This story is a guest contribution from ClearCompany, an integrator of data-driven best practices, expert-informed content, and tailored software tools to recruit, ramp, recognize, and retain employees, uniting people and processes to achieve business success.
It’s time to think about your talent acquisition strategy differently: top talent is in high demand, and though the Great Resignation appears to be over, workers are still quitting. Gen Z is aging into the workforce, joining millennials as an age group that isn’t afraid to job-hop and look for the right fit rather than just a steady paycheck. A recent survey by LinkedIn and CensusWide shows 72 percent of Gen Z workers and 66 percent of millennials say they’ll likely switch jobs in 2023, compared to just 30 percent of baby boomers.
So how can you snap up workers looking for new opportunities—and prevent your own employees from joining the job search? Hire faster to bring in the very best and keep them around longer, but don’t neglect your talent acquisition strategy in the race to recruit.
Talent Acquisition Strategy vs. Recruitment and Onboarding Strategy
Talent acquisition and recruitment and onboarding both refer to the process of finding, hiring, and bringing new employees on board. When we talk about talent acquisition, we’re talking about more than just filling vacancies as quickly as possible. We’re referring to an intentional strategy for reaching a vast pool of diverse, qualified candidates, evaluating them fairly, hiring the best person for every role, and setting them up to be successful, loyal employees.
Fortunately, a talent acquisition strategy aims to both find excellent candidates and trim the fat from your processes. And, there are tons of options for excellent HR technology to support your strategy.
Let’s get into what’s causing the need for speed and why speed matters when hiring and onboarding new employees.
Low Unemployment and Labor Shortages
At 3.5 percent, U.S. unemployment is nearing record lows, and although the labor force participation rate is rising, it still hasn’t completely recovered from the effects of COVID-19 and the Great Resignation. With 9.8 million open jobs and only 5.9 million available workers, there simply aren’t enough workers to go around.
As a result, the equilibrium of the job market has shifted, and the dynamics of talent acquisition have evolved. Job seekers hold more sway, and they’re vocal about actively seeking positions that align with their values, offer growth opportunities, and provide an appealing work-life balance.
With low unemployment, and the tendencies of workers in younger generations to explore new horizons, speed is crucial in securing top talent. The longer your hiring process takes, the higher the chance you’ll lose out on exceptional candidates who are weighing multiple offers.
It’s just as essential to get the timing right for the employee onboarding program that follows. Too little time spent onboarding can leave new hires feeling unprepared, leading to underperformance and disengagement. But drag it out too long, and you’ll hold your new team members back from making meaningful contributions, leaving them bored and unfulfilled.
Technology, however, can help you balance speed and strategy to optimize your process, cut down time-to-hire, and onboard top talent.
Finding Balance: Speed vs. Strategy
Fast hiring doesn’t mean hiring with no strategy. Speed should enable an effective talent acquisition strategy, not replace it. When you bring on a new employee, you’re not just filling a seat but laying the foundation for a mutually beneficial relationship that contributes to your company’s growth and success.
You need to balance efficient hiring and measured onboarding so you can hire the right people at the right time for every role, give them a strong foundation during onboarding, and retain them as long as possible. HR technology provides the following benefits that can help organizations strike the right balance and optimize their processes:
- Speed up hiring and increase fairness: Use interview guides and scorecards to accelerate the hiring process and conduct fair, standardized interviews. Use the results to inform future hiring decisions.
- Leverage HR automation to streamline time-consuming, repetitive tasks: Save time and maintain consistency by automating tasks like screening resumes, scheduling interviews, writing job descriptions, and following up with candidates.
- Create an unmatched onboarding experience: Make a lasting impression on new hires and streamline processes for HR teams and hiring managers by granting access to necessary resources, paperwork, and support before their first day.
- Inspire purpose, productivity, and focus: Set goals with new hires during the onboarding process so they know what’s expected of them, understand how they’ll contribute, and work harder to achieve them.
- Create a culture of belonging from the start: With team introductions and company culture resources in your welcome portal, foster a sense of belonging for new hires from day one.
- Hire people who are more likely to stick around long-term: Leverage data analytics and AI-driven tools to identify candidates whose values align with your company's and those of other loyal employees.
Staying True to Your Employer Brand
Talent acquisition is about filling positions promptly and ensuring that the candidates you're attracting align with your company culture and values. That’s where your reputation as an employer—your employer brand—comes in. It directly impacts potential candidate interest in applying or accepting an offer with your company, so employer brand is pivotal in a labor market where job seekers have many options.
When your primary focus is hiring fast, you risk compromising the alignment between your brand and candidate expectations and hiring someone who isn’t the best fit. A well-defined employer brand helps mitigate that risk by making expectations clear from the get-go.
You can also streamline the early stages of the recruitment process with technology and automation to free up more time for evaluating cultural alignment and soft skills during the later stages. Here’s how:
- Leverage AI and your talent pool to surface past candidates that fit the criteria for newly opened positions.
- Create beautifully branded career sites, no matter how many locations or brand subsidiaries you’re hiring for.
- Screen candidates faster by adding video interview questions to your applications.
- Build template libraries that recruiters can use to kick off candidate communications quickly and also maintain a consistent voice and tone.
Setting Up the Employee Experience
Candidate experience sets the tone for employee experience, which begins the first time the candidate interacts with your organization. A drawn-out hiring process with multiple rounds of interviews and extended decision-making periods points to an employee experience characterized by the same slow processes and indecision. It also costs you candidates—62 percent of job seekers lose interest 2 weeks after an initial interview if they haven’t heard from you.
In a fast-paced world, candidates appreciate organizations that value their time. A streamlined, efficient, and transparent hiring process reflects positively on your company and sets the tone for what new employees can expect once they join your ranks.
Implementing technology-driven solutions speeds up administrative tasks significantly, enabling your HR team to focus on creating a memorable and engaging experience for candidates and employees. 69 percent of HR professionals said automation saved significant time in their hiring process.
Here’s how HR is using technology for efficiency and consistency in candidate and employee experience:
- Creating accessible applications, writing inclusive job descriptions, and diversifying hiring teams to build diverse talent pools and increase representation across age, gender, race, ability, and more among their workforce.
- Eliminating the back-and-forth to get candidate screenings scheduled with self-service interview scheduling.
- Keeping candidates updated on their application status via text and email and providing digital onboarding materials for new hires before their start date.
- Measuring and analyzing new hire and employee engagement with surveys.
A Swift and Strategic Talent Acquisition Strategy
Today's job market demands agility and a well-thought-out approach to talent acquisition. It's not about rushing through the hiring process, but rather about finding the sweet spot between swift action and effective strategic planning.
Quick hiring helps you seize opportunities in a fast-paced hiring market, especially with the expectations of Gen Z and millennials who prioritize growth and alignment. However, it's important to remember that fast doesn't mean careless. Integrating HR technology into your strategy enables efficient evaluations while keeping your focus on long-term success.
Candidate experience sets the tone for employee experience. An efficient recruitment process sends a positive message about your company. Technology streamlines administrative tasks, letting your HR team focus on creating an engaging experience.
Think of speed and strategy as two gears working in tandem. Speed without strategy might lead to misaligned hires, while strategy without speed can result in missed opportunities. Balancing the two creates a harmonious process that attracts, retains, and nurtures top talent.
In the race to secure the best talent, remember that the journey is as important as the destination. Considering both speed and strategy will help you attract and retain exceptional employees, maximize their talent, and contribute to a more agile and innovative workforce that will propel your organization’s success.