Candidate.ID have conducted a series of interviews with leading recruitment and HR professionals to gain insight in to talent acquisition today. This week’s #TalentTalk is with Jackye Clayton, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategist
What do you think are the biggest challenges facing talent acquisition leaders today?
Technology overload! There are now so many recruitment tools and platforms available on the market that it sometimes feels like we are moving further and further away from what recruitment is all about. Sometimes recruiters can assume they are making the best hire, based on the tools and technologies they are using but unfortunately this is not always the case. I think in some cases recruiters can be led astray by recruitment technology and miss out on sourcing and hiring the best talent.
Candidates are commonly described as being in the driving seat of talent acquisition these days. Can you see this power balance continuing and what do companies need to do to adapt and gain competitive advantage?
I think that the balance will always remain in the favour of the candidate. I think that for recruiters today it will always be difficult to maintain a fully stocked talent pipeline and that’s understandable. However, if they want to gain a competitive advantage they really need to nurture relationships with the existing candidates in the pipeline and engage with them on a more personal level. Now that doesn’t mean that the simply send out an email every three weeks and class it as nurturing; recruiters really need to involve themselves in communities and be present where potential candidates will be. For example, instead of only attending recruitment based events, I think recruiters now need to branch out and attend industry specific events and conferences to give them greater opportunity to meet with potential candidates and build personal relationships with them.
The main problem today is not getting enough applicants, the problem is getting more, better qualified, quality candidates. What is your experience?
Yes of course! It is still really hard to find and hire the right candidate for the job, especially when using traditional recruitment channels. I think it’s time that recruiters tried using different channels to source candidates and posting information on different, innovative platforms. It provides another outlet for sourcing high quality talent that your competitors might not yet have thought of. I think it is also really important to promote and support internal referral programs as they have proven to be really effective in sourcing quality talent.
What do you think are the most powerful ways to reach out and get high quality passive talent aware, engaged and considering you?
Never underestimate the power of a phone call. I think direct communication with potential candidates can be really effective in encouraging engagement. Mass email marketing will only drive them further away. I think it’s now more important than ever to establish relationships with candidates at an early stage. However, it must be taken into account that potential candidates will rarely want to engage in a hiring conversation within the first call. Don’t bombard them with information about jobs, instead simply let them know about what is going on within your organisation.
What are the main challenges talent acquisition leaders face when adopting an integrated approach to generating, nurturing and identifying the best candidates?
Well it is obviously very difficult to integrate talent acquisition operations when each recruiter is using a different device and a different technology. However, it is equally difficult when everyone is forced into using the same centralised solution as it may not work for everyone. For example, in larger organisations one centralised recruitment platform may be implemented, but you can’t force technology on recruiters. If they don’t want to use it then they simply won’t! It’s all about finding what works best for everyone to allow them to achieve the best overall result.
What is current best practice for prioritising the list of candidates to contact first, and how do you think it could be improved?
Well it makes sense for recruiters to start by selecting the candidates that are the best match for the criteria. Sometimes organisations will use scoring or rating systems to identify these candidates or they will simply assess the profiles of the candidates. There are now a variety of tools available that can help you identify which candidates to contact first. It is also important to make contact with other potential candidates, and not simply the highest scoring candidate, as this will give you a competitive edge.
What do you think are the most important metrics that talent acquisition leaders need to focus on today to demonstrate ROI and greater accountability to the business?
The most important metrics to measure are simply the ones that will tell you directly if your recruitment techniques are working. It is essential to assess what avenues and software are driving greatest success in your recruitment. Take an overall look at what you are doing and assess what is working and what is not.
It is becoming increasingly important to measure the amount of candidate pipeline that each recruitment initiative contributes? How do companies currently do this?
Most recruiters will focus on the time to hire, however, they must also assess the quality of each hire carefully also. It is not just about how many candidates they manage to recruit, it is more about the quality of those candidates and what they will go on to achieve within the organisation. If a new candidate decides to leave just a few months after being hired, this will negatively impact the overall organisation. The organisation will have lost out on the whole recruitment process as it is often very expensive. Organisations must focus on the success of the hires and how they will develop and evolve within the organisation.
In a business of any size – candidate interactions can number in the hundreds or thousands. What are the right tools talent acquisition teams need to manage the complexity?
A good CRM is really effective in managing candidate interactions. By integrating an ATS and a CRM, an organisation should have the tools they need to manage the complexity. It is also essential that hiring managers have access to the CRM so they are able to communicate with the potential candidates within it.