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Eight Winning Strategies for Talent Acquisition and Employer Brand Leaders

By Universum, 2023-11-17

Evaluate and Analyze your 2023 Performance

Begin by taking a comprehensive look at your recruitment marketing strategies, employer brand perception, and the overall candidate experience during the past year. This exercise will help you identify the areas where you excelled and those that require improvement. Remember, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure,” as Peter Drucker wisely noted.

Questions to consider:

  • What were your most successful recruitment marketing strategies this year, and can they be replicated?

  • Did you encounter notable challenges or obstacles that hindered the candidate experience, and how can these be addressed?

  • How did your employer brand perception evolve over the year, and what strengths can you build upon?

Review and Optimize Your Employer Brand

Assess how well your employer brand resonated with candidates and whether it aligns with your organizational values and culture. Consider utilizing focus groups and employee surveys to gain a deeper understanding of how your brand is evolving and being perceived both internally and externally.

Questions to consider:

  • How effectively does your employer brand align with your organizational values and culture?

  • Is your employer brand perceived as authentic and appealing by both employees and candidates?

  • Are there disparities between your desired employer brand image and its actual market perception?

  • Is your employer brand ready for the evolving career aspirations of candidates in 2024?

Leverage Candidate Feedback

Harness the feedback received from candidates throughout the year to enhance your recruitment processes. Identify common pain points or areas where candidates felt disconnected, and proactively address these concerns to enhance the candidate experience and positively impact your employer brand.

Questions to consider:

  • Do you have a structured process in place for collecting, monitoring, and acting upon candidate feedback?

  • What were the most frequent feedback or complaints from candidates during the recruitment process?

  • Were there specific stages or touchpoints where candidates expressed dissatisfaction?

  • How effectively were candidate feedback and suggestions integrated into process improvements?

  • How would you rate your candidate experience this year compared to last year, and what are your goals for next year?

Strengthening your Employee Value Proposition (EVP)

Crafting a compelling EVP is essential for attracting top talent, but it requires a commitment to continuous improvement. Just as your business needs continuously evolve, so do your candidates’ preferences. To ensure your EVP aligns with changing aspirations and preferences, leverage insights from research on candidate preferences, such as Universum’s data. Chances are, Universum has already connected with your candidates and gathered their opinions, making this an inexpensive way to monitor the gaps between what you offer, what candidates want, and how they perceive you in comparison to your recruiting competitors. In 2024, make a plan to be more candidate-centric, highlighting your organization’s unique strengths while differentiating yourself from the competition.

Questions to consider:

  • How well does your current EVP resonate with the preferences and aspirations of your target candidates?

  • Have you effectively communicated your unique strengths and growth opportunities to potential candidates in a manner that differentiates you from your competitors?

  • What feedback or insights have you gathered from candidates regarding your EVP?

  • Are you prepared for the evolving career interests of your candidates in 2024?

Embrace Technology and Innovation

Stay updated on the latest recruitment technology trends and tools that can streamline your processes, enhance candidate engagement, and improve efficiency. Embrace digital platforms, AI-powered solutions, and data analytics to gain a competitive edge. Technology can help you reach and engage with candidates more effectively, especially in a remote work environment. We will all be incorporating AI into our workflow in 2024 and those that get their heads around the best way to do that first will have a competitive advantage. Incorporating lessons learned from the customer experience into the candidate experience and the use of generative AI in creating customized candidate experiences will accelerate talent acquisition strategies in 2024.

Questions to consider:

  • Which recruitment technology trends and tools did you adopt this year, and what have you learned from their adoption that can guide future tech stack initiatives?

  • Were there any challenges or limitations encountered when implementing new technology solutions, and what lessons can you apply for more successful implementations?

Foster real Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Over 90% of the “World’s Most Attractive Employers” leveraged their employer brand to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion in 2023*. Hopefully, you already have strategies in place to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace culture and well-articulated KPIs to measure your progress. As the year concludes, it’s a good time to assess your achievements in this area and evaluate your recruitment practices to ensure they prioritize equal opportunities and eliminate bias. Effectively communicating your commitment to DE&I through your employer brand messaging is mission-critical. The attributes of a career that are most compelling to diverse candidates often differ from those compelling non-diverse candidates to apply. Your candidate application drivers can be as diverse as your candidates. Leading your diversity recruitment marketing with messages that demonstrate your support for diversity has become generic and increasingly tokenistic. Long-form content and authenticity can be your allies here.

Questions to consider:

  • How diverse and inclusive is your current workforce, and what steps were taken to improve this that you can replicate?

  • Are there any biases or barriers in your recruitment process that may hinder diversity and inclusion; do you have an impartial way to identify and address such biases?

  • How effectively have you communicated your commitment to DE&I to potential candidates and employees, and do you know what diverse employees and candidates think of your employment experiences?  Are your diversity recruitment communications focused on what diverse candidates want in an employment experience, or are they just focused on diversity?

  • Are your diversity communications a true, credible, and authentic representation of the employment experiences you offer or are they more aspirational?

Strengthen Partnerships with Hiring Managers

Collaboration with hiring managers is vital for both successful EVP operationalization and talent acquisition. Establish strong relationships with hiring managers, understand their talent needs, and involve them in the recruitment process. By aligning your efforts with their objectives, you can ensure a more efficient and effective hiring process.

Questions to consider:

  • What successful collaborations did you have with hiring managers in 2023 that you can build on next year?

  • How well did you collaborate with hiring managers throughout the year to understand their talent needs?

  • Were there any areas of misalignment or challenges faced when working with hiring managers?

  • How satisfied were hiring managers with the quality of candidates presented to them?

  • Are hiring managers aligned with your employer brand strategy and represented in your EVP?

Data Driven Decision Making and Continuous Learning and Development

This year, *88% of the World’s Most Attractive Employers frequently used data in their employer brand and recruitment marketing decisions. Establishing benchmarks focused on your brand awareness, candidate reach, conversion rates, time-to-fill, quality of hire, candidate satisfaction, employee retention, cost per hire, DEI, offer acceptance, and more are all critical performance indicators that will help you measure and manage your employer brand’s effectiveness. A well-defined dashboard can help you demonstrate the value of your work and the impact of your efforts. As we come to the end of the year, showcasing your understanding of these critical performance indicators can help secure your job from potential cutbacks while fostering a culture of continuous improvement, learning, and development within your organization. Knowing your numbers can also contribute to a business case for investing in training and upskilling programs for both employees and hiring managers. This not only enhances your employer brand but also ensures you have a skilled workforce that can adapt to evolving business needs.

Questions to consider:

  • What KPIs do we currently have, and what KPIs can we commit to developing next year?

  • What training and upskilling programs proved effective this year that we can build on, and what will we need to achieve our goals next year?

  • Are we gathering feedback from employees regarding the effectiveness of the learning and development initiatives?

  • How can we demonstrate the impact of continuous learning and development on our organization’s success?

By diligently addressing these questions and carefully considering each of the eight recommendations, talent acquisition and employer brand leaders can effectively evaluate their achievements and identify areas for improvement in their strategies. A robust evaluation process empowers employer brand and talent acquisition leaders to make informed, data-driven decisions and sets the stage for a strong year-end performance. By embracing these strategies and maintaining a constant commitment to improvement while ensuring alignment between the talent strategy and the business strategy, your organization will be optimally positioned to attract top-tier talent and develop an employer brand that can adapt to the rapidly changing and evolving talent market in the year ahead.

Written by: Jason Kipps CHRL, Managing Director of Canada, Universum

*Source: Universum EB Now Survey 2023: WMAE = companies identified as the World’s Most Attractive Employers

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