doesn’t end with just creating talent pools, you also must establish a relationship with the candidates in those talent pools and build their trust. You need to stay engaged and encourage candidates to keep their resume data current and accurate. You must show YOU’RE still interested long after they’ve applied and that there is future opportunity for them.
What does ‘establishing a relationship’ mean? By definition, a relationship is the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected. The way we each view a relationship can differ broadly, but at the core it still means the same thing. To have a relationship with someone means being connected at a deeper level than a mere association. Talent Relationship Management is the engagement between recruiter and candidate; it is building trust and maintaining interest on both sides so that time to fill future awarded projects can be reduced exponentially.
Talent Pools and Talent Relationship Management (TRM) can work lockstep and create an immersive experience for your candidates. They can help you develop and maintain relationships with your candidates and stay engaged with your top talent, nurturing that talent early and often. The ultimate goal is that you are never behind the 8 ball when projects are awarded. You have the talent to fulfill any project need with the right skills, competencies, certifications, and experience level, you just need to remember where to look.
Capitalize on your existing candidates with Talent Pools and TRM campaigns! An engaged relationship = opportunity for both you and your candidates. Win/Win!
In this series, we are going to explore some of the features that Deltek Talent Management offers, but that we have found are under-utilized. You may have started with the basics and planned to expand later or maybe you missed out on some of the new features that came out during software releases. No matter where you are today with your Talent Management solution we are going to shine a spotlight on areas that will help you leverage the full solution and make it easier for you to do the things you need to do.
Did you know that you can collect candidate certification details during the application process? This standard system functionality, which was added in our recent 15.1 software release, will help you to identify the most qualified candidates faster by highlighting their professional certifications and licenses. Once you’ve found the perfect candidate, you’ll be able to take the guesswork out of allocating your new resource. This is another way to keep the information you need at your fingertips.
We are seeing a major shift in the talent marketplace. In the past, the ball was in the employer’s court, but low unemployment and a growing economy has shifted the ball to the court of the employee or candidate.
Many candidates are entertaining multiple options and routinely receive multiple offers. According to research conducted by Deltek in multiple industries; including Architecture and Engineering, Government Contracting, and Consulting, project focused organizations are finding it increasingly difficult to locate and acquire qualified talent. The organizations that are most successful at acquiring top talent know how to move fast by leveraging the technology available to them. This feature can help you to quickly sort through candidates to find the qualifications you need for your next project.
Talent Management has always supported the collection of this information, but our 15.1 release made this feature much easier to, include in your process.
Automatically adding certifications to an employee’s learning record when they are hired will streamline your on-boarding process and eliminate the need for duplicate entry. This combination of features from Deltek Talent Acquisition and Deltek Talent Learning makes this capability more focused and embeds it into the workflows of the system.
Here’s how you can leverage this great feature in your own acquisition process:
When a job seeker applies, the request to upload certifications can be added as a step in the online application process. During the application process, candidates can select from the drop-down values you’ve provided or select other to add a different certification not already in the listing. This is a simple step for the job seeker that can give you powerful visibility into the candidates applying to your postings.
Above you can see Step 4 highlighted as part of the application process
Collect information on the type of certification and when it expires. This information will be recorded in the solution so that you won’t have to re-enter the certification or the expiration date if you hire that candidate
As a recruiter, you are now able to review the certifications that an applicant has provided, as well as search for applicants with desired certifications. This is also a great basis to use when creating candidate pools.
Certifications and descriptions are housed in the solution and can be viewed and included as a basis for reporting
Use the solution to exclude expired certifications
View and edit both internal and external certification under the employee’s learning profile
As a final step, leverage the solution to automatically add the certifications to the employee’s learning profile and save yourself the step of manually recording this information.
Look out for the next blog in the series on underused Talent management Features.
We will continue to explore ways that you can leverage your solution to acquire, develop, and retain top talent!
Are you feeling overwhelmed by trying to keep track of open requisitions, or the candidates you have in the interviewing process? Not to mention the candidates with unanswered offer letters or those that have accepted or declined an offer. There are a lot of moving pieces in the acquisition process, now add to that the expectations of the candidates themselves and you could end up spending more time writing emails and making phone calls than actually recruiting anyone!
In their book “The War for Talent,” Ed Michaels, Helen Handfield-Jones, and Beth Axelrod tell us more about the new reality created by the war for talent. Within the old reality, people needed companies; machines, capital, and geography were the competitive advantage; better talent made some different; jobs were scarce; employees were loyal and jobs were secure; and people accepted the standard package they were offered. However, within today’s new reality, there is a shift more towards focusing on and keeping employees because companies need people; talented people are the competitive advantage and better talent makes a huge difference; talented people are scarce; people are mobile and their commitment is short term; and people are demanding much more.
While the employee/employer relationship of today impacts every type of business, it has an even more profound impact on project based organizations. You rely on your people to deliver world class projects every day. Without them, your projects suffer, your customers suffer, and ultimately, your bottom line shows the negative consequences. BUT, there are better ways to cope with the challenges of talent acquisition.
