Attracting Talent, It's a Continuous Affair

By Mike Ellis, Synchrony Global CCO

Recruiting in today’s world has changed immensely. Employees and candidates have access to information at their fingertips through social media, online news sites and Glassdoor that can enable them to make informed decisions about whether they want to work at an organisation or not. The stigma of leaving a place of work after less than five years of service and being labelled a “jumper” is long gone. Sticking a help wanted sign out the front of your business is no longer enough. Paying high salaries may fix a short term issue, but the next generation of talent are focusing on more than just their bank accounts, with more emphasis being placed on company culture, career development, work-life balance, and what the organisation puts back into the community with their corporate social responsibility programs.

10 Steps to a Simple, Effective, Engaging Recruitment Process

Companies need to focus on attracting talent to their organisation, a task that is easier said than done. I recently hosted a group of HR executives at a roundtable event on this topic, and what struck me halfway through the session was the focus of the challenges faced was entirely on attracting talent into the recruiting funnel, not necessarily the hiring process itself once that candidate was in the recruiting funnel. I likened it to the demand generation side of a sales and marketing Department. Interestingly we all came to the conclusion that attracting talent was a continuous process. You not only had to attract new talent, but had to continue to attract (i.e. retain) that talent once they became an employee.

We’ve recently had a re-look at how we recruit our talent. We’ve grown from 50 employees when we first started our organisation, to over 150 people in a two year period. For the first year or so, the growth was largely achieved by using personal networks, people who had worked for us before in previous organisations, and employee referrals. We’re now at the point where we have to look beyond those networks and how to efficiently and cost-effectively attract new talent to the organisation.

As an SME, spending money on recruitment agency fees isn’t the ideal option, so we looked at utilising the solution we sell, SAP SuccessFactors, to facilitate this growth. We utilised SuccessFactors from the very start of our organisation, and as the initial growth has largely been based on hiring people who we’ve worked with in the past, our focus and usage of the toolset has been applicant tracking. We’re now moving into the next stage of our growth, where we are looking at having to attract talent to our organisation that we haven’t worked with in the past. We’ve therefore looked again at our toolset and have just implemented the ‘marketing’ side of the SAP SuccessFactors Recruitment solution.

There have been recent studies that show over 30 percent of all Google searches are employment related, a phenomenal number. A key part of the recruitment marketing solution focuses on harnessing search engine optimisation so that when a candidate searches for jobs that you are advertising for, your job ad is the first one they see apart form any paid for advertising.

But what happens once that candidate has clicked through to your ad? They start to have a look at your website, the services, the solutions, all of these are equally as important to future employees as they are future customers, as they are assessing their future career with you. Your career site can’t just be a list of jobs available, this is the page where you’re convincing the employee that the culture of the organisation, the environment, the people, all are worthy of clicking that “apply now” button, and taking that first step from being a potential candidate to being in the recruitment funnel and hopefully an employee. Sometimes they’re not ready to apply for a job, or the right job for them doesn’t exist in your organisation currently. Being able to have them drop their business card into the talent pool enables you to include them in future opportunities that maybe the right opportunity for them.

SAP is taking this to the next level in the coming releases of their recruitment tool, providing a candidate relationship management solution, which in essence will allow organisations to continually engage their talent pool and provide value add relationship management capabilities such as sharing white papers, invitation to events, and increased collaboration amongst the talent pool.

With next level functionality such as LinkedIn integration, enabling a candidate to pull all of their details from LinkedIn, interview scheduling that ensures recruiters can easily book in candidates for interviews with leaders without a million emails asking for availability, mobile-enabled interview feedback tools to allow interviewers to provide feedback real time or on the go, and the ability to provide an offer letter straight out of the solution, ensures that the applicant process is efficient and easy to navigate through.

In addition to attracting new talent, we’re focusing on the concept of "continuous attraction” of our existing employees. Our next process to go live is the Onboarding solution, which is not only designed to simplify the collection of information needed to set an employee up with system access and completion of statutory forms, but more importantly to start to engage with the employee pre-start date by introducing them to their team, providing training access and the ability to set 30, 60 , 90 day goals.

I’ll cover more of the specific Onboarding solution in another post, but if you’re looking for some high level information now, our Synchrony People page can be accessed here. After Onboarding, our next module in our HR roadmap is Succession and Career Development (again part of the SAP SuccessFactors HCM suite), to identify the leaders of the future, and to provide our employees the ability to highlight where they want to go in their careers, this will allow us to look at providing learning opportunities to our talent.

All of this is possible through the integrated nature of our solution, without any integration points or having to wrestle with double entry of data which is manual, costly and cumbersome. It goes without saying that we provide our internal teams the ability to apply for any current jobs, we strongly believe in encouraging personal growth across all of our teams and welcome employees wanting to look at other opportunities within our organisation.

If you’d like to know more about the SAP Recruiting solution and how Synchrony People can help you implement this in an accelerated manner with minimal upfront investment, I’d be happy to organise a demonstration.

When we overhauled our recruitment process in preparation for launching Recruitment Marketing, our team of recruitment experts put together a top 10 list of how to ensure that the recruitment process was simple and effective. Click on the link below to download the free whitepaper.

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