Recruiting Strategy: 6 Things Leaders Should Be Focusing On In 2016

Recruiting Strategy: 6 Things Leaders Should Be Focusing On In 2016

Mike Roberts

We’ve spoken a lot about how the combination of unfilled jobs and a shortage of skilled labor is creating a talent war (you can read more on that here). What this means is skilled job seekers have an unusual amount of power relative to previous years—which is why you’ve probably heard people saying the job market is turning into a seller’s market.

An unfortunate truth for many companies is that just continuing on the same talent acquisition path will put them in a reactive state fluttering to find the right candidates. And by that time it might be too late. Because when it comes down to it, hiring is a function closely connected to strategic goals, and ultimately profitability.

So, to make sure you’re in the most proactive state possible, providing your team with the right tools and competencies to get the best people in the door, we’ve put together a list of six things you should be thinking about, investing in, and planning for in 2016 (and beyond).

1. Social Media Is a Talent Source That Should be Taken Seriously

A recent study by Jobvite revealed that 93% of recruiters use or plan to use social media for hiring, yet only 18% consider themselves to be experts at social recruiting. With the power of social media rising relentlessly, recruiters should be prepared to meet candidates on their own turf—and in many cases today that’s social media.

LinkedIn has proven to be an incomparably powerful tool for identifying both passive and active candidates as well as for connecting with otherwise unreachable talent through personal networks. And for some industries dedicated Twitter accounts are widely used for distributing requisitions. If your team is overlooking these sources for talent, or doesn’t know how to fully leverage them, then that gap should be filled quickly.

2. Automation Is Key to Driving Efficiency and Reach

Business functions are becoming more and more automated, and talent acquisition is no exception. With so many ways to connect with the right people—job boards, social media, and so on—it no longer makes sense to manually submit requisitions. Rather, technology has enabled recruiters to distribute requisitions in as easy as one click.

The centralization of requisition distribution has an added benefit for monitoring and control, too. Recruiters can typically take down or modify a requisition as easy as they put one up. And they typically have a dashboard for viewing the status of all open opportunities.

3. Be Human: It Is Possible to Over-automate

While evaluating your recruiting strategy and considering the role of technology, one precaution that should be top of mind is over-automation. Of course, the benefits of automation are many. But the last thing you want is for candidates to feel like they’re just one of several thousand others shuffled into a workflow. Incorporate a human touch where possible.

4. A Good Mobile Experience Isn’t a Nice-to-Have, It’s a Must

We’re deep into an unprecedented technology transformation—mobile devices have outpaced traditional machines as the top means for computing. Just about everyone is mobile-enabled, and in some cases that’s their only means for staying connected. That said, a survey by Jibe taken by over 1,000 job seekers concluded that 80% were starting their job search on mobile.

Bluntly, there’s no better time than now to evaluate and optimize your mobile strategy. A quick mobile experience test is to simply pull up one of your requisitions on your smartphone. If the design is not—at the very least—responsive, then there’s a good chance your application completion rates are far lower than they should be.

5. What You Don’t Measure (Still) Doesn’t Get Improved

Industry experts are talking more and more about the recruiter of the future—the “data-driven recruiter.” This recruiter takes a smarter approach to improving key talent acquisition performance metrics with the use of analytics and data visualization tools. So, rather than just blindly distributing requisitions, he or she has a better sense of where and how to connect with talent.

executives and employer brandingIn a recent interview, Founder & Chief Advisor at HR Tech Advisor, Ward Christman, put the rise of the data-driven recruiter into perspective. He said, “There used to be a popular expression back in the 1990s–‘he who dies with the most resumes wins,’ but now, thankfully, it’s shifting to the quality of that data vs. quantity.”

6. Employer Branding Is Here to Stay

2015 was the year lots of companies started talking about employer branding for the first time. So far in 2016, we’ve seen tons of resources poured into this area, not to mention the rise of the “employer branding manager” as a job. For recruiters or HR leaders who thought employer branding was perhaps just another fad, think again.

A recent study by Jibe found that over 40% of companies currently have an employer branding program. We also reported that 2 in 3 professionals feel their executives are actually advocates for their employer brand. What would your employees say about your dedication to employer branding?

Interested in learning more about what it takes to build a modern candidate experience? Check out our new paper, “A Comprehensive Guide to Winning the Talent War in 2015.”
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