So week 6 of lockdown (week 7 in the Gomez household). How are we all bearing up? Wishing we return to normal (whatever that was or is) sooner rather than later? Over the weekend I stumbled upon a blog from ATS provider Harver written 3 weeks ago. The ‘Pro tip’ stood out for me;

“Your ATS should be the first place to look when you start hiring again. Your already pre-screened talent pool will be a great source of talent and it will also keep your hiring process shorter.”

Now, you may say ‘Well this is a pretty obvious statement, and I’m doing that already’ and of course you would be right. But bear with me.

If you are a supermarket, hospital, healthcare provider, online distribution chain, takeaway food business, or contact centre then you are probably already recruiting in vast numbers – for certain types of roles. So your ‘pre-screened talent pool’ is probably already active and engaged. Great work, nothing to do here – other than considering how you can manage these higher than usual volumes.

But, if you are not one of these organisations or usually recruit outside of these frontline roles then you have probably frozen all of your ‘non-essential’ recruitment activity. 

“These are uncertain times for everyone” 

Having a clear message for all current and prospective employees is powerful. It was only last week that I saw this from Nationwide Building Society that “No Nationwide staff member will be forced to take redundancy this year”. I thought that this was not only a powerful message to current staff but also those who may be considering it as a future employer. This message nailed the ‘need to offer certainty and reassurance’ box but also defined a unique reason to join this organisation in the future. 

So what’s your message and how are you communicating? Over the past few weeks, I have seen many companies turn there attention inwards to serve their customers, protect their business and employees. As a result, their communication and more importantly engagement with prospective employees have probably been the last thing on their mind and understandably so. But as we start to look ahead I think that this is going to be more important than ever. In this podcast interview, last week with Robert Peasnell at PeopleScout, David Fairhurst,  Ex HR lead at McDonald’s, Tesco and Heinz said ‘Talent has today and will continue to be of paramount importance. It's critical that we continue to take a longer-term view’. So what could you be doing now?

Talent pooling

So what is it? Lots of people talking about this and my colleague Rowena Bach produced a fantastic short video on this last week which you can see here. So going back to the pro tip, what about those candidates who may not be ‘pre-screened’. What do you know about them? Do they demonstrate the right experience for your organisation? Are they the right fit and are they engaged with you as a potential employer? You may already know the answer to these questions, but if you don’t here are some top tips from me

1. Understand the data in your current ATS/CRM

So, you may receive hundreds, thousands or even tens of thousands of applications per year. Yet only a small percentage of this may make it through your screening, interview/assessment and offer stages. When’s the last time you reviewed this data and more importantly should you still have this data? If you’re GDPR compliant then we’d recommend you review and segment this data. You could do this by role profile/suitability to start. If you run a multiple site business, you could then segment this data by Geography and commuting distance. Ideally, you will segment data that can be targeted, communicated and engaged as part of a Talent Acquisition Communications Strategy

2. Create a structured Talent Acquisitions Communications Strategy

Once you’ve understood and segmented your data you’ll have a qualified group of prospective candidates you can market to. This may help you reduce spend on job boards, tell prospective candidates more about your organisation (EVP) giving you a more engaged candidate at the point of application. Most importantly this communications strategy needs to be tailored and personalised as much as possible. For example, if you use geographical segmentation, what’s the local message you want to communicate that will mean most to your prospective candidate. Alongside this, understand where the prospective candidate is in their talent lifecycle with your organisation. For example, if they are currently actively applying for roles, recognise this in your communications – share hints and tips for CV writing, interviews etc. For me there are four key stages - Excite, Engage, Assess & Hire.

3. Decide which communication channels are right for you

Naturally, an email will be the default source of communication. However think about your email communication, to much text can quickly disengage. What about infographics, memes and potentially video? Outside of email what other channels are right for your organisation and audience. Social media plays a large part in peoples lives daily, however, for some audiences, different platforms deliver different results. We commonly see Facebook, Instagram and Twitter used but what about TikTok or Snapchat? Again, get the balance of text, infographics, memes and video right for the platform. A great tip here is to use Google Analytics to understand how your audience is engaging with you. Is it desktop/laptop, mobile, tablet or phablet?

4. Measure & review

Data is key. It should drive your decisions daily, weekly, monthly etc. What are your open, bounce and click rates looking like? Where are people spending most of their time? Why not ask for feedback on how things can be improved in an NPS type survey? Use this data to drive continuous improvement through points 2 & 3.

I hope you find these top tips helpful and as always if you'd like to discuss any of the topics covered please don’t hesitate to get in contact. Stay safe, stay connected.