Breaking the Mold

June 2023
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Hiring, as we knew it, is no more. Especially across today’s workplace landscape in this post-pandemic economy, organizations must frequently adapt and refine their recruitment strategies in order to attract, hire and retain top talent. 

While traditional approaches have their place, of course, it’s essential to let go of some of the more antiquated talent acquisition strategies that no longer align with the evolving needs of both employers and job seekers. By embracing modern methodologies, we can improve our chances of attracting qualified candidates and gaining a competitive edge. 

Let’s go through some recruitment strategies that can be evolved, or abandoned altogether, in favor of more effective and innovative methods.

Having an overreliance on job boards

Relying solely on job boards to source candidates is too limiting. Job boards still serve a purpose, but to expand the talent pool and reach more qualified candidates, businesses need to diversify recruitment channels.

Access passive candidates and tap into niche talent pools with social media platforms, professional networking sites and industry-specific communities. Also, leverage employee referrals, attend career fairs and build ongoing relationships with universities. 

Using generic job descriptions

If your job descriptions are simply a list of requirements that do not convey the unique voice of the organization, aspects of the role or insight into culture, then they are outdated and will fail to capture the attention of top talent.

Modern job descriptions are compelling, informative and inclusive, and communicate the value proposition of the role. If written well, then they will help employers attract eager and talented candidates who align with their values and vision. 

Neglecting employer branding

A weak employer brand will deter potential candidates. Before considering employment opportunities with an organization, today’s candidates are seeking information on culture, values and reputation.

It’s never too late to focus efforts on building your employer brand. Leverage your career website and social media platforms, but don’t forget that your best ambassadors are your existing staff. Employee testimonials and success stories are powerful, and you can add content over time across your platforms. 

Letting DE&I priorities slip

Embracing diversity, inclusion, equity, accessibility and belonging as an intrinsic part of the ethos of your business and the talent acquisition process should be a priority. Make sure your job descriptions are using unbiased and inclusive language, then seek out diverse talent in your industry.

Establish diverse interview panels to ensure fair assessments of talent at every level and function. If your business has a DE&I committee or ERGs, then ask them for ideas, too. The data is out there — a more diverse workforce leads to a more productive and successful business.

Overemphasizing education requirements

You may be limiting your talent pool and hindering diversity by placing excessive emphasis on specific education requirements. Skills and competencies can hold as much, if not more, significance than formal education. I am not suggesting that we ignore the benefits that come with a solid education. Instead, consider how assessing your candidates on relevant skills, experiences and potential will expand your talent pool. 

Ignoring passive candidates

Passive candidates are professionals who are not actively looking for new job opportunities. Source and engage with these people to create solid pipelines of talent.

Proactive outreach to a passive candidate may involve using LinkedIn, attending networking events and professional conferences, and offering the opportunity to have an informational conversation. You will be establishing connections and highlighting your firm to new audiences. I’ve gotten incredible referrals from passive candidates, and many have remembered me when they were ready to consider a change. 

In the ever-evolving world of talent acquisition, we must let go of archaic recruitment strategies. By adopting innovative and inclusive strategies (diversifying recruitment channels, creating compelling job descriptions, engaging with passive candidates and focusing on skills rather than solely on education), organizations can attract top talent, enhance their employer brand, and continue to build a strong and diverse workforce. 

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