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Recruiting has changed. Have you?

How to update your recruiting strategy


Quit doing what you’ve been doing for the last 50 years—recruiting is changing dramatically and far too many business leaders and HR professionals continue to do things the same old way, the wrong way. Businesses need to adapt quickly, or the industry will leave them, and their organizations, behind. With unemployment at a 50-year low, leaders often fail to realize that you must switch from being tactical and reactive to strategic and proactive to stay competitive in today’s talent market. 

As healthcare futurist and strategist Reenita Das puts it in a recent Forbes article, “As we are on the verge of entering a new decade of change globally, 2020 will be a reality check for long-pending national healthcare policies and regulatory reforms that must reinvigorate future strategies.”

This reality check applies not only to healthcare, but to every company, across industries. Rethinking and innovating should be continuous and universal—especially in recruitment, which is the foundation for meeting every one of your business goals. In order to compete in the talent war, every recruiter needs to move to a more sales and marketing-like, data-driven approach and integrate effective new recruiting tools and technologies.

Are you finally ready to listen? No more post and pray; no more using the same old contingency recruiting practices, tools and tactics; no more believing that LinkedIn and Indeed are recruiting strategies instead of the simple tactics that they are.

However, if you’re using assessments to understand who you’re hiring, where they came from and how long they stayed with your company, good for you. If you’re using a CRM tool and text messaging to drip-market to candidate pipelines, you’re on the right track. If you’ve allocated resources to contact candidates 8 to 12 times to get them engaged, you’re ahead in attracting the best people. Recruiting is a process, never a one-time thing.

Recruiters who are strategic and proactive are the ones out there winning the talent war. They’re stealing the talent you want—as well as the talent currently under your roof.

What you should change

Rethinking your recruiting strategy brings both opportunity and confusion. So, how do you know which practices you should change and which you should keep to ensure you attract the best people with the right culture fit? Ask these questions as a start:

  • Do we wait until we have an opening to fill it? You should begin building a pipeline of candidates (before you need to hire someone) and use the many tools available to create strategies that add speed, quality and diversity to your recruiting capabilities.
  • Do we rely mainly on posting open positions to attract candidates? Ensure you are accessing candidates who are not applying to postings and would be considered “passive candidates.” Treat recruitment as a sales process with a mix of employment branding, marketing and selling geared toward telling these passive candidates why they should want to work for you.
  • Are we using assessments to help ensure we have the right people in the right roles? Predictive assessments enable you to predict a person’s behavior and likelihood for success in your organization. They give you data to make important hiring decisions rather than relying on your gut instinct after interviews. Measurement is the only tool that enables you to influence both positive and negative outcomes. Without it, you’re moving blind.
  • How well are we taking advantage of the new tech tools to improve recruiting practices? Embracing technology makes recruitment more effective and efficient, improves candidate and employee experiences, measures levels of employee engagement and helps you understand and leverage human contribution to your overall organization. Technology tells you how effective your communication is, provides data on what attracts and engages candidates, and shows the number of people who complete applications.
  • Is the head of HR in a silo or are they a valued member of the leadership team? Having a strategic HR leader ensures that you have a competitive edge in both winning and retaining the best people. You can’t grow your business without one. 

Holding on to outdated views of what recruiting is can make your company less effective, less competitive and less profitable. Don’t let the beliefs and practices of the past to get in the way of your business’s future. 

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Kathleen Quinn Votaw

Kathleen Quinn Votaw is CEO of TalenTrust. Her first book, Solve the People Puzzle; How High-Growth Companies Attract and Retain Top Talent, debuted in February 2016. Her firm has achieved several awards, including recognition from Inc.5000 in 2015 and 2016. She speaks frequently and advises CEOs on trends in talent and how to be strategic in developing a people strategy. Kathleen has served on several nonprofit boards including Colorado Companies to Watch and ACG-Denver. Reach Kathleen at kvotaw@talentrust.com or 303-838-3334.

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