After two years of operating in “survival mode,” organizations are starting to realize that the pandemic disruption was more than a passing breeze and that the current talent acquisition scenario demands a new way to engage talent. In the early days of the pandemic in March 2020, a record 6.6M people in the United States filed for unemployment. Then came 2021, with over 47 million Americans voluntarily quitting their jobs in what has been dubbed “the Great Resignation.” Meanwhile, Generation Z, which will account for almost 30 percent of the global workforce by 2025, according to the World Economic Forum, started making its way into the workforce. So, with the balance between candidate and recruiter being so heavily put out of kilter, businesses need to rethink their overall approach to candidate attraction and engagement. In a webinar with Kirsten Tolfree-Dart, Head of Operational Excellence at Caraffi, she explained the importance of talent engagement. She also shared four ways in which businesses can adjust their strategies to keep up with the current context. #1 Focus On Your Employer Brand to Attract Candidates Most talent acquisition leaders agree that organizational reputation influences a company’s ability to attract candidates. In fact, a strong employer brand has long been a cornerstone of any successful talent engagement strategy. This doesn’t necessarily mean having the biggest name in the marketplace but being able to successfully communicate your organization’s employer brand proposition in a way that leaves candidates eager to join your ranks. With 86 percent of employees and job seekers researching organization reviews and ratings to decide where to apply for a job, how you build and communicate your employer brand will have a major influence on your standing in the marketplace for top talent in the short and long run. Remember, heavy-handed methods or tone-deaf messaging are a turnoff for prospects in a landscape where half of candidates report that they would not work for an organization with a negative reputation. #2 Fine-Tune Your Candidate Communications How can you refine your communications to improve the candidate experience? The first thing to remember when looking to improve the candidate experience in recruitment is transparency. We all appreciate honesty, so don’t be afraid to be open about any adjustments you’ve had to make to your hiring process or company culture in general. You should also consider shifting the focus of your content and humanizing your communications. Share tips with candidates, such as how to prepare for an interview, or focus on how your organization is managing different initiatives, such as diversity, inclusion and overall well-being, in an effort to address some of today’s job seekers’ main concerns and interests. In addition to refining your messaging, the means of communication you employ play an important role in effectively engaging talent. There has been a significant uptick in social media use in the last few years, making platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter invaluable in fostering a positive image not only within your own network but also with unknown talent. By leveraging these channels, you can showcase what it is like to work at your organization or empower employees to act as brand ambassadors to better attract candidates. Don’t let your social media accounts fall dormant, as candidate experience research shows that talent is more likely to favor a company that actively maintains its brand. As mentioned previously, honesty is paramount, so be upfront about the status of your recruitment programs. If you’re not hiring at the moment, take advantage of the hiatus to engage talent proactively. You can do so through transparent and empathetic email campaigns. These communications will ensure that your organization stays in the candidates’ minds until you resume your hiring activity. You can improve this strategy by segmenting your lists to target your audience with appropriate content, as well as personalizing and automating your communications. All of this can be achieved with a robust candidate engagement platform. Strengthening your employer brand is a great opportunity to improve how you engage talent. Be transparent, tweak your content and use the right channels accordingly. Kirsten Tolfree-Dart – Head of Operational Excellence – Caraffi #3 Enhance the Recruitment Experience A major contributing factor to your employer brand is the candidate experience. In fact, according to Glassdoor’s Most Important Employer Branding Statistics, 78 percent of job candidates say the candidate experience they get is an indicator of how an organization values its people. Too often, candidates are frustrated by slow processes or radio silence, leaving them with a sour taste of their interaction with an organization. It only takes a bit of scrolling down on sites like LinkedIn to find everything from memes to heartfelt posts about being ghosted by a recruiter. In the era of viral content, it is important to keep in mind the speed at which news of negative interactions can travel since a poor candidate experience will likely hamper your ability to successfully engage talent in the future. With a flexible HCM platform, you can automate manual tasks to lessen the load on recruiters and ensure candidates aren’t frustrated by unnecessary bottlenecks. You can follow similar best practices with your communications to ensure that candidates are updated accordingly. Keep in mind that people prefer bad news to no news at all. As you strive to improve your overall candidate experience, your current employees and past applicants can be a source of valuable insights. Survey them to get feedback on their recruitment experience and tweak your processes accordingly. #4 Engage Talent at Your Fingertips with Talent Marketplaces From reducing hiring costs to improving employee engagement, the benefits of an internal talent marketplace have long been known. Now, in the face of the Great Resignation, more businesses are turning to internal mobility to not only save big on time and financial resourcing but as a strategy to provide candidates with learning and growth opportunities. This means that organizations must reassess how they engage talent within their own ranks. Companies such as L’Oréal have already started implementing an internal talent marketplace and giving their employees greater visibility into the opportunities available within the organization. The result? Filling 75 percent of positions posted on external career sites with L’Oréal employees, leading to a variety of time and cost savings for the company. Similarly, Deutsche Telekom is leveraging internal mobility to improve employee engagement. Thanks to Avature Internal Mobility, the leading company in communication and information technology created a one-stop shop where teamwork and development co-exist. Communication and engagement are extremely critical to the success of any sort of talent space. And the reason for that is because talent is engaged and energized when they see business leaders take them seriously. Pranav Chadha, Senior Technical Product Manager at Deutsche Telekom To Wrap Up… As we navigate the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Great Resignation and the entering of Gen Zers into the workforce make it imperative to reassess how organizations engage talent. By strengthening their employer brand, fine-tuning their communications, enhancing their candidate experience and providing standout talent within their own ranks with development opportunities internally, organizations will be better prepared to connect with today’s talent while building a solid reputation that continues to attract candidates in the future.