The New Rules of Talent Acquisition from Deloitte 2017 Research

March 3rd, 2017
Jon-Mark Sabel
new rules

Deloitte just released their 2017 Global Human Capital Trends report under the title “Rewriting the Rules for the Digital Age.” In it, Deloitte surveyed over 10,000 HR and business leaders to gain insight into the mindset and concerns of innovative Human Resources professionals, rewriting long-held HR norms in the process.

One of the highest-ranked priorities among those surveyed, with 82% of US respondents rating it as “important” or “very important,” was the ability to "attract skilled resources."  In other words, talent acquisition.

HR as a whole is in the middle of a pretty significant upheaval. While the influx of available data continues to expand the role of HR, talent acquisition remains a pillar of the discipline (as the data shows). And like the rest of the HR function, emerging technology has given it greater potential than ever before.

In this year’s rendition of the Global Human Capital Trends report, Deloitte identified and revised six long-held talent acquisition rules that are falling to the forces of technological disruption. Let’s break them down.

Old Rule #1: Recruiters Use Internet Tools to Find Candidates

LinkedIn was the tool of choice for many a recruiter for over a decade - and why wouldn’t it be? As a central hub for companies and candidates, it allowed for easy sorting of potential applicants by skillset. But now, LinkedIn is not enough. Candidates are everywhere, and do not operate exclusively on LinkedIn.

Social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Glassdoor, Pinterest, and Quora are all lucrative gathering spots for potential candidates. In order to make full use of these social sites, the recruiting function needs to be flexible and adapt as each network comes and goes.

New Rule: Recruiters continuously expand their use of social media sites.

Old Rule #2: Employment Brand is Viewed as a Marketing Strategy

The nature of online social groups necessitate that employment branding become holistic. Rather than focusing on PR and outreach efforts, brands need to look inward and evaluate how they are actually perceived, not how they want to be perceived.

This means providing stellar customer support to customers, great Twitter banter with advocates, and thoughtful advice to clients - in other words, creating meaningful experiences with every person that interacts with your brand.

New Rule: Employment brand has a complete strategy, reaching into all possible candidate pools and channels.

Old Rule #3: Recruiters Run the Recruiting Process

Hiring managers give the final say in hiring decisions, so it is only natural that they take a larger role in the talent acquisition process. Over half of surveyed organizations indicated employee referrals were one of their top three channels for finding new candidates - these are the kinds of assets the recruiter can (and should) use to great effect.

By leveraging the hiring manager’s networks, assessing their cultural needs, and evaluating their success criteria, recruiters can put themselves in a position to access larger and more relevant pools of candidates.

New Rule: Recruiters partner with hiring managers throughout the search process.

Old Rule #4: Job Descriptions Levy Demands on the Employee

To attract the best talent it is no longer possible to display the job description like a list of demands. Organization-exclusive jargon and absurd job requirements are an easy way to lose a candidate’s interest.

The digital era of job descriptions are dictated by the candidate’s needs: offering opportunities for advancement and growth are key to procuring the best applicants. According to Andre Lavoie of Aberdeen Essentials, this tactic results in three times as many highly rated applicants.

New Rule: Job descriptions focus on the needs of the candidates.

Old Rule #5: An ATS is the Only Required TA Technology

The old-fashioned ATS no longer cuts it in the digital age. With hundreds of talent acquisition technology vendors offering specialized ways to recruit, onboard, and retain the best talent, the ATS simply can’t keep up.

Moreover, most ATS applications offer a mediocre candidate experience at best. Leveraging the aforementioned talent acquisition tech has become so much the norm that any company offering application via ATS will be quickly left behind by their more agile competitors.

Unilever is perfect example of the new candidate experience paradigm. With a combination of video interviews, digital assessments, and a gamified application, they proudly announce: "Good news for new grads - that time you spent on Minecraft and World of Warcraft may have actually been time well spent." With the standard ATS, Unilever recruiters could expect to put through one in six screened candidates - now they put through one in two.

New Rule: Companies use multiple platforms for sourcing, video interviewing, interview management, candidate relationship management, and onboarding.

Old Rule #6: TA Processes are Built in a Way that Works Only for the Enterprise

Creating a meaningful relationship with candidates is now the key to acquiring them. Building the application process into a candidate journey with the hiring manager will allow each to get a feel for the other, and whether they are an appropriate fit.

While speed is important in a talent shortage, identifying the best talent is more important. Hiring the worst candidates faster is not particularly helpful - but neither is losing the best to quicker competition. Balance is key, and building a mutual, learning relationship will ensure the best talent stick with your organization to the process’ end.

New Rule: The candidate experience is tailored around the candidate and the hiring manager, with a focus on the talent acquisition journey.

For more about the new rules governing HR, download the full Deloitte 2017 Human Capital Trends Report here.