Today’s talent acquisition landscape demands that organizations no longer rely on decades-old assumptions. As the 2020s approach, job candidates used to customized media, rapid information gathering and economic uncertainty are behaving in ways not before seen among the job seeking corps. Leading organizations will apply strategy beyond the scope of the traditional resume-to-offer progression.
More applicants are “ghosting,” or dropping out of the hiring process. Whether they fail to return an early call, skip out on a scheduled interview or – worst of all – are no-shows on the first day of work, today’s job candidate is often only lightly engaged in the company-employee relationship, and the results are a drain on resources.
Old fixes are no longer enough
An organization that analyzes its hiring practices may be tempted to focus only on missteps to avoid: the regrettable lapses in procedure that alienate job seekers. Some examples:
- The coordinator of an open interview hiring event does a poor job of communicating expectations to candidates. Individuals anticipating an on-site offer are turned off by news of a 3-day turnaround.
- The interviewer of candidates for a web development position fails to provide a response to finalists, therefore requiring a conclusion of “no news is not good news.” This represents the company ghosting the job candidates.
Avoiding negative reputation builders should be part of a solution. However, measures like these should be considered necessary but insufficient steps. Organizations must also be focused on their long-term prospects and pursue innovation.
A shift in attitudes
The entire company starts with a re-prioritization: the universe of current and future job candidates is seen as a company asset. Job candidates, even hypothetical ones, are considered a vital resource. This cultural shift then requires a retention strategy that commences at the earliest possible stage, building goodwill by bringing added value to job candidates even before a first exchange. The goal is to build “cultural capital” throughout the pool of talent, both as it exists today and as it will appear in the next quarter and beyond.
How can companies grow cultural capital? Consider the following steps.
Personalize candidate experience. When numerous positions must be filled and multiple candidates considered, both the candidate and organization are often reduced to an online presence that looks little different than others. There’s nothing in the candidate’s interaction with the organization’s job search tool to cultivate insights about “fit”, for example, or to build a relationship at this early stage. This is a one-size-fits-all solution.
Instead, job listing interfaces should provide personalized information. Short personality assessments can help candidates understand their workplace strengths, core characteristics, and/or compatibility with others – all of which then fine-tune the candidate’s understanding of their suitability to the organization and to a given position.
Provide insights to the job seeker. With the candidate’s personality profile as the starting point, organizations can then use data analytics to educate each candidate and facilitate engagement, cultivate a positive reputation and facilitate self-selection. Collaborative filtering, for example, can be a valuable tool. By understanding the profiles of individuals who have met with success in a given environment in the past, job seekers can fine tune their own approaches.
Be a 2020’s leader
Attracting and retaining top talent should be a company-wide concern, and one that requires consideration of candidates well before they enter the job-search sphere. Data-driven sophistication and job-search personalization deserve heightened attention among hiring personnel. Bring customized information to your job candidates, and cultivate the cultural capital necessary to be a sought-after employer of today’s best talent.