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6 Min Read

How to Differentiate Through Talent Acquisition In 2022

Bruno Boksic

In the past year, many employees left their companies in what is known today as The Great Resignation. Companies are slowly starting to adapt to the new marketplace conditions to effectively deal with The Great Resignation, including the talent acquisition challenges it has brought about.

In our second HR Superstars Summit held on February 16, 2022, we held a panel called “Differentiating Through Talent Acquisition” to discuss this pressing topic. The panel was moderated by Ben Eubanks, a youth sports coach, chief research officer at Lighthouse research, and the podcast host of “We’re only human.” 

Ben was joined by  Cristina Costa, a recruiter at Google Cloud, career coach, and DEIB consultant; Sue Joyce, HR consultant, and the previous VP of HR at Terminus; and Julie Barker, the CEO of Cultivate Talent, and the previous VP of Talent at Zylo.

The panel covered unique approaches to recruiting in today’s market, how to adapt your hiring process to The Great Resignation, how to build better relationships with hiring managers, and how to integrate all of it into an innovative talent acquisition strategy. Read on for some key takeaways from the discussion.

The differentiating factor for employers in the marketplace

In this “sea of sameness,” how can employers differentiate in the marketplace and attract new talent?

Julie Barker shared that companies need to figure out what people want and reframe the Great Resignation as the Great Realignment. This means taking the time to understand the market and what people are looking for from organizations (and the hiring process). People want personalization and individualization, and they want to know what’s exciting about the company they will spend their time at. 

Cristina Costa added that today’s market is the candidate’s market. The market has flipped and it’s now the candidates that dictate many of the terms. The candidates with the most experience go wherever they want since they have so many opportunities. Thus, companies must now provide the minimum —  health insurance, professional development opportunities, and room for growth — to even be considered by top talent.

Sue Joyce emphasized that the employer needs to have a consistent brand across all channels. The HR team needs to work with the marketing team to ensure that the message the candidate receives from the marketing materials is the same message they get during the hiring process. 

Is salary increase a solution?

There was a lot of discussion around increasing salary as a solution to The Great Resignation. 

Sue Joyce mentioned that it’s good to increase salary, but with a caveat. It’s not just about throwing more money to employees but being open and transparent with salaries, promotion structures, and merit increases. 

Visibility is key — HR should share information about pay structure with their employees so employees know what is required of them to succeed in the workplace and, in turn, increase their compensation.

Cristina Costa added that there should be more transparency when it comes to openly sharing rates during the interview process. Without clearly listing the salary range, candidates may fear that they are wasting time interviewing for a role that cannot meet their salary expectations. By including the salary range, both companies and candidates can avoid wasting time if they’re not a match in that area.

This can also be applied internally to employees. Managers should have conversations with their employees about compensation and its structure because that level of transparency creates trust. And people who are trusted become trustworthy (and stay with the company).

Building a better relationship with hiring managers

Recruiters need to have good relationships with hiring managers because that will improve the entirety of the hiring process. Recruiters should partner with hiring managers when writing the job descriptions for the roles. 

This is key to ensuring that the hiring managers understand the role in-depth and the skills needed to succeed in that role. Sometimes hiring managers ask for skills in a job that aren’t a must-have for the job, but a nice-to-have. So recruiters should challenge hiring managers about the specifics of a job such as minimum years of experience or specific skills required.

Julie Barker added that the recruiters and hiring managers can reverse engineer the process by looking at what made other people successful at that specific job and writing the job description by analyzing that person’s skills. 

It’s also important to generate excitement, so when team leaders share the opportunities, they should “sell” why working with them and their team would be beneficial for applicants. 

Recruiters should also share information and data with the hiring managers. Educating hiring managers and helping them understand the market is crucial to facilitating data-driven decisions.

Why speed matters in today’s hiring process

With The Great Resignation rampaging, it’s essential to be fast in today’s hiring process. 

Thus, the hiring process needs to be streamlined. For example, if you have an interview with the candidate on Day 1, by Day 4, they will already have multiple offers from other organizations. So it’s crucial to have at most 48 hours between hiring steps. 

Do an audit of your hiring process and see where you can cut out time to make the process faster.

3 practical tips to get better results with recruiting

And last but not least are three practical tips to get better results with recruiting. 

Cristina Costa stated that the HR people should go over interview training with their hiring managers. Interviewers need to know what they’re looking for in a candidate and they need to know when they find it. 

Julie Barker said that it’s important for leaders to follow up with their candidates. That can be in the form of a blog post related to what they were discussing during the hiring process.

And Sue Joyce mentioned that HR leaders should review the introductory paragraph of the job posting. Often, the intro paragraph states what the company does for their customers, not what they do for their employees — that should be changed in cooperation with the marketing team.

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