Resources

Recruiting

3 min read

How to Optimize Your Recruitment Funnel - Emissary.ai

The employment market looks much different today than it did a year ago. It’s a candidate’s market and the employer that provides the best candidate experience while remaining agile is in the best position to win. Symphony Talent summarizes the recruitment funnel as: Career Website Application Process Interview Offer Hire The goal of a recruitment funnel is to find the best hire in a large candidate pool. Here are a few tips to perfect your recruitment funnel. Be clear on what’s included in your recruitment funnel. Your funnel can be as long or short as you wish; however, you need to be clear on what each step means, why each step is important, and the expected outcome of each step. Without clarity in each step the last step may not result in the best hire.  Have buy-in from all partners. There is nothing as frustrating as starting a process and then mid-step needing to change the entire process because something new is revealed that wasn’t known before. When this happens, you can taint the entire funnel, decrease candidate satisfaction, add unnecessary time to time-to-hire, and more. This often happens when there is a lack of transparency in the process. When all partners – within HR and especially outside of HR – are in alignment the overall process is more effective. Automate were possible, without decreasing candidate satisfaction. At the end of the day, your candidate is your customer. It may not seem like it, but their satisfaction is just as important as your customer’s satisfaction. When you automate in a way that makes the process more efficient for the company and the candidate, you keep candidate satisfaction. An example of automation is correctly parsing a resume’s information into an application. Another example is automating the interview scheduling process by using a SaaS that allows the candidate to view the interviewer’s availability and schedule accordingly. When automation is used this way, it enhances the candidate experience and shortens time-to-hire. This should also include the use of texting to speed candidate communication. Have standard processes that you do not delineate from. Every step in your process should have a standard operating procedure. The procedure should clearly define the process, supply step by step instructions for how to complete the process and show what a successful outcome looks like. This should not only be for every step in the funnel, but for the treatment of every candidate. If you need a process for each department or function, as hiring an engineer can look different than hiring a customer success manager, then do so. You want every candidate to receive the same treatment because creating a fair and unbiased process is not only the right thing to do, but often, is tied to your company’s mission or core values. Minimize where possible. Minimization is not the same as automation. Minimization simply means to trim unnecessary fat in your hiring process. Does a candidate really need to go through five interviews before you know whether you want to extend an offer? Is an assessment necessary to decide whether a candidate can do the role? The goal of minimization is to deliver the best candidate experience in the shortest amount of time. This isn’t just important for the candidate’s sake, but also your company’s sake. In today’s market, candidates are often juggling multiple offers at once. Don’t let an overly long and unnecessary process be the reason why you lose a great candidate. Be clear on when one part of the funnel ends, and the next part begins. The best job postings I’ve seen have an application deadline and an outline of the hiring process. It sets expectations for candidates while making the process transparent for all involved. While the first level of the funnel – candidate website – may not have an end date, the rest of the funnel should. This ensures that a curveball isn’t thrown at the last minute that deviates from the process. Treat each candidate as if they are a customer. Often, your candidate is your customer. They’re familiar with your company because something piqued their interest before applying to your opening. Far too often the candidate who is hired is the only candidate to receive great treatment. But when you consider each candidate as your brand ambassador, it changes how you perceive their treatment.  A great candidate experience not only has the potential to amplify your brand, but ensuring every candidate gets a wonderful experience also ensures successful sourcing for future roles. Have you assessed the effectiveness of your recruitment funnel lately? If you haven’t, today’s a great day to start. Article contribution by Timara Nichols

