It’s Time to Rethink Recruitment

The corporate career site used to be the yardstick by which employers of choice were measured. Now, the search for talent has been taken over by job boards and applicant tracking systems, search engines, social networks and more. Just as every innovation eventually downshifts from wow to whatever, every innovator and early adopter inevitably risks losing the competitive edge that innovation brought with it, unless they can continuously innovate.

The search for skilled talent is heating up again. Where will companies find the next opportunities to innovate? How can they change, improve and enhance the recruiting process? How do they sustain competitive advantage — from sourcing to on-boarding and every step in between?

Here are five innovations that can provide a competitive edge in recruiting right now.

A new and improved talent supply chain model. Switch from full life cycle recruiting to a specialist model. Specialization of roles, with designated experts handling sourcing, recruiting and operations, can promote superior performance all along the talent supply chain. It allows sourcing specialists to be better hunters and recruiters to do a better job managing candidate and hiring manager relationships and results. Let operational specialists focus on recruitment administration. Establishing a streamlined process managed by the specialist experts can increase productivity in all areas.

SEO and job distribution. Search engine optimization (SEO) applied to job distribution can boost visibility. A searchable landing page, with all jobs featured and indexed, can help draw the right candidates. This form of reverse engineering the job posting process can aid in the capture of information for all those who visit the site. Think about the value of building a proprietary talent pool instead of building someone else’s. Establish a direct connection with candidates and leverage it to keep them engaged with the organization for multiple job opportunities. It can promote more effective sourcing at a lower cost and speedier job fills with better-matched candidates.

Mobile engagement. Mobile is far more than a device; it’s a lifestyle. It may also be the most effective way to immediately engage candidates. Even though a growing number of companies have optimized their online identities for mobile consumers, very few have done so for mobile job seekers. Beyond a mobile-optimized careers page, innovators can text job opportunities to candidates and offer a way to apply directly from the phone.

Assessments. Pre-employment assessments are the best predictors of on-the-job performance. The most innovative assessments have been “gamified.” They promote interactivity and engagement in job simulations and realistic job previews. They employ avatars and embedded audio and video to enhance realism. They also offer an opportunity to transform the assessment process into a branded experience to showcase jobs and the employment value proposition.

Replacing the rear-view mirror model of recruitment reporting. When the ultimate goal is a high-performance workforce, does cost per hire or time to fill really matter? How do these traditional HR metrics impact revenues or employee engagement? No matter what metric is chosen, rather than evaluating how well the recruitment process performed last month, last week or even yesterday, think how much more valuable it would be to know what is happening right now in real time. Then tie that to what is important for the business you are supporting. Understanding the business will help drive which metrics should be important to you. Focus efforts on tracking the present to improve the future of recruiting. Real-time visibility into the recruitment process can identify bottlenecks and facilitate adjustments on the fly to increase productivity and improve resource utilization.

Chris Gould is senior director, talent acquisition solutions sourcing leader, at Aon Hewitt. He has been in HR consulting since 1996 and is an expert in social media, sourcing and recruiting. He can be reached at editor@talentmgt.com.