The Changing Landscape of Talent Acquisition

December 12, 2017

Written by: Elissa Montoya

Obviously recruiting methods have changed over the decades. Newspaper ads in the 70s and 80s were supplemented with web based ads in the 90s. Web based applicant tracking systems drastically changed not just the way organizations advertise their positions, but also the candidate experience. Most recently in the 2010s, the addition of both social and talent communities has further enhanced the experience of the candidate.

While strategy has shifted from passive information to hard core marketing, candidates’ expectations have shifted as well. While it was all about competitive pay in the 80s, a rise in less conventional family structure in the 90s drove interest in more flexible work schedules. In the 2000s this expectation was met with more and more virtual work opportunities which continue to be on the rise. However, in the most recent decade, and with the introduction of the millennial generation into the workforce, the emphasis has shifted more and more to career development and opportunities.

So why are all these changes important? Because Talent Acquisition has become more about marketing, and candidates must be treated more like consumers. Merely listing your positions with a basic job description is no longer enough. Candidates want to understand your culture to determine if you are a good fit before you ever get a chance to determine if they might be. They want to understand not just what they might be applying for, but what their opportunities would be once they are a part of your organization. They want to know what their manager would be like, how they would be expected to dress, if there are ergonomic workstations, and if there are Thirsty Thursdays.

Once they have determined that they have found a fit culturally, candidates are expecting flexibility in how they apply. They want mobile optimization and quick and easy resume drop off. There are even HCM mobile apps that can provide ease of use beyond mobile optimization.  Today’s candidates are more engaged in social sites and talent networks than detailed applications and rigorous screening prior to an interview. The style, tone and length of your online application may be taken as a representation of your culture and should be rigorously considered when reviewing your recruiting strategy. Some organizations are using mobile apps and desktop applications to include fun pre-screening in the form of games and virtual interviews to achieve more information from a candidate while keeping them engaged.

So how can all this be achieved, especially by a company that may not have spent much time or invested many resources in updating their recruiting strategy? Obviously appropriate talent acquisition software is the first step. But it’s not just the software but what we do with it to support these trends. Here is a quick list of suggestions and considerations either when selecting a new talent acquisition system or optimizing your current one.

  • Keep your application as short and simple as possible. You can always collect more information later.
  • Ensure you have a mobile optimized resume drop off portal. This may be even simpler than your online application to make it easier to complete on a phone.
  • Spend time with your website development team to build a robust and modern career portal user interface. Videos of employees, fun pictures, career paths and outside the box benefits are all great information to include.
  • Strongly consider a Candidate Relationship or Talent Network system which will allow candidates to enter minimal information and be added to company communication blasts without applying to a job.
  • Allow sharing of job postings on social media and allow creation of candidate profiles from social media.

All of these items are just the beginning of the creative “marketing” we are now seeing organizations develop to attract top candidates. Getting candidates to your career site, keeping them there and then getting contact information from them is no longer a given. It’s a competition.

At HRchitect, we look forward to helping your organization’s recruiting team get ahead of the pack. From helping you select the right combination of talent acquisition systems, through ensuring your system design, HRchitect will put your organization in the best position to recruit the right talent, and everything in between.

Elissa is an HR professional with over 15 years of HR experience in the world of Talent Acquisition, General Human Resources & Project Management. Throughout her career, Elissa has worked with companies across many industries from small to Fortune 500 with a focus on optimizing their Recruiting and Onboarding processes and managing large scale projects.

In her role at HRchitect, she acts as both project manager and functional consultant on the implementation team. Elissa is both a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).