In today’s hyper-competitive work environment, a key challenge for employers is how to find, identify and engage the talent they need to win: finding employees with the right mix of capabilities and mindsets to help their organisation thrive.
While any recruiter can undertake a search on LinkedIn and identify candidates according to work experience, skills and education in a few easy clicks, securing the best talent in the market is harder than ever.
Organisations need to look beyond the active job seeker and reactive job ads. Today’s strategic sourcing requires some science, a bit of art and a lot of careful planning.
When I talk to clients, they all want to know that they are maximising their opportunity to acquire the best talent: the best candidates in the market, not just the best available at the time.
I recommend five steps that need to be taken to source the best talent. These require resourcing expertise, market knowledge and an understanding of what motivates candidates to change jobs.
- Work out the roles you need, the talent you want and when you need it
Clarity on the roles you need to fill, who you want to attract and when you need them is the basis of a solid workforce plan which underpins any successful sourcing strategy.
Start with the most strategically important roles, as you can't pipeline all roles. What are the hard to fill roles? What are the business critical roles and what are the roles that you are going to need a steady stream of candidate flow?
- Build a talent profile for your business
Develop a detailed profile of the people you need. What skills and competencies do they need, what kind of experience do they have, and what kinds of roles are they likely to be in now? What does success look like in your organisation?
Look beyond skills and experience. To find great talent who will not only stay but excel, smart businesses are psychometrically profiling the kind of people they want: the attributes and motivational drivers that match the job roles and will complement the team and business.
- Understand where your talent is and how to connect
You have to know where the best candidates are – and how to connect with them.
Today’s sourcing channels include blogs, SEO, conferences, events, employee referrals, networking, associations, LinkedIn, YouTube, media, online advertising, job boards, personal networks and databases — for a start.
The best candidates could also be inside your organisation, and sourcing them includes internal mobility programs and succession planning. Great talent can be scattered and difficult to find so sourcing strategies may need to go wide and deep.
In order to help organisations to better engage candidates, Hudson undertook some research this year with 3,538 active and passive job seekers to understand how to candidates want to be engaged throughout the hiring process. Our research found that 45%of candidates are open to talking with a recruiter, and they want to be contacted by personal email above all else with phone calls the second most preferred method of contact about a job opening. In my experience, it’s about being extremely targeted and a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work.
In my experience, most businesses don’t track which methods are most effective in sourcing high performers. They have KPIs around fill rates and time to fill, but where the candidates came from isn’t always recorded. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, to know where they should best spend their resources and budget to find top talent for different roles.
- Sell a compelling employee value proposition and position your brand throughout the hiring process
You need a good understanding of what your target audience wants. The better you know your target market, the better chance you have of creating, and selling, an employment offering that will appeal.
The questions employers need to ask themselves are, is their brand attractive to candidates? What’s our social responsibility? What is our flexible work policy like? Could we improve our diversity policy? What is our corporate culture like?
Our research found that candidates cite ‘a great work environment’ as the key attribute and are also after a healthy work/life balance, a challenging role and advancement opportunities.
Building a strong employment brand is not just about the messaging in an EVP. Today’s candidates need to be engaged really well throughout the entire hiring process. In our research, candidates expressed frustration during the job application and interview process when the recruiter does not keep the candidate informed of the status, even if it is just to express that status remains unchanged. I find that it can be as simple as sending a text to let them know where things are at. Remember, they are forming an impression from each interaction that you have with them.
- Reach, engage and nurture talent over the long term
Effective sourcing is about more than identifying candidates. It’s about presenting the value proposition of your organisation and the job opportunity in the best possible light and through the right channel to entice top talent to join you. It’s about attracting, engaging and nurturing talent over a period of time.
Inviting qualified candidates into a talent pool is a better experience for candidates, as it gives them time to get to know your organisation. Ultimately they are interviewing you as much as you are interviewing them. They not only want to understand the potential role and organisation, they might question you about development opportunities, corporate social responsibility, flexible hours and more.
It’s important that a senior person within your business is involved in engaging and keep talent warm. In my experience, a lot of organisations who try to reach out to prospective candidates for their talent pools rely on junior HR or recruitment staff, who don't have the gravitas or expertise to effectively converse with top talent, especially at more senior or executive levels.
In my view, we’re ultimately in the business of inclusion. We want to bring people into our clients’ businesses that are the right people for that business.
We want to attract them, engage them and nurture them through to a positive outcome for both.
We want to create a positive recruitment experience that benefits everyone. For candidates this means a right fit and rewarding job. For clients this means hiring great talent that stays and performs - as fast and cost effectively as possible.
Many companies don’t have the internal resources to undertake all these measures, as they require specialised market knowledge and supporting technology platforms, which is why many look to recruitment process outsourcing as a cost-effective solution.
Outsourcing the whole recruitment process will allow a business to do what it is designed to do – focus on its core products/services – while allowing it to constantly strive above its competitors by employing the best talent out there.