This is a guest blog from Miira Leinonen, Head of Marketing at TalentAdore Ltd.
The world is changing and the same can be said for organisations. Changing conditions affect HR departments heavily as they need to rearrange their strategies to attract new kind of talents. For example, when trying to attract tech-savvy people, like millennials, publishing a job opening in a magazine does not cut it anymore. Featuring a job post on your own site might get you applicants if you have a killer employer brand. However, even that may not get you far enough. The attraction phase is just one part of a successful recruitment process.
HR Managers have several responsibilities, but talent acquisition is one of the most critical ones. Here are a few highlights of the recruitment related problems HR Managers are facing in their job today:
1. Talent Attraction is a Struggle
For big, instantly recognisable organisations, like Apple or Zalando, talent attraction is not the biggest problem. However, for small, unknown companies it can be extremely difficult to get the attention of potential candidates. Also, in certain industries, like IT for example, the war-for-talent is tough. Without a strong employer brand, you can easily lose out.
It goes without saying that attracting your future employees is a crucial task for a HR Manager. It might not be in your job description to take care of the employer brand (even though it should be everybody’s job!) or you mightn’t have much experience of that. Therefore, combining the super powers of marketing and HR can be a lucrative venture.
Instead of just posting a job ad to your website and job portals, how about using advertising. Why not highlight your job opening for example in Facebook, Instagram or Google Display Network? It’s not that difficult, but just always remember to consider your target group, hence, make the ads targeted.
2. Candidates Leave the Recruitment Process
Some companies are able to attract talents but then suddenly they disappear. Somewhere in the middle of the process, the candidates drop out. This is very problematic for HR Managers. First, you need to know why this happens. Often the drop outs derive from a negative candidate experience.
Firstly, candidates drop out in the application phase. Gone are the days when candidates were willing to fill in long application forms. Nowadays, they just apply somewhere else where the application process is more user-friendly. If the application process is exhausting and takes hours, it does not give a good impression of the company.
Other noteworthy reason why candidates drop out from the process, is a lack of communication. Recruitment processes often take too much time and companies lose candidates because they make them wait for too long. Even worse is if candidates do not get any communication in the meantime.
Luckily, nowadays there are advanced HR tech that can help HR Managers in their everyday work. TalentAdore has invented a Virtual Recruitment Assistant, a recruitment software focused on superior candidate communication. With the help Artificial Intelligence, companies can e.g. send automatic status updates and personalised feedback messages to each candidate.
3. Non-Existing Talent Community
Wouldn’t it be great to make new hires even without opening a position? This is only possible if you have an active Talent Community or you are getting referrals.
Building a Talent Community becomes a problem for HR Managers when candidates who have once applied, do not want to apply again. Normally this is due to something being wrong with the recruitment process. Candidates who are treated badly, do not want to stay in the company’s Talent Community.
When candidates recommend the company to their friends, even though they did not get the job themselves, you will know you have done well with your recruitment process. HR Managers can make a significant difference with how the candidates are rejected. TalentAdore has found out that when sending a general rejection letter to candidates, only 20 % of the candidates would recommend the company to their social networks. When sending personalised feedback letters, the recommendation rate is 70 %.
4. No Time for Human Orientated Work
It’s not an easy job to be a HR Manager in today’s world. It entails a lot of responsibility. Recruitment can be very problematic if you do not attract any candidates. However, it can be as tricky if there are ‘too many’ candidates.
If you have hundreds or even thousands of candidates applying for one job, meeting them on a personal level is not an easy mission. Communicating to the candidates about how the process goes forward and scheduling job interviews while treating the candidates well would require an enormous recruitment team if not for HR tech. It can help to streamline the recruitment process by e.g. automating the interview scheduling, having video interviews or updating candidates about their status. Consequently, the HR Manager will have more time for the human oriented recruitment work.
5. Unmotivated or Unstructured Team
When an organisation is used to its old ways, adopting a new technology can be a struggle. It’s not necessarily even about the technology but more about the organisational change the adoption requires. New technologies and especially Artificial Intelligence can seem scary.
Adopting a software that is easy to use and is visually pleasant, is essential. The motivation to start to use it is higher when the system does not look like Windows 95 and the user interface is intuitive. On top of the system selection, there are several things needed to be taken care of. For example, a HR Manager should communicate to the team about the benefits of using the solution, why is it needed and how will it help the organisation plus the individual employees?
Different people need different motivation methods, and all these should be considered. Maintaining a motivated and well-structured team is not a piece of cake but when you succeed in it, everyone benefits.