Employers have to refine their talent acquisition strategies

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There are three ways to do so: refine the screening, assessment, and interviewing process; re-establish the talent analytics framework; and utilise candidate insights instead of resume or social profile data.

More than two in five (41%) companies in the North American region* are increasing the number of hires in 2022, and close to seven in 10 (65%) have high-volume needs, according to Talview and Aptitude Research's Talent Measurement for Data-Driven Hiring Decisions report. However, one quarter (25%) of candidates are dropping-off at the interview process, which is only the mid-way point of a talent acquisition process that comprises applying, screening, interviewing, assessing, and offering.

As such, report analysts have revealed that one in four companies will not reach their hiring goals this year.

What are employers doing wrong?

It is noteworthy that candidates dropping off at the interview stage is only part of the story, as there are candidates who did not complete the job application stage (22%), or the job screening stage (24%). The same could be said of those who reached the job assessment stage (18%), and the job offer stage (9%). These are statistics that, according to analysts, employers have to be aware of as it is an indication that they are prioritising too much on attraction (employer branding, recruitment marketing, and sourcing) to achieve their talent acquisition goals in a quicker fashion.

For context, respondents in the study - who are in talent acquisition roles, and HR director level and above - shared that they put "finding more candidates" (40%) and "finding candidates faster" (44%) as the few top talent acquisition priorities. As such, analysts explained that it is crucial companies "balance speed with quality in a world where candidates’ needs come first", and not use "speed and quantity" as the only currency for hiring success.

"By focusing on the early stages of talent acquisition, companies often run out of steam later in the process during hiring (screening, interviewing, and assessment). A negative hiring process can be devastating to the employer brand, candidate experience, and quality of hire," the analysts added.

Beyond that, analysts believe it is also because for most companies, its hiring function is "not set up for success". This could be the result of organisations and employers "feeling the pressure to act quickly and may make decisions based on gut (which can be inherently biased)", or them "not relying on data and insights" to drive their hiring decisions whether it is due to the lack of quality data available, or the lack of accessibility to the data available.

"When hiring talent, companies have relied on the same processes and strategies that they were implementing pre-pandemic. The result is that hiring is inconsistent, bias is included in the process, and quality is impacted," the analysts added. Therefore, it is high time, analysts urged, companies "look closely at what is not working in the hiring process".

How can employers improve?

The first, according to the analysts, is for employers to refine its screening, assessment, and interviewing process.

For instance, during the screening process, employers must move away from an outdated way of only screening candidates "for certain positions", and towards a modern way of screening candidates "for every job role". Another is stop having candidates "wait to hear back if they can move forward in the process" - which is also an out of fashion way of screening - and to immediately send assessment invites, or to send forms of communication through automation.

With regard to the assessment process, employers can look at:

  • Using different assessments at different points in the hiring process, and for different roles based on the needs of the organisation, instead of a "one-size-fits-all" approach.
  • Carrying over pre-hire assessments into the interview process to help guide training, and interview questions, instead of a "one and done 'disposable' test scores" approach.

As for the interviewing process, which analysts labelled it as the "staple of any talent acquisition process and often the deciding factor for hiring a candidate", employers can consider moving away from multiple one-on-one interviews, and leveraging digital interviewing platforms where multiple interviewers can participate. This is something employers have to take note of as based on the report, more than half (52%) of companies have an interview process that lasts four to six weeks.

The second is for employers to re-establish their talent analytics framework - in terms of goals, metrics, insights, and actions.

Goals, for instance, employers can evaluate what are the hiring objectives, and how do they align with the business. As for metrics, employers can consider factors such as time to interview, diverse number of hires, quality of hire, candidate experience, time to fill, and candidate response rates - and see how it can match those goals. With these in mind, employers can next work on insights, and actions which use the information at hand "to make decisions and
ask questions to help inform actions". For example, are the assessment or screening questions posed biased, or inconsistent? is the timing of the interviews working well?

The third is for employers to go beyond candidates' resume or social profile data when hiring. "This information is not necessarily an indicator of performance or quality of hire. By relying solely on the resume to make hiring decisions, companies can erode candidate trust and confidence in the hiring process," the analysts explained.

Employers must also consider 'candidate insights' which dives into the behavioral and performance qualities of the candidates. This would give companies a complete 360-degree view of the candidate "beyond what is included on a resume or profile", and those who do so will see "improvements in quality of hire and decision making".

*While the information only included responses from the North American region, HRO has pulled out content specifically applicable to Asia-based HR decision makers.

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