10 Smart People Talk Talent Technology

By Peter Weddle, CEO TAtech

TAtech and Recruiting Future podcast held the first-ever podcast conference last week, and the discussions did not disappoint. Videos of the sessions will be posted shortly at TAtech.org, and the podcasts will be released over the next several weeks and archived at RecruitingFuture.com.

How good were the discussions? Steven Rothberg, Co-Founder and President of College Recruiter, put it this way:

Just finished listening to one of the most insightful and actionable webcasts that I’ve ever attended. An absolute must-listen for anyone in talent acquisition or related industries like recruitment marketing.

You can read the rest of his post here. My summary of some of the key points from each interview follows.

The show opened with Ellie Harte, Recruitment Partner at Atkins, and Kshitij Jain, CEO of Joveo, discussing The Future of Recruitment Advertising.

Advertising is going to have to change to reflect current (and future) dynamics in the workforce and workplace. Ad content and distribution circa 2015 or 2016 simply won’t work in 2021.

For example, the insertion of an EEO/AA statement in ads is no longer sufficient (if it ever was) to attract top talent from all cohorts of the workforce. Instead, today’s ad content must demonstrate a genuine organizational commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. And those more authentic ads must also receive the widest possible distribution among job boards and leverage today’s most popular social platforms, from Instagram to TikTok.

Next, Allyn Bailey, Global Recruitment Marketing Leader at Intel, and Chris Forman, Founder & CEO of Appcast, tackled The Future of Recruitment Marketing.

The world has turned upside down. Data from job seekers over the last 12-18 months reveals that everything we thought we knew about how people look for a job “has been inverted.”
• Job postings are up 20% compared to pre-pandemic levels.
• With 11 million people unemployed, supply is up 50% compared to pre-pandemic levels.
• And yet, “apply rates have cratered.” Job seeker applications are down by 20% and clicks are down to historic lows.

What’s this mean? Job seekers don’t want to play the game the way it has been played in the past. Top talent, in particular, has spent the last 12 months building their brand, and as a result, they now expect employers to come to them. For that reason, old fashioned and fairly passive recruitment marketing must become much more creative and proactive.

In addition, employers “need to make every applicant count.” Recruiters must do everything they can to reduce friction in application flows (e.g., eliminating pre-qualifying questions and overly long application forms) and let the c-suite know it’s going to cost a lot more money to meet quality hiring targets.

Then, Charu Malhotra, a global communication and branding leader, and Trina Hymes, Global VP-Sales at Talenya, explored The Future of Technology and DE&I.

It’s clearly important to think about technology, but you have to start with inclusion; you have to have an inclusive culture first before you can recruit a more diverse flow of candidates.

Companies need to avoid focusing on “vanity metrics” and instead model a commitment to DE&I, beginning at the top of the organization. That’s the only way to prevent the recruit and renounce phenomenon where you recruit top diverse talent only to lose them later because of the organization’s culture.

It begins with the job description. Technology can help with candidate sourcing and the all-important person-job fit, but first you have to have a very clear understanding of what’s really required to perform a job and remove any ancillary specifications that could limit your candidate pool.

Next up were Trent Cotton, VP of Talent Acquisition for Bureau Veritas Group, and Roberto Angulo, Founder and CEO of Recruitology, discussing The Future of Recruiting Automation.

The pandemic accelerated the need for technology as the best way to free recruiters up for the “human centric” recruiting that will be required as the economy gains strength. For SMBs, technology levels the playing field and enables them to compete for the best talent. And for enterprise employers, it enables recruiting teams to bridge over layoffs and departures that occurred during the pandemic.

The key to success is to target automation at “where you need it the most.” Use data to figure out the key problems you need to solve (e.g., getting in front of more candidates, halting the loss of candidates at certain points in the process) and find technology solutions that can address them.

But there’s the rub. Buyers are overwhelmed with the number of providers and the range of products, making it very difficult to know where best to invest their money. (NOTE: TAtech will be introducing a free Talent Technology Buyer’s Guide on TAtech.org in May – a resource for companies looking for vendors with products and business practices they can count on.)

The show closed with Diane Circo, VP of US Talent Acquisition for Siemens, and James Saunders, Founder and CEO of Attrax, exploring The Future of AI & the Candidate Experience.

The best applications for AI should create a “more seamless experience” for candidates as they move through the recruiting process. It should eliminate delays and provide more timely and useful feedback on where they stand and what comes next.

In addition, the technology can and should be used in creating “a courtship” with candidates. It should customize the content that’s provided to candidates based up on their previous online activity and through more personalized customer service help them feel as if they’re valued and respected.

At the same time, however, it’s very important NOT to “digitize the humanity out of the process.” At least for the foreseeable future, recruiting is and will remain a human-centric activity, and AI, no matter how intelligent, cannot substitute for the recruiter-candidate connection.

Food for Thought,
Peter

Peter Weddle is the author or editor of over two dozen books and a former columnist for The Wall Street Journal. He is also the founder and CEO of TAtech: The Association for Talent Acquisition Solutions. You can check out his latest books on Amazon or in the TAtech Bookstore

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