The Number One Talent Acquisition Focus for 2014

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The candidate experience alone isn’t a novel concept.

But innovative strategies to realign and revitalize recruiting in a way that focuses on candidate satisfaction is a number one goal for many talent acquisition leaders across the globe.

More talent acquisition professionals are noticing the issue with shying away from genuine relationship building and candidate engagement. As recruiting and talent acquisition becomes more technology-based and automated, the consensus is we’re losing sight on what matters most: the candidate.

If you focus on one thing in 2014, let this be it. Take a look at what these Talent Acquisition leaders had to say about focusing on the candidate in 2014.

Improving the Candidate Experience

Realigning recruiting strategies to focus on the wants and needs of candidates is a top 2014 goal for Teal Thayer, Vice President and Head of Recruiting at Lincoln Financial.

“We’re finding that we get so wrapped up in the day-to-day recruiting processes, it’s ultimately impacting candidates,” Thayer said.

The candidate experience is an ongoing discussion within Talent Acquisition and Recruiting. In 2013, Qualigence conducted a LinkedIn survey asking what recruiters would focus on in the New Year. While over half of those surveyed said ‘Ramping up Social Media’ was a priority, zero percent identified Candidate Satisfaction as their number one goal.

Thayer said Lincoln Financial plans to refocus on the candidate experience by improving and streamlining overall recruiting processes.

“We are looking to improve the efficiency of our recruiters by implementing new tools such as live video interviewing to ultimately enhance the candidate experience,” Thayer said.

The underlying disconnect when it comes to the struggle with candidate satisfaction is often a lack of communication with the hiring manager. Recruiters are often left feeling like they have no idea how to find a candidate that would satisfy the hiring manager, or that the hiring manager wants a candidate that doesn’t exist. Constant communication and feedback can alleviate these issues.

Keeping in mind strategic components to communication can help accelerate this trend. For more information on improving the candidate experience, check out our Caring for the Candidate Whitepaper

Internal Talent Advocates

At Time Warner Cable, advocating for internal candidates has become a key focus within the organization’s recruiting function.

Their Internal Talent Advocates program, launched earlier this year, is a successful function they plan to grow in 2014.

“Our advocates provide a high-touch candidate experience,” said Meredith McGough, Senior Director of Talent Acquisition and Movement at Time Warner Cable. “By engaging our internal candidate base, we are able to say ‘we care about you and want to help you succeed."

The internal advocate system designates recruiters to counsel internal candidates, helping them develop their career goals and interviewing skills while identifying their next opportunity within the organization. The program helps internal candidates to fully comprehend opportunities available within other functions of the company, McGough said, pairing experience and passions with interest in new roles.

Additionally, the internal talent advocates work to remove the mystery and stress surrounding internal job postings and job boards.

So how do you know if your recruiting team is well suited to become talent advocates? “Helping people find their next step can be so rewarding,” McGough said. “People in these roles have a passion for helping people move in their careers.”


Additional Numbers for 2014

According to the U.S. Staffing Industry Forecast, the economy, as well as a boost in the labor market due to health care changes, will act as strong growth drivers for the upcoming year.

The staffing and recruiting industry is slated to grow 6 percent in 2014. The temporary staffing market, worth about $100 billion, is one of the fastest-growing segments of the industry. The biggest boom continues to be health care staffing, which grew by 9 percent this year.

The workforce will see an increased need for Information Technology and Marketing professionals, as these sectors will continue flourishing in 2014 as web and social media technologies progress.

For more 2014 Talent Acquisition Trends, see our Whitepaper.

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