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Quantity does not hurt quality if it is done with the right determination

It’s an age-old problem for almost all talent acquisition professionals– not only is there a deficit of talent, but many do not actually know what their ‘strongest candidate’ looks like making the art of recruitment seem a more difficult task then it ought to be. So, should recruiters be looking at quantity or be resolute on focusing on quality? In my opinion, it ought to be a hybrid of both.

It’s an age-old problem for almost all talent acquisition professionals– not only is there a deficit of talent, but many do not actually know what their ‘strongest candidate’ looks like making the art of recruitment seem a more difficult task then it ought to be. So, should recruiters be looking at quantity or be resolute on focusing on quality? In my opinion, it ought to be a hybrid of both.

Much has been made about the apparent gap in future talent supply and concerns that if left unaddressed talent deficits could have a significant impact on several global economies, costing billions by 2030. For those of us in Europe, we are particularly at risk by this shift.

So, the only long-term option businesses have is to find answers to why they can’t find the talent they want and why. Quality of talent is a real conundrum here – many CEOs freely admit that finding and attracting quality hires is the greatest challenge facing their businesses. Can you relate to this?

The simple fact is that talent acquisition and HR leaders can no longer afford to rely on a reactive or traditional approach to recruiting. They must look to the future and rely on data to meet the needs of the business and the changing expectations of candidates, recruiters, and hiring managers.

If the coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything it is that companies are facing a new normal in talent acquisition – one that impacts both processes and technology. We are living in a time of increased uncertainty that requires companies to be efficient but also, to focus on quality in a more strategic way in order to see improvements such as overall efficiency, improved candidate experience, reduced bias, and better quality of hires.

Recruiting is no longer paper driven and restricted to Excel trackers or spreadsheets. Intelligent automation driven by data-driven algorithms and analytics are capable of aiding talent acquisition teams to speed up processes and gain competitive edge. Machines can analyse exponentially more data in a fraction of the time it would take humans. While we’re not so great at unbiased decisions, humans are great at forming relationships, so intelligent automation allows recruiters to get back to the high touch, human touch part of recruiting.

Today’s global pandemic has brought a state of uncertainty that requires companies to be more efficient. In Talent Acquisition, Recruiting Enablement helps to reduce the administrative workload on recruiters, allowing them to focus their time on higher value work. Examples of how to do this include:

  • Managing high volumes of applicants: Recruiting Enablement can help to automate workflows and move large volumes of applicants through the process, while using data to root out bias and to fast-track top candidates.
  • Diversity and inclusion: Recruiting Enablement can help to de-bias job descriptions to attract more gender-diverse candidates, and automate candidate engagement activities, such as sharing the right content with the right candidates at the right time.
  • Interview management: Recruiting Enablement can automate interview scheduling, saving recruiters an average of 16 hours a week.

But why does quality need to be at the heart of this approach? Competition for roles has never been so tough and the job market is broadening at a rate not seen for decades – only a tiny percentage of applicants will make it to the offers stage and many face the prospect of simply finding themselves screened out from the start.

The only way of finding quality in the first place is to open your doors and engage the candidates with the issues that matter most to them once you know they are a fit for your business. But simply predicting that a person is a good fit isn’t enough anymore – what if they won’t accept the offer? What if they are highly likely to leave within the first 90 days? Recruiters focused on high quality outcomes also need to know who is most likely to accept an offer and stay with the team long enough to make a real impact.

Far from just hiring clones of successful employees from yesteryear, talent acquisition is a more end to end game now. Candidates need to be wooed from a very early stage and kept on the adventure up to the point of hire before then using the employee as your future advocate. This means employers must constantly be diversifying where they get their talent from in the first place.

Indeed, the only way leaders can avert the looming talent scarcity crisis is to start to do things differently now. So, what does your best fit hire look like and would you increase your application quantities and marketing to try and find them? That is arguably the big dilemma employers must consider in this new era for recruiting Covid-19 has placed us in.

Charles Hipps, CEO and Founder, Oleeo

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