Audit what you have, and build your A-team
This step does not necessarily demand that you review and rebuild your entire Talent Acquisition business from top to bottom. Focus, instead, on your most critical and most frequently-repeated processes. Are you working as efficiently and productively as possible to attract, assess, and hire the candidates that come your way?
Many organizations aren’t. In 2021, a third of North American employees who completed job applications still hadn’t heard back from employers a full two months later. The situation isn’t much better in the UK: 65% of applicants say they have been ghosted during an application process. That is a lot of talent with your competitors instead of you.
2.1. Get your team together for an audit meeting, and discuss the following:
What tools do we currently use at the top of our recruitment funnel (e.g. LinkedIn Recruiter, Seek)?
- Who is responsible for these tools?
- Who is best placed to manage them?
- Are they efficient to use?
- When was the last time we reviewed the tool, and considered an alternative?
What are the stages of our recruitment funnel?
- Can we remove steps/approvers from the process (e.g. does the CEO need to meet and approve every middle-management hire)?
- How do we normally interact with applicants?
What is our time-to-hire?
- Where are our inefficiencies?
- Do our teams/people leaders contribute effectively to our hiring process?
Are we using our budget effectively?
- Where might we spend less money?
- Where might we need more money?
Why are we winning/losing talent? (note: at this stage, answers to this question can be speculative):
- Are our salary ranges/packages not competitive enough?
- Is our brand, messaging, or culture turning people off?
How do we approach cold candidate prospecting/headhunting?
What assets do we have at our disposal to promote the organization?
- Are they up-to-date?
- Do they show our organization/brand in its best light?
- Do we have the ability to alter/edit these assets within the Talent Acquisition team?
This list is by no means exhaustive. But by conducting an analysis and an audit of these main areas of your Talent Acquisition business, you will be able to identify key areas of success and areas for improvement.
2.2. Building your A-team
Winning the great war for talent means getting your army in ship-shape. In many organizations, the Talent Acquisition business operates in an isolated camp – no one sees or hears from you unless you have good or bad news about a particular candidate or role vacancy.
Efficiency in recruitment requires absolute alignment. Your people leaders and your executive team must be in alignment with your new strategy, because they are equally responsible for executing it.
Gone are the days when, for example, marketing managers could pass a job description for a copywriter to a Talent Acquisition specialist and wash their hands of the prospecting dirty work. Now, more than ever, the marketing manager and the specialist must form a partnership, sharing the duties of advertising, promoting, vetting, interviewing and assessing. After all, candidates for said copywriter role will expect it.
Your A-team should comprise:
- Your chiefest people leader (be it a CPO, CHRO, or Head of Talent Acquisition)
- Talent Acquisition specialists and representatives (obviously)
- Representatives from each department in the organization
- Importantly, a representative from the marketing team
2.3. Fill out your Talent Requirements Matrix
Once you’ve filled out your Talent Requirements Matrix, the next step is effective triage. Almost everyone in the A-team will already be aware of your highest hiring priorities, but by filling out this matrix, you can focus team efforts on coming up with weird and wonderful ideas for attracting the right candidates. Times like these require outside-the-box thinking!
2.4. Define (and refine) your employer brand
This is why your Talent Acquisition A-team requires a representative from marketing – ideally, someone responsible for visual design or brand: Candidate perception is reality, and branding is everything. You have seconds to introduce yourself to candidates, show off your best features, and get them to apply.
Stodgy artwork, pixelated logos, spelling errors, outdated information, broken links… these will break your recruitment strategy before it has had the chance to work.
Here’s a simple checklist to get you started with a brand audit:
It’s important to note that the branding and visual appeal of your organization is not primarily your responsibility – maintaining it is a team effort. But portals and third-party apps are often overlooked over time, as a brand develops and organization information changes. It’s never a bad idea to champion the task of regular housekeeping, and get your best marketing minds to help.
Why sharpen up your employer brand? It’s your best long-term approach to recruiting. And its impact can be easily measured, according to Dr John Sullivan: By the number of job applications you receive each year. That’s as simple as it gets.To learn more about employer branding and its impact on your recruitment strategy, here’s a helpful webinar from the LinkedIn Talent Solutions team, entitled How to Measure the ROI of Your Employer Branding.