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Chris Russell

Recruiting

2 min read

Major Gaps in the Hiring Process - Emissary.ai

When it comes to the hiring process many employers are failing to live up to candidate expectations. They ask for too much information and take too long to make key decisions. Our friends at Greenhouse, the hiring software company have a new report out that contains some numbers to be aware of. Entitled the Greenhouse Candidate Experience Report, a survey of over 1,500 employees and job seekers, Greenhouse discovered a staggering statistic; It found that over 60% of job seekers are unimpressed by time-consuming recruitment processes and are demanding companies create a more modern recruiting experience. Candidates who face lengthy initial applications, slow recruiter response times and follow-ups, unprepared and late interviewers, inconsistent feedback, and ghosting will be quick to move on and companies will suffer as a result. 60% is a huge number considering the state of the current job market where companies cant find enough talent to staff their organizations. Hiring technology is holding these employers back as candidates get lost in the system. Other findings in the survey showed consistent themes around poor candidate experience and recruiter responsiveness: More than 70% of job seekers said they will not submit a job application if it takes longer than 15 minutes to complete. Almost 58% of candidates expect to hear back from companies in one week or less regarding their initial application. Over 70% of job seekers want feedback on an interview. More than 60% said that receiving feedback during the interview process, even if they do not receive a job offer, would make them more inclined to apply to future jobs at that company. More than 75% of job seekers have been ghosted after an interview. The survey results also found that many employers are failing to create a positive and inclusive interview experience. Almost 43% of candidates have had their name mispronounced in a job interview. Pronouncing every candidate’s name correctly is not just common courtesy, it’s a crucial behavior for achieving true workplace inclusivity and creating a culture of belonging. “The results of our latest survey are a call to action for all companies. We’re in the midst of a real role reversal, and the talent pool has never been more selective and vocal about what they want from an employer,” said Daniel Chait, CEO and Co-founder, Greenhouse. “Whereas employers previously ruled out candidates for trivial issues like spelling errors on their resume, now it’s the candidates who are rejecting employers. Companies who are too slow in responding, are careless with how they treat candidates, or who don’t show their commitment to DE&I are losing out on talent.” In 2021, the average Greenhouse customer created 46% more job listings than in 2020, meaning that job seekers have more options in open roles available. During this same timeframe, the data shows the volume of applications per job has decreased by 21%, showing that candidates are becoming more selective on how they spend their time searching for jobs. “In 2019, just before the start of the pandemic we had historic low unemployment and just had hit the plateau of more jobs than those on unemployment,” said Tim Sackett, TA & HR Expert and President at HRU Technical Resources. “We should have predicted The Great Reshuffling, which is about opportunity. Opportunity for candidates who have been stuck in a job and company they didn’t like. Because now, it’s companies who are being interviewed by candidates. From the job application to your website and every communication touchpoint, candidates are making decisions on who they want to work for and companies need to up their game. Companies who deliver a great candidate experience and a great employee experience will reap the benefits of this great reshuffling.” As demand for talent intensifies, companies need to do better at making the hiring process as seamless as possible for prospective employees. Not doing so imperils your efforts.

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Chris Russell

Recruiting Automation

2 min read

Robotic Process Automation Making Recruiters More Efficient - Emissary.ai

On boarding new hires is one of those tedious tasks that is important but time consuming. It involves having new hires fill out multiple HR forms covering everything from work eligibility to a parking pass.  In a large organization with many new hires joining at the same time, the process can take all day. Suppose there was a way to automate it all. Instead of requiring HR to walk each new person through each step of the process, what if a robot could handle it all?  That’s the promise of robotic process automation (RPA). In many large companies robots are taking over the most tedious tasks, freeing up HR professionals to handle more high value work that is best handled my humans. Defining Robotic Process Automation RPA isn’t artificial intelligence, though it may resemble it. RPA can weave together multiple complicated, but repetitive tasks, performing each in the identical fashion efficiently and flawlessly. While AI does many of the same things, it employs a more sophisticated system of analysis that uses unstructured data. In that way, RPA and AI are complimentary technologies to improve recruiting and make it more efficient. The use of RPA to streamline repetitive processes has been growing rapidly. According to Sierra-Cedar HR Systems Survey, the use of RPA in HR increase by more than 50% in 2020. Automating repetitive work is a significant benefit for recruiters who frequently juggle multiple tasks.   “Tasks go away with RPA,” says Mike Pino, partner and workforce learning strategies leader with PwC.  “HR tasks present a lot of automation possibilities. I think as use of RPA and other automated technologies grows, HR professionals will find what they do each day on the job will be very different than in the past,” he told the Society for Human Resource Management He said that by eliminating having recruiters do such routine tasks as data entry, it frees up time for them to have more personal and valuable conversations with candidates.  PwC says 40% of the HR functions internationally have adopted recruitment process automation. In one use case, L’Oreal Group recruiters say RPA algorithms have helped them achieve an 84% job offer ratio for interviewed candidates. RPA Is Still Evolving In most companies, RPA is still in its infancy. Recruiters still not entirely comfortable working with AI processes, now are wondering what robotic process automation is and how it can help them. A primer compiled by Talkpush provides an easy way for recruiters to learn the fundamentals while taking small steps toward automating the most time consuming of processes. The company recommends beginning by deploying a chatbot to take over some of the more routine questions candidates have and keeping them informed of their status. The next step is to set up a simple set of screening questions that the automation program can handle without requiring help from the recruiter staff. What’s Next for Robotic Process Automation As recruiter comfort with automation grows, more sophisticated steps can be introduced. One valuable use of RPA, Talkpush points out, is to automate the logging in to multiple databases by recruiters. Another good use is to automate the scheduling of interviews.  As writer Ivanha Paz points out interview scheduling is one of the more time consuming and frustrating of the tasks recruiters handle. Automating the steps allows recruiters and candidates to stay in sync. “This eliminates human error and facilitates notifications of cancellations, changes, and reminders of when the interview is coming up,” Pas writes. Recruiters are just beginning to learn what robotic process automation is and how it can help them become more effective. Just as applicant tracking systems replaced paper and spread sheets, and artificial intelligence is now making candidate selection more sophisticated, robotic process automation will relieve recruiters of routine tasks allowing them to get back to doing what they do best which is to find and hire the best candidates. Contribution by John Zappe

