As many of you know, TMP Worldwide focuses on the entire ecosystem of talent acquisition. Our consultation spotlights the candidate experience. When we work with clients, we look at their brand, the digital landscape, their audience needs and the types of engagement needed to attract and convert candidates across the digital and non-digital ecosystem.
At three of my past Quarterly Business Review meetings with clients, I heard a similar theme from their executives – they are overwhelmed. Each client has a ton on their plate – and their leadership is pushing them to evolve faster in the digital space while providing a high-touch approach to their candidates. I see this with many of our clients. They are stretching their resources, wearing multiple hats and assuming more responsibility while leading gigantic shifts in their talent acquisition efforts.
How do you prioritize? What do you do this year vs. next year? This month vs. next month? And my favorite – where will the budget come from?
I empathize with our clients. And I tell them it is OK – we will make a plan and focus on the evolution, measurement and optimization of our efforts. Together, we will get there! And we do.
Walk before you run
We start this journey together with baby steps. Yes, you need to look at the big picture – but then quickly break it up into smaller, digestible steps. Without this approach, you become overwhelmed and a seemingly enormous project gets pushed down the list of priorities – “Let’s do it next year.” I find myself doing this often with major house repairs.
So, we start with your vision of the ideal state. What do you think the perfect world/ideal state would look like? Lean on experts within your recruitment agency and industry. Ask them what they know and how they can help build your plan. What are the best practices? How will results be measured? What have they seen? And how have others been successful?
Identify pitfalls on the way to that ideal state. Consider the available and needed resources, budgets, change management issues, required training and other factors.
Of course, all of this stock-taking may lead to the feeling and outcome we’re trying to avoid – feeling overwhelmed and then procrastinating. That’s where reverse engineering comes in – work backwards!
Instead of trying to leapfrog to the new, ideal state, determine what baby steps you can take to help you get there.
Encouraging employee referrals
One recent example was a client who, for years, wanted to implement an ERP strategy. We know within our industry that referred candidates are typically more qualified, a better organizational fit and have better retention rates than non-referrals. In the client’s mind, the only way they could do this was to RFP ERP technology offerings, build a brand, create incentive plans, identify how to track this in the ATS, develop a communication strategy, execute creative for the communication collateral, communicate this out and manage the change with the recruiters, employees and senior leadership.
Yep, that is a lot to do! This client is going through tremendous evolution and leading their industry with their approach to candidate experience. So … after they shared their desire and perception of the work that was needed, they immediately said – nope! We have way too much going on this year to focus on ERP.
Before we abandoned the conversation I quickly championed an idea around looking at this from a different lens. How do we take a baby step toward this ideal state? The first step is reinforcing the referral behavior. How do we start there? And, together we came up with the following:
- Add a social share button to the career site
- Identify top hard-to-fill roles and help employees share those out to their network
- Send out internal communications encouraging the sharing of opportunities with a link to the site with social sharing
- Ask managers to encourage the behavior
- Do a quarterly competition for hard-to-fill roles so the referrer gets a gift card “prize” for a hire
- Conduct a competition on social media encouraging referrals for seasonal roles. For every five referrals, the employee gets a gift card.
This approach is less daunting, more manageable, maybe even more enjoyable. If you’re puzzled about where to begin, find a partner to help devise a strategy and leverage their expertise so you are not reinventing the wheel. Even with a HAG (hairy, audacious goal), you’ll be surprised at how fast you can get there with some short, agile steps – learning as you go!