4 Trends in Recruiting Top Talent: Approaches and Tools for HR Managers

Approaches and Tools for HR Managers
Human Resources

As the use of traditional methods of recruiting decline, human resource managers must develop new approaches and tools to recruit top talent. Hiring managers are often faced with wage pressures (particularly within private companies) and a lack of qualified workers. To effectively compete in the talent marketplace, organizations are leveraging a rich blend of methods in order to identify and recruit the best human capital that they can.

1. Big Data and Analytics

Many organizations are now using holistic approaches with integrated workforce planning and tech-enabled initiatives. These approaches forecast supply and demand and reach out to new networks of talent. Xerox1 used big data and predictive analytics provided by Evolv to identify the best predictors of attrition and performance in customer service jobs, and other employers are also becoming savvier about using such information and technology for recruiting and talent depth analysis. Robust analytics are now enabling employers to identify the top sources for candidates, relative yields, time to hire, and other quality of hire metrics.

2. Social Media

Social media is now a dominant component of recruiting, and social media recruitment platforms provide analytics that can enable employers to identify the most productive source(s) of top candidates. Employee referral programs are also being fueled by the growth of social media, and referral hire targets are at their highest levels in history.2

Organizations are also leveraging social media platforms to screen potential candidates. Although concerns have been raised about the legal risks for employers, best practices are shaping internal policy to address when social media screenings are appropriate, what content to consider (public profiles), and guidelines for performing these checks on a consistent basis. Employers are also able to view work samples offered by candidates online, use mobile platforms, conduct video interviews, and open conversations with a particular emphasis on targeting networks of high potential candidates.

3. Employee Development

Leadership development programs and coaching (individual, team, and peer) have taken off in spite of economic and budgetary constraints. With organizations realizing significant ROI from these initiatives, employers are building development programs, internal learning cohorts, and formal mentoring programs, not only to close skill gaps and support retention and rewards, but also as an investment in their employer brand, which supports recruitment.

In addition, organizations are experimenting with blended learning and MOOCs (massive open online courses), again leveraging the web and technology to drive the programs. There is a new emphasis on workers taking charge of their own development and creating leadership development networks across organizations. This development is focused less on competency models and more on collaboration, adaptability, self-awareness, and boundary spanning. Employers are also creating recognition programs linked to development which helps to build a learning culture and increase engagement with executive management, promoting participation of employees at all levels.

4. Employer Branding

Employer branding remains the proven long-term recruitment strategy. Employers have learned that there must be a social media strategy that reinforces the brand not only through advertisements and postings, but also by fostering engagement and creating new channels to disseminate information.

Not only does the social media universe include the big three (LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook), which command the lion’s share of the users on the internet, but there are also many other sites including YouTube, Vine, Pinterest, and Instagram that provide employers platforms to reach a larger audience and present varied content. This wider range of content enables potentially interested candidates to gain a deeper understanding of the employer’s organization, goals, and culture. Further, tapping the plethora of niche platforms can prove invaluable depending on the functions, geographies, industry sectors, and qualifications sought. The HR recruiting goals should be part of the organization’s broader social media strategy, and should communicate the practices that nurture and sustain the organization:

  • Flex-time, flex schedules, telecommuting, and teleworker agreements
  • Phased retirement and on-call reserves, allowing retirees to return on a part-time on-call basis to share their knowledge and expertise
  • Apprenticeship models for college recruitment
  • Enterprise-wide campaigns communicating and reinforcing the brand messaging and employer value proposition

In this time of constant, multidimensional change, new technologies, processes and practices are evolving to address the challenges that confront us in this new war for talent. There are conversations happening now that hint at far more complex variables being introduced into the recruiting equation involving data warehousing, business intelligence, and there will no doubt be new algorithms and program environments. Employers recognize that recruiting top talent to accomplish strategic objectives is the most important metric.

About the Author

Adam Smith

Adam Smith, MBAOD, ACC is a leadership coach and organization development consultant. With over 25 years of experience in talent management and consulting, Adam is an active writer and speaker in the areas of leadership development, recruiting, organization development, and individual and team coaching. Adam has served as Associate Faculty in the Carey Business School of Johns Hopkins University to MBA students in Leadership, serves on the Board of Directors of the World Institute for Action Learning’s US Affiliate, and conducts workshops in Leadership Development, Innovation & Creativity, High Performing Teams, Problem Solving & Decision Making, and Adult Development. He lives and works in the Washington, DC area.



1 Retrieved from: http://www.cornerstoneondemand.com/clients/xerox

2 Jobvite 2014 Social Recruiting Survey. Retrieved from: https://www.jobvite.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Jobvite_SocialRecruiting_Survey2014.pdf

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