I interviewed Jody Robie to discuss how COVID 19 has changed the way to recruit , about data and Employer Value and Proposition. She is a Boston-based recruitment expert who has been running Talent Works North America for eight years, which is a company with a unique mix of talent branding, digital talent attraction and agile recruitment solutions. They are a talent attraction firm dedicated to helping our clients attract and hire the right talent quickly. Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) is a great way to meet the current challenge of recruiting without putting pressure on a company’s own hiring managers, leaders, and in-house HR teams.
“Candidates are in high demand and the ability to change jobs yearly (or more frequently) is becoming acceptable. Some are making the moves for money, but many are also considering more meaningful work now”
Jody, what does Talent Works unique?
A flexible RPO model, like the one Talent Works offers, gives companies the confidence that the pipeline, brand equity and candidate care will continue. We help companies scale without the pressure of hiring and retaining their own recruitment teams. Whether it is hundreds of openings or a cluster of specific roles, we give flexible support to internal, overstretched teams. Our approach is not to replace a Talent Acquisition team, but to augment and support them in an efficient and cost-effective way. What is unique is that these services historically were restricted to large organizations, and we offer them to companies of all sizes.
We are a global firm with teams across North America and the UK. If we are partnering with a UK company needing help in the US, we can add the right resource to the team without a client needing to start from square one. We see what many clients are doing across all industries, and we can share that first-hand insight with our clients in real time.
Do you think that COVID 19 has changed the way to recruit? If yes, how?
The biggest change I’ve seen in the last two years is the willingness to make a move. We’re in a candidate-driven market, particularly in tech recruitment. Candidates are in high demand and the ability to change jobs yearly (or more frequently) is becoming acceptable. Some are making the moves for money, but many are also considering more meaningful work now that they have had the time to consider their options.
Companies have had to change the way they recruit and have had to reflect on their infrastructure and make changes so that they can bring candidates in even in this highly competitive talent market. Many companies have had to look at outsourcing and external support for their talent acquisition teams because what was working two years ago isn’t going to work now.
Remote hiring is now widely popular, with most interviews occurring over Zoom or other video platforms. Before the pandemic, remote working was less common, and not widely accepted. Now it’s commonplace not to have an office-based culture. When you look at the number of people who took a new job in the last two years, many of those employees have never met their peers or stepped foot in their office.
“Many businesses are now losing the people responsible for recruiting and hiring people. Senior talent-focused roles including Heads of Talent, Employer Brand leaders and CHROs are moving on because their teams are quitting, and because they don’t feel they have the support they need”
How can data and technology drive value in recruitment?
Data helps us to avoid assumptions and biases. It is easy to assume the reason why we are not getting applications is due to a company’s reputation or that the salaries are not competitive – but data can help us to validate some of those assumptions. We can map talent and see if the profile of talent actually exists in the market we are looking at. It could be that maybe we need to change a job title or a job description to fit the talent, and data can help us streamline that process.
Having analytics on all candidate approaches both from the sourcing and marketing perspective quickly tells the story. We can then look and evaluate how many candidates we need to include in our funnel to allow for the vetting process, shortlist and ultimately a hire. Real-life conversations to validate trends are important and continuing to brand track sentiment allows us to stay on track and avoid any surprises as we continue to recruit.
Having the ability to track every dollar and to pull metrics and reporting on the passive candidate response from first engagement to application is also a game-changer. For years, employer branding was a nice-to-have, but now it really is a necessity in finding the right talent and delivering the right message.
What is the importance of doing good recruitment from the beginning?
Good people can make or break your business. I think the last two years have proven that and led to the C-Suite and leadership valuing not just their people but the HR/People Ops functions in their company. Starting at the beginning means taking care of your in-house talent and recruitment teams. In addition to losing good people in The Great Resignation, many businesses are now losing the people responsible for recruiting and hiring people. Senior talent-focused roles including Heads of Talent, Employer Brand leaders and CHROs are moving on because their teams are quitting, and because they don’t feel they have the support they need.
It’s a chicken and egg problem: if you can’t retain the people who source your talent, how can your business continue to recruit?
The solution lies in implementing a good recruitment strategy right from the beginning and planning for future hires so that talent acquisition teams do not become overwhelmed. To extend your talent pool you need to be both open-minded and strategic. Working in conjunction with outsourced providers who have experience accessing diverse recruitment pools may help set the balance objectively. A good Recruitment Processing Outsourcing provider should be able to provide a wide array of candidates, covering both those that may fit the job more traditionally and those that may come at it from a different angle.
They will also learn your business, understand the culture, and handpick the right talent to fit your organization to ensure the best quality hire. By talent mapping, they can gain an understanding of where relevant talent is located and the nature of required skills and experience. With this understanding, you can formulate digital attraction hiring strategies, such as targeting passive candidates using paid media based on skill type.
“Think of your EVP as a blueprint for your values and behaviors. It keeps them alive and ensures that everyone within your organization lives by them”
Tell us more about Employer Value and Proposition (EVP). What is it?
An EVP gives your employees across all aspects of the organization a clear cultural direction and something to buy into. It sets the expectations of what working for you will be like, laying out tangible and intangible elements of the workplace. In the current talent market, the pillars that make up your EVP are as important as your customer proposition; it also articulates your business offering and forms the basis of your employer brand, which will help retention and attraction.
For an EVP to succeed, it needs to resonate and appeal to both new and existing employees. A good EVP will act as a driving force to motivate and engage employees. In an era when attitudes and ways of work change so quickly, it’s your EVP that will help people to feel connected to their work and their teams. Your EVP will outline purposes and motivations for working and ensure teams remain excited about work and connected to others working to deliver the same mission. It reminds individuals why they joined your organization and ensures that your culture is rooted in your values and overall business objectives. It needs to be relevant and authentic to be valuable.
Based on your amazing 20 year+ career experience, how can we create great Employer Branding? And why is it so important?
Your EVP is more than just a summary of what you offer. It is the first step in telling your story as to why someone should join your organization. Think of your EVP as a blueprint for your values and behaviors. It keeps them alive and ensures that everyone within your organization lives by them.
You need to listen to your employees and understand the external perceptions surrounding your organization and your industry. I suggest reviewing the data you have handy to start (exit data, best places to work or other award submissions etc.) to help tell your true story. Speaking to employees and former employees allows leadership and HR to balance what they think is the reason to join with the validation points of why people stay. These aspects can then be prioritized in your EVP and form the basis of your communications with talent. Hopefully, they’ll feel a similar emotional connection to your existing team and be ready to apply. EVPs should be a mix of the authentic experience with a bit of the aspiration for the future.
Humans are constantly changing. We change our minds regularly; our tastes evolve, and the world we live in is moving rapidly. What we wanted a year ago may not be the same as it is today, and that’s not an issue. In 2022, you need to adopt a more agile and evolving EVP or segmented EVP as to why someone should join today.
People are at the heart of your business, and your EVP ensures that they remain that way. It establishes the balance of what to expect and what employees should give in return. Importantly, it acts as a cultural “north star”, which people at all levels across the business, from C-suite to entry-level employees, can look towards. Refining your EVP can help you engage, motivate, and retain current teams, showing that you’re an employer fit for 2022 while also giving you guidance on attracting top talent in the middle of The Great Resignation.