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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

SumTotal Recognized in Brandon Hall Group’s Excellence in Technology Awards

When it comes learning and talent development, Brandon Hall Group, a research and analyst firm in the human capital management HCM space, provides research, data and expertise.  They also recognize the best technology solution providers in learning, talent management, talent acquisition, HR, workforce management and sales enablement organizations with their annual Excellence in Technology Awards. […]

When it comes learning and talent development, Brandon Hall Group, a research and analyst firm in the human capital management HCM space, provides research, data and expertise.  They also recognize the best technology solution providers in learning, talent management, talent acquisition, HR, workforce management and sales enablement organizations with their annual Excellence in Technology Awards.

We are happy to share that SumTotal was recognized by Brandon Hall Group with two silver Excellence in Technology Awards—Best Advance in an Integrated Talent Management Platform and Best Advance in Mobile Learning Technology.  These awards hold a special place in our hearts as they represent important momentum and innovation in the world of learning and talent management.

SumTotal was recognized with a silver award in Best Advance in an Integrated Talent Management Platform because it delivers robust functionality across both learning and talent management to support an organization-wide lifecycle learning ecosystem — even in the most complex organizations. And, the SumTotal Intelligent Assistant provides immediate access to relevant learning content without interrupting the flow of work, delivering training in the precise moment of need and driving more learning engagement across the organization. We are proud that our advancements in the Sum Total Talent Development solution have been recognized in this important category.

SumTotal was also recognized with a silver award for Best Advance in Mobile Learning Technology. As learning technologies continue to evolve, mobile is fast becoming the delivery vehicle of choice for most employees. As such, we’ve pointed our development efforts at our mobile app to ensure we are providing the latest mobile advancements possible across all major mobile operating systems and that effort was met with exciting recognition.

Used to its fullest capabilities, SumTotal’s mobile app delivers a fun, engaging and powerful learning experience for learners across the entire employee lifecycle from onboarding to structured and self-directed learning, performance management, coaching and mentoring, continuous feedback and 1to1 journaling.  With the app, learners can choose to watch, read, listen or practice their learning content, while gamification and social capabilities provide them with an engaging consumer-grade UX.

Further, employees, managers and executives can get the full HCM Functionality in the palm of their hands, with access to the depth of SumTotal’s Talent Acquisition (recruiting), Onboarding, Learning Management, Talent Management (performance management, succession planning, compensation management) and Workforce Management (time & attendance, scheduling, occurrence tracking).

Continuous innovation is the heart of what we do and to be recognized with not one, but two, esteemed awards from Brandon Hall Group makes that even more rewarding.

SumTotal is driven by the belief that learning-centered talent development is the heart of HR and HR Technology and that now, more than ever, building a culture of learning is critical to growth, success and business sustainability. This vision is what has driven advancements in our SumTotal Talent Development solution. If you’re interested in learning more about our award-winning solutions, please visit our website.

How to Use an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) to Attract Top Talent

In an era of skills shortages and low unemployment rates, the task of recruiting employees is getting more challenging. Plus potential employees have access to insight about a prospective company on an unprecedented scale. Glassdoor is a wonderful tool and a real boon to candidates wondering if they should take a job with one organization or another. […]

How to Use an Employee Value Proposition (EVP) to Attract Top Talent For Your Organization

In an era of skills shortages and low unemployment rates, the task of recruiting employees is getting more challenging. Plus potential employees have access to insight about a prospective company on an unprecedented scale. Glassdoor is a wonderful tool and a real boon to candidates wondering if they should take a job with one organization or another. While I am happy that such transparency means job seekers can make a more informed decision, I am also acutely aware of the pressure it now places on employers and often HR, in particular, to rethink just how the organization presents or markets itself to new potential employees.

The answer to how enterprises can effectively market themselves to job candidates lies in the concept of employee value proposition (EVP). Not to be confused with an employer value proposition, this EVP “refers to a combination of benefits and rewards that an organization offers to its employees in return for their work and skills… a strong EVP also includes intangible components such as culture, opportunities for personal and professional development, and more.”

With an EVP, employers create talent personas which cater to the specific roles they need to fill and highlight critical components of the job most attractive to these personas. Think of it like this, designers tend to be most interested in working with companies who have a strong sense of identity, brand and aesthetic, while engineers and programmers are more likely to favor companies that prize and highlight their commitment to innovation and cutting-edge technologies. Tailoring EVPs to specific roles and individuals helps organizations stand out in a big way.

The Five essential characteristics of an EVP

According to Gartner, EVPs portray the value of working in an organization across five attributes:

  • Opportunity: Can I learn and grow here? Is the company growing?
  • People: Will I connect with my co-workers, manager, and can I see myself here? Do I have confidence in upper management?
  • Organization: Is the company socially responsible? Do I connect to the causes it promotes? Are the products or services from the company those I place value in?
  • Work: Will my new role facilitate a work-life balance?
  • Rewards: What sort of compensation is on offer? What is the salary, the health benefits package, and how much paid time-off is included

Be sure to communicate your EVP

A 2018 poll of 12 Fortune 500 companies found that 59% of employers neglect to provide information on why employees would want to work for them. Ignoring your EVP is a lost opportunity for HR to attract and retain top-performing employees and build positive brand awareness and ambassadors. Highlighting the benefits offered is important, but framing the value and perks of your company through a lens of differentiation is the most powerful way to harness these traits. EVPs are not only about what an employer offers to its workforce; they are also about how these offerings make a company different from its competitors.

How to strengthen your EVP

Leading HR research firm Mercer simplifies what it means to have a compelling EVP into three components: contractual, experiential and emotional.

Contractual rewards are basic salary and benefits like healthcare and PTO. Most companies phrase their EVP only in terms of these contractual rewards, and these are features that make your company competitive. While salary and benefits are essential, they’re the baseline for competitiveness in today’s world. Research shows that money isn’t your best stronghold against attrition. For every 10% rise in pay, employees are only 1.5% more likely to remain with their employer.

Tip: Make sure your salary and benefits are competitive in your market for each role. Be sure to consistently review your remuneration scales. The current competitive marketplace means changing salary benchmarks. Falling behind may leave your organization at a competitive disadvantage.

Experiential rewards are essentially to “reflect how employees experience their organizations, both in and outside of work.” Included under this category are wellness benefits, retirement savings, 401K plans and social interaction in the workplace. These are some of the benefits that can help differentiate your organization.

Tip: Make sure you deliver a robust set of non-traditional benefits. These include wellness benefits and other suggestions, such as parental leave.

Emotional rewards are the most meaningful, useful and powerful components of an EVP. These rewards characterize the actual level of engagement an employee feels to their employer and work. These are often intangible but are the things that make an employee feel as though their work is purposeful. Many times, organizations that excel in the emotional rewards, and therefore have the strongest EVPs, are socially oriented companies. It’s the social capital of employers like this that galvanizes a sense of fulfillment and purpose in work. Organizations who articulate their business objectives into a broader societal purpose tend to foster a heightened emotional connection between organization and employees.

Tip: While emotional rewards are tough to articulate, employees appreciate acknowledgment from managers and colleagues of a job well-done, which contributes to creating a culture where employees feel valued.

Leading global employers and HR departments are using the EVP to answer the all-important question, “how does the organization I work for, work for me?” If you have not established your EVP, attracting and hiring new talent will get even more difficult, and your oversight will be the competition’s gain.

Want to learn more about the strategic value of a clearly defined EVP? Read the new whitepaper, The EVP is the New MVP, by Jim Poisson, SumTotal’s Senior Director of Product Management.