“Globalization and technology are allowing people – and even whole labor pools – to change how and where they earn a living with more frequency. They don’t feel financially or emotionally tethered to employers the way previous generations may have been – and that means getting them in the door is no longer the endgame. Organizations now need to respond with proactive talent acquisition and retention strategies.” – Deloitte
And when organizations choose the right candidates and treat them well, they not only work efficiently but also stay longer. So, how can companies be more magnetic when it comes to recruiting and retaining talent at all levels?
The problematic recruitment funnel
Liz Ryan, a Forbes contributor, states that a slow hiring process is one of the most common recruitment practices that drive away the best candidates. “Some employers delude themselves that they can take their time making hiring decisions. That is inaccurate, because the best candidates won’t wait around while countless committees meet and deliberate and countless bureaucratic pre-hire protocols are followed ... your recruiting systems must move as fast as the world moves outside your doors.”
Therefore, companies must aim to improve the candidate experience – an engaging outreach, an effective interviewing process, and an informative onboarding process. An important factor to consider is how long candidates take to move from one stage of the recruiting funnel to the next. And once that problematic stage is identified, rectify it. The last thing any company would want is for candidates to drop out of the process.
After all, how many times have you faced a situation where a candidate has dropped out before, or just after, you have made an offer?
The recruiting tug of war
“The competition for talent is as fierce as ever, as the global population ages, the nature of work changes, and companies look for the skills they need to nurture – now and in the future.” – Bob Moritz, Global Chairman, PwC
In our fast-paced, digitally driven world, finding the right talent is almost as important (if not more) than the right business model, the business idea and perhaps even the funding. Without the right people to navigate the business to success, organizations will quickly see a decline in progress.
The fight for top talent continues to be a challenge across companies, and most recruiters will agree that the challenge does not end there – retention can also be an uphill battle.
So, how can companies tackle this issue?
Are you selling your brand well enough?
Employer branding might sound like an overused term to describe everything from company culture to an incentives program, but undeniably it is at the forefront of a strategic recruitment campaign and your employer value proposition (EVP) ought to be the rock of your retention strategy.
How a candidate views your company and the value it will add to their quality of life and their career trajectory can be a deciding factor in your hunt for talent.
A lot of start-up companies these days (and even some of the legends like Google and Facebook) are famous for promoting an employer brand that suggests a "cool" millennial culture – one where employees have nap pods or are given time off for volunteer work. While these perks can seem very attractive, do they truly attract and retain top talent?
The research seems to suggest they don’t. In fact, an article in the Harvard Business Review rightly points out that giving people the opportunity to do meaningful work in a unique setting can be much more effective in the long run.
Have you considered what your company offers that makes you stand out as an employer? How can you be heard in a noisy market?
A LinkedIn survey highlighted that building a strong employer brand is now a top priority for leaders. Why? Because recruiters are faced with the task of connecting with candidates who are also chased by thousands of other recruiters. Therefore, it’s even more imperative to cut through the noise and make yourself heard by building your employer brand.
As the Bersin by Deloitte blog aptly sums up: “A strong employment brand attracts and maintains interest across multiple social, skill, and geographical demographics – including current employees, potential employees, and those people who may just be interested in your organization.”
The problem with most recruiting agencies
It’s a noisy market not only for companies looking to hire but for recruiting agencies, too. The case with many agencies is that their recruiting efforts fail to market your brand. They are competing in the market for the same candidates, creating more noise and confusion, driving up candidate salaries, and giving a poor candidate experience. This can be detrimental for your employer brand.
Why do companies often find themselves struggling to build a talent pipeline? And what sets apart those organizations that are able to retain their rising stars effortlessly?
The delusion of the happy employee
Unfortunately, a lot of companies assume that once they’ve hired the best of the lot, their job is done. They fail to acknowledge that what separates top employees from the rest is that they need constant motivation, engagement and encouragement to stay in the game. Unlike more passive employees, they quickly begin to question their value to the company and their growth opportunities, if they are not nurtured or given the tools to succeed. 90% of new employees make up their mind within the first six months about whether they are going to stay or leave. And up to 20% of employee turnover happens within the first 45 days!
The Harvard Business Review reported that there are two main reasons why these employees bail out of companies – outsized expectations and lots of alternatives! The top talent in an organization has very high expectations from their company – the very fact that they are better than the rest suggests that they expect the best in return.
Furthermore, the talent pool is no longer a passive group of people desperately searching for jobs. Instead, there are a vast amount of options available to them and the number of individuals hopping from one job to the next is on the rise.
Is the cookie cutter approach working for you?
You cannot (or rather you should not) replicate recruitment practices across the board, just like you shouldn't attempt to replicate programs that seem to be working for other companies. While it might seem like you are adopting a consistent approach to streamline processes, you could be potentially setting your company up for failure.
When you consider your recruitment process, you have to consider not only your current objectives, but how you see a role contributing to your company in 12 months or five years.
“Companies opt to outsource recruitment when they realize the complexity involved in creating exceptional experiences for each candidate throughout every step of the process,” suggests Seb O’Connell, MD Europe and APAC at Cielo.
While most companies will stick to a protocol when hiring, Cielo does things differently. Our objective is to partner with our clients to find the talent that fits into their company seamlessly. Much like any new relationship or venture, a new hire can have a deeply lasting impact on your company’s success. From the wrong attitude, to the wrong skills set, a wrong hire can not only jeopardize your business but can cost you your company culture.
As companies seek to expand their reach globally and attract the best local talent, they need new ways to manage their strategies and people. Unfortunately, such expansion has placed recruiters in a tricky position. It hinders their ability to harmonize processes across geographical regions. This results in a slower hiring process and of course, missing opportunities to strengthen the employer brand.
With over a decade of experience across the globe, Cielo works with forward thinking Talent Acquisition Leaders to create Talent Magnetism; creating a strategy, process, Brand and technology landscape that enables the Talent Acquisition function to become proactive and passionate talent experts – individuals who are committed to finding the talent you need.
This post contributed by Dawn Hollingworth, Cielo’s Director of Brand Strategy & Creative Services. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.