The Future of Talent Acquisition and Sourcing

This article was written by Carex Vice President of Candidate Relations Theresa Balsiger and was recently featured on HR.com

With many sectors facing a labor shortage in 2021 and the impacts of the “Great Resignation”, HR and recruiting teams know considerable challenges lie ahead. There’s an interesting dynamic of many opportunities and a lack of qualified or interested candidates. This changes expectations from potential hires. For example, remote work was a rare benefit, one that might even warrant taking a lower salary. Now, it’s simply table stakes, and a core driver of people leaving roles that mandate in-office work and flocking to remote roles.

To prepare their talent acquisition and sourcing capabilities, companies need to revamp the employee experience, embrace diversity, and create strong resonating brands.

The Employee Experience Matters

Throughout the rest of 2021 and into 2022 and beyond, HR teams need to devote resources to the candidate and employee experience. They need to attract the limited talent that might not consider their firm and retain top current talent. Candidates receive job offers before they ever meet anyone in person, so all a company has in those circumstances is the application and interview experience. The technology used to find, communicate with, and engage candidates must showcase a company as a forward-thinking leader.

What are the “must-haves” for an optimal employee recruiting experience?

  • Professional video interviewing tools.
  • Revamped application processes that eliminate steps and require a minimal amount of time and effort. Make it possible to submit resumes or profiles with a single click.
  • Communicating via the candidate’s preferred channels, whether it’s through email, text, or another method.
  • Improve your scheduling processes using connected automated tools that unify internal calendars and enable candidates to change times dynamically.
  • Add new software capabilities to track and organize candidates to streamline communications and prevent missing out on top talent.
  • Delineate clear timelines for the interviewing and hiring process.
  • Improve coordination, automation, and technology between HR and hiring managers to prevent lags that might cause candidates to look elsewhere.

Diversity and Inclusion Shape Hiring Practices

For hiring in 2022 and beyond, recruiters need measurable strategies for reaching and hiring diverse applicants. They’ll be under pressure from senior leadership to meet aggressive diversity, equity, and inclusion goals.

Recruiters looking for talent will need to champion their company’s diversity and inclusion initiatives. Improving a firm’s diversity policies requires an involved HR team that’s accountable for considering and hiring a range of applicants. They should also review and adjust internal policies for promotions as well as sourcing strategies and job posting language that might contain implicit bias.

Pushing forward diversity and inclusion is simply the right thing to do and makes long-term business sense. A study from McKinsey (supported by other researchers) found direct correlations between gender diversity and various financial performance markers.

The shift to remote working should encourage more geographic, gender, socioeconomic, and ethnic diversity. Remote work opportunities expand the labor pool, allowing recruiters to consider candidates from a wide range of and backgrounds, including those with physical disabilities.

HR Needs to Develop the Brand

In addition to streamlining the candidate experience, recruiters and HR can also shape the brand image in a way that attracts top talent. HR and marketing should work together closely because they’re both in charge of shaping the public opinion of the brand. If these two groups function independently, then a brand might lack cohesion between customer and partner-facing branding and employee materials.

By adding marketing elements to their practices, HR can better build candidate pipelines through LinkedIn or other social channels. They can create “stories” about the company that resonate, instead of focusing on employee benefits or vague references to “culture.” Building a pipeline of great talent transitions sourcing from a reactive to a proactive process. Automation tools should also be used for this approach to scale properly.  When facing a labor shortage, firms don’t have time to spend weeks filling an opening. They should engage with potential candidates before the hiring need arises.  Workforce planning plays a major role in this pipeline approach.  Recruiting teams can also expand their partnerships with universities and other industry-specific organizations to develop talent pools.

The customer and candidate experience both matter as a company builds reputation. Candidates encountering a poor experience can damage an entire brand. They might stop buying the company’s products, post poor reviews, and tell others in their professional network to avoid the firm.

Like other business units, talent development and recruiting teams require modernization and a new way of thinking. This requires adding technology that can automate certain tasks at scale, brand building, and a focus on creating a more equitable and inclusive work environment for all.