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Talent Through Technology

2020 Talent Attraction and Engagement

When it comes to the new year, we always like to look ahead. Looking at what to expect helps us plan and prepare for the future. 2020 looks to bring many new additions to the Early Talent space and in this blog, we delve into a few of them.

Since around 2010, the talent recruitment space has been on a steady evolution from a recruiter-centric approach to hiring to a candidate-centric approach. Advances in technologies, both in terms of platforms and algorithms, as well as access to larger sets of varied data and a deeper understanding of it, has catapulted advancements in these approaches. But as organisations continue to strive towards a more inclusive workforce and throw new challenges towards recruitment in the pursuit of efficiency, what is the market doing to support them? Systems in the years prior to 2019 have repeatedly fallen short in providing hassle-free recruitment management, with many failing to stand out through the functionality they offered. Additionally, the majority of organisations consistently ignored the value-action gap that exists between claiming to want, know and support a certain type of candidate; yet doing very little to achieve any of this. The efforts in talent attraction, engagement, recruitment and perhaps most importantly retention, however, have at least managed to support a growing set of data points allowing for improved insight and understanding for the future.

For 2020, this is where the focus lies – in candidate inclusion, diversity, data insights and recruitment technology. All as part of the next step in the candidate-centric approach.

Tech has always been at the heart of modern recruitment – particularly when considering the early talent audience of 16-24-year-olds.

100% of 16-24s have access to the internet via their mobile phone according to Ofcom and the ONS, did you know?
If more individuals are communicating, learning and operating in a technological space, then it makes sense for recruiting teams to be operating here as well. And they are. But owning a car doesn’t mean you can race in Formula One. And whilst the quality of this technology has improved to solve certain recruitment challenges, there are still some areas to work on.

A user experience that benefits both candidates AND recruiters.

It’s almost unheard of for a modern website, for either the retail or hospitality industry, to avoid the consideration of its user’s experience. The science speaks for itself – the better the experience, the more likely the desired usage and conversion. Apple makes a living off of this approach. It’s not just the user experience either. Consider aftersales care, returns and the relationship building that some retail outlets go to. In recruitment terms, this is almost directly translatable to post-application, interview preparation and interview feedback processes.
Knowing that 87% of candidates say a great recruitment experience can change their mind about a company they once doubted (Deloitte) it’s clear…

anyone capable of creating an impressive candidate experience is going to have the pick of talent.

There seems to be no ‘second-best’ in this arena either as 83% of candidates have said a negative interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once liked. So, you’re either killing it, or it’s killing you. Recruiters and the third parties that support them are on to this and you can expect this to be a continuing trend throughout 2020. You can see how TalentPortal has been doing it here!

Improving and extending the two-way communications model
Some of the largest steps taken in the talent tech world recently have been in a ‘one-stop-solution’. As mainly office-based personnel, we are not shy to the concept of multiple logins for multiple sites. For an efficient working process, however, we ideally need to be working from one system alone. The alternative is simply draining. When considering the interaction with individuals external to the company, however, the benefits aren’t just with efficiency. GDPR regulation continues to benefit from an integrated system/process, as does candidate and recruiter communication – not to mention morale/work enjoyment. Tools like the TalentPortal consolidate recruitment processes and operations to improve these relationships through an end-to-end process.

End-to-end process? Yes! The best recruiters know that walking a candidate through a complete process of job seeking to interview to hire is crucial for everyone’s success.

That way we are covering attraction to engagement, and recruitment to retention. It is important to note that we aren’t talking about 100% retention here either. Frankly, that is near enough impossible, room for movement should always be allowed for and even considered. But according to the recent Working Mums & TheTalentPeople Employer round-table event, ‘hire – start’ drop-off is a real issue. Particularly when long periods of notice are in play.

It’s not uncommon for an individual to receive a ‘better offer’, reconsider or even be playing games with multiple fingers in multiple pies prior to their start. Another reason, sounding out from employers around the UK right now, is the issue of integration. Organisations go to great lengths to keep candidates in communication during the interview and hiring process, but what happens once the job has been offered? At what point is the transition from candidate to employee made and how can this relationship be developed prior to the start date to ensure satisfaction on both sides for better retention?

Inclusion and Diversity
The issue of workforce opportunity and diverse representation is not a new one, yet many organisations are still scratching their heads when it comes to ways in which to appeal to all. Throughout 2020, businesses and candidates will continue to work together to connect the dots, but you might find that the solution reveals itself in a couple of ways.

