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organizations Archives - SourceMatch

What is the greatest challenge in Talent Acquisition?

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In our experience, starting with the recruitment consultant position, to the hiring manager, and leading a recruiting advisory company, the greatest challenge in Talent Acquisition is related to People.

Specifically, maintaining a clear understanding and human approach to the whole organizational brand, market presence efforts, and recruiting process.

Not doing that will lead both organizations and candidates to a mere transactional interaction that a) attracts the wrong candidates and b) gives the organization the wrong idea about the recruiting process’ quality.

So how do companies lose grip on what really matters in searching and hiring for talent?

1. Focus on speed and KPIs only – it’s easy to look at numbers and say – we are doing good, but that’s just one side of performance in talent acquisition. A healthy process includes assessing behavioral traits and the candidate’s behavior in certain situations, assessment of skills in terms of real-life examples and situations (and correlated outcomes) when these were acquired or exhibited, and an evaluation of the basic values that are required to have a good cultural fit.
Ultimately, the validation of all of these after 3, 6 or 12 months is what improves talent acquisition.

2. Superficial screening based on skills only – while skills are an important part in figuring out whether a candidate is a good fit for the organization, it’s insufficient to evaluate a candidate’s fit through these alone. A candidate’s personality, resulting behavior, potential, expectations, ambitions and motivators, capability to add value through different perspectives, etc., are all important. In essence, evaluating a candidate is more than mere math.
Of course, it’s very useful to quantify all of the above through various assessments and different interviewers, but not at the expense of a complete understanding of who the candidate is and what they can be in your organization.

3. The influx of data, easiness of access to dozens of resume databases, and growth by any means are some other causes of a poorly structures talent acquisition. Talent acquisition, beyond recruitment, is meant to create a clear representation in the market of who the organization is, and who it’s trying to attract.
In other words: the organization’s brand and what a successful candidate looks like. Failing to paint the right pictures in both areas can significantly affect who they attract and why. It all needs to start with planning from A to Z: what happens when a job opening shows up, how the job description, environment and success are defined, how that connects to the organization’s growth objectives, how those are then embedded in the recruiting process and finally the values that will hold everything together.

Anytime your talent acquisition takes shortcuts, the organization ends up with a mismatch between people, jobs, and growth potential.

What do interviewers expect when asking: “Do you have any questions for us?”

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We’ll start with one statement: The interviewer expects you to be genuine.

We know there are probably hundreds of online and printed articles about the smartest questions you can come up with. It all comes down to you and the opportunity in front of you.

Let’s start with you.

There are a lot of things that are important to you, and only a handful that is crucial. Those are typical aspects that reflect what you expect of your life, career, the people or things that make you happy and fulfilled, and not least your health (this is a shortlist, you certainly have your own). You are there because in one way or another the job opportunity you’re interviewing for contributes to what’s critical to you. Once you’ve figured that out, think about what kind of questions you could ask that will clarify whether pursuing the job opportunity will contribute to what’s critical to you.

For instance, you may think: “In the long run, I want to be an outstanding business consultant, however, I don’t have any experience right now, so it’s crucial I get a job that helps me grow towards that ideal role.” so your question for the interviewer might be: “How does the company plan for professional development/growth?

Or you may think: “it’s crucial that I work for organizations that value a healthy culture that encourages creativity, instead of a top-down” so your question to the interviewer might be: “Could I meet some of the people I’d be working with?” If they are open to the idea, it will be a good way to tell what kind of culture you’d be dealing with.

Then continue with them

In the same way, think about what’s important to the company, why have they even posted this job? Is it because they’re growing? Is it because someone left? Is it because someone got promoted? Is it because it’s part of their strategy? Some questions you may ask:

How does this role help the company?

What made the person before me successful in this role?

Why has the person in this role decided to leave?

Or you can direct your question toward the interviewer himself:

What do you like most about working here?

If you were to change anything for the better at this company, what would it be?

Why did you decide to work for this company in the first place?”

