4 Best Practices From the Talent Acquisition Trenches

June 28, 2016 Deanna Hartley

Whether you are new to recruitment or a veteran in the industry, it’s interesting to see how your peers are helping to move the industry forward with innovative insights and practical recruitment wisdom. That’s why we got a panel of experts — those deep in the talent acquisition trenches — together at CareerBuilder’s Empower 2016 Roadshow in Philadelphia to talk about best practices.

Reinventing recruitment. Insightful panel session at the @CBforEmployers Philly Roadshow. #CBEmpower pic.twitter.com/97p8DWaJpA

— Christie Huber (@chrleigh) May 18, 2016


Here are some of their top takeaways.

1. Step up your talent branding efforts.

People are talking a lot about “talent branding” right now — the who, what, where or how your company is perceived by potential candidates. If your brand doesn’t carry a strong reputation among job seekers, chances are you’ll be fighting an uphill battle to attract and recruit the talent you need.

Have a shaky #EmploymentBrand . 'Own your past mistakes & seek out people who want 2 change things for the better.' #cbempower

— Scott Helmes (@shelmes) May 18, 2016


Branding can either work for or against you, so it’s important to be proactive in terms of aligning your brand messaging with what the perception may be of your brand as an employer.

One way to do so is to equip your employees to become your advocates to the outside world.

Employment branding is big at @comcast! People are encouraged to share stories about what it's like to work there. @shellygrossta #CBEmpower

— CareerBuilder (@CBforEmployers) May 18, 2016


Make it the responsibility of all 150,000 employees to tell their story and create their talent brand and what it is like to be an employee,” said Shelly Gross, senior director, talent acquisition at Comcast.

Some companies, however, may not have as much name recognition as Comcast. Take NFI Industries, a third-party supply chain solutions provider, for instance.

“NFI is unique because it has no [formal] brand recognition and only way people know who NFI is through seeing trucks [with the name on it], so people think it’s just a trucking company,” said Leslie Hafter, director of talent acquisition at NFI Industries. “But it is more.”

Hafter worked with CareerBuilder to create a survey on what NFI means to people both internally and externally and then created a career site based on the findings and how the company wanted to showcase their talent brand.

2. Go above and beyond what’s required of you.

Great talent acquisition professionals not only get the job done; they also go the extra mile.

It’s creating a really positive experience for each candidate and making each applicant feel important and that the application process is easy,” said Jamie Bannach, staffing specialist at Contemporary Staffing Solutions. “Or if you can’t help someone, give them the resources or point them in the right direction.”

Bannach said it’s also about building one’s personal reputation.

“As a staffing recruiter, I need to have personal brand as well since, at the end of the day, I am selling myself,” she said. “[It’s about] listening and coaching my candidates in order to help find a good fit for them [and being] genuine and honest. They are representing me, too, so I want to ensure my candidates are well prepared as they are a representation of how I have done my job for my client.”

3. Remember that technology can be a time saver, but it won’t solve all your problems.

Having the tools and technology you need is one thing, but it only does so much.

Technology is great – but only if it’s set up to be efficient for you and your needs. #CBEmpower

Amen to that!

— CareerBuilder (@CBforEmployers) May 18, 2016


There needs to be a human element when it comes to implementing the technology.

“Our team has some of the tools that they need, but our ATS is less than ideal and it really eats into their ability to be efficient, so we’ve supplemented with other tools,” Gross said. “But it really comes down to a human factor — the technology is only as good as the person using it. I am a hawk when it comes to time and calendar management and organizational skills. If you aren’t doing a good job in these areas, you are never going to be successful regardless of what tools you have.”

According to Hilary Bailey, talent systems and operations manager at Santander Bank, the company is working to make sure that recruiters have the tools they need to be efficient — but she emphasized that communication is key to making the most of technology.

“When I came in, there were spreadsheets and an ATS, but now we are launching a new ATS and HRIS and taking advantage of the tools that were already in place,” Bailey said. “The biggest struggle we have now is ‘change fatigue’ since we are always changing [the tools we use]. I would encourage recruiters to communicate with the operations/ process person so that the technology and its uses are designed effectively and efficiently.”

4. Don’t ignore candidate experience.

Candidate experience matters! Only 31 percent of employers claim to have tried applying to one of their company’s open jobs to see what the process is like, according to CareerBuilder’s 2016 Candidate Behavior Study. If you don’t already, start testing your own process at regular intervals to pinpoint frustrations and make necessary changes.

“It took me three times to apply to my own job here,” Bailey said. “They would have lost me if I wasn’t as competitive and determined as I am.”

At the same time, keep the line of communication open with job seekers. Nearly half (45 percent) of job seekers say their biggest frustration is when employers don’t respond to them. In fact, job seekers say 4 out of 10 (38 percent) of their applications never receive a response or any type of communication. So if you want to stay a step ahead of your competition, do yourself a favor and avoid that dreaded black hole.


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