As we get closer to the end of 2016, we realize HR professionals are starting to plan for the year ahead. This blog post is the third and final part of a series based around our 3 Ways Leaders Are Getting Ready To Win In 2017 blog post, diving into greater detail on how to turn our three strategies into reality.
Attracting top talent
has always been a challenge, but with shifting employee demographics and a
competitive hiring market, organizations are being forced to evolve how they
think about recruiting. In addition, employees tenures are shortening, which
means organizations who want to keep top talent need to be innovative and
strategic in getting new hires to achieve early success, and then ensure they have the
talent practices in place
to retain them.
At Jobvite, we are often asked how organizations can improve talent acquisition to build a stronger future for their company. Strategic talent acquisition isn’t just a subject we feel passionate about, it’s also something that we’ve been studying for nearly a decade. We’ve conducted an annual recruiting survey for the past nine years, finding out what recruiting and HR professionals from various industries are thinking about hiring strategy, company culture, internal mobility and much more.
Listed below are the top three questions we get asked about strategic talent acquisition (TA), plus one bonus question about applicant tracking software (ATS). As you look to create a winning talent strategy for 2017, consider how the insights provided below can inform your talent acquisition practices for the year ahead.
What is one thing organizations should do differently in 2017 (when it comes to their TA strategy)?
When it comes to talent acquisition, it’s easy to get swept up in the day-to-day execution — if an important position opens, you often feel you have to drop everything you’re doing to focus on filling it. But as things slow down towards the end of the year, you have a really great opportunity to take a step back and start thinking more strategically and proactively.
Sit down with leadership to determine what your overall business goals in the next year are and outline how recruiting can help support them. If you’re going to be launching a new product, for example, you might anticipate hiring more project managers and engineers than usual.
When you take that forecast and the metrics around your current hiring process into account, you can map out a blueprint for what recruiting will look like in the next year. And as a result, you can start planning how to best execute against those goals far ahead of schedule.
What are some of the key metrics to measure the impact of that strategy?
The key to a healthy recruiting program is measuring performance at every step of the funnel. That means keeping a close eye on the number of career site visits, applications submitted, phone screens, on-site interviews, offer letters, acceptance rate, etc., as well as the time it takes to move from one stage to the next.
Don’t just look at this information in a void, though — compare it to relevant industry benchmarks so you know where you stand.
I’d also recommend calculating the ROI of your sourcing. For every place you spend — social networks, job boards, blogs — compare how much money you’re putting behind it versus how many leads you’re yielding. Invest more in the sources with high returns, and reduce or eliminate spending that’s less effective.
How often should organizations be evaluating their recruitment & onboarding strategy?
With how fast-paced recruiting and onboarding are, I think it’s important to check in on the key funnel metrics I mentioned above at least once a week. In addition to that, you’ll want to zoom out and look at the overall trends every quarter or so.
Weekly data check-ins are a good way to see if you’re meeting your goals, but quarterly check-ins are the best way to see whether or not you should adjust your goals in order to take your recruiting program to the next level.
Your recruiters also play an important role in turning a great candidate experience into a great onboarding experience. They should work closely with your HR team to ensure people managers are connecting performance management to day-to-day work so that new hires are achieving early success. Take time to evaluate the connection between your TA strategy and your performance management processes to ensure both offer a smooth transition for new employees into day-to-day work.
In evaluating an ATS, what are some key questions/considerations?
Every company has unique needs, so I think the best thing you can do to help you determine the right fit for your organization is to just go about your daily job for a week or so and make a note of the different pain points you encounter. Once you have those written down, you can more easily identify which specific ATS features would be the most useful and keep those in mind when vetting different solutions.
Regardless of your size or industry, though, I think one thing that often gets overlooked is security. With all the sensitive info your ATS houses — full names, addresses, even social security numbers — you need to know you can trust it.
Establishing today’s business problems and how the ATS can help solve these is important, but you also have to think longer term. Priorities and problems change over time. It is critical that you identify an ATS that can grow and evolve with you over time.
For example, does the vendor offer CRM and recruitment marketing technology? What about onboarding and a mobile career site? What types of services do they offer to couple with the technology? These are some of the things that might not be important to you today, but areas that may grow in importance as your organization evolves over time.
Discover more recruiting insights
These questions are a good indication of what many organizations are focusing on for the upcoming year, but they only skim the surface of the information we collected in our nation-wide survey. For an in-depth look at recruiting, the state of the job market and what job seekers are looking for, download the Jobvite Recruiter Nation Report 2016.