An improved approach for mixed audience appeal

In a perfect marketing world, a one-to-one relationship with all recipients will provide the best possible outcome. In the real world, however, this is far from possible. Exacerbated by the fact that much of modern marketing analytics tends to treat individuals as numbers, it’s not hard to see that the balance of inclusive and successful marketing vs the opposite is a fine one. Some get it right, but many do not. Having become a hot topic of late, 2020 is likely to see developments in this area. With the potential for companies to be sharing tips and tricks if only as a result of celebrating the progress they have made in appealing to a wider audience.

When considering a 3rd party that can assist you in this area, it is important to find one that can not only generate the required results in this area, but also one that can do so fairly. It’s called EQUAL opportunity for a reason. Getting to grips with GDPR was tricky but where do we even begin to start with equal candidate integration?

  • Communication Funnel: start wide and end small with this one. Your partner should be appealing to all individuals and offering a fair chance straight out of the gate. From here you can start to adapt campaign visuals, content and targeting to appeal to those most valuable to you.
  • Communication Channel: be present in the channels used by all those relevant to the vacancy at hand. As soon as that first campaign goes live, you’ll start learning how the recipients/viewers interact. You can narrow your view subsequent to this to improve efficiencies and results.
  • Augmented Intelligence: This tool integrates the smarts and speed of an artificial intelligence system with the knowledge and know-how of an experienced human user, in order to negate bias and broaden the usage of the role that AI can play. Still confused? Find a 3rd party that knows their stuff – TheTalentPeople are a good start.

Increased emphasis on hiring for soft skills
Research by LinkedIn identified that a company’s requirement to hire on the basis of ‘Soft Skills’ – these being the interpersonal attributes you need to succeed in the workplace (thebalancecareers.com) – is becoming ever more prevalent. With the average employable skill lasting 15-30 years in the early 20th century, the modern equivalent is said to last you only a maximum of 5. So, finding an individual that is capable of adaptation and development as an individual and as a team is crucial.

Recruiters are key to this conundrum. Finding one experienced and capable enough to identify these traits, before their client even gets to an interview with the candidate, is a big win. Giving the recruiter the tools to boost their chances of success in this field is an even bigger win!

Data and insight
We’ve all heard the familiar phrase about spending half of our marketing budgets correctly but not knowing which half. As time moves on, however, our ability to measure more and more is improving. Data and insight are the key! More of this allows us to better understand, analyse and predict; which coincidentally allows us to gather more data. It’s a cycle. Although many of the capabilities, as a result of improved data and insight, represent themselves in a digital format the uses for the individual are equally impressive. Here’s a couple of ways in which 2020 will both provide us and support us in the data and insight field.

Augmented Intelligence
Come on! Did you think we would be able to go a day without mentioning AI? Ok, so we’ve mentioned this a little bit above. This isn’t what you might expect. Summarising Google’s definition, AI is basically when a computer system conducts a human skill and behaviour automatically. It does this by referencing a large number of data points input either by the living user or collected through relevant hardware. AI’s uses are prevalent across multiple industries nowadays with many amenable tasks now being conducted more efficiently by a computer. Relying on human input and set-up means AI is susceptible to the unfortunate reality of bias. The computer system is built to operate in the way that its creator told it too. Meaning for many tasks, this system will operate under the user’s biases, whether conscious or subconscious. This could be an issue.

Augmented Intelligence on the other hand (and in simple terms) is built to provide input based on an artificial system but not make decisions past this point. An alternative user (usually human) is employed to understand the recommendation and operate in a suitable manner with the client’s best interests at hand. Imagine what golden opportunities this presents for GDPR and diversity. Look at TalentPortal for more information on how this can work.

Improved understanding of candidate behaviour
As a result of all previous points discussed, the industry should continue to see a greater understanding of the subjects in which we integrate with. Perhaps more importantly, we are likely to see an improvement in prediction capabilities for campaigns without the threat of being generalist. Organisations have a habit of measuring candidates and putting them into boxes, which is contradictory to the fact that the individual replying to their emails, picking up their phone calls and searching their opportunities is, in fact, a human.

Although data and analytics are key to understanding certain behaviours, nobody can deny the perception and understanding of us as individuals and our ability to understand and communicate with each other.

The stage is set for 2020 with the year set to present us with the best in early talent recruitment yet. Tools for great candidate attraction, engagement, recruitment and retention exist. Let’s see how we develop them.