Talent acquisition is now focused on generating an ongoing talent pipeline that applies sales mechanics to the hiring process. In Talent Acquisition Trends, 2016: Candidates Take Command (June 2016), Aberdeen found that Best-in-Class companies are 55% more likely than All Others (68% vs. 44%) to proactively build and expand the candidate pipeline regardless of hiring needs. The pipeline methodology keeps a running list of pre-vetted, attractive resumes ready in the event of a job vacancy, placing both the vacancy and potential candidates in motion until a match happens. Treating both as moving targets eliminates the need to vet incoming responses from applicants, which reduces the time-to-hire, thereby increasing productivity. Managing the ongoing list of potential candidates also lets companies cast a wider talent net by accessing both active and passive candidates through direct outreach in the event of a match.
While building a candidate pipeline has widened the talent pool, it simultaneously moved HR to manage the flow of candidates and vacancies rather than directly engaging candidates from stage zero of the hiring process. It has also separated onboarding mechanics and planning from the hiring process, creating a gap between these two stages and paving the way for vendors to focus on them as two separate functional areas. Aberdeen realized that, in spite of the development of best practices in each area, a gap has grown between hiring and onboarding that erases the benefits of Best-in-Class candidate engagement practices.
With regard to hiring, Best-in-Class companies are focusing on developing strong brand representation to attract high-quality candidates. Aberdeen found that Best-in-Class companies are:
- 51% more likely than All Others (50% vs. 39%) to have a process in place to identify high-potential employees
- 1 times more likely than All Others (72% vs. 34%) to create success profiles of top-performing, current employees
- 42% more likely than All Others (37% vs. 26%) to promote an employer brand based on existing high performers that targets desired talent.
Strengthening the brand increases the likelihood of drawing in quality, driven talent that treats the employer as a first choice, rather than a fall back option. In this way, employers reduce the risk of spending excess time on candidates who never materialize, increasing the return potential of the hiring process.
With strong initial outreach in place, it is in the employer’s best interest to maintain strong outreach once a candidate is engaged in the hiring process. Once an offer has been extended, however, Aberdeen found that communications and engagement risk dropping off as HR resets its focus back to the talent pipeline. As a result, communications is left to the rest of the hiring team. After having spent considerable time and resources massaging the pipeline and getting to the offer with a high-potential candidate, companies risk letting new hires fall into the chasm between the offer and the initiation of onboarding. Aberdeen found that Best-in-Class onboarding starts right after an employee signs and returns their offer letter but that many companies fail to commence onboarding until much later.
Best-in-Class companies have recognized the resulting engagement gap. More importantly, they have realized a correlation between the declining rate of engagement and the length of time that passes between the offer and the start of onboarding. In response, they have developed strategic pre-boarding practices to keep candidates engaged between the close of the hiring cycle and the initiation of onboarding. Aberdeen’s data established that Best-in-Class companies are 53% more likely than All Others (69% vs. 45%) to pre-board new hires. Pre-boarding ensures the strategic renewal of communications, as well as the new hire’s interest in the company, the corporate environment, the impending role, and the career track.
As HR’s responsibilities shift in response to changing methodologies, HCM vendors are increasingly focusing on managing the defined roles within the talent acquisition cycle. With a mixture of point solutions with deep functionality and all-encompassing HCM solutions with broad functionality out in the market, companies have a lot of options for managing process automation. Corporate leadership has to recognize that a mentality shift has taken place in hiring as they strive to keep the talent cycle fluid, seamless, and engaging. In response, HCM vendors have to be more aware of how their solutions cover all functionality areas, or how they fit together with other solutions to provide the fluidity that Best-in-Class companies are increasingly beginning to demand.
To learn more about modern recruiting tactics, join us on Wednesday, August 24th, at 1pm EST for a live webinar with Aberdeen’s Zach Chertok, and Oracle’s Joseph Clay. They will discuss:
- The tools and software used by Best-in-Cass recruiters
- The resources that Best-in-Class talent acquisition teams have in place
- Strategies to smooth out the transition from getting hired to becoming a full-fledged employee