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The State of Recruitment in 2020: A Shift to People Experience

In recruitment strategies for 2020 we will see a shift of focus from Candidate Experience to: People Experience. This indicates how crucial it has become for organisations to not only attract good candidates but also to retain them in the long run.

Dionysis Skandalos on January 31, 2020 Average reading time: 3 min
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The State of Recruitment in 2020: A Shift to People Experience

What are the most important recruitment topics nowadays? To find out, Starred interviews 12 recruitment leaders from two groups of firms which it refers to as “Fortune 500 companies” and tech scale-ups named “Future 500 companies”. Here are their findings on what the most important recruitment topics, challenges and opportunities are for 2020.

#1. Organising Recruitment

During the interview and as the questions are centered around setup, collaboration with other parts of the business, technology and budget, all the malfunctions of the way recruitment is currently organized are brought to the surface. Unchanged budgets, the use of technology and upcoming data analytics roles in recruitment team are analysed with scrutiny. The main issues are highlighted and innovative suggestions for recruitment are put forward.

In regards to the recruitment budget, unfortunately nothing much has changed over the past 20 years.

In regards to the recruitment budget, unfortunately nothing much has changed over the past 20 years. Sadly, the recruitment budget is still determined in an old fashioned way. The average number of open positions is divided by the capacity per recruiter and this calculation determines the necessary amount of recruiters for the team. Innovation however, requires more budget which is a long term investment, aimed at reaching cost effectiveness. However, most companies don’t plan their recruitment budget that far ahead.

And what about technology?

When it comes to the use of technology in recruitment, for Fortune 500 that use still concerns “getting the basics right”. Budgets are frozen for years because of the financial crisis and although some are currently implementing a new ATS and/or career site, until now “true innovation” in recruitment is still lacking for firms. On the other hand, the Future 500 companies being a lot younger and thus not having legacy software, are running on modern ATS with good APIs, which allow them to experiment with new technologies like artificial intelligence. Moreover, they are comprised by mainly of Millenials or Gen Zers who are more tech savvy and well equipped to use tools to face challenges that may occur at work. If Fortune 500 want to stay alive in the competitive battlefield, they will have to urgently let go off “application torture systems” and invest in modern software.

If Fortune 500 want to stay alive in the competitive battlefield, they will have to invest in modern software.

Finally, a conclusion of significant importance is drawn from the interviews and that conclusion concerns the increased number of data in the recruiting process. Despite its importance however, organisations will be in a position to derive meaningful insights from this data, only when they invest heavily in human and technological resources. This can only be achieved if budgets are increased, which currently remains a mere wish at most organizations.

(The State of recruitment in 2020, Starred)

#2. Measuring Hiring Success

In 2020 the success of organisations is determined primarily by the quality of talent they are able to attract, thus making recruitment the most crucial department of organizations. Although everyone agrees to this fact, when someone takes a careful look at the metrics within recruitment, he is often left with the impression that the focus is mostly on the efficiency of the process itself.

Efficiency metrics are about speed and cost and are the so called “time-to” metrics. Some companies use them for the entire stage of the process, such as “time to fill” or “time to hire” whereas, other organisations use them per application stage because this allows them to improve on the elements they can influence first hand.

Larger organisations fail to extract even the basic financial metrics due to their outdated systems.

The same division and calculation also applies to financial metrics. Larger organisations however, fail to extract even the basic financial metrics due to their outdated systems.

When recruiters want to assess the quality of hire, they need to calculate employee performance measures such as performance ratings, onboarding costs, turnover and retention rates and hiring manager satisfaction ratings. However, because all this data on the employee lifecycle is stored in multiple systems like in an ATS and in different HR information systems/departments simultaneously, recruiters have extreme difficulties to combine and analyse the data and identify those candidate attributes that relate to the quality of a hire.

#3. Candidate experience

The sad thing is that, if it wasn’t for the talent shortage in the labor market and also for the big financial loss that organisations can suffer, when a dissatisfied candidate happens to be a client of those organisations, this tragedy would go on with the majority of candidates being utterly frustrated and the organisations keep on believing that their candidate experience is excellent or very good. Thanks to this kind of surveys, which highlight this problem, both parties are working on solving this ugly and damaging issue to both of them.

For instance, Fortune 500 companies are turning to offering excellent candidate experience in their effort to prove their worth, now that the competition for talent has become so fierce. On the other hand, the greatest test that scale-ups face, is the ability to find the perfect candidate among the hundreds of applicants they receive for a single position, as well as to reject candidates in a personal and constructive way, that is without risking to damage their love brand.

When it comes to measuring candidate experience, the results of the survey aren’t very rewarding.

When it comes to measuring candidate experience, the results of the survey aren’t very rewarding for the majority of companies, mainly for the following reasons: Some of them use the very basic built-in solutions offered by their ATS which is unfriendly for the respondent, off-brand and not delivering any insight. Some others, because they lack an integration with the company’s ATS of choice, are bound to manually collect and analyse the feedback, thus ending up paying the costs of favoring such cheap or “free” solutions. In addition to this, manual feedback collection also leads to biased results because the case always is that recruiters choose not to contact candidates who they know that they didn’t have good experience. Automating feedback collection is the only way to solve some of these issues.

(The State of recruitment in 2020, Starred)

Three 2020 vision strategies that will make you win in recruitment

All this extensive qualitative research of recruitment leaders brings to the surface three very valuable advice for the winning recruitment teams of the future. These are the following:

  • Monitoring satisfaction from hire to retire,
  • Optimizing and leveraging Candidate Experience, and
  • Relating the recruitment costs to the Quality of Hire.

Top teams believe that contrary to what is already happening, which is that recruitment and other HR teams continue to operate in a silo structure, without exchange of data from the ATS and the subsequent software, the true value of recruitment becomes evident only when linking recruitment metrics to onboarding metrics, performance ratings and exit information. For example, if the recruitment teams measure onboarding employees experience and link it to candidate experience, they are in a position to identify possible misalignments between job descriptions and actual roles. Moreover, when companies analyse performance ratings, bad attrition and application data, it is possible to identify the characteristics of high performing employees, thus being able to improve the application process in order to retain this top talent.

(The State of recruitment in 2020, Starred)

See budget as an investment

In 2020 it is certainly irresponsible for firms not to take active steps to leverage their candidate experience. Recruitment teams should make use of technology and try to grow a fabulous employer brand by having great presence on websites like Glassdoor and by being willing to actively ask for referrals, as they are currently the #1 source of new hires.

Recruitment teams should make use of technology and try to grow a fabulous employer brand.

Finally, winning/forward looking teams not only must consider recruitment budget as an investment that can attract and nurture a pool of ideal candidates but also persuade the rest of the organisation to share this attitude. In addition, they should relate it to the actual quality of hires contrary to the present practice, which is to measure recruitment costs in absolute terms.

Summarazing this thorough analysis conducted by Starred, one thing becomes clear. If companies don’t want to face the significant cost, associated with the global talent shortage of 85 million expected by 2030 and thus end up attracting the less talented, there is only one solution. That solution involves extra effort from recruitment teams in order to align the departments, break the silos and measure and improve the right metrics.

dionysisAbout the author

Dionysios Skandalos is a blogger to totalent on actual issues of HR.

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