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Chris Russell

Recruiting

2 min read

Skill Assessments Help Make Better Hires - Emissary.ai

It wasn’t that long ago that employers had few ways of knowing if a candidate who looked good on paper actually had the skills to do the job. Today, they have hundreds of ways making sure. Skills assessments testing has become common practice among companies of all sizes. One in four businesses now conduct skills assessment before hiring new college grads. A survey of large corporations in 2016 found 82% were using some type  of pre-employment assessments.  The rising popularity of skills assessment testing is do in no small part to technology. Most skills assessments today are taken and scored online, with the results available to the recruiter and hiring manager as soon as the test is complete. Besides eliminating delays in hiring, it also lets the candidate know where they stand. Democratizing Skills Assessment Even more significant is how the internet has democratize skills assessment. The cost of standardized skills assessments can be as little as only a few dollars. Indeed.com even makes many of the most popular ones free. This has made it possible for even the smallest of employers to have a measure of confidence in the quality of the people they hire. Mercer, the global investment, health and HR consulting firm, says, “The most striking benefit is that (the tests) can screen out applicants not meant for a specific work environment early in the process. These tests can be utilized for entry-level recruitment and also employed when hiring for middle and senior management roles.” Beyond learning if a candidate has the basic skills, assessments help a company identify any gaps in their abilities so training can be tailored to the specific needs of the candidate. Skills assessments also make it possible to “map” the existing skills of the workforce so managers know who can cover vacancies, who may need additional training and what other skills workers may have. Skills assessments provide management with greater insight into the organization’s pool of talent and helps identify the more versatile and skilled high performers. With literally thousands of tests available from over 100 companies, selecting the right skills assessments can be challenging. The most important step is knowing just what to test for. That depends on the nature of the job and the duties and responsibilities of the position.  Selecting a Skills Assessment Mercer lists a few factors to consider in selecting a skills assessment: Objectives: Is the only purpose of the test to decide if a candidate can do the advertised job or will the test be used to identify other skills and candidate potential? Or develop a workforce skills map? What to measure: While the nature of the job will dictate the primary purpose of the test, there may be other aspects, such as a candidate’s soft skills.  What are the characteristics of the assessment: Consider such factors as whether the skills assessment is proven valid by scientific testing. This is essential to avoid potential bias in the test. Tests should also be customizable to accommodate special needs and situations. While testing the ability to do the required work is the most common use of assessment, companies are also going beyond the technical requirements to assess a candidate’s soft skills, such as their communication, problem solving, initiative and the like. For jobs handling money, such as cashiers, candidates may take an integrity test to measure their basic honesty. The general aptitude test measures candidate’s skill at solving problems. Emotional intelligence tests seek to determine how well the candidate handles conflict, works as a team and is adaptable. While the types of tests are nearly endless, the question most important to a hiring manager is “Can the candidate do the job I need?” Skills assessment give that manager the confidence that the answer is yes.

