Talent Acquisition - From HR to an Experience Function
Most Human Resources departments in the country, in any industry, are evolving from a tactical, record keeping and reactive mindset to a strategic, business oriented, data driven and pro-active one. Talent Acquisition is no different. While HR is evolving to a business and strategic function, Talent Acquisition is embracing a marketing and experience mentality.
Let’s set the stage with a few facts:
- With a 3.5 percent unemployment rate, the United Sates is in full employment. Therefore, Talent Acquisition comes to the plate already two strikes in. Retention is the only way to win as finding great people is extremely tedious.
- There is twice the number of Boomers retiring compared to the number of Millennials or Gen Z entering the workplace. That means the current employment landscape conditions are not going to get any easier. Technology and efficiently increasing productivity will be key to closing the gap.
- The experience economy is morphing the way the business world is operating. The best and more profitable organizations all have one thing in common, creating an amazing customer experience. Disney, Amazon or Apple are only a few examples. If the recipe for success is creating lasting feelings and memories to your customer, the same mindset needs to be embraced by Talent Acquisition. In the end, the very first impression of any job seekers about your organization comes from the work of the Talent Acquisition team (career site, application process, screening, interviews, offers, background checks, hand off to onboarding, etc.).
- We are now at about 80 percent of all the workforce as passive job seekers. This will change to close to 100 percent in the next five years highlighting the importance of not only retention but also positive internal movement.
- We now live in a world of immediate gratification. You have a question? Google or Siri can provide the answers in a matter of seconds. It’s date night and you snap a nice picture of your spouse or that amazing crème brulée cheesecake? You can see in real time the reaction from all your social circle by either “likes” or “comments.” In this world, time is of the essence. Time is experience.
Want to know more about Talent Acquisition? Check our our guide for HR.
So what are the necessary changes for a Talent Acquisition department to be not only successful but efficient and maximized?
- Revamp your talent acquisition consultant (TAC) persona. The perfect recruiter doesn’t necessarily come from HR. Best TAC from around the country are proactive with a “hunter attitude” (versus farmer), results-oriented with a data-driven mindset, capable of offering best experience, strong continuous improvement approach, and superior teamwork and multitask skills. Common roles with this profile would be sales, marketing, customer service, business, etc. – not HR. There is a big difference between an HR professional that understand sales or business versus a sales professional that can understand HR. It is much easier to teach a businessperson Talent Acquisition than to teach a Talent Acquisition individual how to be great at business, understand data or sales.
- Revamp your Talent Acquisition metrics. Time and speed are of the essence, not days to fill. There is a major difference between how responsive you are to every applicant at each stage of the recruiting process and how fast you fill a position. The former is adapted to the need of this employment market and enhance the chance of a great experience for the applicant. The latter only measures speed to fill with no regards to the quality of the new hire nor the quality of the TAC. The article, “On the Folly of Rewarding A, While Hoping For B,” best illustrates the danger of only measuring days to fill.
- Measuring ratios like time to respond to an applicant, number of resume routed per interviews or offers, time between routed to interview (or interview to offer) or first 90 days turnover is more representative of the overall quality of the TAC work and what was experienced by the applicant.
- Identify and understand every crucible touchpoint your applicant will have with the organization before the first day and intentionally enhance their experience. How much do you know about how an applicant feels at any point of the recruitment process not only about your Talent Acquisition department but your organization, too? Examples of talent acquisition crucible moments are visits to career sites, ease and speed of applications, strong connection with the TAC at the screening stage, easy and swift interview scheduling, the interview itself with the hiring leader, the offer, and the preparation for the first day and onboarding. And again, the time to move the job seekers through all those stages is crucial, not days to fill…there is a big difference.
- Embrace technology as much as your budget and bandwidth can allow you. Simple career site, one button application, text recruiting, video recruiting, video job posting, AI applicant mining are only examples of technologies that would increase not only the applicant experience but save some precious productive hours of your TAC giving back to them productive time!
As stated already, Talent Acquisition is stepping up to the plate with two strikes which makes retention the way to win for any organizations. That said, the experience of any employee starts with talent acquisition increasing dramatically the significance of the department. As per the experience economy, morphing from an HR function to an experience one is key for sustainability. Looking into the disruptive, transformative but very necessary upcoming talent acquisition changes, I can’t help but point out that the function absolutely has to report to someone that:
- Embraces the direction Talent Acquisition needs to take
- Provides the necessary attention and resources to be successful the right way.
- Is as business-, experience- and marketing-oriented than them.
Talent Acquisition is not HR anymore but an Experience function.
Want to read more from Sebastien Girard? Click here.
 Steven Kerr, Ohio State University http://web.mit.edu/curhan/www/docs/Articles/15341_Readings/Motivation/Kerr_Folly_of_rewarding_A_while_hoping_for_B.pdf
Photo courtesy: StockPhotoSecrets