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.
Recently, I heard a commercial from Indeed.com. The ad was aimed at candidates, not employers, and focused on the ways Indeed can help candidates find the best employer. Candidates now have more choices than ever before. A growing abundance of remote and freelance work in many professions means that geography is no longer a restriction and workers have more flexibility when choosing work.
The way we search for jobs has changed. Websites like Indeed.com, Salary.com, and Glassdoor.com all help candidates research the culture, salaries, benefits, and reputation of companies they are considering before filling out an application. Candidates (and often, your existing employees) are armed with more information and are using it to be selective.
In this new employment landscape, what can firms do to adapt to this changing employer-employee relationship? Start by assessing your existing Human Capital Management Strategy and begin thinking about how to integrate technology.
Here are three key places you can integrate technology to have a big impact on your firm’s talent:
Acquisition & Onboarding
When treated as a strategic function, talent acquisition can have a profound effect on your ability to influence company culture, establish an employer brand, and ultimately make your firm more attractive to prospective candidates.
Organizations typically just don’t have the bandwidth to achieve this without the support of an applicant tracking system (ATS). An ATS can free your organization from the repetitive, administrative tasks associated with recruiting, which can make it difficult to provide a top-notch applicant experience.
An applicant’s experience during the interview process can be the difference between a great candidate accepting your offer or going to the competition. But even after an offer letter is signed, much more needs to happen to reaffirm that choosing your company was a wise decision.
Onboarding is a critical first step in the employee lifecycle, but few organizations have a thorough strategy in place to integrate new hires into the company in a way that supports retention and engagement. When you create an onboarding strategy that includes your new hires’ needs and integrates collaborative planning for development, you’ll set your employees on a path toward long-term engagement and success within the company.
Post-Hire Professional Development
Talent acquisition is one of the most expensive business processes in any organization. It’s time to start talking about how to reduce acquisition costs by investing in post-hire human capital management initiatives that develop and retain existing employees.
Your employees want opportunities to develop and tend to stay with an organization longer when this investment is made. Unlike throwing additional funds at the acquisition process, spending on learning initiatives for your workforce is mutually beneficial for employers and employees. Increasing employee engagement is shown to have very positive effects on business performance. For example, according to recent Gallup research, the behaviors of highly engaged business units result in 21% greater profitability. It’s worth noting that not every resource problem in your organization is an acquisition problem. Sometimes the problem may be repetitively hiring for the same role or a failure to identify the next great leader. Most of the time, due to manual processes, businesses can struggle to predict future needs and end up scrambling.
According to multiple bodies of research, including Deltek’s own Clarity surveys, many organizations have a partial succession plan in place, but the majority are not prepared for expected or unexpected turnover. Whether the role is a leadership position or an important individual contributor, thorough succession plans are a must to help businesses weather the churn created by employee turnover.
It’s not enough for succession plans to live inside the brain of a single individual. By using the latest succession planning tools available through your talent management software, you can develop, maintain, and test succession plans to ensure that future leaders are ready to advance when you need them most.
Tracking Key Performance Indicators
Even less data-driven companies are beginning to track key performance indicators (KPIs) related to talent management–but the problem is that many are not tracking the right metrics.
Some metrics, like voluntary and involuntary turnover rates, are really just numbers. They fail to provide companies with the information needed to craft, implement and measure a more effective human capital management strategy.
Using a talent management solution to track metrics like Time to Start, Lead Time to Billable, and Talent Acquisition Sourcing Channel, your company will generate more sophisticated and actionable insights. Here is a closer look:
Time to Start: the amount of time it takes to bring a new hire on board from the moment the position is first publicized. This KPI determines the overall success of your acquisition strategy.
Lead Time to Billable: use this metric to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of the onboarding process. The more quickly a new hire is assigned to billable project work, the sooner that employee is contributing to revenue.
Talent Acquisition Sourcing Channel: how effective are the job boards and social media sites on which you advertised open positions? By monitoring this metric, you will be able to determine which sources are the most effective for specific job categories and for your organization more generally.
Using technology to help you track, benchmark, and eventually predict metrics will help HR professionals to position human capital management as a strategic cornerstone for their organization.
For most organizations, a lack of integrated technology bogs down HR with administrative work and limits time for value-added activities such as strategic talent acquisition, retention and development. It prevents HR from being seen as a key contributor to strategic planning by limiting the analytics and insights they can provide at the executive level.
HR needs to partner with other functions within the organization, such as IT and Finance, to develop and then implement an HR technology roadmap. Human capital management solutions are the most powerful when they are integrated with the existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions used by your organization. All of the above challenges can be addressed and improved by the effective use of digital human capital management solutions.
