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Bridging the Talent Gap – Snapshot of the Jobvite Recruiter Nation Roadshow

I really like to support other players in the HR Tech space. So last week I went along to the San Francisco stop on Jobvite’s Recruiter Nation Roadshow where it was great to meet some really interesting people – consultants working in the staffing space, internal recruiters, as well as heads of talent from some pretty awesome companies.

The speaker line-up was terrific, and included Jing Liao – CHRO from SoFi, and Stacy Zapar – Founder of Tenfold and The Talent Agency.

For our recruiter audience (agency, internal, and independent alike) I wanted to highlight some of the many interesting facts and tips that the speakers shared during their sessions.

1. We are (apparently) in a state of ‘perfect employment’

At least in the United States anyway.

America is supposedly experiencing the lowest unemployment rate in 65 years which means that most of the work recruiters are doing (from a candidate sourcing and engagement standpoint anyway) is proactive.

Apparently 82% of employees are open to talking about a new opportunity. But recruiters … you’ve probably realised this already, but you need to get to them; they are not going to come to you.

Candidates (well the ones you want to be talking to) are not applying to advertisements posted on the job boards. So what are you doing to source, attract, and engage those proverbial ‘diamonds in the rough’ or ‘needles in the haystack’ – depending on which cliché you prefer?

2. Building targeted talent communities

This is a very important topic in today’s recruitment climate and one which I also spoke about recently at a conference in London.

Given that almost 40% of Jobvite’s users plan to have hired 100+ new employees during 2017, yet none of them have any budget for external recruitment agency fees, how are they possibly going to reach their hiring goals?

The answer is through proactive nurturing and proactive recruitment out of targeted talent communities.

We are in the middle of an evolution from talent pools (basically databases allowing for one-way communication) to talent communities where recruiters can nurture their potential future candidates and keep them highly engaged.

Over the last 12 – 18 months I have read many articles stating that prospective candidates need to have experienced 5 – 8 touch points from a recruiter before they will consider responding. I learned at the Jobvite conference that this number has in fact increased to 7 – 13 nurturing points in order to win over a potential candidate.

How are you keeping the members of your talent communities engaged, so that you remain top of mind?

3. A negative candidate experience can be brutal

I’ve written about this in the past too. A positive candidate experience is essential and a poor candidate experience can destroy your brand.

According to some recent research released by Glassdoor, over 40% of candidates who have a negative experience will simply take their relationship or allegiance to another company and sever their ties with the organisation that provided the poor experience.

I have to admit that even I was surprised by what some candidates might deem as a ‘negative’ experience. Apparently every minute over three minutes will see candidate ejection from an application process! When did you last experience your application process? How long did it take?

Oh and if a candidate is asked to log in and/or create a password as part of the application process, well you’ve just lost them too.

4. Active recruiting for passive candidates

Jing Liao, CHRO from SoFi (the fastest ever growing FinTech company) revealed how in the last 10 months they have made 1,000 hires!

There’s a talent shortage everywhere“, Jing explained. This statement was the catalyst to her then describing a ‘phenomenon’ at SoFi which she referred to as ‘active recruiting for passive candidates’. This really resonated with me.

She explained how as a company they have actively tapped into the networks of investors, board members as well as every single team member for referrals. Something must have worked if they were able to hire 1,000 new team members in the last 10 months without engaging a single external recruiter.

5. Recruiters – it’s time to level up!

As well as being a recruitment industry guru, Stacy Zapar is also an avid gamer. So it was appropriate that she shared some practical tips to help recruiters level up.

I thought Stacy’s presentation was excellent and I could sum it up by saying that she shared her ideas on how recruiters can work smarter, faster, and more efficiently to find and hire better candidates while delivering a better experience to candidates and hiring managers.

Stacy stressed the need to always be proactively pipelining as opposed to being ‘just in time’ recruiters.

She also reinforced the need for recruiters to be actively sharing content that can help strengthen your employer brand.

I’ll put one question out there that Stacy asked the audience, which I know got people thinking: How many Chrome extensions do you use to help make your job as a recruiter easier? Stacy had plenty of examples so connect with Stacy to learn more!

6. Are you afraid of your hiring managers?

This was another pretty direct question that Stacy asked the audience. The scary thing for me was seeing how many heads were nodding around me!

Having a great relationship with your hiring managers is key for any internal recruiter, just like having great relationships with your clients is critical for any agency or independent recruiter.

Stacy talked about how to control (in a very professional way) the intake / briefing meeting when taking on a new requisition and how the best recruiters need to be prepared to push back and ask their hiring managers (or clients) the hard questions.

At least the heads around me were still nodding at this point!

Thanks for the invitation, Jobvite! And thanks for a really informative morning Jing Liao and Stacy Zapar.

Paul Slezak

Cofounder at RecruitLoop. I've been a hands on recruiter, manager, trainer, coach, mentor, and regular speaker for the recruitment industry for nearly 25 years. Follow me @paul_slezak.

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