You also want to get a clearer understanding of how they thought the interview went:

How do you think I and my qualifications match the company’s and hiring manager’s expectations?

Do your homework

Employers do spend the time to put Job Descriptions together. But that’s not all that they have on their webpage that can give you an idea of who they are and what they do. Their “about” page will help you know how they think, what they value (value/principles), where they’re going (vision), and how they’re going to get there (mission/objectives). Then review their “products/services” section of their website. Is there any aspect in particular that intrigues you? Is there anything that you think might be related to your job?

Ask a few specific questions that will help you have a complete picture:

How do you measure the effectiveness of that product or services?”

I noticed one of your values emphasizes the importance of people. How do I pursue this value?”

How often can someone get involved in corporate social responsibility initiatives?

Notice most of the questions are open-ended. This approach ensures you get the most out of your of conversation with the interviewers.

How they respond is an important indicator of that organization’s values. Did they provide honest and meaningful answers? Were they specific or generic/quoting from a “textbook”? Etc.

So be genuine, be yourself!

 

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How do you make the most out of working with a search firm?

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There’s a question that every company will consider when engaging an outside search partner: “How do we manage this search partner so that we make the best of it?

We’ll start by stating the most important part of our answer: the fact that an organization has to “manage” a search firm says a lot about the kind of deal and expectations that were set in the first place! If you have to manage a search firm, then we do question whether they are the right fit for you. Their role is not just to find the best candidates, but to act as a consultant that lays out a clear path to hiring the “needle in the haystack” candidate for you.
The difference between managing a vendor and being consulted by a firm also can be pictured as (1) a very basic buy and sell agreement, or the latter (2) as two partners working towards a common goal. Anything less than a win-win attitude will lead you to an imbalance of benefits in that relationship.

Before you can talk about tools and processes, you need to clarify the conditions of engaging a search firm.
Choosing the right search firm can enable a high return on your investment. That can only happen when communication and transparency are both guaranteed and mutual, which help build trust that doesn’t need to be managed but relied on.

Define what success means for your partnership before starting anything. Aspects such as the conversion of presented candidates into hires, time that a position was opened until a hire is made, cost per hire, etc.

Clearly state your expectation that you need to be in the loop at every stage with clear goals, milestones, and progress. That can take the form of weekly reports and reviews, KPI measurement, as well as feedback from the candidates.
Require that both your team and the search firm team act as one. There’s nothing more confusing to candidates than to be passed around by multiple parties in the process of being interviewed/hired for the same role.

Go beyond job descriptions and resumes. Perhaps one of the most costing mistakes is to reduce jobs to job descriptions and candidates to resumes. Every job has different complexities including who the person will interact with, how, when etc. It will also be subject and cause to the organizational culture – it will either contribute to it or affect it. When it comes to candidates, resumes are a great start, but beyond those 2-3 pages of summarized experience and skills, there’s a human being. A person with aspirations, wishes, dreams, family, and complex personality.

A search firm partner needs to complement what already works in your process. One of the challenges of today’s labor market is to identify enough candidates to go through your hiring process. The unemployment rate has been at its lowest at 3.8% since 2000. That’s particularly true of the top tier professionals. If your current process gives you the right outcome but not fast enough or doesn’t get you enough hires, then engaging a search partner to help at the top of the funnel can provide you with what you need.

Use technology to fit and improve your own processes. Software tools support all of the above, but important nevertheless. We have seen status updates in ATS client portals, as well as simple and clear-cut summaries delivered via email that worked for everyone involved. A search partner has to provide the client with a few options and go for the one that best reflects the communication preference of the client.
So whether the client organization asks the search firm to use their ATS or the firm’s ATS, or both, is really dependent on the terms of the deal. For instance, a client organization might want to and agree with the search firm to access all candidate profiles that were sourced in the process, not just the ones that were shortlisted or even hired.

To summarize: engage with partners, not vendors, set the right expectations upfront, keep them accountable, have them provide you with options and recommendations.

 

Photo credit: Jesse Orrico on Unsplash