Talent acquisition looks a lot different than it did ten or twenty years ago. It’s changed drastically over the last decade — and it continues to change every single year.
New platforms and workplace expectations continue to move the needle on what talent acquisition is and how you can succeed at it. You can’t learn strategies for talent acquisition once and hope they will carry you through your career.
You must develop a modern talent acquisition mindset that aims to keep up with the latest shifts in hiring technology and culture.
If you want to succeed in the ever-changing role of talent acquisition, here are a few ways to help you elevate your awareness and develop a modern talent acquisition mindset.
#1) Rethink the Role of a “Hiring Manager”
The first step in developing a modern talent acquisition mindset is realizing that a “hiring manager” is so much more than a person who brings on new employees.
Talent acquisition has changed and so has the role of a hiring manager. Technology advancement has driven a re-imagination and partial automation of the talent acquisition process. Applicant tracking systems (ATS’s), scheduling tools, and AI software have streamlined processes to curate a more customized experience targeted to job seeker needs. Large players and startups have invested a significant amount of time and money to mine data to identify and attract talent.
The shift to data collection and curation has transformed the roles of talent acquisition to a strategic partner who understands analytics and manages relationships with internal and external talent.
A successful talent acquisition professional has to be a ninja of social media, a communication guru, a relationship manager, and brand ambassador.
Hiring managers with a modern talent acquisition mindset not only recognize the benefits of diversity, they tirelessly advocate and promote candidate inclusiveness. They can be the difference between an outstanding review on Glassdoor or Fairy Godboss or an exceptional candidate withdrawing their candidacy due to a negative experience with the hiring process.
#2) Embrace the Role of Automation
Automation of the application process has revolutionized the candidate and hiring manager experience. Applications are now predominantly received through the organization’s website, Indeed, and Linkedin. Then, these applications are often channeled into the applicant tracking system (ATS).
Communication to applicants through these means have created channels where organizations can interact and create a curated experience through various vehicles.
Automation may include:
- Implementation of bots to address basic questions on websites
- AI that channels job seekers to jobs based on previous interest
- Curated content for job seekers to get insight on industry and company
- Software to ensure jobs descriptions are not biased to gender
- The ability to schedule interviews online
- The ability of candidates to identify themselves as part of a legally protected group from discrimination to promote diversity
To have a modern talent acquisition mindset, consider how to best understand and use automation as a part of your process. Look out for pitfalls and embrace the positive aspects of automation.
Pitfalls of automation include:
- Generic and non-personalized experience
- Communication vacuum for candidates
- Challenges regarding ease of use, time to complete application, and how to navigate the system
- Cost of implementation and utilization of the system to its full capacity
- Lose great candidates due to robust screening tools
- Can’t hard code inadvertent bias
Positives of automation include:
- Increased efficiency
- Data and resume storage
- Keyword searches
- Candidate pools (large resume banks for certain jobs)
- Screening tools to eliminate unqualified candidates
- Ability to communicate with a candidate at multiple times during the process
To have a modern talent acquisition mindset, you must leverage the efficiencies, content marketing, and metrics of these systems and continue to build tailored experiences. Proactive organizations are also looking for automated experience deficiencies and are refining processes to help mitigate the pitfalls of automation.
#3) Act Proactively
Understanding the goals and priorities of your organization is a big part of having a modern talent acquisition mindset. The team’s success is largely driven by its ability to understand and anticipate future needs to minimize the time to fill with the right candidate skill sets as well as promote a positive candidate experience. You should be proactively recruiting externally and internally on an ongoing basis.
An effective talent acquisition team should:
- Engage with both active and passive candidates (e.g., share valuable content to help grow their careers)
- Make themselves visible in the community so candidates are aware of the employer brand
- Extend their reach (e.g., like, share, and comment on LinkedIn and other social media platforms)
- Be responsive to potential candidates, even if there are no open opportunities
- Ensure the hiring process moves as fast as possible. (One of the most common candidate complaints is that the process takes a long time and not receiving regular communication from the company.)
- Remove expired or filled job postings (This is another oversight often complained about on social media.)
Talent Acquisition Mindset: Outdated vs. Modern
Consider how two talent acquisition professionals might approach their work.
Outdated Talent Acquisition Mindset
- Relies on communication coming from managers regarding vacancies
- Does not attend business meetings unless asked to
- Does not proactively search for candidates
- Posts once a need was identified and hoped to receive applications
- Enjoys completing transactional activities such as scheduling interviews rather than proactively sourcing activities such as social media
- Does not understand metrics
- When training is made available, chooses not to learn about how to interpret and use data as an asset to help achieve goals
Modern Talent Acquisition Mindset
- Attends the internal client group weekly meetings
- Has weekly calls with the business head and other leaders to assess needs
- As a result of the constant communication, knows about upcoming vacancies and is sourcing constantly
- Understands the most critical metrics and uses data to improve sourcing candidates
- Builds a pipeline of candidates and is able to fill roles in a relatively short amount of time
Which of these team members do you think had the better brand? Which one is the talent acquisition partner of the future?
Are you using the outdated mindset or embracing the modern talent acquisition mindset?
Create a Strong Talent Acquisition Process
As talent acquisition continues to evolve, you will need to continue to refine, retool, and develop processes and teams to meet new demands. You will need to rethink the way you manage data, relationships, and communication.
To keep up, you will need a modern talent acquisition mindset and a strong process to keep up and continue to attract top candidates for your organization.
To help you, Align HCM is going to offer a new series on Developing a Modern Talent Acquisition Process. Stay tuned for posts on developing an employer brand, improving the application process, streamlining hiring, and more.