Have you heard? Gen Z (1996-2012) is already making their way into the workforce. While some of this generation are still too young to enter the workforce, the eldest of them are around 22, and may even be one of your colleagues. How are Digital Natives different than the Millennial generation? That’s just it – they are truly Digital Natives. They don’t know a world without digital devices or social media. Their attention span can be shorter than Millennials; technology comes very naturally to them and they are used to switching between apps and multi-tasking at all times. Which is why in today’s post I want to discuss your job descriptions, with a focus on the length of them. Did you know in a recent study by CareerBuilder that 60% of job seekers said they have quit an application due to its length or complexity? Looking ahead as more candidates begin to come from Gen Z – this is going to become even more relevant. Where are these Gen Z candidates now? They’re on social media, and especially on visual platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube. Expect your recruitment efforts for these new candidates to change. Lengthy job descriptions are not going to be a huge hit, as well as long email conversations. Short video and voice messages will be much more effective at keeping in touch. To get applicants excited about working for your organization, try making short videos of a job description, and keep the visual elements enticing. Post these on your company YouTube channel to encourage engagement. Remember that keeping candidates informed with constant communication about their status and potential next steps is critical. The iGeneration doesn’t like being kept in the dark and appreciates real time feedback, especially in-person or video versus a text or email. Here are some more tips about how to make your video job descriptions stand out:
Have someone that is currently in the position or very similar one talk about the role, that way the potential applicant gets a realistic idea of a day in the life.
Create a corporate overview brand video as well, with an overarching theme that stays consistent with each video.
Keep your video job descriptions around 2 minutes to 2 and 1/2 minutes long.
Make sure there is a call to action in your video, such as “email us to apply” or “click the link in the description box to apply” or better yet, embed your video on the job description of your website so it is easy to apply after watching.
Create a style guide/notebook that can be updated over time with phrases and tips on how you set up the last video to make it easier for the next video.
The competition for great talent is fierce, just as it is on the ice or mountainside.
Great Candidates, just like athletes, are few and far between. Every candidate has a goal in mind when they interview at your organization, whether that is “Get the Job” or “Just seeing what’s out there”.
Finding good candidates and hiring fast still retain their positions as the top 2 challenges when it comes to recruiting. Consider what happens before and after the job application, as well as the risks and opportunities these findings pose to employers who compete for top talent.
The Impact of Social Media. 74 percent of interviewers will check candidates’ social media as part of their interview preparation. This is in contrast to the expectations of candidates, however, as only a third expect their social media to be screened, meaning many could be caught short online.
Time is of the essence. Just as our Team USA athletes compete in timed races, the dash to hire top talent is crucial. Today’s candidates want a faster process and to communicate via social channels such as texts, WhatsApp, Twitter or even Instagram. Luckily, with the growing presence of Artificial Intelligence, top recruiters are increasingly able to streamline into one single sign-on platform accessing virtually all aspects of recruiting and following up with candidates for future opportunities. With technology taking the brunt of the more cumbersome work, your recruiters have more time to invest in high-value areas, like giving candidates a high-quality experience and hiring managers impactful advice. On average, filling a vacancy takes 45 days and that’s 45 days of lost productivity. When your organization builds upon a solid technology foundation, you have a winning strategy!
Keep your players engaged. Take a minute to think about the difference between a happy employee and an engaged one. Though they might sound similar, they aren’t necessarily the same thing. Engaged employees feel their work is valuable, have a sense of connection to their co-workers, and want to be part of the company’s operations. Focus on getting potential new hires ingrained in your company culture as quickly as possible and keeping it throughout the recruitment and onboarding process. You will be pleasantly surprised at how much better your employees will perform, and your retention rates will decrease as well. Here’s something to consider: people will never remember what they were told or what they read on their first day at a new job. They will always remember how they felt at the end of the day. You want your employees leaving work like they just won that gold medal, the best job ever.
Think like a head hunter. Just as athletes are always thinking about their competitor, how they’re training, how often they are practicing… you should be too. You know there are executive recruiters out there with their eyes on your top talent. Do they know things about your best people that you don’t know? Better catch up or someone may recognize that star player and make an offer that’s tough to turn down.
To learn more about Going for the Gold in Talent Management, be sure to tune in to my webinar next week with Deltek. Click the button below to register.
“Our Recruiters are going to have to move faster. If they have to go over budget, that is fine. We need talent.” I have seen this scenario many times…words coming directly from the mouths of senior executives. We need talent. We have gaps. Get recruiting on it immediately. In theory, it makes sense. We need talent, so let’s ensure our talent acquisition team is on it and has the tools and spend necessary to bring talent in the door. But that’s just it…they are bringing it in the front door. As an HR Executive, I often then asked “What are we doing to make sure the back door is closed?”
