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The Evolution of the Modern Recruiter

Written By
Cal Cleary
Content Producer

One of the toughest challenges tennis stars face is adapting their game to a variety of conditions. This means that top players are constantly adding new shots to their repertoire so they can flourish in all environments. Similarly, to thrive in a fast-moving and ever-changing talent marketplace, modern recruiters must cherry-pick skills more typically associated with other industries. This has led to a new, multi-faceted breed of recruiter equipped with not just a depth of knowledge in specialist areas, but also a breadth of skills across an array of disciplines.

The Power of Data Analytics in Recruitment

In times gone by, TA teams had little more than their gut to rely on when assessing methods or planning upcoming strategies. This is no longer the case as the modern recruiter now has a vast collection of analytical tools to zero in on the huge quantities of data at their fingertips.

The benefits of such a metric-geared vision were highlighted in a recent Avature webinar with CBRE’s TA Operations Manager, Anchal Saxena. He explained how detailed dashboards allow stakeholders to immediately ascertain key information, without the need for periodic reports, enabling them to proactively plan requirements on the fly.

These kinds of forensic insights also helped CBRE to mold their engagement strategies. For example, when they identified that half the visitors to their career site were millennials, they tailored the portal to better resonate with this demographic. In a similar vein, they were able to gauge the success of an initiative to fill more leadership positions with women by harnessing analytical tools which showed a 10 percent increase in female applicants compared with the previous year.

The Psychology of Candidate Personas

A flair for knowing what makes people tick has long been a staple across a variety of industries. For the modern recruiter this can involve recognizing the ideal attributes for a given position, or picking up on subtle verbal and non-verbal cues during interviews.

At the forefront of leveraging psychological techniques to thrive in talent acquisition are Infineon, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of semiconductor solutions. Their bold vision involves defining key job types and then outlining desirable personal and professional qualities for that role. To make these hypothetical profiles less abstract, they were assigned the names Dave and Sarah, which made it easier for people throughout the organization to have a clearer idea of each target group.

Mapping out personas like this can help the modern recruiter fill positions with better suited hires, so reducing turnover and associated costs. It also facilitates bespoke communication with the community, improving engagement with different segments of the market and helping refine the elevator pitch aspect of making offers more appealing to A-list candidates.

The results of this change in tack were outstanding. Not only did they increase recruitment five-fold over a three-year period, but they also reduced external headhunter costs by 78 percent. The cherry on top of their innovative vision was winning the 2017 HR Excellence Award.

The Art of Recruitment Marketing

At the 2019 US Avature Conference, Lockheed Martin’s Talent Engagement Strategist, Marvin Smith shared a jaw-dropping statistic that sums up how tough it can be for the modern recruiter. When searching for Java developers in Washington DC they discovered that 6,000 companies in the area were jostling for the attention of just 2,500 qualified candidates.

Needless to say, with the odds stacked so resolutely against them, modern recruiters are looking for new ways to attract talent, often adopting methods more commonly preferred by marketers, like social media engagement or building an inspiring employer brand. However, the challenge that many face is nurturing a personalized relationship when dealing with talent pools that can run into the thousands.

Lockheed Martin overcomes this hurdle with strategic email campaigns that leverage two key techniques. First they schedule their outreaches when people are most likely to be receptive to a new opportunity. These could coincide with work anniversaries or birthdays, both of which can be easily established via LinkedIn or other similar platforms. They then craft content that taps into core motivating emotions, for example curiosity or excitement, in a way that will resonate more deeply at these particular moments.

One of their most successful approaches was targeting individuals at times of career stagnation with messages that provoke a feeling of missing out, such as “Contributions being overlooked? Time for a career checkup?”. This short campaign proved to be the catalyst to surpassing the industry average in terms of conversion rates, and staging 13 evaluation interviews in just two weeks.

To Wrap Up…

Just as we have seen in tennis, evolving with the times can be the difference between winning a Grand Slam or losing in straight sets. Which is why it is both exciting and unsurprising to see the rise of the all-court recruiter, equipped with a range of skills to thrive in an increasingly competitive talent landscape.

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