I played Patrick the recruiter in our customer conference general session skit. It was less than 15 lines and shouldn’t have been a problem.
But it was, mostly because I’m a ham at heart and like to improvise whenever possible. Forget the fact that there would be a floor monitor and a laptop showing the players the script.
So there I was on stage with some of my esteemed colleagues in front of hundreds of customers – heads of HR and talent acquisition – plus partners and peers – delivering my lines like a seasoned actor.
And then Megan, our VP of strategic accounts, queued me up for my big finale:
“What if you could pin your most frequent searches on your dashboard, and have the results refresh automatically as new candidates show interest, eliminating barriers between you and the next great member of your team?”
“That would be fantastic!” I exclaimed.
Wait for it…then nothing. Odd, I thought, what’s she waiting for?
Seconds go by. “Um…Patrick…um…would you like me to set up a job search for you?”
Wow. I missed the money shot line. How did I do that?
“Um…yes! Can you set up one for our Store Manager position we’re always looking to fill?”
“Absolutely. We’ve set the Store Manager search to include the important parameters you define and that are unique to the job, including keywords, tags and location…”
Megan wrapped up the Patrick segment, and that’s when I added:
“Megan, sorry, but I’m managing over 60 reqs right now and it’s hard for me to remember which one is which.”
Smiles. Laughter. Some claps. I had my money shot after all.
Okay, maybe not 60 reqs, but I know many talent acquisition teams are carrying heavy job loads because finding and hiring the best people. Tech talent is especially tough today, to find those with the necessary skill sets that are critical for today’s companies – primarily, software programmers and developers, as well as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) positions.
According to Computerworld’s 2015 Forecast survey, job growth in IT remains very healthy – nearly one-quarter of respondents said that they plan to add more IT employees this year. At the same time, unemployment for IT professionals is extremely low – just 2.5% according to figures from one of the latest Dice Tech Trends report – making it even harder to find top people with technology skills in high demand.
Conversely, the non-technical positions companies need to fill continuously takes a candidate pooling and constant “warming” approach, as well as engaging candidates with relevant content in various mediums, especially video.
Competing for the best people, regardless of role or classification, has again become priority number one with an emphasis on the speed and quality of the hiring process. But it’s really much more complicated out there: the hiring economy today is like an original screenplay we keep rewriting and reordering, with a lot of sweat and tears, through every economic boom and bust story.
Yes, it’s complicated. According to the U.S. Department of Labor:
- Job Openings have increased 28% in 2014, more than any other year since 1999.
- For the last 12 months we’ve added on the average 200K per month.
- At the same time, wages aren’t keeping pace, which is causing increased turnover.
And yet, a study last year from Carl Frey and Michael Osborne at Oxford University found that 47% of jobs are at risk of computerization over the next two decades.
And for the past few years, companies on the average receive an excessive number of resumes per every open full-time permanent position. This according to the Candidate Experience Award (CandE) data (you can now download the 2014 report here and then participate in the 2015 CandEs here) from the past two years alone that shows open requisitions for all levels of positions are tracking over 200 resumes each. At the same time, more than half of job applicants are applying for up to four jobs per week, while nearly a third applying to up to nine jobs per week.
Although the competition for top talent is fierce, employers must still find creative ways to entice people with in-demand STEM skills to join their company – getting to know whom they’re targeting is critical prior to and especially during outreach. Thankfully, research and relationship building are alive and well in recruiting today for whatever the roles being hired. We’ve covered this topic detail on the TalentCulture #TChat Show more than once recently.
But what are some specific examples of delivering better talent acquisition regardless of the complicated backstories and plot twists? We keep pitching the “better experiences” for candidates, recruiters and hiring managers, but what productions have made it to the big screen?
The CandEs have them in the spotlight and since founding them in 2010, the Talent Board has created a global benchmark process for companies to gain needed insight into their recruiting processes and more specifically, how their candidates feel about the process and how they were treated.
The CandE benchmark is the foundation for how companies are recognized for the awards, by their candidates. This award process is truly the first and largest “People’s Choice” award in the recruiting industry, and remains the largest single source of candidate experience and recruiting performance benchmark data in the world. (For those keeping score at home, about one-third of the 2014 winners are PeopleFluent customers.)
Here are give great examples of from the CandE winners with distinction, those companies who by far have exceeded the first-tier winning benchmark:
- MetLife has built a validated simulation that not only helps assess a candidate’s qualifications, but that candidates also find informative and educational about job requirements. They also distribute surveys to get detailed input from new hires at from day one, after three months and again at one year.
- Capital One launched their CandE effort two years ago to build “consistency” of treatment from call center employees to executives. Every person who applies is asked a series of CandE-related questions and their response rates are north of 50 percent (10,000 asks per month) and their Net Promoter Scores are then segmented by location, level, function and recruiter.
- NBCUniversal holds Tech Talk Tuesdays and Ask the Experts every Wednesday, every single week. By measuring and acting on their source of hire and other hiring data, their speed to hire has improved from 75 days to 29 days.
- Hyatt has begun aligning their well known and well developed “guest experience” to the CandEs. One thing they’ve done as a result is to introduce applicants to employees during the interview process, and much earlier in the process than most companies usually do.
- RMS, a three-time CandE winner with distinction conducts weekly and sometimes daily online chats that focus on providing “honest answers” to “honest questions.” They measure hiring like dating and equate the recruiting process to first-date impressions and beyond.
These are the moving recruiting money shots if there ever were. Thankfully there are more killer premiers and sequels like this every year.
Step right on up for your screen test. My people will call your people and we’ll do lunch.
About the Author: Kevin W. Grossman co-founded and co-hosts the highly popular weekly TalentCulture #TChat Show with Meghan M. Biro. He’s also currently the Product Marketing Director for Total Talent Acquisition products at PeopleFluent.