New year, new goals, new learning: and lots of unlearning!
The challenge to find top-tiered, engaged talent has never been tougher than this point in time. I have recruited for close to 20 years and I have never seen such challenges to find and retain engaged talent.
Just as the marketplace has evolved, so too must those managers who are involved with talent acquisition. The time to adapt is NOW. The continual evolution AND innovation must occur in order to thrive and survive.
There are many changes going on in the post-COVID-19 pandemic workforce today. With artificial intelligence (AI), remote workers, and changed priorities, the talent acquisition processes, and mindset must change too.
In order to be successful, there must be significant unlearning of old ideas and methodologies that are no longer serving organizations in a positive manner. Through the unlearning, there will be an opportunity to learn, adapt, and innovate to stay on the leading edge of acquiring and retaining top talent.
Organizations must ADAPT to employee
expectations if they wish to compete in the new marketplace.
When old patterns, processes, and mindsets no longer add value or serve you well, it is challenge what you know, and it is time to unlearn. And the unlearning starts when we recognize that the current thoughts, actions, processes, and behaviors are no longer adding value or serving us in the best manner possible.
Top organizations have a culture of learning. And within the culture, they accept that they must learn to unlearn.
What is Unlearning?
According to AQai, Unlearning is “the action of discarding or putting aside existing beliefs as being false, binding or limiting, to unlearn preconceptions holding you back.”
Some points to consider for today’s marketplace:
1. Expectations for job seekers have changed.
Top-tiered organizations are focusing on a candidate-centered recruitment model. Employers must unlearn their corporate mindset because there has been a major shift in employee expectations. Candidates expect a warm, respectful process where they can see themselves belong and grow.
Organizations must ADAPT to employee expectations if they wish to compete in the new marketplace. Long recruitment cycles, poor communication between resume submittals, phone screens, and interviews are no longer acceptable. Candidates are interviewing organizations at this point in time!
Note: regardless of the strategy or technique you use to recruit new hires, every person in the organization must be mindful to serve and act as an ambassador of the company.
2. There must be a commitment to create a positive candidate experience.
How people are treated at every touchpoint will impact the quantity and quality of people you recruit.
Although technology like AI is used to support the Talent Acquisition process, we know the future of work is HUMAN so putting the HUMAN in every part of the Recruitment process will be required to attract AND retain top talent!
Every company is on the hunt to find new top talent, but the regular way of posting on various sites is no longer enough. In the past, a simple post on any job board would get the Recruitment team a flood of resumes to choose from. This is no longer the case!
It is time to unlearn the traditional old-school mindset of post the job, take forever to respond, email, phone interview, and undertake many interviews to follow with long wait times in between. Instead, the entire recruitment process must keep the candidates’ expectations in mind.
3. The candidate of today believes that timely, respectful, communication is key.
One simple truth to remember: treat your candidates/new hires just as you would like to be treated. When thinking of delivering great customer experience, it is important to create a powerful employee experience right from the very beginning of the recruitment process.
Points to Consider for Your Talent Acquisition Process
A. Acquiring Talent Interest and applications.
1. Unlearn: clinical cookie-cutter job postings with just descriptions and must haves.
Adapt and consider: Create engaging and unique job postings. What is unique about your company? What can you do for the new hire? What sets your company apart from the others? (Think about the whole being) Don’t be afraid to highlight all that your company has accomplished. Third-party stats are wonderful!
2. Unlearn: the idea of not disclosing salary and other expectations.
Instead: Be upfront and fully transparent! Highlight the positives but also some of the MUST HAVES i.e. (Mindset, hours, expectations)
3. Unlearn: the mindset of traditional pedigree to join your organization.
Adapt and consider: Challenge yourself to see if your “Must haves” are inclusive. Does the candidate really need a degree to start in your organization?
It is not a one-way street anymore. Candidates are interviewing companies more than ever to determine best fit.
4. Unlearn: the idea that candidates know all about your organization.
Consider: go to the candidates. Use social media campaigns to highlight your company’s corporate social responsibility and corporate culture. Post employee testimonials. Also, and critically, post YouTube or other online videos that are short, fun, and engaging to help you attract passive job seekers along with creating the right brand messaging.
Remember, the key to retaining the new hires will be to live up to the hype of the marketing videos!
5. Unlearn: the notion that posting online will attract the best talent!
Consider: Go to diverse college/university groups and community organizations. This will help attract people from diverse groups. Diversity is one pillar necessary to build overall employee engagement so that you retain and engage those you recruit.
6. Unlearn: that the only way to interview for the contact center is with one-on-one interviews.
Consider: Host FUN Open House (virtual or in-person) recruitment events so that you can meet many potential new hires in a more relaxed setting, and they can also get a feel for the corporate culture. The interview process can be group style versus the traditional HR and Hiring Manager method.
Note: please remember that employee engagement starts right from the initial job posting throughout the entire Recruitment, hiring, and onboarding process.
B. The Interview process
The recruitment, including interviewing mindset, has to change. It is not a one-way street anymore. Candidates are interviewing companies more than ever to determine best fit. Therefore, take these two steps.
1. Share WHY the candidate needs to join your team and what’s in it for them.
2. Share HOW the candidate could grow, prosper, and connect to purpose during the interview and onboarding process.
Use AI to speed up or fine-tune the process, but it still comes down to the people to acquire new candidates and retain them as engaged employees.
Bottom line: you must Unlearn the traditional way of finding top-tiered candidates. Just a job posting with the hope and prayer that the right candidate applies is no longer the case.
Use the following as a workbook for your improvement.
1. Identify a challenge with Talent Acquisition that you wish to address
2. Define success as though you have eliminated or conquered the challenge
3. Think of innovation and be willing to get uncomfortable (doing something new can be uncomfortable)
4. Commit to start the cycle of unlearning for yourself and your team
Please see in BOX 1 a variety of actions that occur within organizations. Upon reading, some may seem like an exaggeration but trust me when I say that many organizations still carry old-school outdated thought processes.
As you read through these points, I hope you gain insights on some thoughts, actions, and behaviors that you may need to unlearn in order to be a more effective leader in Talent Acquisition, so that you can have a prosperous 2024 and future years.