Brand and Candidate Experience

Takeaways from the Talent Engagement Summit 2019

If we came away with one impression from the Talent Engagement Summit 2019, it's that competition for the best people is heating up.

The past few years have seen a steady increase of focus from business leaders on their companies’ talent acquisition strategy. It is becoming clearer than ever that attracting and retaining the right people is a serious constraint on business success, and so talent leaders are tasked with building more mature talent organizations.

The talent leaders who spoke on the Talent Engagement SUmmit 2019 all came from such organizations, who care both about operational excellence–getting things done quickly and effectively–and strategic vision–having a plan for finding the right people this year and in the future.

These talent executives from companies operating around the world shared how they are facing this challenge, and discussed where they see the industry going in 2020. Below are some of the most interesting insights they shared.

The ATS as we know it is dead

Traditional ATS technology that is job-centric and focuses on managing the hiring transaction only is not enough. Enterprises can't compete for the best talent with a recruiting model that starts from scratch at every job requisition, not to mention talent marketing programs that are ad-hoc and generic, and traditional reporting that is limited to cost of hire or time to hire.

It's possible to expand beyond traditional ATSs–the tech has existed for a while. The challenge is implementation. Not only are the backend requirements for information flow, data privacy, and automation more sophisticated than they were with simple ATSs, the organizations need to adopt a new approach to recruiting, not just a new tech.

This shift is necessary, however, so enterprise talent teams are driving these implementations with their IT department, their Finance or Operations teams, and anyone else interested in leading company-wide transformation. They have to, because a recruiting organization build around an ATS and a set of disparate add-ons simply cannot compete.

“No matter how good the tech, it's only really as powerful as its integrations.” CRAIG PYKE - TALENT ACQUISITION MANAGER - CONTINENTAL

The result: they end up with a centralized source of truth for all their recruiting activities, with systems that talk to each other and are perfectly adapted to the needs of modern recruiting.

The scope of competition for talent is expanding

The NBA is an excellent example of what we exactly mean when we say "competition is heating up". Where they used to compete with other sports leagues for their talent before, they now have to fend off competition from entertainment companies, from the media, from big tech or game producers.

With more powerful CRMs and Talent Marketing solutions at their disposal, recruiters can dive deeper into candidate data and rely less on superficial characteristics such as industry or past job titles.

The result is that the barriers to entry into other industries are lower: a recruiter who hired all her life for roles in insurance can now accurately identify great fits in a wider range of other industries, from investment banking to automobile manufacturing to media buying.

Employee activation is becoming vital part of a mature talent attraction strategy

Employees are too valuable a channel to not be leveraged to the fullest extent, and mature talent teams are aware of that. Beyond generating referrals, employees can be leveraged to help the talent acquisition team forecast the success of their hiring efforts. Candidates with a preexisting relationship with the company are more likely to be a good fit, and are more likely to accept an offer, or to reject it more quickly, if they have personal friends in the company.

Not only that, but involving employees in recruiting also ensures they are supporters and ambassadors of the employer brand. These employees talk everyday about their jobs to their partner, their neighbour, their friend at the gym, their accountant. How they talk about the job has a huge influence that employer’s ability to attract candidates.

For that reason, mature talent teams are actively tackling employee activation on multiple levels. Appian, for instance, looks at the 3 following layers:

  • Champion persona building using talent CRM capabilities
  • Strong infrastructure and content support: trainings for brand ambassadors, newsletters to communicate different employer brand aspects, internal community building ...
  • Multi-prong launch strategies leveraging different talent acquisition functions: events, employer branding, campus recruiting, talent operations...

Specialization without Silos through better information management

Unsurprisingly, the subject of specialization was present throughout the Summit. All the organizations presenting at the sessions operate with specialized teams, and yet they are able to maintain the level of communication and agility necessary to deploy comprehensive talent attraction strategies accross multiple channels.

Modern talent strategies do not compromise on communication and agility when increasing their specialization. They rely on skilled specialists who have built expertise in their respectives fields, but also invest in better talent operations and information management.

Screenshot 2019-11-27 10.20.43

Talent Attraction Index 2019

We analyzed and ranked the talent attraction practices of the Fortune 500, and learned how the world's most successful companies attract and engage the best candidates.

Download the full study.

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Nada Chaker

Content and Campaigns

Nada Chaker leads content and campaigns at Beamery. She writes and reads about the latest news in Talent Acquisition, but also about business strategy, startups, food and indoor plants.

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