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Talent Acquisition: Beyond the Job Description

The global talent market is changing at a rapid rate, and COVID-19 has changed the way we all view our jobs, our work, our future, and our organizations. To compete and stay relevant, it is crucial for talent acquisition teams to create a human-centric candidate journey. […]

talent acquisition rep on the phone

The global talent market is changing at a rapid rate, and COVID-19 has changed the way we all view our jobs, our work, our future, and our organizations. To compete and stay relevant, it is crucial for talent acquisition teams to create a human-centric candidate journey. Although one could argue this has always been important, the focus now is on creating an emotional and cultural connection with potential candidates long before that first conversation begins.

Here is how you and your team can humanize your talent acquisition approach during this pandemic and far beyond:

Keep the conversation real and human-centric

Six months ago, recruiters were generating pipelines and having candidate conversations with a different focus. Conversations between an organization and a candidate were focused on day-to-day responsibilities, compensation, titles, benefits, work-life integration, and commutes. Times have changed, and COVID-19 has shifted priorities, wants, and needs.

More than ever before, people want jobs to mean something—they want to feel connected to a greater purpose. The role of a recruiter is to establish human to human connection immediately and be a dynamic storyteller as well as an active listener. Recruiters should listen for a candidate’s personal interests, values, and priorities, and create a bridge between them and the values of the organization.

Align your messaging in a way that tells a story of the company culture. After the culture is introduced, start to interweave where the candidate’s specific job role would have a positive impact on the organization. After that’s done, it is all about honest dialogue and keeping it real.

For example, do not be afraid to talk about how your organization has handled COVID-19. Be open about how your organization has been reacting, shifting, moving forward, and making employees feel safe. This establishes critical, preliminary trust between the potential employee and organization.

Foster a connection

Now is a good time to evaluate your current employer brand and tweak it to better connect to your organizational vision amidst all the uncertainties of our current times. Talent acquisition professionals should ask themselves:

  • Where are we projecting and sharing our employee value proposition (EVP)?
  • What is the messaging we are putting out there?
  • Does our brand align with our vision and mission accurately?

Personal connection is key. Consider utilizing employee stories, home-recorded videos from leaders, and bold value statements that communicate humans being the heart and soul of an organization. Show the candidate that your organization is one that loves and cares about its people.

Tell stories about how employees want to be a part of the organization and how they positively impact the company. Communicate why the organization does what it does, and how employees influence that. This means so much more than corporate mission statements and bland job descriptions.

Create a positive recruitment experience

As you transform your talent acquisition processes to be more human-centric, it is important to recognize that not everything is designed to support your new approach to recruitment. It may be time to evaluate your talent systems and connect those dots with a more tailored approach without disrupting the need to hire quality talent quickly.

This starts with how you spark interest and establish a connection.

Generic recruitment emails from LinkedIn or lackluster voicemails without purpose resonate less now than ever before. It is important to understand the talent landscape and be more informed and targeted in your outreach. Many organizations have overhauled their talent acquisition functions to be more agile and have created mechanisms that allow for more efficient and effective pipeline generation. This is great, but only if it gives recruiters more time to nurture candidates and make personal connections faster.

It also then extends to how you interview—you cannot seem distant and disconnected. You must evaluate and ensure you have the right technology to facilitate the virtual interview process that is both personable and establishes a human connection. You and your team should ask yourselves:

  • Do we have the right tools to make this a great experience for all stakeholders?
  • Do these tools provide candidates with enough experience and connection to make an informed decision on their next career journey?
  • Do managers know how to use these tools effectively to portray the EVP correctly with each candidate individually?

Recruiters need enablement too

In the span of just a few weeks, everyone has had to adapt to new ways of working. Just as we are investing in the enablement of our sales functions to interact with our customers in new ways, we must too invest in our talent acquisition teams.

Talent acquisition teams need to be masters at pitching the company culture, creating a personalized recruitment experience, and leveraging applicable technology. Lean into marketing and bring in copywriters to provide sample emails and messaging guidance. Marketing is your friend—get creative. Written blogs, videos, and other relatable cultural assets are all beneficial to recruiter outreach—especially in our totally virtual times.

Brainstorm with marketing and create messages that tell the candidate a story of opportunity. An opportunity to participate in a culture that provides job satisfaction, personal/professional growth, and the knowledge that they can have an impact every day. The recruitment process is the first step to a potential career-long relationship and should not be overlooked.  Reflect an organization that is committed to sustaining that type of relationship.

