On Tuesday next week, I will be at the Copetri event near Frankfurt to discuss "Recruiting (Technology) Innovations" in a panel discussion with the long-time talent acquisition companions Wolfgang Brickwedde (#1 HR Influencer in DACH (Personalmagazin) & MD of Institute for Competitive Recruiting) and Joachim Dierks (MD of Cyquest) 🙌.
No Predictive Analytics Needed - Change in Talent Acquisition Ahead
It feels like Wolfgang, Jo, me and a lot of other companions like Gero Hesse, Sebastian Dettmers, Stefan Schaller, Marius Luther and many more working on corporate and vendor side have discussed topics like "demographic change", "talent scarcity", the "end of post & pray" and a "paradigm shift in talent acquisition" for a decade now. Often, urgency of changing talent acquisition strategies was still not on the very top of the list. But suddenly now this has changed. Talent is extremely scarce. Almost all candidate profiles are hard to find (not only engineers) and companies are often even in desparate demand for talent acquisition professionals like recruiters.
The New Way of Hiring - Talent Perspective, User Experience & Automation at the Core
In the last decade, most recruiting technologies (like applicant tracking systems) really focused on digitizing formerly manual and time-consuming recruiter processes. A lot of companies have done so, but vendors focusing on introducing these technologies in SMBs still show that there is quite some "white space". These technologies really add value by supporting recruiters with digitally posting, pre-selecting, hiring and onboarding talent as well as taking over jobs in the background (e.g. job distribution, interview scheduling, background checks, onboarding questionnaires, etc.). However, they often also delegate quite some work to the talent themselves (think about often long application forms, registration processes and the like).
Going forward, we will continue to see that established talent acquisition vendors as well as new innovators will follow new priorities when building and extending their talent acquisition technologies. These are:
Inclusion of Talent, Hiring Manager & Employee Perspective: Talent, hiring managers, recruiters and also employees are all crucial stakeholders in the talent acquisition process. Vendors will much more integrate the so far often neglected talent, hiring manager and employee perspectives into the talent acquisition solutions.
Focus on User Experience: Along the entire talent lifecycle technology providers and also the company decision makers will think about the user experience and how to best design talent acquisition products into the flow of work of the stakeholders involved. This means: Less thinking about only digitizing existing processes but more redesigning talent acquisition from those key stakeholders' perspectives with a focus on moments of truth along the talent journey in an existing technological landscape.
Technology Enabled Decisions: Whereever possible technologies will take over manual processes (e.g. video interview recording, initial matching of candidates, suggestion of marketing jobs in the right channels, CV parsing, etc.) and prepare/ take-over decisions for stakeholders involved through tech-enabled automation.
The New Way of Hiring: From Attract > Recruit > Onboard to Source > Nurture > Convince > Bond
Almost all vendors as well as industry analysts are used to describing the talent process as "Attract - Recruit/ Hire - Onboard". This perspective certainly includes the relevant steps from a classical recruiter hiring process.
However, this classic way of hiring neglects that talent acquisition has become a much more challenging and complex discipline:
From "Attract" to "Source & Attract": "Attract" today often is not enough to really receive interest from qualified talent. Companies need to think in a combination of "attract & source" to get in touch with suitable candidates for their openings and thus build initial touchpoints proactively as well.
From "Recruit" to "Convince & Select": Recruiting and selecting candidates requires a relevant number of qualified talents in the pipeline. Also that is today oftentimes not the case - knowing about data that shows on every open jobs there is about 0,5 candidates actively looking for a job. Therefore, it also needs to be a combination of "convince & select" to ensure the right candidate actually selects your company as an employer.
From "Onboard" to "Onboard & Bond": For a lot of companies onboarding still means replacing an offline process of providing the right documents before the first day at work in a digital way and checking all the legal boxes. However today, "bonding" with candidates after they have signed and thus welcoming them in their team and at the new employer becomes at least as crucial as a digital process. This avoids turnover during the onboarding process and allows for a good mutual start.
The additional step to "Connect & Nurture" with candidates is one that in the past has very often been neglected as there were always enough applications in the pipeline at the right time. However, this not being the case anymore building an keeping talent relations alive with various different candidate target groups (seasonal workers, alumni, second best hires, referrals, event contacts, etc.) can become a key asset in talent acquisition.
What does this mean? In essence, employers and vendors need to review every touchpoint between talent and other stakeholders. Proactive elements reflecting the power shift between candidates and employers need to be embedded along the talent journey. At the same time, all stakeholders involved in talent acquisition should be able to fulfill their individual contribution to a great match of talent and opportunities seemlessly and as easy as possible along this journey.