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Friday, May 4, 2018

A Message to my Non-TA colleagues


The talent landscape is changing.  The skills gap is growing. And the harsh reality is, that gap is only going to increase.  According to the AARP, 10,000 baby boomers are hitting retirement age every single day, and this is expected to continue into the 2030's.  We can also look at the following statistics to give us a deeper glimpse into some of the trials we will face as the labor force continues to evolve -


The emergence of these challenges combined with the ever-increasing impact of technology on how people consume and share information has created some fundamental shifts in the talent acquisition space. How companies attract candidates, acquire talent, and the factors that candidates look at when evaluating a potential employer are different than they were even 5 years ago.  As competition for talent grows, it’s important to understand these shifts and the impact they have on our approach and philosophies.

The solution will be multi-faceted and it will take some time but one of the things that I want to share is this - One of the key philosophies that we have to adopt is the idea that Talent Acquisition is everyone’s job.

Talent Acquisition truly is a team sport.  The Talent Acquisition team members are the subject matter experts and they will lead the charge but it’s important that everyone plays their part.  We must create a compelling story and we must let our employees tell that story. The facts and experiences that we share give potential candidates a holistic view of what life is like inside of these four walls.  These are things that someone outside of the organization may never get an opportunity to see and they are vital to our employment brand. Employment brand is a huge topic that is having an ever-increasing impact on Corporate America. There is a ridiculous amount of research and insights into this topic but it’s no secret that a successful branding plan starts from within.  

The beautiful thing is that there are a couple of simple things we can do to impact our employment brand and these things do not require a lot of time or resources.  What are they you ask? Well, I’m happy to share. The first is to clearly understand your EVP. At the foundation of any good employer branding effort is a defined Employee Value Proposition (EVP) or collection of philosophies, values, and factors that summarize why a potential employer is desirable.  Now, some experts will tell you that all of us sharing the same fundamental EVP will be paramount to the success of the EVP. While I believe that having core principles that we share consistently is important, I also believe that as we delve into data-driven storytelling (more on that later), it’s critical that you are able to share YOUR story.  Why do you work for the organization? What’s attractive to you? What are 2-3 key things that you would share if you were trying to highlight what is special about your role, team or work environment? By focusing on what is important to you, you can speak about it in a very genuine matter and the passion that you convey will be picked up on by others.  So take a moment and think about your personal story, your EVP, and what you would like to share with the outside world.

Once you have that identified, let’s think about how we want to disseminate your message.  We all have access to various social media platforms. Chances are you belong to groups and you belong to associations.  You consistently interact with others in your area of expertise. These platforms are free. They require a little bit of a time investment, but they can have a significant impact.  According to a recent study by Social Media Todaycontent shared by employees get 8 times more engagement than content shared by a brand's own channels.  Therefore, by being the instrument that shares components of your work life and doing it with a clear understanding of the message that you are sending, you can have a substantial impact how potential candidates perceive your team, your job, and your organization.  And if you really think about it, it makes perfect sense. Marketers get paid to market and recruiters get paid to recruit. What really resonates with people are the insights of the people that are “living the life”, the people that are performing in the same type of role that they would be if they joined the company.  It’s also fair to assume that the best talent networks for a particular skill set are owned by the people doing the job every day. You have worked alongside people, you went to school with these people...you get the idea.
It’s important to note that in order to do this successfully, you need to have the right tools to do the job.  If you look at a tool like LinkedIn, having an active, updated and compelling profile is crucial. There are lots of resources that can help you get there (here is a nice one from Forbes) and it’s something that can be done in minimal time.  If you have further questions I suggest consulting your friendly neighborhood recruiter.  Once you have a stellar online presence, it’s important to expand your network to ensure that your message is reaching the appropriate audience.  This is beneficial in a number of ways. Not only do you help spread the word about the unique things going on in your world but I can’t tell you how much I have learned by networking with others and sharing ideas.  Again, if we look at a tool like LinkedIn the easiest way to do this is with groups. They allow you to interact with people in your field and easily find folks with similar interests or skills. They have groups for everything.  They even have a group for Underwater Basket Weaving.  I’m not making this up.  

This is the just the tip of the iceberg on this topic.  Employees outside of Talent Acquisition are so important to a successful strategy.  I didn’t even address how important the role that everyone plays in the candidate experience is or the importance of adhering to processes that makes sense or the significance of educating yourself in an attempt to eliminate unconscious bias... If I keep going this little piece is going to get really long. We have a lot of work to do. For now, this is a good place to start. Traditional recruiting is obsolete and so we must evolve. My challenge to you would be to think about your EVP, expand your network, and spread the word!  

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