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Chris Russell

agile

2 min read

Agile Recruiting On a Budget - Emissary.ai

Agile work processes may be best known because of their association with computer software development, where changing requirements, speed of development and uncertainty are the norm.  These same principles can also be applied to recruiting. In a business world where change is constant, recruiters need to adapt quickly. In the new world of work where job seekers, let alone top candidates, are in short supply, agile recruiting means accelerating the hiring process. Rather than a dance that begins when a hiring manager turns in a request and ends weeks (sometimes months) later with an offer, agile requiring is a sprint. Instead of gathering resumes, screening the candidates and finally forwarding the best fits only to have to start the process over when the hiring manager rejects them, an agile process begins forwarding the best resumes as they come in.  “The beauty of agile recruiting is not having to wait until the very end of the process to get feedback. So presenting candidate profiles / resumes to hiring managers and getting their feedback is done more often,” explains Luwam Samuel who blogs at HR Talent IQ, Agile recruiting methods are effective for every organization, but for smaller teams and those working with tight budgets adopting agile techniques will fill jobs faster and less expensively. Smaller organizations will need to modify some of the steps an organization with greater resources will follow in developing an agile process. Still, the fundamentals of agile recruiting are the same: Make tasks management; set schedules Divide projects in small pieces by assigning priorities to the tasks. Agile recruiting calls these “sprints.” Harver, a provider of volume hiring solutions, says, “By breaking projects into tasks and sprints, you can determine which parts of a recruitment project can be allocated to specific team members. The same goes for setting timeframes for each of these projects and tasks. “This enables you to better assess which tasks to prioritize and which take the longest.” There’s a sample sprint plan on the Harver site. Leverage your resources You can often find great candidates just by asking. Before spending to post jobs, ask the hiring manager and the relevant employee teams for the names of potential candidates. At a small organization the personal touch is often most effective. So connect with these teams in person. Don’t ignore the candidates in your pipeline. These are the candidates who have an interest in the company. Some may have been runners up for the very job you’re now trying to fill. So before spending on pricey job postings, check the ATS. Because they’re targeted, specialty websites – the niche job boards – can be highly effective and less expensive. Get feedback and communicate Earlier we said getting feedback from the hiring manager is a key part of agile recruiting. Once you begin to identify potential candidates, have the hiring manager give you a read on how good a match they are. This needs to happen early in the recruiting process, so time isn’t wasted and your recruiting effort is more productive. It may take some prodding and training, especially for managers unfamiliar with the idea of agile recruiting. But, once they discover how much more quickly they get the people they need, they’ll be sold. As you implement agile recruiting says Samuel, “You will see a difference not just in your relationship with hiring managers and your delivery, but also in the way your own recruitment team works together.” However you choose to modify the basic agility recruiting principles for your needs, the essential ingredients remain the same – speed, feedback and adaptability. 