It’s a simple analogy. If you work hard to attract talent to your organization, then you will need to work ten times harder to keep them there. So, close the back door. Perhaps you’ve read this previously in terms of a fishing net. Why put in a ton of time and effort in catching a fish if there is just a hole in the net anyway? So what organizations end up doing is spending lavish amounts of money on third party recruiting fees, job boards, referral fees, and extra talent acquisition staff plus overhead. We think we are burning through hard earned profits quickly in the talent management process. In actuality, we are burning through hard earned profits in the “lack of” talent management process.
What happens when good talent leaves? In addition to all of the aforementioned talent acquisition costs, money is spent on legal fees fighting non-competes or violated NDAs. Institutional knowledge is lost when a key player who is thoroughly trained on how your business and customers operate chooses to leave. The employees who stay with you are tasked with picking up the slack, causing confusion, burnout and dissatisfaction. Customers leave and follow your former employees, or simply become disgruntled for having to deal with someone new or less experienced. There goes revenue, morale and pieces of your culture. The immediate reaction is to “get recruiting on it immediately.” That is not the answer we need.
It’s certainly easier said than done, but there are three very simple ways that your organization can shift the money it is spending on unnecessary talent acquisition to employee retention.
Career paths – Creating a career path for an employee gives him/her a sense of direction. It ensures the employee knows the organization has long-term plans for him/her, and s/he is highly valued. It provides the basis for identifying skill gaps and growth objectives for an employee that clearly define a development plan for the future.Development Plans – Give an employee a chance to lead a project or initiative. Invest in learning opportunities. Have them shadow employees in other operational areas that add to their skill set. Do these things in alignment with a path you and the employee are creating together to achieve their career goals and fulfill a career path of growth.Mentoring – But mentoring done correctly. Try assigning multiple mentors for a variety of perspectives, or assigning multiple SME mentors so your employees are always dealing with an expert on each of their development needs. If you have an employee who doesn’t aspire to move up, have him/her become a mentor to others.
When you make this shift, you will substantially reduce the additional spend on those legal fees, customer churn/revenue loss, and institutional knowledge attrition. Simultaneously, you will be boosting morale of those employees who are much happier that their co-worker and friend is sticking around for years to come.
Contact usto help you build your 2018 talent strategy, and to see how Deltek Talent Management can help you with both your recruiting and your retention initiatives.
Let us put away the myths and the misconceptions around Social Recruiting – that partaking in Social Recruiting will attract and add to the amount of unqualified applicants already in the recruiter’s inbox. If anything, Social Recruiting helps attract more qualified applicants and it helps single out the best talent. How, you ask? Let’s simply start by looking over some key stats to begin our appreciation and love for Social Recruiting:
93% of Recruiters review a candidate’s social profile (Source). This gives recruiters a more personal view of the candidate and can help them determine whether or not they will be a good fit for the company culture.
73% of companies have successfully hired using social media (Source). The ease of use that comes from social recruiting has benefited companies that more and more of them are following this trend. They are able to put forward a more personal view of the company, and are able to provide easier ways to apply for a position online.
42% of companies say that the quality of candidates has improved because of social recruiting (Source). These benefits often stem from employee’s referring their friends and family members to the job postings online, LinkedIn being the largest network that people use for social recruiting and applications.
With this rise in Social Recruiting and the numbers that show an increasing demand for this method,what is the future for Social Recruiting? How should companies successfully apply this to their current strategy?
The Industry Future:
According to SourceCon, for the success and strength of Social Recruiting to continue to flourish as it is right now, recruiters need to develop a relationship with the people applying to the jobs. This might require talking to the applicants during off business hours like the weekend and after work, since this is when they are most likely available if they are currently employed.
To help recruiters with this, our companies should create an easy to use social recruiting atmosphere, an example being more mobile recruiting functionalities. Creating a more accessible way for recruiters and applicants will help with the development of your company’s social recruiting needs and is a crucial investment to the company.
Another investment to look into besides mobile recruiting is Employee Advocacy programs. Employee Advocacy is the new social recruiting trend that is taking over when it comes to bringing in highly qualified candidates. To better understand what an Employee Advocacy Program is, Bambu gives an easy to follow definition. They are employees who:
Generate positive exposure and raise awareness for a brand through digital media or offline channels
Recommend a company’s products or services to a friend or family member
Represent the best interests of the company both internally and externally
Can help build employee ownership of the organization
Are experts on your product or service and can be a credible spokesperson for your company
So, why wouldn’t we want our employees to talk about how great your company culture is and your business’ success via social media? How the employees perceive and talk about your company via social has a great impact on how the outside word sees your company and ultimately who will want to apply. The best employee advocacy programs help bring in the right outside talent that is both qualified and fits with the employee culture. This takes a huge load off the recruiter, providing them with a pool of qualified candidates right at their fingertips, candidates who already want to work for your company since they have heard so many great things about you.
Interested in hearing more about Social Recruiting? Listen to our webinar for more key statistics and the steps you need to become Social Recruiting savvy.