With this new reality in mind, let’s cover what you can do to stay ahead of the curve and secure the strongest candidates in the marketplace. Firstly, you need to expedite the talent acquisition process, secondly, understand how talent pools can help you keep track of those highly specialized roles, and finally, how optimizing employee branding and the candidate experience can make a huge difference for your organization.
Expediting Talent Acquisition
The days of candidates flocking to your website to apply for positions is over. Remember, if they are a great employee, you can bet you are not the only one trying to convince them that your organization is the best place for them. Mindsets have shifted. The dialogue is no longer “why should we give you a job”, instead it’s “why our organization will be a great place for you to build your career.” This means we need to rethink our hiring process completely to understand how to present a strong value proposition to prospects. People want to work where the culture is strong and the projects are interesting. How are you communicating that to prospective employees?
All this change gets a whole lot easier when you leverage technology to track and adjust your processes.
To get a clearer picture of your talent acquisition process, take a look at it and break it down into intervals of time between each of the steps between the job posting and the first day on the job – from when a candidate was sourced, to when they were screened, to when they were interviewed, etc.
Considering you have this information available – both the steps and time to fill – a part of the equation you might be missing is how long it takes you to complete each step. This piece of information lets you know right away if there are any steps that are consistently taking longer than others, and gives you a chance to evaluate your processes to make them more efficient. According to Dr. John Sullivan, the steps that tend to hold up the process the most are:
Approving new job postings
Each of these steps can be tracked in an ATS, a great tool to aid you in the reporting of this information. Reporting on the average amount of time in each step can help to identify blockages and where to focus to improve processes and efficiency for future hires. At the end of the day, it’s all about having the right people available at the right time to keep your projects staffed and running smoothly.
For example, through reporting you can identify if you are indeed struggling with approvals of job postings, where to make improvements to the process and if the changes you are making are improving the timing.
How Brilliant HR’s Talent Acquisition solution can help:
When creating a requisition, approvers for that requisition can be established. These approvers then receive email notifications to accept or reject the requisition, with reminders if they do not take action.
You application process can include screening questions that score applicants as they apply to the requisition. These can be used to auto-screen candidates, or you can review these responses as a part of your initial review.
When it is time to interview a candidate, the Brilliant HR ATS gives you the ability to select dates and times to send to the candidate, which they can then accept or reject online.
You can also report on how long each of these steps takes, and evaluate if there are areas you can improve.
Another area an ATS can assist with is in building and maintaining talent pools. Deltek’s Clarity research shows that finding qualified talent is a top challenge for project based firms and establishing talent pools can really help to flag candidates that you want to stay in touch with for future opportunities.
As resumes are added to your ATS, you can review and then flag those that would be a good fit for future openings.
Maintaining talent pools by continuously accepting and flagging resumes from strong applicants can help you move faster when you win a new project, or when someone leaves unexpectedly and a succession plan for that individual is not in place. In his post The Smart Move for Growing Companies Is to Always Be Recruiting Talent, David Ciccarelli further expands on how having a pipeline in place can help, and some techniques for expanding the pipeline.
In the example of where someone leaves unexpectedly, this is where having a pipeline of candidates can be critical, filling that gap sooner rather than later. There is nothing worse than having to delay a project start date because you lack the appropriate resources!
How our Talent Acquisition can help:
When you review a resume, you can add that resume to a pool so that you can easily find them in the future.
Pools enable you to keep lists of candidates with specific requirements, helping you stay in touch with those job seekers with email communication. These lists can be generated manually or through the use of search agents that automatically add to the list. They can also be shared for easy access to information. Inviting job seekers in these pools to apply to job openings they are a good fit for and have the appropriate skill set. Again, potentially filling a position quicker by already having the talent defined by using Talent Pools.
Employee Branding and Candidate Experience
It is very important that you are attractive to candidates as an employer; their experience moving through your online application and hiring process can have a huge impact on this perception. An ATS can help you identify areas where applicants drop from the process and make it easier to keep in touch so that your organization avoids giving candidates the “black hole” experience.
A recent Forbes article gives some insight into some of the things that job seekers found negative in the process.
60% of employers “never bothered letting me know the decision after the interview”
43% of candidates found out during the interview “the job didn’t match what was written in the job ad”
34% of the candidates said the company representative “didn’t present a positive work experience”
This is where a focus on your branding and candidate experience aided by an ATS help to ensure that your offer is the one that gets accepted!
How our Talent Acquisition can help:
You are able to create your own email templates for notifications, and then tie those to different steps in your recruiting workflow to make sure that you are keeping candidates informed.
You can access your listing of job descriptions when starting a requisition, and use those descriptions to fill in your job description and requirements within the requisition form.
Talent Acquisition can assist you with your career center – the Brilliant HR and Deltek teams work with you for a branding experience that matches your company’s needs, while providing you with the ability for applicants to find and view jobs online (including on their mobile device). This also includes an application process, where you drive the steps and information collected from your applicants.