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Chris Russell

cold texting

2 min read

Cold Text Recruiting Tips - Emissary.ai

Texting candidates is becoming more pervasive in the recruitment world. We see it everyday here at Emissary. Our clients use us for scheduling interviews, onboarding as well as marketing communication, such as promotion of recruitment events. Our texting platform can also be used for internal coordination with employees for example to remind them of upcoming deadlines like open enrollment or to send an important company message from the CEO. But what are recruiters actually saying when they text a candidate. I thought it would be useful to ask recruiters to send me their exact messaging techniques. Some basic advice. Don’t be too wordy. Less is more. Some recruiters use texting to manage relationships rather than cold outreach. That’s fine too. Here’s what else they told me; Hi, Joe, this is Tom Lindsay, a recruiter. I saw your resume on XXXX, and I am working on filling a hot JOBJOB there in CITY. When is a good time for us to talk about it? I get about 50 percent response on the first send, and a little lower on follow ups. I had great responses, IMO using mass text messaging. If they don’t want to receive text messages they’ll definitely let you know and you fix it by opting them out of future texts. Now you have your audience narrowed down. Those that won’t answer a phone call but love texting will think you’re the best thing since sliced cheese. I experimented and changed it up. Some people will reply to messages worded one way while others will respond to the same message worded differently. I use text constantly. I generally try to call first, then text if they don’t answer. Something along the lines of “Hey its Lara with COMPANY. I called because I saw that you have a ton of experience in X, and I’m looking for a Y. Are you open to a discussion about the role?” If I found a resume online, I usually end with “Are you still interested in exploring new opportunities?” instead. Keep it short and casual…MUCH SHORTER than an email. Use punctuation and emojis as you see fit. Candidates want to work with relatable people, not “headhunters”. Lots of success with “are you interest in a ____position in (city)? – my name, staffing agency/company ..I get a lot of replies that turn into interviews and beyond! Use it to start relationships/conversation rather than getting the meeting straight away. Treat it the same way you would meeting a prospect in real life. Don’t just go in for the kill. Ask questions see if there’s an interest there first and lead them down a path. Once you’ve got their challenges then you can say “we can help with that, would you be open to having a quick telephone conversation about it” Definitely recommend very plainly asking if they are interest in a (insert job title) position in (insert city)? If they reply no- “thanks! Let me know if I can help in the future!” If they reply yes- “great! When is a good time for a quick call to ask a few questions? Super informal ” (*emojis and wording based on audience) Voicemails are outdated. When I call and nobody answers, I hang up and send a text with my profile picture and a short intro. They almost ALWAYS call me back immediately! If you can’t do cold out reach you can’t Source. If you don’t want to text that’s fine I’ll get to the candidate sooner. 90% of all text messages are read within 3 minutes of being sent. Hey, Joe. I am intrigued by your XYZ skill. And your stability at Company ABC is impressive. I am helping an entrepreneur in the XYZ domain to recruit for this xyz position. So I am checking to see if you are open to discussing this opportunity in detail. Number, Email. Thanks. Regards. Text recruiting is more art than science. Be creative but keep it simple. Candidates can simply respond any time with “stop” or “unsubscribe”. When this happens inside the Emissary platform, it will block you and anyone else in the company from being able to text that number in the future. When you click on that phone number in the future to text it, instead of being highlighted in green it will be in orange to indicate that the candidate opted out.

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Chris Russell

Recruiting Tactics

2 min read

Job Training as a Recruitment Tactic - Emissary.ai

Worker demand for skills and development training has never been greater, which is why so many companies are using job training as a recruitment tactic. “For employers looking for an edge in 2022, investing in training and development could make the difference in competing in the war for talent,” said Richard Wahlquist, president and CEO of the American Staffing Association (ASA). 80% of working adults told The Harris Poll they consider an employer’s development and training offerings an important factor when accepting a new job. Across all generations of workers interest in employers job training and career development was strong, according to the survey commissioned by ASA. At 84%, Millennials felt the strongest about the importance of an employer’s training program, yet only 50% said they were getting the skills training needed to maintain or grow their careers. The percentages were far lower among Boomers (31%), Gen X (33%) and Gen Z (37%). Job training for Recruitment This is clear evidence there’s an opportunity for companies to use job training as a recruitment tactic. In fact, because the pandemic is accelerating the rate at which many skills are becoming outdated and even obsolete by as much as 70%, workers are even willing to trade pay for training.   PwC, the global consulting firm, says, “Job seekers are willing to trade an average of 11.7% of their salary for training and flexibility — and that figure rises to 12.4% among those who work in in-demand fields like technology.” So important is training that 37% of candidates told PwC they’re willing to take a pay cut to learn new skills. When companies use job training as a recruitment tactic, it’s not just the employees that benefit. Multiple studies and research leave no doubt that training pays dividends to the organization in a variety of ways including improved worker retention, higher productivity and the ability of workers to step into new roles.  Job Training has Multiple Benefits In addition to those benefits, the job search site Indeed lists eight others, among them is improved worker mobility, an especially important benefit in light of the worker shortage. “When an organization needs professionals with new or specific skills, they don’t have to go into the labor market to employ new professionals from outside sources,” says Indeed. One overlooked benefit of training is its value in increasing a company’s diversity. Ryan Carson, CEO of an online technical coding school, told the Society for Human resource Management, “Upskilling is a powerful way to improve diversity.”  Pointing out that diversity is most common in low-level and entry-level positions, the SHRM article says training, “Can provide workers in those positions a path to higher-paying jobs while increasing diversity throughout the organization.” Job training as a recruitment tactic is more than just another tool for recruiters to leverage when filling jobs. Research by Gartner says Covid has caused the need for recruiter to change their strategy. Says Garnter, “To effectively shape the workforce, recruiting functions must consult on the skills acquisition decision, source from the total skills market and leverage labor market intelligence to drive the EVP’s (employer value proposition) responsiveness to candidates.” As candidates have become more selective about where, how and for whom they work, Gartner says organizations “need to rethink what they have to offer.” Job training as a recruitment tactic therefore has appeal not just to attract candidates to fill jobs now, but as a long-term practice for all companies. Contribution by John Zappe

