TalentTalent AcquisitionTalent acquisition strategies in the new normal

Talent acquisition strategies in the new normal

Recent months have forced businesses to re-evaluate their internal processes in order to remain competitive. HRD Thought Leader Wendy Dailey argues that transparency has become a key quality in today's talent acquisition strategies, from job descriptions to pay rates.

The past few months have caused a lot of companies to adjust processes and figure out how to do things differently to keep staff safe and physically distant from one another. But how has this affected talent acquisition? Yes, we are likely seeing more video interviews than in person, but video pre-screens have been on the rise for a while. Many companies had already moved much of the onboarding process to web-based platforms, and you’d be hard-pressed to find an organization that doesn’t have some sort of online application.

We know some are using artificial intelligence to help with screening candidates in a variety of ways, but all of this started before the pandemic, and these are all just labor-intensive processes that we’ve been trying to streamline for some time. Arguably, we haven’t done more than just put our old paper process online. 

That said, we do live in a different world now. Expectations are different, especially in terms of the employee-employer relationship. So, how do we bring this to our talent acquisition strategies?

I think the most effective change right now is the push to be transparent. We need to be willing to share processes, information, and more about our company than ever before. In exchange, I believe we will get better, strong candidates from the beginning. 

Here are five areas where you should start being more transparent:

Transparent job preview

Most job postings look the same. If I were to see any position in Talent Acquisition posted, I could likely guess the top 2-3 duties, skills, and abilities shared in that posting. You may include your generic ‘culture statement’, which doesn’t tell me anything about talent acquisition at your organization.

Let’s stop posting the legal job description and get into a real job preview. Share a short video of people in the role, talking about what it’s like to work at your organization. What’s great, and what’s not so great? Help people decide from the very beginning if this is a role they think will fit them.

Transparent pay range

This will be a challenging one; we like to keep our negotiating power! And now that many states are no longer allowing employers to ask about salary history, we’ve got to pivot on how and when we have this conversation. If you have some sort of pay information on your postings, you will likely see fewer applications, but you will see more of the right applications.

You will need to work with hiring managers on the real range they want to fill – if they are looking for someone with experience, you likely won’t want to list the range minimum! You will also want to have conversations with candidates early and often in the process to ensure they understand your range and that you aren’t going to be able to negotiate higher. Learn a few more tips here.

  • Share a realistic pay range
  • Stick to that realistic pay range
  • Train TA and hiring managers to have the salary conversation that benefits everyone.

Transparent application

When potential candidates come to your site, how easy is it for them to even find your application? I realize the top of the page is a prime spot in Marketingland, but I can say with confidence that your career page is likely one of your top hitters.

Finding your application is just part of the battle. Are candidates prepared to complete your application once they find it? Are you still asking them to upload their resume, or connect on LinkedIn and then complete the application? Are you still asking for three references? Do they understand how long it might take to complete?

It wasn’t that long ago that I was filling out a job application and gave up after 20 minutes of answering questions. I understand that you want as much information upfront as possible, but is this information really the best predictor of a good fit? Probably not.

  • Make your application easy to find
  • Make it easy to complete
  • Ask only for relevant job information.

Transparent process

Do candidates understand how and when you will review an application? Do you? I’ve been in talent acquisition for a long time, and there have been very few TA orientations that I’ve sat through that included how the organization wanted us to review an application, or clarified what the definition of a ‘good fit’ was.

How long should they wait to hear back from you? How long before there would likely be an interview (video or in-person)? You likely have some expectations, at least in TA, but why not share these with the candidates? If you are reviewing candidates daily, share that on your site. Create an FAQ to help candidates understand when they can expect to hear from you and how. Get buy-in from your hiring managers and work with their leaders to hold them accountable to the expectations. 

  • Share screening expectations publicly on your career site
  • Hold hiring managers accountable to screening expectations
  • Train staff on how resumes should be reviewed for skills.

We are living in a new world and this is your opportunity to make a strong first impression. Be open and transparent about your selection process and candidates will remember. You will get their employment experience off on the right foot.

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