If we can figure this out, these talent practices will enable and strengthen our organizations for the long run. Clarity and connection are the names of the game moving forward.  Talent Acquisition teams need to be agile entities that fuel the organization’s strategic and human capital motors—one story at a time.

Elisa Vincent is VP, Talent Enablement at Skillsoft

Brie Miller is VP, Global Talent Acquisition at Skillsoft

Human-Centric Offboarding and Automation

Offboarding is the process of supporting an employee’s departure from an organization. No matter the circumstance, offboarding should allow the departing employee to end their time with your organization on a high note. Multiple scenarios call for offboarding and as such, there cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach. […]

Offboarding is the process of supporting an employee’s departure from an organization. No matter the circumstance, offboarding should allow the departing employee to end their time with your organization on a high note. Multiple scenarios call for offboarding and as such, there cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach. Without recognizing the variety of scenarios, your offboarding processes will lack the human-centricity necessary to send your departing employees off on good terms.

For example, each scenario is unique and has different priorities:

1. Layoffs

Whether it’s a mass layoff or a layoff of a few employees, offboarding following a layoff should be both sensitive and centered around reducing the stress of losing a job. Organizations should focus on helping the departing employee(s) get back on their feet. Your organization should provide departing employee(s) access to courseware that assists in creating resumes, interview tips, opportunities to reskill and upskill.

2. Voluntary departures

If an employee quits, it is important to ask why—especially if they were a good employee. If this is overlooked, organizations miss out on valuable information on how they can potentially enhance their employee experience and employee retention. This scenario should focus on getting their perspective on their employee experience. Be sincere and non-judgmental. If you send the employee off on good terms and listen to what they have to say, it could result in a boomerang employee.

3. Involuntary departures

Unfortunately, sometimes people are terminated. This scenario can get tense easily, so it is important to not only highlight compliance but also gain insight into their experience—i.e., listen to what they have to say. If they were an underperforming employee, ask if they were given opportunities to develop themselves and if they felt their immediate leadership adequately trained them. You should also ask if they feel they were managed fairly. If they don’t, be sure to connect with their former manager and address any concerns the departing employee had.

4. Contract/temporary/part-time workers

When you have a scenario where an employee’s contract has expired it is important to retain rapport. Don’t completely disconnect from them—maintain a strong relationship with them and ensure the door is left open for future opportunities.

Automating the tedious elements of offboarding

On top of the variety of scenarios that call for offboarding, several unavoidable and highly tedious steps must be addressed—i.e., tons of paperwork. Things like letters of resignation/termination, applicable nondisclosure/noncompete agreements, and benefits documentation are just a few examples of the various forms of paperwork organizations need to address before an employee departs. All of these documents protect not only the organization, but the departing employee.

Fortunately, organizations no longer have to rely on a manual administrative process to compile all of the steps and documentation necessary to properly offboard an employee. The digital age presents HR teams with technology that can streamline and automate the more tedious processes of offboarding. Effective offboarding technology should:

  • Connect disparate processes in one intuitive place
  • Organize and prioritize various documents and forms
  • Deliver insight on progress and priorities

With all being said, offboarding technology shouldn’t present a singular scenario or template, but rather provide an interface where multiple scenarios can be supported. Offboarding technology should allow your HR team to effectively and efficiently create a unique offboarding experience specifically tailored to the circumstances of the departing employee.

SumTotal connects automation to a human-centric offboarding processes

SumTotal allows organizations to provide departing employees with a formalized and personalized offboarding experience. The “Initiative” tool in the onboarding solution can be leveraged to drive processes such as offboarding by automating forms, learning assignments, and compliance.

Key differentiators:

  • From voluntary to involuntary departures, SumTotal’s solution allows you to create and automate specific templates to your organization’s most common offboarding scenarios.
  • Whether it’s for interview prep or for reskilling/upskilling, assigning helpful and practical training can help departing employees land on their feet and leave your organization on a high note.
  • Just like every offboarding scenario is unique, so is the individual departing employee—SumTotal enables organizations to further tailor their most common templates to the individual.

Interested in seeing how SumTotal’s solution can make your offboarding process more human-centric? Click here and request a demo.