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Chris Russell

Recruiting

2 min read

You’re the Blackberry of Recruiting! - Emissary.ai

I remember the first time I got my first Blackberry phone! I was so excited, it was such a corporate status symbol! My first one was the Blackberry 5810 with the full keyboard where I could send emails from a phone! It was so awesome. My last Blackberry was the Pearl with the trackball! I loved that phone! Then came the iPhone and Blackberry died before it even knew it. Blackberry refused to believe that anyone would want more than what they were delivering with their phones. Power cell phone users are business people who only want and need office-type functionality. Super secure email. Texting. Calendar. Notes. Who the heck would want to search the world wide web on a phone!? Play games? Apps? Take pictures and video? Blackberry didn’t see the future. They were the market leader and only saw the past. By the time they figured out their error, it was too late and Apple and Android passed them by so fast, they could never catch up. You are the Blackberry of Recruiting! You died but you don’t know it yet. What are some ways to know if you are the Blackberry of Recruiting? You post and pray. I mean posting and praying is your primary recruiting strategy. You post a job and basically pray someone will apply. You refuse to believe that “your” candidates will respond, or even prefer, a text message over email. (Pro-Tip: Every level of candidate and salary range, prefers texting recruiters by a lot!) You have great talent in your ATS database, but every time you get an opening the first thing you do is post the job to see what “fresh” candidates are out there. You believe that a candidate should be willing to jump through your hoops “if they really want the job!” Any of this sound familiar? If it does, you might not be long for this recruiting world! How do you make sure you don’t become the Blackberry of Recruiting? First, you can’t ever get comfortable believing you have it figured out. Just because you get a lot of candidates doesn’t mean you’re great at recruiting, you might just have a great consumer brand. What happens if and when that fails? Or maybe you have a ton of applicants but the best talent isn’t applying. Great, you’re great at attracting the walking dead! Constantly question your process and test new ways you think might make it better. Can you change something to decrease the candidate drop-off rate? Is there a way to increase the number of applicants you’re getting from your best sources of hire? Make sure you are always reaching out to candidates to see how their experience is with your process. Blackberry’s biggest failure was not listening to their buyers and thinking they knew better. Right up until they lost their buyers! Don’t lose your buyers, your applicants, because you refuse to listen to them. Look into the future. Demo recruiting technologies on an ongoing basis. Stay on top of what the newest trends are, and how you can add those into your recruiting technology stack. Copy what others are doing that is working, don’t get caught up in making it your own way. Copy. Make it better. Repeat. I LOVED my Blackberry, right up to the moment that I didn’t. That is your candidate dilemma you must constantly be concerned with. They love you right now, but will they love next year when something better comes along?

