Talent Acquisition Trends for a Human Approach

Summary: Talent acquisition leaders will need to switch up their processes to fill positions again while trying to regain a human connectedness in a very different post-COVID future. These are the talent acquisition trends you can expect with a human approach to TA:

Like many industries, talent acquisition was hit particularly hard during the COVID-19 epidemic. Before March or so, talent acquisition trends were focused almost solely on the tight labor market and finding and qualifying the right technical talent for open roles. Today, talent pros are struggling with keeping talent employed, engaging employees working remotely, and juggling stay-at-home orders with return-to-work being a necessity.

Hiring right now is still necessary. After all, the work still needs to be done. But how can you do it when hiring has changed seemingly overnight? How does the TA pro create a sense of normalcy and connectedness, when everything, including the talent, has gone through such a foundation-shaking experience? Post-COVID we’re going to see very different talent acquisition trends shape the industry.

While we may never go back to the way things were before, forward-thinking #TALeaders can (and should) apply a human approach to #hiringmethods in the future. Read more from @TalentTechLabs: Click To Tweet

Reprioritization on Human Connectedness

Many companies were walking the walk when it came to human-centered candidate experience and hiring practices. But even more heads of talent were trying to balance that concept with higher req loads and a technology ecosystem that seemed to grow daily. The pandemic has forcefully shifted the focus back to connectedness.

Candidates are looking to see how you treated your current employees, what your leadership is saying during these uncertain times, and if your talent management processes are focused on employee well-being. They may ask about return to work policies and what, if anything, in your employee experience, has changed over the last few months.

Hiring managers will have to step up when it comes to assessments and onboarding to create a seamless transition between talent acquisition and management. Zoom calls and remote work have both become perfectly normal to candidates and employees, which makes video interviewing and recording far more acceptable.

Focus on Employee Experience

Because we’re all more connected (online) than before, employee experiences have become even more crucial. Employee experience has always been connected to employer brand but now that connection is stronger and easier for candidates to follow. Meanwhile, your current employees are watching your hiring processes carefully. They’ve seen their colleagues furloughed or laid off, and many have taken on a more intense workload in totally different circumstances.

Focus on getting regular feedback from your current employees and use that feedback to reshape everything from your job ads to your interviewing processes. Those still at work may have turned a more critical eye toward things they didn’t notice before: medical policies, mental health days, remote work policies, and family or medical leave. Employee listening will be critical during this time.

Money will likely be tight after this global pandemic, both from the employee perspective and that of the company. Talent acquisition professionals will have to straddle this unenviable line as they hire back workers post-pandemic. While it’s difficult to change hiring budgets and compensation bands overnight, it is possible to make an impact on engagement. Actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. between $450 billion to $550 billion per year.

Recruiting from Within or From the Recently Lost

Hiring boomerang candidates, or those who’ve worked for your company in the past, has long been touted as a smart use of an active and already qualified talent pool. That talent pool just got MUCH larger. Before embarking on a massive hiring campaign or blowing your budget trying to lure passive candidates, focus on furloughed and dismissed workers first. The advantages of recruiting from within include less initial training and development, internal employee goodwill, external reputation and brand, and established cultural fit.

Bottom line? Don’t forget about those that were let go when things were really uncertain. You don’t need to start fresh. You know their abilities, so see if they’re willing to come back for a slightly different opportunity.

Especially now, candidates need to get a fair shake. Your company cannot afford any accusations of #bias or unfair treatment. See the latest #TAtrends & predictions from @TalentTechLabs: Click To Tweet

Adopt Talent Analytics

First, the reasons for using this period to adopt talent analytics:

  • Right now, the playing field is a bit flattened. Implementations, normally frustrating during highly active hiring periods may be easier right now.
  • If you can see a hiring flux in the near future, having analytics in place before then can reap some great data for use in the future.
  • Creating a baseline for your entire team can boost engagement, as the numbers will almost certainly show an upward trend over time.

But, how does adopting analytics help boost a human approach? Surprisingly, by removing emotion from TA with an analytics focus, you’re giving all candidates a fair playing field. More now than ever, candidates need to get a fair shake. Your company cannot afford any accusations of bias or unfair treatment. Having analytics in place helps avoid this. It can also help you predict attrition, spend, and assist with workforce planning. Your current employees and your team need consistency and normalcy during this time. Stopping and starting recruitment campaigns because you haven’t kept the proper records and don’t have talent analytics in place, will further shake your employees and dispel the concept of normalcy for your workforce.

Like other industries, talent acquisition has been shaken to its core. Leaders all over the world are seeking methods and ideas to help their colleagues return to some sense of normalcy. While we may never go back to the way things were before, forward-thinking TA leaders can (and should) apply a human approach to hiring methods in the future.

The future of TA is certainly still foggy. And although we’re out of the initial panic we saw at the beginning of COVID-19, talent acquisition leaders like yourself are naturally trying to make sense of what’s to come next. This is what Talent Tech Labs does — we’ve mapped out every form of TA tech that touches the space and plans for what’s to come. Reach out for information on a Talent Tech Labs membership to position yourself ahead of the post-COVID curve.