Over the past two to three years, human resources and talent acquisition have weathered more changes than in decades. Human resources and talent acquisition teams should be in lockstep with each other yet flexible enough to attract and retain a competitive workforce. This blog post discusses the impact of human resources on talent acquisition teams, offering context for how to cater to today’s talent.
Changes in the Wake of the Pandemic
Terms like “quiet quitting” and “Great Resignation” would’ve been unfamiliar in 2019. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that over 50 million Americans quit their jobs in 2022—usually to take other positions. Freelancing, side hustles, and entrepreneurship are more popular than ever.
While today’s business challenges seem constant, they also help leaders advance themselves and their teams. Human resources and talent teams must fire on all cylinders to recruit and maintain top talent. Where human resources can pave the way is creating the best employee experience possible. McKinsey research shows that organizations where HR provides a positive employee experience are 1.3 times more likely to report organizational outperformance.
How are you cultivating your employees at this moment? Assess whether you are providing support that matters to employees right now. Snack bars and gym discounts aren’t enough. Improving your employee experience creates a ripple effect that draws in quality talent. For example, benefits packages shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all, and experienced professionals may require necessities that new college grads don’t. Giving flexible, more personalized benefits like learning and development or fertility and family planning offerings will go a long way with diverse talent acquisition and retention.
Other ways to improve your employee experience are promoting wellness and mental health. Institute mental health days and provide access to apps like Headspace, Calm, and Talkspace for therapy and meditation. Ask your employees how they can be happier at work. One of your employees may want to come in a half-hour later than usual so they can attend an exercise class before work. Communicate how you focus on employee wellness to prospective talent. Now is the time to eliminate, adjust, or review your company programs and policies to provide an exceptional employee experience and meet today’s candidate’s expectations.
The Candidate’s Experience Has Gone from Discretionary to Requisite
The candidate experience includes all the interactions a candidate has with your brand, from viewing the job listing to accepting the offer. No matter how prestigious your organization is, you need an experience that’s as frictionless as possible. According to CareerPlug’s 2023 Candidate Experience Report, 49% of candidates have declined a job offer due to poor experiences. A candidate could leave negative Glassdoor reviews about your recruitment process that dissuade prospective applicants.
Streamline your recruitment process. Does your candidate need to meet with that sales team leader, do a half-hour presentation, or take a personality test? Winnow down your process, reply as quickly as possible to applicant emails, and communicate with them about what to expect in the interview process. Follow up when you say you will, and close quickly on your top choices. Take cues from the marketing, sales, and consumer worlds in your recruitment marketing.
Ask your candidates for feedback, whether they join your organization or not. TA teams can funnel their insights from the candidate’s experience to HR. Your candidate will apply to other organizations while they’re talking to you, so make sure your recruitment process isn’t a labyrinth. Map out your candidate’s interactions at each touchpoint in the recruitment cycle. Look for where they disengage, abandon your process, analyze, and adapt. A positive candidate experience results in a better brand reputation and attracts quality hires.
Commit to Diversity at Your Organization, Not Just Lip Service
It’s one thing to champion diversity in your organization, but it must also be reflected in your organization. If you don’t walk the walk, you risk losing prospective hires. Get past the “culture fit” criteria and embrace “culture add”—inclusion is what matters. While talent often prioritizes candidate referrals from other employees, veer away from creating a monoculture. Yes, Employee Dave may have had some great coworkers at his last organization, but is it fitting to bring all of them to your current department?
Diversity and inclusion go beyond ethnicity. It could mean age, people from different geographic regions, people in another profession with transferrable skills, and cognitive diversity. Talent acquisition should report to HR data on past and current candidate pools to determine the organization’s makeup. For example, you may have more entry-level applicants but could benefit from more experienced hires. Decide how you will target seasoned professionals and support them once they join. A more inclusive workforce means more and better talent. A multiplicity of skills, perspectives, and experience create a standout company culture and a top-performing organization.
Keep a Pulse on the Organization
Keep an ear to the ground and stay tuned to your organization’s people and happenings. It’ll inform how you interact with your talent. Depict your organization in a positive yet realistic light.
Candidates in 2023 can find out more quickly than ever if you’re deceiving them. SHRM reports that employees ranked flexible or remote work as #2 of the benefits that matter the most to them. If they discover that your organization doesn’t deliver on the flexibility it claims, you lose credibility and quality hires. If your organization has negative Glassdoor reviews, address them internally or develop strategies for answers when candidates ask.
HR and talent acquisition teams should prioritize collaboration and communication with each other to achieve organizational goals. HR should keep TA abreast of organizational changes, new policies, gaps, and success metrics. Talent teams will then have consistent, accurate messaging for prospective hires. Discuss new leaders you’ve brought on, accolades the organization won, or employee projects. HR helps talent teams stay dialed in and communicate the type of people the company needs and who will succeed at the organization.
Every few months, step back and assess the current organizational climate. Perhaps you’ve restructured the TA process to secure more competitive hires, but what are you doing to nurture and develop them once they’ve joined? Can HR work with talent to create career management plans? How will you help talent contribute to optimal business performance? Your goals for talent acquisition must align with your overall business strategy.
Reinforce the Value of HR and TA Leaders
Remind your talent and human resources teams of the impact that they have. You’re helping thousands get jobs, gain security, provide for their families, realize their dreams, and establish stability. Sure, you have many priorities, but your work shapes a productive, thriving workforce and a winning organization.
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