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Tim Sackett

Recruiting

4 min read

The Talent Acquisition Process Explained - Emissary.ai

The talent acquisition process may be the most important of all an organization’s human resources functions. As every CEO knows, having the right people in the right jobs is the most essential ingredient for success. Yet building a talent acquisition process that consistently delivers the right people is far from easy. It’s a process with as many parts that need to work together as smoothly as a fine watch, and it can be just as delicate.  In the broadest sense, these parts fall into just a few key steps: marketing, recruiting, qualifying, interviewing, selecting and onboarding. Depending on the size of the organization, each of these steps will have multiple parts. Yet every talent acquisition process starts, or should, with a strategic plan and objectives, as the  Society for Human Resource Management describes in its A Guide to Understanding and Managing the Recruitment Process. MARKETING YOUR JOBS The goal of recruitment marketing is to stimulate job seeker interest in the company, a job and often both. Employer branding gives potential candidates a look at the company’s management style and what it might be like to work there. Sometimes described as sourcing or lead generation, at its simplest, this step in the talent acquisition process involves advertising available jobs by posting them to the company career site and externally to commercial job boards.  Recruiters will also seek referrals from company employees and may also search online networks like LinkedIn and resume databases find candidates.  Prior to launching a search, a recruiter will meet with the hiring managers to learn what skills, experience and other attributes candidates should have. During this step of the process, the recruiter and hiring manager will also discuss the type of personality that will be a good fit with the team. RECRUITING PROCESS While it’s common to refer to the entire talent acquisition process as recruiting, increasingly it is considered a distinct step. It overlaps with marketing to the extent that the employer brand plays an important part in enticing candidates to apply.  The recruiter’s job here is to sort through the applications to identify those that best meet the job requirements and interest them in the opportunity. Compensation, benefits, the company culture and other factors, such as whether the job is remote or on-site all play a role in getting those candidates to move on to an interview. Recruiters will hold an initial phone call – a phone screen, sometimes done by wideo – with each of their top choices. The purpose is to assess their interest, clarify or supplement their resume and get a sense of how well they are likely to fit in. At the same time, the recruiter will also be “selling” the company and the job to the candidate. QUALIFYING THE CANDIDATE Qualifying a candidate before scheduling an interview can be as simple as ensuring they have the required licenses and documentation for the job. Or it can involve testing, completing sample assignments, job simulations and other objective methods of ensuring a candidate has the necessary skills. Many companies also include personality tests as part of the qualifying process. Thousands of different tests and assessments are available from dozens of independent companies, nearly all of which are offered online. Testing is especially common for software and related technical jobs. Many customer service jobs require potential hires to participate in a simulated customer calls. INTERVIEW PROCESS There are many different types of interviews. Most often, hiring managers will meet one-on-one with candidates. However, there are also interviews with a panel, sequential interviews that include a candidate’s future colleagues. Since the pandemic  interviews have become more common, particularly for remote jobs. A company’s talent acquisition process may require structured interviews in which each candidate is asked the same questions, then scored on their responses. This reduces the possibility of bias in the selection process and makes comparisons easy.  Behavioral interviews help an interviewer discover how a candidate is likely to act in the future, based on specific examples of what they’ve done in current and previous positions.  Recruiters rarely participate in interviews, though they may help hiring managers and interview panels with questions and methods. In most cases, they also debrief interviewers and will review the responses and interview scores. Recruiters will also connect with the candidate to get their feedback and reaction. At this stage, it’s not uncommon for a candidate to drop out.  SELECTION PROCESS The last step before making an offer is to check references. The goal is to get a candid appraisal of the candidate’s performance, teamwork and working style from their current employer. This step in the talent acquisition process can be especially challenging because so many companies limit the release of information Where a hiring manager has a personal connection, they may be the ones to do the reference check. A previous employer may be more willing to offer an assessment. Choosing from among the group of finalists is rarely easy. It often happens that two or three candidates are all highly qualified and each is an excellent choice. With labor in short supply, some companies will make an offer to each, rather than lose them to a competitor. When making an offer to only one, wait until the offer is accepted before notifying the runners up. Candidates often will reject an offer, choosing to accept a counteroffer from their current employer. You talent acquisition process should plan for this possibility by having the recruiter and hiring manager keep in close and regular contact with each finalist.  ONBOARDING NEW HIRES This is the final step in the talent acquisition process, and one of the more crucial. It’s also the one most frequently taken for granted. Too many companies see this as a formality, limiting the involvement of human resources to having the new hire fills out all forms, signs up for benefits, scheduled raining and similar administrative details More progressive organizations see onboarding as a long-term strategy for the success of the new worker. With these companies, onboarding has managers meeting weekly with new hire for the first two or three months to discuss their progress, set goals and to provide coaching. ANALYZING YOUR TALENT ACQUISITION PROCESS No talent acquisition process can be considered complete without a regular review of metrics. This is an ongoing profess, rather than a separate or distinct step. There are dozens of measures recruiters use to track the success of the recruiting program. Time to hire, cost of hire, source of hire, offer acceptance and retention are just a few of the more common metrics. One of the newest and arguably the most valuable, is tracking the performance of a new hire.  Together these metrics don’t just report on the success of a talent acquisition process, they inform the strategy for improvement. The steps we outline here are just the basics of what is required for a strong and successful talent acquisition program. Each step has multiple ingredients. What’s right and works for one company will almost certainly be different for another. The best will reflect the needs and strategic goals of their organization. Contribution by John Zappe

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Chris Russell

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