In a year largely defined by COVID and the consequent upheaval, a lot happened in…
For so many of us, the challenge to move past our routines and reimagine recruitment was a tough one. We tossed out our old playbooks and relentlessly worked on a new one. So, last week, when the talent industry came together for Talent Acquisition Week 2021 the chance to finally pause and learn was a welcomed one. The annual TA Week conference allowed talent professionals across the country to get together (virtually, of course) and share their best hiring methods as tested by the unprecedented beast that was 2020.
So, with the conference behind us, let's focus our efforts on refining these new methods. Here's a look at some of the main takeaways from our time at TA Week.
Data Rules Everything Around Me
"You can't fix what you don't measure." This insightful gem, courtesy of TA Week panelist Amy Miller, perfectly summarizes one of the biggest points made throughout the conference, data is an essential piece to the hiring puzzle. And she's absolutely right. A lack of insight and you may be putting yourself, your team, and your organization at an immediate disadvantage. Without being able to track your data, you're not seeing the full picture.
Truth be told, the use of technology and data in talent acquisition isn't a new concept, but the adoption rates are surprisingly low. With only 5% of talent and human resource teams utilizing this tech, you'll jump ahead of the pack. Throughout the conference, many session speakers emphasized the need to think like a marketer, rather than a traditional recruiter. Here's where programmatic enters the chat.
As part of a larger sourcing tool tech stack, programmatic recruitment had some buzzy moments during TA Week. It's a powerful tool that marketers have been using for years because it puts your data at the center of everything you do. It’s about seeing the data clearly and communicating it back to stakeholders in your business. With complete transparency, you're setting yourself up for success before your job advertising campaign even begins. And the best programmatic vendors can offer that data upfront. In fact, Celinda Farias Appleby of Visa mentioned that the best way forward is to work in tandem with your tech vendors.
“Challenge your vendors to become your thought partners. They are critical to the success of your recruitment marketing campaigns for they are an extension of you. You hand-selected them and they are a part of you and your organization," said Appleby.
Emphasis on Employer Branding
The next takeaway from TA week was an emphasis on employer branding, specifically, how to inject authenticity and ease into the hiring process. This is part of the concept of thinking like a marketer, data can help you lure in your target candidates but you need a strong employer brand to reel them in.
There were countless sessions centered on the idea of personalizing the recruiting process and providing candidates with a positive experience throughout. Because even if a candidate isn't qualified, if they feel slighted, they'll make it known.
Many TA Week speakers took this opportunity to discuss how AI and automation would free up recruiter time to actually reach out to all the candidates in their pipelines. By automating the more laborious or repetitive tasks, some talent teams were able to shift their focus onto employer branding efforts like engaging talent through social media or responding to employee reviews on Glassdoor.
Making the time for these "extracurricular" tasks can allow talent leaders to carve out a niche for their organization to attract the candidates they need most.
Diversity Kits Are A Must Have
Diversity is always a major topic of conversation during conferences and TA Week was no different. Recruiting leaders across the board have been dedicated to finding the most innovative and authentic ways to attract and hire diverse talent.
Thinking back to employer branding, one of the best ways to bring more diverse candidates to your business is through genuine external communication. Be open and honest about your progress, your triumphs, and your pitfalls as it relates to diversity. It's more important to show you're aware of the improvements needed rather than pretend that your organization is perfect. In the age of the internet, candidates and prospects alike can easily look things up so it's always best to remain honest.
One of the best ways to communicate honestly is through your job descriptions, careers, and leadership pages. Words matter so it's crucial that you take the time to map out what you want to externally convey. Include your initiatives and move away from gendered wording in job descriptions and requirements. You may be unknowingly excluding women and those on the gender spectrum.
To ensure uniform communication is achievable, consider building out diversity toolkits for recruiters. These diversity toolkits should outline the dos and don'ts of candidate outreach, job titles, and requirements, as well as how to answer some of the tougher diversity-focused questions a candidate may ask. It's important to take the time as a team to discuss expectations.
Overall, the TA Week sessions were a great way to reconnect with the industry after a monstrous year. We hope you take these suggestions into consideration as you continue to revamp your recruitment strategies for 2021!