In today’s hyper competitive business landscape, attracting and retaining top talent has become an increasingly challenging endeavor. The right tools can provide a critical advantage by enabling organizations to streamline their recruitment processes, access a wider talent pool, and ultimately secure the best fit candidates for their teams.
During our virtual event, Spark Live, our Chief People Officer, Katie Obi, moderated a session titled “Never Post Another Job Listing: The New Laws Of Talent Attraction”. Katie was joined by panelists (and Beamery customers), Charlotte Anderson, People Brand Community and Engagement Lead at Canva; Annie Crotone, Global Sourcing Technology Manager at Accenture; and Nigel Williams, Managing Director, Global Head of Talent Acquisition at BlackRock.
Each of these leaders shared their insights, their experiences, and their strategies for the new laws of talent attraction and employer branding, as well as some lessons they’ve learned along the way.
What does it mean to “never post another job listing”?
To open the discussion, Katie asked Charlotte to share what “never posting another job listing” means to her and her team at Canva. Charlotte said that the idea of not having to post jobs was introduced to her by their Global Head of Talent Acquisition, Amy Schultz. The vision was to get to the point where talent comes to the business, instead of the business seeking out applicants.
When Canva began this journey, they had a few things going for them: they had a “globally adored” employer brand, they recruited talent based on skills, and they had a plan to create a robust talent community where those skills could be tapped into. Charlotte shared that, while Canva stills post jobs ads presently, they are growing their talent community quickly. For companies who are on this journey to grow talent communities and rely less on job ads, one of the most common barriers are around acquiring the right technology, and ensuring that the adoption rates are healthy.
How can you capture the attention of top candidates who aren’t looking for a new role?
In Talent Acquisition, it’s well understood that only a small percentage of potential candidates are actively looking for a new job at any given time – meaning that most candidates are passive. Katie asked Annie how Accenture is able to capture the attention of high quality passive talent.
Annie shared that one of the most important keys to attracting passive talent and keeping them engaged is having the right technology to enable this kind of sourcing. At Accenture, they are going beyond building a database of candidates. They are keeping candidates engaged by sending them relevant content that’s personalized to their interests, inviting them to events, and including them in their growing talent community. And all of this is enabled by technology.
Nigel agreed that personalization is extremely powerful when it comes to attracting and engaging passive talent. Similarly to Canva and Accenture, BlackRock uses Beamery to help build these personalized communications to attract candidates – ensuring that the content each candidate receives is relevant to them. BlackRock puts a strategic emphasis on driving candidate engagement and, with the right technology, they are able to do that at scale, in a way that feels deeply personal.
How can companies increase the effectiveness of job postings for now?
Nigel explained that at BlackRock, they use a CRM to create talent pipelines that allow them to proactively source and recruit, but there are still times when they are required to be a little more reactive, such as when there is an unexpected resignation.
He also said that, regardless of whether a candidate comes in through a job posting or their careers site, they are probably going to other sources to get a feel for the company. No matter how good a job ad is, it’s hard to tell an applicant what it’s like to work at the company. Candidates will read reviews on Glassdoor, check out the Instagram feed, or speak to people they know who work there – the employer branding piece is crucial to attracting talent. And then, once the candidate is interested, the personal touch from the recruiter will be what really interests them in having continued conversations.
Annie agreed that, at least for now, job ads are still necessary. But what’s up for debate is how much companies have to source because of those job postings. When technology helps free up Talent teams to do more meaningful work and build relationships with candidates, they are able to create deeper connections and better showcase the company culture.
Charlotte shared a practical example of how Canva improves the effectiveness of their job ads. Canva recently revamped their job listings, and intentionally scaled back the amount of information they share. Instead of focusing on details like extra perks, they are very transparent, and tell the candidates what they really want to know about the job, such as what the role is focused on at the moment, and what makes a candidate a great fit. Charlotte said they have already received positive feedback from candidates who greatly value the transparency.
How can businesses do more with less, in the talent function?
Katie brought up one of the most widely discussed topics right now, which is the current state of the talent market. While some countries are in a recession, and with the cost-of-living crisis growing, the labor market is still tight, and employee expectations are still high. Katie asked the group what talent leaders can do, to do more with less.
Charlotte said that, during a season where people aren’t feeling entirely comfortable, and perhaps when a company issues a hiring freeze, it really is the perfect time to evaluate your talent pipeline. During a slow hiring season, your Talent team has an amazing opportunity to evaluate where the company is losing people and why. They can really dig deep to find out what’s working and what needs to change before the next season of active hiring. Recruiters often have such vast skill sets, so a slower hiring season is the perfect time to dive into the talent attraction process, and improve it for the future.
Nigel said that BlackRock has done less hiring this year than last year, but that has made this the perfect time to implement Beamery, because their Talent team has the time to really learn the product, and that has helped them have a highly engaged rollout of the product; they are now able to proactively build talent pipeline much more efficiently and effectively.
Annie agreed that this economic season has provided a lot of opportunity in the talent space at Accenture. Using Beamery, they are able to see skills gaps they have within the organization, and then really look at their data, and build out candidate profiles around key skills. She agreed that the silver lining of a slower hiring season is that recruiters have the time to take advantage of upskilling opportunities that they may not have had time for previously, which will help them stay ahead of the next busy hiring phase.
How can companies utilize alumni programs?
Katie asked Nigel to share how BlackRock uses their alumni network. Nigel said there’s a common misconception that when an employee leaves an organization (for one reason or another), they become “dead” to the company. That’s not how BlackRock sees it. As a company, they focus fondly on the valuable contributions each person made during their tenure.
Alumni networks should be viewed as a community of talented individuals, and the door should be left open for those former employees to rejoin, Nigel noted. He explained that BlackRock prioritizes showing alumni that they are always part of the BlackRock family. They do things like host social events and put on an educational speaker series to keep alumni engaged. And if that engagement happens to lead to a rehire, that’s ideal, but it’s not the only purpose of those programs.
Annie shared that although Accenture doesn’t host alumni events (yet), they do have an active alumni community and a referral community that allows former Accenture team members to connect with one another. Accenture also believes in keeping the door open for former employees to rejoin the company if they are a good fit for a role. And Charlotte added that Canva has an alumni program on their roadmap for this year.
To close the discussion, Katie mentioned that companies who get alumni management right tend to see positive business results. Alumni hires are extremely valuable, because they already know the company, which means they are able to ramp up much quicker than a brand new hire. So, if your company doesn’t engage with alumni already, now would be a good time to start!