Talent is a critical competitive advantage

In the race for the best talent, companies must look to elevate, enhance, and extend their recruiting efforts beyond traditional means and methods.

The old method of “post and pray” leaves companies out of touch with how the best recruits are interacting in the “recruiter verse.” Those short-term losses in talent will add up over the years. This quietly reduces a company’s bench strength, which makes for weaker products and services. Eventually, customers notice, and the bottom line is impacted.

By the time this happens, however, it’s too late. Talent acquisition happens in the present – and its impact measured in the future. In today’s ultra-competitive talent marketplace, here are 3 ways that companies stay one candidate ahead of their competition.

Diversify

A 2015 McKinsey report on 366 public companies found that those in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity in management were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their industry mean. Those in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15% more likely to have returns above the industry mean. What does this mean? Diverse teams perform better!

The reasons for this are threefold: Diverse teams focus more on facts, they process those facts more carefully, and they’re more innovative.

One of the first things that companies can do to be more competitive is to actively expand their networks. One easy way to do this is to leverage the diverse networks of their current employees. If you need to rely on 3rd party vendors for support in this area, companies like INROADS, Jopwell, RelishMBA, and SEO are great places to start.

In order to reap the rewards of diversity, recruiters must first sow the seeds in the hiring/onboarding process. The desire for diversity is not the same thing as achieving diversity. I recommend these three simple steps to work towards expanding your applicant pool:

  1. Using diverse sources for finding talent. This may be obvious to some but it’s the most important step! Don’t become overly reliant on one channel for finding talent. Just like a business must diversify its client base to enhance stability, recruiters should expand talent sources to surface a variety of candidates.
  2. Ensuring diversity in the interview team. Just like people have a tendency to hire people that are similar to themselves, candidates are more likely to feel comfortable about a company that reflects them. Diversity starts at home, after all.
  3. Partnering hires with diverse internal teams/resource groups after hire. The onboarding process is critical. New hires are already walking a steep learning curve. By placing them with a diverse group, new hires more fully understand the resources and people available to them.

Simplify

Over the last decade, advancements in technology like video interviewing, skills-based assessments, e-portfolios, and text communication have revolutionized the recruiting process for companies. This has also enhanced the overall experience for candidates, who enjoy more flexibility in the hiring process.

According to Portfolium, research shows that assessments are good predictors of on-the-job success. These assessments also identify red flags early, reducing post-hire surprises.

Companies that use assessments are 24% more likely to hire employees who exceed expectations.

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The most effective companies are also utilizing social media to connect with candidates in unique ways. Millennials are most comfortable communicating through channels that didn’t even exist 10 years ago like Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp. And soon, the first wave of Gen Z will be taking their first jobs after college.

Why is flexibility in communications and utilizing social media important? Well, if you want to please your higher-ups by hiring the best talent, you better not rely on just one method of communication. For example, companies like Target and KPMG have discovered that they are four times more successful when they send text messages instead of traditional emails.

Here at Sabre, we utilize skills-based assessments and digital interviews to expedite feedback to hiring managers that used to be a delay years ago. For example, in our Product & Technology area (which produces our industry leading software), we are constantly on deadlines to meet the needs of our internal clients.

By sending the skills based assessments and digital interviews to all candidates who meet our minimum qualifications, we are able to identify the best ones for our positions much faster through utilizing the digital interviews and assessments as in-depth screens. Not only can it provide detail around their technology acumen, but it also helps us look at soft skills like verbal and non-verbal communication and culture fit.

McKinsey: out of 366 public companies, those in top quartile for diversity were 35% more likely to perform above industry mean.

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So if you find yourself still playing the old “waiting game” with candidates and unable to efficiently fill your positions, finding the means to invest in new age digital strategies can increase your ROI and add plenty of value to your team and organization.

Justify

Keep in mind that investing in these new technologies doesn’t automatically guarantee attainment of your goals. You still have to do the work of determining how you will utilize these tools to track and measure success. There is no secret sauce for measurement. Define your KPIs, measure, analyze and improve the next go round.

So if you’re spending dollars creating campaigns on sites like Snapchat, Twitter, and even LinkedIn, you’ll want to make sure that you are looking at important analytics like # views, # responses, % of responses, etc. You’ll also want to look at specific information, like geographies, to hone in on when and where you’re receiving the most views and replies.

Your leadership is going to want to see the results of the money they are spending, so planning gets you ahead of their questions. Keep up-to-date stats that illustrate the success of your strategy, which will increase your chances of continuing to procure new advancements in the future.

By diversifying your talent pool, simplifying your recruiting processes, and constantly measuring the justification for your enhanced strategy, anyone can remain a step ahead of their competition in the global race for exceptional talent.